This week, we’re pleased to introduce you with Tim Gower (LinkedIn) from Kable. Some might remember him from his Ovum and Datamonitor days. Don’t forget to join the IIAR Webinar next week with his management to hear more about Kable.
What are your coverage areas?
My role at Kable is to run our Global ICT Intelligence offering, which provides a broad mix of data-driven tools and analysis, looking at ICT investment trends across numerous geographies and vertical markets. We forecast enterprise ICT spending at both a market and individual customer level, and track the performance of ICT providers to highlight relevant opportunities for our clients.
What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
I have been working in the IT analysis sector since 1999 and have seen a bit of flux in that time, although the ‘big three’ market leaders remain firmly in place. It has been interesting to witness the emergence of smaller analyst houses, as well-respected analysts leave big firms to go it alone, as well as some of the consolidation that has happened with tier 2 firms e.g. DM Tech, Butler Group & Ovum, 451 & Yankee. As long as the technology sector remains relatively healthy, the IT analysis industry will follow suit, so I suspect the broad structure of the industry will remain in place over the next decade or so – where there are moving parts, they will come at the tier 2 analyst house level.
What’s your typical day like?
We are based in London, Blackfriars and I tend to come into the office most days. Typically my day involves supporting our sales team with their pitches, designing and rolling out new analytical products, proofing new content authored by our analyst team, and working on our latest database developments, whether that be writing specifications, articulating changes with the developers, or testing for bugs.
How do you position your firm? What is your business model?
Kable’s traditional strength has been in the UK public sector IT market so it has been an interesting exercise re-positioning the company, following its acquisition by Progressive. Through a major investment in primary and secondary research, we’re now able to offer a comprehensive view of business ICT spending activity across numerous geographies and sectors. Our engagement with CIOs and IT decision makers is ongoing, meaning that we are well placed to help vendors with their customer engagement and sales enablement. Our business model is primarily a subscription-based service, although we are making investments in our consulting capabilities and will also see growth here in the coming months.
What is your research methodology?
We use primary research as the basis for much of our offering. In the second half of 2012, we initiated a sizeable global research programme covering 24 geographies and 12 markets, which we have used to launch our ICT Customer Insight service and formulate our ICT budget forecasts. It’s going to be really interesting to compare the market picture when we repeat the research in the autumn. We also invest a lot of time tracking market activity, whether that be ICT vendors’ contract announcements, vendor revenue performance or pre-procurements in the public sector.
Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?
I am less involved in day to day conversations with vendors than I was five years ago. However, I always most impressed by those AR professionals who could handle analyst enquiries independently, so I would single out Roger Sabourin (in his role at Entrust) (LinkedIn) for particular praise.
What are your offerings and key deliverables?
We have been in a product build out phase and have rolled out a wide range of products in the last few months including ICT investment trend reports (by country and sector), market forecast models and spend prediction databooks. We also offer a daily news service, as well as an M&A activity tracker and company profiles to help our clients with their sales enablement. The next phase of our offering will be to launch our premium database products (see upcoming challenges)!
Any favourite food that you’d like to share?
As well as analysts in the UK, we operate with an analyst team based in Hyderabad, India so I have made a number of visits out to the sub-continent. I am starting to develop a taste for biryani, which is the local Hyderabad delicacy, although it’s definitely a lot hotter than back home!
What are your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
The next phase of our offering is to develop our premium information tools and my role is to project manage their development. We have already launched our ICT Customer Insight database, containing the latest ICT decision maker sentiment regarding investments, operations and procurement. Next to follow will be our software and IT services contracts databases, followed by our flagship product which will help vendors understand their prospects’ likely technology expenditure. My challenge is to work with our development, analyst and sales teams to ensure we bring the best products to market. In 30 minutes, I plan to move on to proof our latest report covering ICT Budget & staffing trends in China.
Is there another analyst whose work you rate highly?
Analysts that can talk across multiple technology areas are a rare breed, so I would single out Tim Jennings at Ovum (LinkedIn, @tjennings). He was always able to pass judgement on market trends across a breath of technologies, which was invaluable when I was running the Market Intelligence function at Ovum.