Around Penny Jones / 451 in 10 Questions

Today we ask our probing questions of Penny Jones, (LinkedIn@PennyJones451)  Principal Analyst, MTDC & Managed Services at 451 Research.

IIAR

Penny Jones, 451

  1. What are your coverage areas?

    I cover the European multi-tenant datacenter (colocation – wholesale and retail) markets and hosting and managed services. I focus mostly on the business proposition of providers and geographic and other trends affecting these industries.

  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?

    The market is evolving – and it needs to. The way technology is being consumed and delivered is changing rapidly, and in many cases, this means that the ways in which particular elements of the market are measured and reported on also need to adapt to reflect changing trends such as hybrid cloud, IoT, even external impacts such as Brexit and data regulations, etc. This includes my side of the market, where the days of being able to view colocation as a real estate play are long gone. Analyst firms and analysts will increasingly be required to alter the way they view markets as they continue to progress to answer the questions put forward by the IT industry, investors and others relying on insight into the market.

  3. What’s your typical day like?

    In my world, this isn’t such a thing as a typical day. One day could begin with a trip to City Airport to visit a client, tour a datacenter or conduct briefings in country. The next could start with yoga, a coffee, then writing of reports. The third day could start with an international inquiry call on the European market, or with my head down working on a deadline for an advisory report. Events such as Brexit, or the removal of Safe Harbour, or a large acquisition often require me to drop everything, focus on associated research while I sit back and wait for the phone to ring – because it inevitably will.

  4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?

    I am one of those people that prefer to be at the airport three hours prior to an international flight (ok, maybe 2 if leaving from City Airport or if I am only skipping over the Channel). Either way, any time I am at an event and AR books a car for me leaving only an hour to arrive and get to the gate is a horror story. I once got stuck in traffic heading to JFK and only made my flight because it happened to be half an hour delayed!

 

  1. What is your research methodology?
    Dealing with clients and focusing on providers positioned across Europe (and I should mention, I like to cover not only providers but the demand side of the market so we could also be talking about SIs, enterprises etc) I have to rely on a fair bit of phone contact – each briefing tends to last around an hour. That said, physically visiting sites and meeting face-to-face is a large part of my job, and I would say for every phone briefing there is an in person meeting scheduled. This means I am quite well set up for remote working. On top of collecting a lot of figures, which we tie into some of the 451 Research data products, most of my conversations are around technical details, company strategy and market overview. In most cases, I do not have a tick-list, and the conversation will work both ways. My work requires me to write reports on individual companies, M&A activity, long-form reports on markets (London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris), and markets (covering every country in Europe, and increasingly MEA). I also work closely with the rest of the analyst team and data teams at 451 Research, and as well as information they produce appearing in some of my own insights, these also feature heavily in presentations, webinars and other activities carried out.
     
  2. Any favourite restaurant or food that you’d like to share?

    I am Australian, so I love a good flat white and brunch on a weekend (the more interesting the better – not your standard English breakfast). As for hobbies, sitting at a desk for quite a few hours a day, and week, means exercise is incredibly important, and yoga especially helps clear my mind (especially when working on many reports, covering many topics, at once!).

  3. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?

    I am glad this said the ‘next’ 30 minutes, as I spent the last thinking over these questions. I am currently sitting here listening to Trump on the radio as I work – my 30 minute challenge will be to sustain a smile. My 6- month challenge? I am closely monitoring what Brexit means for the European and UK MTDC and hosting market and keeping up with the ever-evolving outcome of this will continue to be a challenge. I am also planning a wedding (how hard can it be?).

  4. Is there another analyst whose work you rate highly?

    While I have covered my industry for many years now, I have only been an analyst for the last few. I am always in awe of the deep insight many of my colleagues at 451 Research have in the market, in particular our founders William Fellows, John Abbott, Nick Patience and Andy Lawrence as well Rory Duncan and Kelly Morgan from my own team. All have such deep knowledge of their industries, but also of the processes required for proper objective analysis into the market. Their work goes beyond individual reports and advisory, I can also admire them for sharing their knowledge and showing support across the group.

  5. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.

    I have had some great experiences at AR events targeting analysts with in-depth knowledge of individual companies. Colocation and cloud providers, as well as managed service providers, are going through an unprecedented amount of change at the moment and deep dives into strategy and company positioning are increasingly important so we can stay up to date on company strategy but also understand why companies might be adopting new products and services and omitting others. The days I have attended recently – and increasingly – offer increased insight. This becomes even more important when we can discuss attitudes and observations on trends such as Brexit, data regulations and vertical industry take up of services.

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