Archive | AR Best practices

5 Criteria for Right-Sizing AR Teams

Note:  This was cross-posted from IIAR board member Evan Quinn’s blog: link.

An AR friend of mine recently asked if there was a formula or guideline for right-sizing AR teams. Unfortunately, there is no simple formula to the staffing question, but off the top of my head there are five factors that contribute to determining a reasonable headcount model for right-sizing an AR team, whether full-time employee or 3rd party agency or contractors. Continue Reading →

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The IIAR at IDC Directions, Boston and San Jose

At IDC Directions on March 9th in Boston and on March 15th in San Jose, approximately 80 AR professionals attended the IDC-IIAR luncheon program – in fact the San Jose program was packed and IDC had to turn away walk-ins due to a lack of seats.  The program at both venues included speeches by Crawford Del Prete / Executive Vice President of IDC’s worldwide research (bio, @craw), Barbara French / Senior Director of Analyst Relations,  Juniper Networks (blog, @bfr3nch) and founder of Tekrati (now discontinued due to Barbara’s role at Juniper) and USA chapter heads from the IIAR. Continue Reading →

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Ethics isn’t just around white papers

A while back, Curt Monash (@curtmonash, blog) caught our attention by calling on tech vendors and solution providers to disclose which IT analysts’ white papers posted on their web pages, or otherwise used in marketing, are sponsored. That’s good practice, and one which most AR professionals have supported over the last decade or more.

But since AR is a two-way street, what about the reverse? Shouldn’t IT analysts (and actually, pretty much about everyone, including bloggers) disclose if a specific research area, project, note, blog post, white paper, speech, webcast, etc, is being paid for by a third party?

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Jan 12th IIAR Discussion Group for Mobile World Congress

Yesterday’s Teleconference on best practice AR for GSM featured Liz Pellegrino, Program Director for GSM, Elizabeth Rainge, IDC analyst, and Jon Peet, Head of Industry Analyst Relations, Nokia Siemens Networks. The panelists shared their expertise and recommendations for getting the most out of Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona in February. They also discussed some of the challenges involved in managing executive interviews with the large number of analysts who turn out for this event.

Members can find the notes from this call here.

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Gartner details the MQ process

Magic Quadrant ChartFollowing some debate on Quora ( How much does it cost to be included in Gartner Magic Quadrant?,  do make sure you check Nancy Erskine’s answer), Lydia Leong from Gartner did publish a very useful blog post on The process of a Magic Quadrant.

Gartner’s MQ continues to be the source of much debate, mostly since it pits vendors against each others some are bound to be disappointed (a MQ with all vendors in the leaders quadrant won’t probably be of much use to IT buyers).
Gartner has overhauled the process in the last 5 years and made it quite robust now, though the weightings and ratings are still not publicised (a key difference with Forrester’s wave and IDC’s Decision matrixShort List).

No one asked for my opinions, so here they are:

  • it’s better to be in than not, even if in the niche quadrant
  • an MQ is better than a Marketscope (I don’t like rating vendors against a linear scale because it implies you should choose the one to the right)
  • an MQ is still only 2 dimensions (hear below Gideon Gartner on this point)
  • allocate enough time, about 100-120 man hours per MQ on the vendor side
  • make sure you manage your constituents expectations and get their support
  • IIAR members should read @edgyurko’s Best Practice Paper (link below)

Does this help? What is your experience? Do you have any tips?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7zzl1RM02U]

Related posts:

 

13/1/11 edit: corrected the “IDC MQ” name after Vuk’s comment (below).

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[Guest Post] The Use and Abuse of Analysts (poor things)

NB: This is a cross-post from the Buzz Method blog, where it was originally posted in January 2011. Please note that the views expressed within the article do not necessarily reflect those of the IIAR – they are the opinion of Dominic Pannell, founder of Buzz Method Ltd (@buzzmethod). You can find the interview of Quocirca’s founder here: Around Clive Longbottom from Quocirca in 10 questions.

I just stumbled across an extremely useful document that those prolific chaps at Quocirca published back in 2007 (I seem to recall posting a link at the time). It’s packed with great information and spells out how not to treat members of the analyst community – the report “Use and abuse of analysts” might need updating a little and I would like to see it expanded to include other ‘influencers’ (perhaps I will when I have time), but it should certainly be compulsory reading for anyone entering the world of AR.

All of the guidelines set out in the document are broken either by accident or deliberately every day of the week by ICT companies of all sizes and the communications agencies/consultants they employ. Trust me, it’s a fact. Continue Reading →

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Join the IIAR for AR Best Practice Teleconference at Mobile World Congress

As a result of several requests, for the second year the IIAR will host a best practice AR teleconference focused on the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which takes place in Barcelona this February. The event is now less than two months away and the clock is ticking. In past years up to 50,000 attendees showed up in Barcelona, all hoping to make the most out of the event. What’s the best strategy for successful AR in this kind of environment? Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] It’s the quality of the quantity that counts…..

Today’s post is from Mark Duke (blog, @marcduke, LinkedIn), who is an independent AR consultant. See also this post on AR measurements by @elliewarner.

I picked up on Forrester AR discussion about examples of the quantified business value generated by AR. (see here) for full details. Continue Reading →

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Industry leaders discuss the challenge for outsourcing vendors’ AR

Yesterday I hosted a panel of AR leaders to discuss AR best practices in an IIAR phone call. All of them have amazing insights and experience:

  • Larry Bissinger (@LarryBiss, LinkedIn) of HP in Plano, TX leads up HP Enterprise Services Industry Analyst Relations, and previously had a similar role at EDS.
  • Wendy Shlensky (@WLS26, LinkedIn) is Industry Analyst Relations at Infosys (topics such as RIM, Packaged Apps [ERP, SCM,CRM], Testing, SOA, Cloud, SAAS, BPO, BI, Europe), Yogini, ice cream lover
  • Sushma Rajagopalan (LinkedIn), is Head Global Strategy – L&T Infotech. Since 2007 she has headed Global Strategy, M&A and Marketing
  • Rob Petrucelli (@RobboPetro,LinkedIn) is the Global Director of Technology AR at Accenture and is based in NYC. Rob has been with Accenture for 10 years and previously worked in AR at KPMG Consulting and also spent several years at Gartner in the 90s.

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[GUEST POST] Why Virtual Events Should Become Part of Your AR Strategy by Steve Loudermilk

Thanks to Steve Loudermilk, Global Head of Industry Analyst Relations  at Alcatel-Lucent Services Group (LinkedIn@LoudyOutLoud) for this post.

I’m fast becoming a big believer in virtual events as an essential part of a comprehensive AR strategy.  There are many reasons for my enthusiastic position on virtual events.

In today’s fast-paced world of analyst relations, we are under constant pressure from our clients and executives to interact with our analysts in many ways.  These interactions include face-to-face meetings, phone briefings, and “virtual” interactions through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. Continue Reading →

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IIAR Best Practice Discussion November 23: Analyst Relations and Outsourcing Vendors

The IIAR is delighted to host a teleconference on Best Practices in AR and Outsourcing vendors. The call is scheduled for, Tuesday, Nov 23rd at 4:00pm GMT/11:00am EST. The featured panelists include:

  • Robert Petrucelli, Accenture
  • Sushma Rajagopalan, Head – Global Strategy, L&T Infotech
  • Wendy Shlensky, Analyst Relations, Infosys
  • Larry Bissinger, HP Industry Analyst Relations

For those unfamiliar with the IIAR’s Best Practice teleconferences, the format of the discussion will have the featured speakers sharing personal anecdotes followed by a Q&A.

To sign up to join the teleconference, please email jcourtenay (at)analystrelations (dot) org.

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[GUEST POST] Outsourcing Analyst Relations: A viable option? by Fred McClimans

By Fred McClimans / Current Ventures (LinkedIn, @fredmcclimans)

Last week I participated in an interesting discussion regarding influence and the role of analyst relations (AR) – specifically around the issue of how AR staff could increase their influence through a variety of different mechanisms or channels. But one key point that kept creeping into the conversation was one of limited resources: “we simply don’t have the staff to aggressively pursue everything that we would like to accomplish” (a point echoed by many in smaller or fast-growing firms).

After a bit of digging, two basic issues kept making their way into the discussion: a lack of full-time resources and a lack of “R”-level funding (which is often split between Analyst Relations, Investor Relations, Public Relations and Marketing).

That said, there seemed to be a general consensus that yes, there are “parts” of the AR function, regardless of the size of the firm, that could be outsourced based on the size/type of organization, the goals that need to be accomplished and the availability of “outside” resources (or more importantly, funding) – all with the understanding that there must be an accountable person in-house to properly manage and drive the effort. Continue Reading →

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IIAR Best Practice Discussion Oct 19th – Analyst and Influencer Relations

The IIAR is delighted to host a teleconference on Best Practices in AR and Influencer Relations. The call is scheduled for Tuesday 19th October at 1600 BST/1100 EDT. The panel will be led by Ed Gyurko (@edgyurko), IIAR Board Member, and the featured panelists include:

  • Tim Brook (@tbrook), Senior Manager, Analyst Relations, Adobe Systems Incorporated
  • Don Bulmer (@dbulmer), Vice President, Global Communications, Industry and Influencer Relations, SAP AG
  • Rachel Happe (@rhappe), Principal and Co-Founder of The Community Roundtable and formerly an IDC analyst

For those unfamiliar with the IIAR’s Best Practice teleconferences, the format of the discussion will have the featured speakers sharing their experience and personal anecdotes followed by a Q&A.

To sign up to join the teleconference, please email jcourtenay (at)analystrelations(dot) org.

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Why and how should you tier the analysts?

This was a question asked on the new Forrester AR community, so I thought I’d point readers to some older conversations where that topic was pretty much nailed.

1. IMHO, tiering should be at the individual analyst level and not at the firm. Read my comment here:
http://sagecircle.wordpress.com/2009/11/10/gartner-and-forrester-are-not-tier-1/

2. Still IMHO and still in that comment I made the point that tiering should be related to the AR plan objectives.

Read also the conversation here:
http://technobabble2dot0.wordpress.com/2007/04/27/what-makes-a-tier-1-analyst/

Finally, there’s an IIAR Best Practices Paper – A New Foundational Approach to Analyst Tiering « The IIAR Blog (IIAR membership required).

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Recap – IIAR Teleconference on Best Practices in Sourcing Advisory Relations

The IIAR hosted a Best Practices teleconference on Sourcing Advisory Relations on August 11th. The panel led by Ed Gyurko, IIAR Board Member, featured panellists, Amber Wagenknecht, Senior Executive, Global Sourcing Advisor Relations, Accenture, Ed Gardiner, Advisor Relations Director at HCL, and Simon Knowles, Managing Director, Essential Edge Ltd.  The discussion, led by Ed Gyurko featured a lively discussion which had the panellists sharing their expertise and personal anecdotes followed by a Q&A.

Members can see notes from the call in our members area here.

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IIAR Best Practice Teleconference on Sourcing Advisory Relations – Aug 11th

The IIAR is delighted to host a teleconference on Best Practices in Sourcing Advisory Relations. The call is scheduled for Wednesday, August 11th at 4:00pm BST/11:00am EST. The panel will be led by Ed Gyurko, IIAR Board Member, and the featured panelists include:

  • Amber Wagenknecht, Senior Executive, Global Sourcing Advisor Relations, Accenture
  • Ed Gardiner, Advisor Relations Director at HCL
  • Simon Knowles, Managing Director, Essential Edge Ltd

For those unfamiliar with the IIAR’s Best Practice teleconferences, the format of the discussion will have the featured speakers sharing personal anecdotes followed by a Q&A.

To sign up to join the teleconference, please email jcourtenay (at)analystrelations (dot) org.

 

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Why analyst sales people can never be stopped

Picking up on Marc’s recent post, one of the most common complaints I hear from AR people is about the behaviour of sales people from the industry analyst firms.

It goes something like this: “The account managers come in to visit people and start selling their research to people who have no budget. Then I’m the one who has to find the budget or -more likely – tell them that they can’t have what they want. I want the account managers only to talk to me!” Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Help – I have just hit the glass ceiling

Posted originally on Marcduke’s Blog, thanks to Mark for his permission to repost.

I have been having a number of great conversations with members of the AR fraternity about all things AR. Smart people whose work I respect and opinions I value too.

One of the comments that really got me thinking (and now finally blogging) was as follows (paraphrased as this was a conversation I had a while back):

‘The problem I have is that I feel I have hit a glass ceiling with AR, there is only so far I can go with it. Plus in the organisation I work in, its part of the PR framework and I feel there is a limit to what I can do’

Is that really the case??? At an analyst event I put this view to an analyst and got a very interesting response:

‘Yes I deal with some really smart AR people, they really understand how we work and how to make things happen for us, and we likewise help them as well, but some take too short-sighted a view about working with analysts and need to look further than the briefing/messaging process’

In effect it comes down to what you make of AR, I have written in the past about marketing oriented AR and feel that this is the key to breaking the glass ceiling. I for one will always look at ways to push the boundaries!

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AR and social media: it’s the interaction stupid!

I’m back from the Forrester IT Forum last week, where I was invited to the AR Council (thank you @liz_pellegrini).
There I stumbled on a nice graph (right) published on John Rymer’s blogs and thought it summarises pretty well why AR should care about SocMed.
My research lifecycle
Many of my peers see blogs as an output for free research and Twitter as drinking from a chit-chat firehose. My argument there is that they’re missing the point.

Here’s the reasoning:

  1. Social media is declarative (people say what they want, where they want and choose to participate or not). This means you need to interact with a given audience where they are -on Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn or in the good old fashion way, at the pub. And chose the appropriate topic for the appropriate channel.
  2. Social media is a conversation -it’s the place to discuss and interact. I take many briefing requests from analysts on Twitter, post some comments on their blogs (if I’ve got something relevant to say and that complies with my employer’s blogging guidelines), all that to say it’s not a one way street.
  3. DO: use SocMed as a research tool. John is illustrating well how an analyst can test an idea, exchange with other analysts (this point is far tool little documented actually), etc.  But it’s also a great research tool for AR pros to see what analysts are thinking about.
  4. Timing is everything. Research is nothing if not followed up by actions: being better connected with web 2.0 tools allows AR managers to insert the right proofpoint, topic, idea, in a conversation with much better chances of being picked up by analysts because it’s more relevant to their research agenda. The idea is to switch away from being reactive to being more proactive.

Nothing really revolutionary as good AR mangers already do all this by calling regularly their key analysts, but social media is a conversation accelerator, allowing AR pros to follow more analysts and interact with them in a more timely and proactive fashion.

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IIAR Discussion Group: IIAR Best Practices Paper “Making The Case for AR”

This teleconference features the Analyst Strategy Group (ASG) and is scheduled for Thursday, June 10th from 16:00 to 17:00 BST/11:00 EST/8:00 PDT. Tom Ryan, Partner and Chief Research Officer (LinkedIn) and Rob at ASG will share their insights on Making The Case for AR.

Over the past eighteen months, most companies have been seriously affected by the global economic recession. In many cases, budgets across all departments have been trimmed to the bone; but Analyst Relations (AR) programs seem to have been particularly hard hit. Increasingly, AR teams are asking:

– What can we do to keep at least the base of our budget intact?

– How can I defend my AR budget?

– How do I make the case for AR?

The IIAR Best Practices Paper, “Making the Case for Analyst Relations,” by Tom Ryan (@tom_asg  LinkedIn) and Rob Kolokousis (@rob_ASGLinkedIn) identifies the four principles for building solid executive-level sponsorship for your AR program. Continue Reading →

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