Gartner completes acquisition of IDEAS International

By Dave Noble, IIAR board member & APJ chapter lead

Gartner has completed the acquisition of Australian competitive analysis firm, IDEAS International, and integrated the research team into the Gartner for Technical Professionals business (formerly Burton Group).

Gartner made a takeover offer for IDEAS in April this year (see Gartner gets the IDEAS from Forrester), with completion of the deal taking place in July. The deal was valued at about A20 million, and was strongly supported by the major shareholders who included company founder, John Tulloch; CEO Steven Bowhill; and board members, including former CEO, Ian Birks.

Established in 1986, IDEAS expanded into the UK and the US, increasing its presence with the acquisition of DH Brown in 2004. Primarily focused on providing comparative performance data to server and storage vendors, it broadened its focus to include end-users in more recent years, offering tools for server consolidation, data centre analysis, and server and storage comparison.

Gartner group vice president, IT professionals, Gary Hein, said that the IDEAS products aligned well with the existing GTP offerings and addressed the same customer base – technologists, architects and people doing implementation – but were completely different.

Gartner plans to focus on the end-user opportunity for the IDEAS services, initially through training its 1,400-strong worldwide salesforce, and then by investing in further development by introducing other Gartner data sets to the IDEAS research models.

From an AR perspective, Hein doesn’t believe that the engagement model with IDEAS analysts will change significantly, although AR pros will now have to work through the Gartner vendor briefing process rather than directly with the analysts as they have in the past.

As the reach of both the vendor products (Competitive Profiles) and the end-user services (IDEAS Advantage, now Gartner Technology Planner for Technical Professionals) increases, the importance of vendors providing more comprehensive and accurate technical information will also increase.

A more detailed interview with Gary Hein discussing the implications of this deal can be found on Dave Noble’s IntelligenAR blog Gartner anticipates strong business growth with IDEAS acquisition

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