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“How to take on the Digital Wave”

A growing issue for AR pros and their companies is defining what ‘digital’ means. Or, more importantly, understanding how the different industry analyst firms define digital and “digital transformation”. It is certain that digital will “disrupt”, and that more existing businesses will get ‘Uber-ed”, as one of our panellists put it. However what is less clear is just how and where digital transformation will impact existing business models over the next few years, as well as what the opportunities and threats will emerge from digital. How might the AR pro navigate the new digital landscape when briefing and engaging with industry analysts firms? These were just some of the questions posed to a distinguished panel of leading industry analysts at the latest IIAR event hosted at the glamourous Heron Tower on August 13th 2015.

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Aniruddho Mukherjee of the IIAR kicking off the evening with an overview and update on IIAR to its members,whilst Debleena Paul and Neil Pollock also both from the IIAR look on

Is 2015 a tipping point in terms of digital transformation?

The convenor, Debleena Paul, got the ball rolling by asking the panellists whether 2015 is a tipping point in terms of digital transformation. Are digital technologies beginning to bring the kind of disruption that has been promised for some time? Marianne Kolding (Vice President and Executive Sponsor, European Digital Transformation Practice at IDC) responded that it was coming but that it was not there yet. A lot of firms have it on their agenda and are “dabbling”, but change wasn’t happening everywhere. Tim Walters (Co-founder and Principal Analyst at Digital Clarity Group), saw that ‘phase 1’ of the change had occurred, where companies beginning to educate the public about how digital was something that they would need, but that ‘phase 2’, where companies were beginning to think about what they were going to do about it, was only just beginning.

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Pictured, from left to right, Debleena Paul (IIAR), Dominic Trott (PAC), Tom Reuner (HfS), Gerry Brown (Ovum), Tim Walters (DCG), Marianne Kolding (IDC)

Digital transformation can be anything. The first problem is identifying it, says Gerry Brown from Ovum

Very quickly the panellists got to the issue plaguing discussions of digital transformation thus far: What exactly is it? Tom Reuner (Managing Director for IT Outsourcing Research at HfS), thought that digital transformation meant different things to different people. The term was being used by everyone simply as a place holder. Debleena quizzed the panellists on what their definition was – noting how each industry analyst firm seemed to have a different conception of digital transformation.

Digital transformation is a process, not a project, says Marianne Kolding from IDC

Marianne Kolding told the audience that IDC saw digital transformation as where the business model for the company was fundamentally changed. This was both in the way it served its customers but also how its employees operated. For IDC, digital transformation was not just about reconfiguring the front-end but also transforming back office processes. Firms had to build a new way of looking at technology. Digital transformation cannot simply be another project, she argued, it has to be a process. Dominic Trott, (Senior Analyst Digital Business at PAC), told the audience that PAC has two definitions for digital transformation. The first is tackling the front end where the company attempts to build tighter customer interactions but the second is a broader change in culture and mindset in terms of reorganising the business around the needs of the customer.

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Debleena Paul (IIAR) grills Dominic Trott (PAC)

Digital is a wave but has unexpected force, Tim Walters from DCG notes that companies need to understand and react appropriately to the energy

Tim Walters reminded the audience that the kinds and amount of change that companies were undergoing today was not unprecedented. Companies had been subject to similar waves of change through earlier technologies. And like these waves before companies needed to understand and react to the specific energy in the wave. What is different this time, argued Tim, was that whereas in past waves it was the company that led the change, this time around it is the consumer that is empowered; it is the customer that is driving the change.

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Tim Walters and Gerry brown debating the finer points of the digital ecosystem

AR Pro Tip 101 on how to improve a presentation: Ask the analyst what they would find valuable!

The conversation turned to how AR pros might improve the way they present their companies digital transformation strategy to industry analysts. Here, rather than dissensus, there was much agreement. Tom Reuner strongly pushed for companies not to present technologies but “narratives”. Companies needed to come up with narratives which were true for their organisation as they were for the problems experienced by their customers. Rather than standard ‘corporate decks’, Gerry Brown, (Senior Analyst, Customer Engagement in Digital Technology at Ovum), wanted to hear ‘war stories’. This includes what has worked and what hasn’t; the upsides and downsides of the digital transformation strategy. Tim Walters was similarly interested in hearing the ‘process’ by which the company understands their customers’ problems. He was much less interested in companies telling him what they can do, but rather how they were now doing things they couldn’t do before, because a client has a new problem and has asked for it.

Your Point of View!

You’re read what we think. We’d love to hear your point of view on what digital transformation might mean for companies and how AR pros could do a better job of communicating their transformation strategies to industry analysts and others. We’re working on a longer version of this blog post, and would like to incorporate your feedback into a white paper that would be circulated with IIAR members. Let us know your experiences. Add your comments to the blog or email us.

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Event attendees

It wasn’t all digital transformation, however. There was also time for some of the event attendees to enjoy an expert talk on the famous Heron building fish tank! We learnt it was the largest privately owned fish tank in Europe, and the names of quite a few fish too!

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Industry Analyst Relations Manager, FICO – located Bay area – San Jose or San Rafael, CA. USA

An Industry Analyst Relations Manager is responsible for driving business results by developing and maintaining strong relationships with targeted IT industry analysts at leading research firms such as Forrester, Gartner and IDC. The AR team works closely with senior marketing, sales and product management executives to develop and execute strategies that improve analyst understanding and perceptions of FICO, with a goal of favorably influencing the analysts’ research and interactions with technology buyers.” Quote by Sr. Director Industry Relations.

Analyst Relations is a Corporate Marketing function providing centralized support for both internal and external stakeholders representing multiple industries, technologies and geographies. In this role, you will:

  • Develop and execute analyst relations plan and contact strategies per product/industry to increase research coverage for FICO and ensure a continuous level of analyst engagement.
  • Manage outreach activities including analyst tours, briefings, inquiries and strategic advisory sessions; leverage interactions to gain intelligence that drives FICO strategies.
  • Field inbound inquiries and research requests, assess each opportunity, and coordinate resources to respond.
  • Drive FICO’s participation in major vendor evaluations (e.g. Gartner Magic Quadrants, Forrester Waves), annual market share surveys, vendor landscape research and other research projects.
  • Help plan, coordinate and host FICO Analyst Day events.
  • Help expand and manage AR program internationally.
  • Monitor analyst research agendas, blog posts and tweets for new research opportunities and coverage.
  • Procure and coordinate use of go-to-market services including analyst speaking engagements, webinars, custom research and publishing projects.
  • Coordinate program execution with other disciplines including PR, product/industry marketing and events.
  • Raise awareness for AR initiatives and successes within FICO through proactive communication with internal teams and sales enablement support.
  • Help manage relationships with the account team at each research firm.
  • Assess program effectiveness by tracking and reporting program activity and outcomes


  • 5+ years of professional experience in analyst relations, PR or product marketing in a B2B technology marketing environment
  • Track record of solid industry analyst relationships leading to influence and published results
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong technical and business background with the ability to link the two in ways that are meaningful to the analyst community
  • Demonstrated project management skills with the ability to independently manage a high volume of complex, deadline-driven tasks concurrently
  • Must be hands-on, work well in a team setting and be able to re-prioritize on the fly
  • Ability to influence and lead multi-functional teams
  • BA/BS degree required

Why make a move to FICO?

At FICO, you can advance your career within one of the fastest-growing fields in technology today – analytics. With our industry leading credit scores and other solutions, FICO is the leader in predictive analytics for banking, insurance, retail and healthcare. Our ability to drive smarter decisions is driving some of the world’s leading companies to a new level of analytic fueled success.

Our success is founded on really talented people – just like you – who enjoy:

  • Innovation – change the game for us and for our clients around the world
  • Teamwork – lead and learn from the very best in your field
  • High Performance – challenge yourself and reap the rewards of delivering results
  • Opportunity – grow with a global company that develops talent

For more information contact Kathy O’Brien:

Contact Number: +1 612-758-5223

Learn more about FICO at

To apply go to careers at FICO

FICO is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer that values the strength that diversity brings to the workplace.


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Analyst Relations Manager – Tata Communications – London

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This is a critical role reporting to the Associate Director, Analyst Relations and involves executing the AR plan for the business, both internally and externally, as well as supporting thought leadership and analyst activities in the global arena.

You will also be responsible for ensuring that all internal product, sales and marketing teams are adequately serviced by the Corporate Communications team and that product and segment AR programs and initiatives are effectively executed, within delivery and budget agreements.

Essential skills and experience include:

Understanding of B2B Telco, business and tech space

Understanding of analyst landscape

Excellent inter-personal and communication skills (including writing skills)

Strong analytical skills and high attention to detail

Superior project management skills

Positive, high-energy, integrity, passion

Flexible working style to accommodate a global team, timelines and varying work styles

For a full job description and to apply go to LinkedIn

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Media and Analyst Relations Manager/Senior Manager

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ThoughtWorks is searching for a Media and Analyst Relations Manager to support and direct integrated media and industry analyst relations efforts globally across the utilities, oil and gas, metals and mining, chemicals and forestry businesses of Accenture. The candidate will develop and implement strategic campaigns that position Accenture’s Resources business in the media and with analysts as a thought leader and business transformation partner to the industry’s top companies. The role includes management of a PR agency. The individual will report to the Global Director of Media and Industry Analyst Relations for Resources. 

Closing date for applications 31st August 2015.

For more information and to apply go to LinkedIn – Job Number: 00317487 



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#IIARReception2015 – Summer Party Pictures at Flickr!

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The prestigious Lord’s Pavilion Roof Terrace set the scene for the biggest IIAR Summer Networking Party – a very special evening of drinks, jazz and networking with a crowd of more than 120 guests from 50+ firms and no powerpoint in sight!

Sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services, the party started with a note by Shankar Narayanan, TCS Country Head who welcomed cricketing legend, Graham Gooch OBE (ex England Cricket Team Captain and the scorer of the most runs ever!)

It was a perfect pitch for analysts and AR professionals to network and share ideas and best practice…..and the pictures are finally in at – view them at Flickr  #IIARReception2015

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“Thanks for such a great event. Unbelievable venue and such a good atmosphere for the strike breakers!” Chris Lewis, Lewis Insight
“The IIAR Summer Party was a great success – it was wonderful to see peers and meet with the analysts in such a prominent venue” Alexia O’Sullivan | Global Analyst Relations Director | Brand, Marketing & Communications, EY
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Will research crowdsourcing finally move analyst firms to an experience business model?

g2crowd_grid_for_help_deskg2crowd_grid_for_help_deskGood piece by Tony Bradley on (via Rob Enderle and Stephen England) on whether crowdsourced analysis could displace Gartner, Forrester, IDC, etc.

I’ve been watching analysts for a long time and think this is fascinating -I was waiting for such a “JD Power of Tech” for a long time.

If they get it right, it will finally change the analyst business. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Five timeless questions about analyst relations

Over the last 12 years, my colleagues and I have run dozens of webinars and telephone conferences to address the most frequently asked questions of analyst relations managers. This week I’ve been running the numbers, looking to see which topics got the most attention. Several of these topics were used more for than one event and, indeed, looking back even to 2003 I can see that some of the topics are timeless. Five thoughts come to mind. Continue Reading →

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The IIAR “Tragic Quadrant”

Last year, as part of the 2014 IIAR Analyst of The Year Survey, we invited analyst relations professionals to rate their favourite industry analyst individuals and the firms they worked for. More than 60 individual organisations responded to our survey. We were interested to see if we could do further analysis on the data that was collected.

When we set out to do the IIAR Analyst of the Year (with Helen Chantry), we always had envisioned doing a Magic Quadrant of analyst firms. This year the survey provided us with further information which we have been able to breakdown and analyse to provide a more detailed understanding of how analyst relations professionals perceive the relevance, impact and reachability of industry analyst firms. We are not claiming that this is an exhaustive study. Rather it simply opens a new (slightly cheeky – hence the notion of “Tragic Quadrant”) window onto the analyst landscape, where we attempt to rank industry analyst firms by impact, relevance and ease to do business with. Continue Reading →

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“Why should I speak with him and her”

Yvonne Kaupp

Author – Yvonne Kaupp

Last week, the second German IIAR Stammtisch gathered AR professionals and analysts for a private dining event in central Munich, this led into an interesting and enjoyable discussion about AR measurement. The overarching question was how to best communicate internally the value analysts can bring to the business, and the value of well managed communications between vendors and analysts.

“Why should I speak to this analyst” is a question AR pros are often confronted with. The pressure on AR pros has risen during the past years in terms of showing the return of investments gained through analyst relations and showing the value analysts can bring. In recent years expectations have both grown and  changed. Analysts are well aware of the new challenges, and eager to learn how to address.

In past years reports, whitepapers and analyst advice were naturally part of the relationship, today budgets are tighter in many companies, and investments in analyst insights have shrunk. Or teams became smaller, and bandwidth more limited to support research projects. Even more important becomes the task to explain to the internal stakeholders the treasures analysts can open up for them, and the value they can bring to the business.

AR professionals can face very different challenges. For example, an AR manager working for a new company in a niche market and a strong growth rate may face different challenges to an AR manager working for a large and established player in a saturated market. At the IIAR Stammtisch we exchanged about the specific pain points each of these AR managers might experience and the differing ways forward.

AR professionals and analysts have a common interest – proof the value of their work. Whilst we can’t do without AR measurement this has to be a value discussion rather than a simply a counting exercise, like counting the number of reports, the number of tweets, of interactions and so forth. AR pros and analysts need to join forces and seek ways to provide value to both sides and proof of the value delivered. The German Stammtisch, as part of the IIAR, will explore quantitative value measurement of Company+AR+Analyst interactions for a future IIAR Best Practice Paper.

Look out for more updates on this topic. We welcome your thoughts and experiences, leave a comment below – how do you show value delivered ?

Author – Yvonne Kaupp, IIAR Board Member and Lead for the IIAR German Chapter

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