IIAR discussion group: AR best practice for analyst events

The IIAR will hold a discussion group teleconference on the subject of AR best practice at analyst-firm sponsored events like Forrester’s IT Forums, Gartner Symposia and IDC Directions on Thursday 6th May 2010 from 1500 BST to 1600 BST / 10:00am EST to 11:00 am EST. The discussion will cover all levels of participation from simply attending to main sponsorship.

We’ve got a great line up of panelists:

  • Gerry Van Zandt / HP, Worldwide Analyst Relations Manager (@gerryvz, LinkedIn)
  • Kent Cook/ Microsoft, Director Corporate Analyst Relations
  • Bill Reed / St. Cross Group, Managing Director (former IBM manager of industry analyst relations, EMEA) (LinkedIn)
  • Sandeep Thawani / Mahindra Satyam, Head of Marketing and Communications, Europe (LinkedIn)

IIAR members who would like to join should RSVP on huddle or by email or to jcourtenay at analystrelations dotte org.

IIAR launches new India chapter

Aarti PatilCoinciding with NASSCOM 2010, the IIAR is expanding its global presence with the launch of its India Chapter. This is in line with the association’s mission to raise awareness of analyst relations best practices and to develop the global community amongst AR  professionals.

Mumbai-based AR professional Aarti Patil, who’s the AR practice head at Syntel Inc, will lead the effort.

While at the event, February 9 to 11th, Aarti is interested in meeting up with fellow AR managers to get input on what would make the chapter successful. The best way to reach Aarti is via her email – Apatil (at) analystrelations dot org.

Stay tuned for the launch of other local IIAR chapters around the world in 2010!

Sourcing Advisory Relations – Highlights of January Forum Discussion

Last week the IIAR held its first London Forum meeting of 2010 at Tech Mahindra’s London office. The featured topic was sourcing provider relations and a stellar panel was on hand to provide its take on commonalities and differences between AR and sourcing advisory relations; the panel included:

Key takeaways from the discussion:

  • The trend for end-users to bring in sourcing advisory firms to manage deals is on the increase
  • The traditional lines between what separates a sourcing advisory firm and an industry analyst firm are blurring (ie Gartner Consulting and Altimeter). As a result, more AR managers may find themselves responsible for building relationships with sourcing firms
  • Sourcing advisory firms admit that they have not done the best job of making it easy for vendors to build relationships with them
  • In some ways, the needs of sourcing advisory firms are similar to those of industry analysts. They like to have one or two central points of contact at an organization, for example, so they can get quick responses to requests for information. Some firms prefer to have a microsite on a vendor’s website to access information quickly.
  • Personal contacts are important and what differentiates a good sourcing advisory relations contact is that they act as a facilitator for their organisation, not a blocker.
  • Most sourcing advisory firms get to know vendors through inviting them into an RFP, and they advise vendors to get to know them through deals. The view of the sourcing advisors is that sourcing advisory relations has to sit in sales.
  • Sourcing advisors don’t want marketing or PR speak. They want an honest and direct discussion about what a vendor’s capabilities are – what it does well and doesn’t do well, and what markets it plays in

Moving forward, IIAR member David Rossiter is working on a whitepaper focusing on sourcing advisory relations. If you have examples of best practice or anecdotes to share on this topic, please let him know (DM @davidrossiter).

Furthermore, the IIAR would like to offer more cafes and teleconferences on the topic of sourcing advisory relations. Please email us if you have any suggestions.

Best practice AR at the Mobile World Congress: panel discussion highlights

Yesterday the IIAR had a great turn-out for its teleconference on best practice analyst relations at the Mobile World Congress this February in Barcelona.

The discussion was exceptional and the featured panelists included:

• AMDOCS, Brian McManus
• CCS Insight, Ben Wood
• Ericsson, Peter Olofsson
• Vodafone, Janine Aitken-Young.

Here are some of the highlights from the discussion:

• Every analyst attending gets hundreds of requests for meet ups. Resources don’t exist for every analyst to meet with every vendor
• MWC is for analyst meetings not analyst briefings. Pre-brief analysts about news and then arrange 15 minute catch up meetings at the MWC
• Logistics are extremely challenging at the MWC. Pre-planning and spokesperson preparation is essential; allow time in between meetings
• Check the time you are allowed into the conference before scheduling breakfast meetings
• Use multiple ways to evaluate AR success at the event
• Be ready to fact check as analysts are writing blogs and reports on tight deadlines
• Don’t plan meet ups with analysts at social events and don’t plan on analysts attending social events unless there’s a big ‘hook’
• 80% of what’s discussed with an analyst at the MWC is forgotten

All in all a very useful discussion and thanks again to the panelists for their participation.

IIAR publishes Best Practice Paper on Managing the Gartner MQ

Today the IIAR published my Best Practice Paper titled: “Managing the Gartner Magic Quadrant: a tool for analyst relations managers.”  The paper is free for all IIAR members and can be found in the Library section of the IIAR extranet.  In it, I discuss and give recommendations on the key stages of the Magic Quadrant and how to ensure you and your team are as prepared as you can be when the process begins; how to build internal support and manage expectations with your stakeholders; building the relationship with the relevant Gartner analyst; and providing customer references.

After I agreed to write an IIAR whitepaper about managing the Gartner MQ process I soon discovered that everyone has an opinion, in many cases an emotional one. In addition, I realised that the paper needed a focus or otherwise it could have easily been turned into a book. I will admit that I was selfish, that what guided me through the research and writing process was the question: what would have helped me in past situations working with the senior management at vendors? In the end, I aimed to create a pragmatic and useable document with sections that can be cut and pasted.

There’s so many people to thank for providing their insights and time. Moving forward I would like to keep writing about topics related to the MQs. I would welcome your comments, suggestions and stories (even under NDA).  I would also be happy to share an abstract of the paper. The best way to reach me is by email: egyurko thatatsign analystrelations dot org.

Related post: Gartner engages in debates on their blog

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