Archive | AR debates

[GUEST POST] How not to be an analyst? By Jon Collins

Today’s guest post is a long(wish) read by Jon Collins from GigaOm (LinkedIn, @jonno) following our IIAR Webinar on “How not to be an industry analyst?

If you enjoy this, why not check his “How not to write an autobiography?

 

Jon Collins: How not to be an industry analyst (IIAR website)Introduction – a glass of wine…

For a start, a bit of background. I never meant to be an industry analyst, not as such: indeed, having done my time as a programmer, then IT manager and various forms of consultant, I hadn’t a clue what one was. Back in 1998, I was responsible for training and other informational services at a mid-sized consulting firm when a report from a company called “Butler Group” came across my desk. That was my first connection with the world of analysts.

A year or so later, I was looking for something new (a cyclic habit in my career); I was also drinking a rather fine glass or two of red, when I stumbled across an advert from Bloor Research. With my inhibitive defences down, I banged off an email straight away.  I barely had time to regret it, as the following Monday I went for an interview… and the rest is an 18-year career.

These were exciting times. At the turn of the millennium the dot-com was still bubbling up: we launched a couple of web sites and face to face forums at the time (IT-Director and IT-Analysis) and set to making the most of the complexity and uncertainty, charging for clarity and simplicity. I remain proud of my 2001 report about the inevitable move towards universal service provision. We call it the cloud these days.

I paraphrase history, but by and large, analyst firms emerged in the mid-1990’s, as attention moved from bespoke ‘turnkey’ solutions and towards custom-built software. From there, they made sure to cover the space like any good ecosystem. So, has anything changed, over the past two decades?

I have worked for a variety of smaller firms and I have done a short stint at a bigger one —IDC. I’ve spent an awful lot of time hanging out with analysts, AR professionals and the firms they represent. I’ve also spent some time not being analyst, working behind the scenes to help some of the largest vendors tell their stories. And this, to an extent, is mine.

I don’t know if you are familiar with the C.S.Lewis classic, The Screwtape Letters — written from an old devil to a little demon? In a similar vein, I thought I’d capture some of the things I might tell my younger self. As they say, getting it wrong is the best form of experience, and it is good to share.

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Le CXP Group moves to consulting – CEO Yannick Carriou interviewed

CXP Group logo (IIAR website)Le CXP is one of the oldest IT analysis firms around. It was created in 1973, six years before Gartner, under the auspices of the French Ministry of Industry by some of the largest French companies at the time: Air France, Anotec, Bred, BSN (now Danone), EDF, RATP and the Société Générale. Its remit was to provide expertise on packaged software -hence the name in French, the deliciously quaint Centre d’Expertise des Progiciels. It’s been doing just this plus some consulting for IT users, gently and in French (Americans would call this in “local language”) until it bought PAC, a rival but vendor-focussed French firm, in 2014. At last I should say, and after PAC’s founder, Pierre Audoin, passed away.

Before this, Le CXP bought German BI specialist BARC in 2011 and PAC snapped German firm Berlecon on the same year. As a result, we’ve got a Paris based firm doing more business in Germany than France. They must like it there.

Are you still following me?

On May 15th, its new CEO, Yannick Carriou (ex. Ipsos and TNS) announced Le CXP was buying Ardour, a business consulting firm. Here’s his exclusive interview. Continue Reading →

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Common Misconceptions and 4 Key Areas Tech Start-ups Can Benefit from Industry Analyst Relations

 Photo: business man writing business strategy concept by Phenom Apps

Photo: business man writing business strategy concept by Phenom Apps

Industry Analyst Relations is often characterized as a “Pay to Play” endeavor with little opportunity for the bootstrapped tech venture; this is not the case. I would argue that there are opportunities for a dedicated Tech Startup to benefit from pursuing Industry Analyst Relations (IAR) even without a large budget to spend. Keep in mind Industry Analysts are knowledge focused experts and there can be equitable and beneficial exchanges of information for those who have put forth the effort to develop their Analyst Relations program and build the necessary relationships in the community. For those new to Industry Analyst Relations and who are considering the reasons to perform IAR, below are some common misconceptions, followed by four compelling reasons to develop an Industry Analyst Relations mission early in a Tech Startup. Continue Reading →

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IIAR Discussion Group: negotiating with Forrester. Are you getting the best value from your contract?

Feeling the pinch in your negotiation with Forrester on your subscription contract?Do you feel comfortable in buying the multiple seats being pushed your way? Is Forrester covering the technology and business areas that are important for you?  You’re not alone – many of your peers and IIAR members have commented (see the IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2017)

IIAR negotiating with forrester. aniruddho Mukherjee, ludovic leforestier

Forrester seems to force sell multiple seats, TEIs etc during renewals. Forrester analysts may be amongst the top IIAR Analyst of the Year 2017 but is Forrester seeing an exodus of top talent? As per the IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 survey, AR professionals mentioned that they felt a flip flop in Forrester’s focus on various key topics and verticals. Also the research subscription costs seem to be increasing at 10-20% yoy. They also felt that while Forrester had some great visualisation of data BUT insights were focused on niche topics like Customer Experience, Business Technology, Software and Marketing. Many Wave’s have not been renewed while others are renewed in an irregular cycle.

In past 2 years, Forrester has invested in its Consulting Practice and has been advising many end users on sourcing and business strategy. As per the IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 survey, AR professionals mentioned a lack of transparency with vendor firms on the ways of working between Forrester analysts and Forrester Consulting.

Building on our previous conversations (see links below), the IIAR will host an in-depth discussion with IIAR members, looking at Forrester’s commercial practices and explore potential solutions.

Date: 26th April 2018

Location: Webinar > REGISTER here

London based member can attend in person > pls fill in form below (Holborn).
Time: 1600pm GMT / 1700pm CET / 0700 PDT / 1000 EDT

Held under Chatham House Rule the discussion will be chaired by Aniruddho Mukherjee (@aniruddho, LinkedIn), IIAR UK Co-Lead and Head of AR and Branding, Europe for HCL Technologies) and Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, LinkedIn, IIAR co-founder and Director Influencer Relations at Criteo).

Of course, by attending you will not only have the opportunity to give your knowledge and opinions but also gain from that of others and have the advantage to submit questions directly. Let us have a lively discussion, the more of you that join in the better, so please don’t forget to REGISTER. Attending IIAR Events is free and restricted to AR professionals active members of the IIAR. So if you work at an analyst firm, we request you save yourself some time, have a beer and chill.

IIAR will act as channel for anonymised and aggregated IIAR Member feedback to Industry Analyst firms. This is to provide an opportunity for Industry Analyst firms to present their responses to ensure balanced view of the topic being discussed and help the industry effectively address the issues raised.

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Wrap-up: IIAR Germany 2018 kick-off

IIAR German Chapter meeting at Restaurant Ella, MunichA few inches of snow in the deep midwinter in Munich didn’t stop the 2018 IIAR German chapter kick-off from going ahead, with six intrepid AR professionals getting together to exchange news, views and the occasional snippet of gossip – under Chatham House rules, of course.

Hosted by IIAR Germany chapter leads Yvonne Kaupp (@YveKauppLinkedIn) and Simon Jones (@simondestrierLinkedIn), the networking event was focused on the topic of “how to run an effective inquiry”, with IIAR members and guests (our “prospective members”) sharing best practice and experiences. One point which came through loud and clear is that everyone is nervous about running their first analyst inquiry calls – usually related to having enough questions to ask in a 30-minute call. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Moving AR into IR…..

Duncan Chapple / Kea - For the IIAR blogInvestor relations just took over Analyst Relations at Tata Consultancy Services, an IT Services giant. Is IR about to eat AR for lunch? TCS has decided on the reorganisation after a year that included significant leadership changes in the firm’s analyst relations team.
In most tech organizations, AR sits within corporate marketing. This has been a natural home for AR though, as we know, not always appreciated but seen as a necessary function that is needed as part of a wider marketing organization. Most sensible senior executives know how important the analysts are in the overall ecosystem.

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IIAR Roundtable Findings: How similar are the Sourcing Advisor Relations and Analyst Relations roles in the US? . . .

IIAR Sourcing Advisory GroupA few years ago, I transitioned from an AR Practitioner to an Analyst & Advisor Practitioner and have met a few others like me.  I have also met  Analyst Relations professionals who have been thinking about transitioning to Sourcing Advisor Relations (SAR).  To discuss the SAR role in more detail, Ed Gyurko (LinkedIn, @edgyurko) and I created the IIAR SAR Workgroup. I hosted a roundtable webinar and this blog is a summation of that webinar.

A new breed of (Sourcing Advisor Relations) SAR is emerging, whose job resembles that of a solutions broker. To succeed, a new skill-set is needed. For analyst relations professionals, the gap is widening and it’s becoming harder simply to move over into Advisor Relations.

As we’ve heard from many sources, the big deal is dead. Buyers have been buying for some time and have become mature, relying less on advisors to assist them with the “big deals”. Continue Reading →

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IIAR Webinar: Crisp Research outlines European expansion

This spring, Crisp Research announced the appointment of well-known industry analyst Stefan Ried to head up a new practice area focused on the Internet of Things. For @Crisp_Research, his arrival was a big step – signaling aspirations beyond its core DACH market (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) to grow and cover all of Europe. And for @StefanRied, it was a return to the analyst industry after spending the last two years with a vendor.
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BREAKING: Gartner gobbles brand benchmarking agency

2017 is definitely a a tectonic year for influencer relations: after expanding to other functions with the CEB purchase, Gartner Gartner purchases L2Inc. (NYSE:IT) announced it bought L2, a brand benchmarking agency cum research company.

This further reinforces its capabilities in marketing and digital, a segment coveted by rival Forrester (NASDAQ:FORR).

As IT expenditure moves to business lines and to the marketing fiction of customer experience, this is a path also trodden by consultancies: the big four (Deloitte, EY, PwC, KPMG), IT players such as IBM and Accenture and the TWICH (Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Infosys, TCS, Cognizant, HCL) as well as regional players such as BearingPoint have all been buying digital agencies. This potentially brings Gartner’s mainstream RAS (Research Advisory Services) in competition with those service companies as well as specialists such as Sapient Nitro (Gartner consulting sometimes already competes with some of those players. Continue Reading →

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2017, a tectonic year for influencer relations?

This January feels like our IIAR April Fool posts came early. After Gartner gobbling the largest peer-to-peer advisory firm CEB (Corporate Advisory Firm) for a cool USD 3.3 billions (2.6b in cash and stock plus 700m debt), the long awaited and many times postponed sellout of IDG, the parent company of IDC, happened yesterday.

Gartner acquisitions: META, AMR, Burton, Ideas, Software Advice, Captera, SCM WorldThose two deals are nothing less than tectonic shifts in the tech influencers space.

Firstly, the acquisition of CEB by Gartner is notable for three reasons:

1. It’s large. 3 billion dollars gorilla like.
If there was no overlap and divestures (CEB also sells some software which Gartner will have to offload to prevent conflicts of interests), the combined turnover Gartner and CEB turnover would be over USD3.3 billions (2.4b+951m) we’re seeing a 40% increase in revenues and the combined entity is on course towards 2,000 analysts. The next players, IDC and Forrester are around USD 300m in revenues, give or take. The last estimates I saw (a while back mind you) were that Gartner has anywhere between 40 to 60% market share. Having such a dominant player means higher prices (some say higher margins were the driver behind Gartner’s acquisition of META Group) and less bargaining power for buyers. It’s also obviously hard to ignore Gartner, so a little advice to vendors is maybe not to pick fights with them -such is their share of mind with technology buyers.
However, just like in the old PCM days, Gartner knows to leave scraps to second fiddles and it leaves space to disruptors -in particular on the sell-side. The IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year constantly showed that 451, Constellation, HfS and other players are definitely more than just worth looking at. And as Crawford Del Prete argues it, a second opinion can be invaluable.
2. Is Gartner plateau’ing?
With the CEB acquisition, Gartner gets access to new C-suite roles. Surely, I’d bet most CEB CIO customers also buy Gartner services and so there might be a bit of customer set duplication however CEB also serves HR, Sales, Finance and Legal functions. In fact Gartner claims it will become the leading global research and advisory company for all major functions in the entreprise.
So this is not a META Group style margins-led competitive take-out (2005) but more an expansion into new markets just like in 2009 as Gartner bought AMR, SCM World and Burton to address techies and supply chain roles.
One could infer that after years of tinkering with metrics to get more leverage, the Gartner executive team saw territory expansion as an EPS growth lever. In other words, this might signal that Gartner’s core business in IT research is plateauing? Nevertheless, with Gartner’s excellent track record in execution (IIAR members can read some tips on contract negotiation here) and international reach, expanding to other functions certainly has legs. It has already ventured in marketing and claim good growth, however Forrester still has a much better hold with this fickle audience.
The good news here for AR and influencer relations folks is the ability to leverage existing relations with Gartner to look at other audiences.
 
3. Does the age of algorithm prediction also apply to Gartner?
Personally, I believe the most significant impact of this acquisition is cultural. After buying and developing no less than three peer reviews offerings Gartner is moving further in the peer to peer advisory world with CEB. This is important not only because buyers value the advice from their peers more than anyone else’s but also because all of a sudden, the mighty technology priest, the feared predicator, the revered oracle becomes is demoted from his/her ivory tower. Truth ceases to be a caste monopoly and becomes the product of algorithm. Gartner famously predicted in the 2015 Symposia the age of the algorithm economy, where those become valuable IP that needs cherishing and runs the world.
As Gartner grapples with the difficult challenge of embedding more bottom-up logic in its research and offerings, it will be interesting to watch what this does to the role of the analyst: will they merely curate and socialise the result of increasingly automated insights? Looking at the profitability of Gartner’s EXP services, this might well be a wet dreams for its execs.

Where does that leave IDC and the others?

Since the disparition of founder Pat McGovern and his philanthropic wish to progress research on the human brain, the media group IDG he founded -and parent of analyst firm IDC– was up for sale for two years with several cliffhangers. We know little of Chain Oceanwide, however my bet would be for a divestiture of IDC at some point.
Whilst IDC predominantly addresses tech vendors, it also enjoys a great brand recognition and probably has the best geographical reach of all firms but none. Yet, its attempts to crack the end-user (buy-side) research and advisory services (RAS) business petered out, I suppose due to poor execution and a lack of investment in sales and go-to-market.
We’ve asked IDC to come and update the IIAR members -stay tuned!
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Constellation and the curse of the quadrant

At the beginning, the intent was pure.Gartner Real Quadrant

Industry analysts, more specifically the buy-side “prescribers” exist to help technology buyers (often referred to as end-users) select the best vendors and providers. They gather insights through public and private sources such as (semi-)private vendor briefings and conversations (inquiries) with their end-user subscribers. Some analysts take hundreds of briefings and inquiries in a year, allowing them to gather unique insights on the market segments they cover. This accumulated knowledge allow them to monetise this information asymmetry as reports, consulting sessions, speaking engagements, etc.

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IIAR London Forum: Creating AR impact – are agencies an asset or a threat

To kickstart Q3 and the forthcoming events season, the U.K. Chapter of the IIAR  has organised an evening of healthy debate, intelligent content and responsible drinking.

The topic for our panel discussion is an evergreen one: should vendors keep AR in-house or could they benefit from external support? panel discussion2

Agenda – Wednesday 14th September 2016 – London

  • 1800: Welcome drinks
  • 1815: Welcome note & update by the IIAR Board
  • 1830: Tutorial: Case studies in Effective External AR support, Dominic Pannell /Buzz Method (LinkedIn, @buzzmethod)
  • 1900: Panel discussion – Creating AR impact – are agencies an asset or a threat?
    Chaired by Ludovic Leforestier /Bearing Point and IIAR Board (@lludovicLinkedIn) with

  • 2000: Analyst firm spotlight with Aditya KishoreHeavy Reading (an Informa company)
  • 2045: Drinking Class on Gin presented by Paulina Michelak, By The Bottle
  • 2115: networking sponsored by Tenderlake and By The Bottle – Networking Through Responsible Drinking

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Don’t tell my mother I work in AR, she believes I’m a pianist…

DonttellmymotheriaminarWhilst public relations and marketing are mainstream in commercial companies, most analyst relations (AR) professionals are often at pain to describe their role.

AR is a relatively new discipline, tracing its origins in the last 15-20 years when a handful of very large ICT firms institutionalised a function to handle consultants and analysts relation. Nowadays all major technology vendors and services players have established sizeable analyst relations (AR) departments –50 to hundred strong for mega-vendors such as IBM or HP. Its raison d’être is to liaise with industry analysts, providing them a single point of contact and managing the relationship between them and the suppliers. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Industry Analysts can be Influencers, Supporters or Antagonists

The 3 analysts: cheerleader, amplifier, naysayer, illustration for blog post by Jonathon Gordon / EMI on the IIAR websiteIndustry Analysts – Love ’em or hate ’em, but ignore them at your peril

Industry Analysts range from the boutique one-man band to the behemoth Gartner.  Industry Analyst firms exist to fill a gap in the market – namely providing expertise in a particular field, so decision-making becomes easier.  That’s the theory anyway, the reality is somewhat more complex.

Industry Analysts spend a great deal of their time speaking to buyers and sellers of technology, which means that are speaking to your customers, prospects, competitors and then some.  To provide the best advice to their customers, analysts need to cut through the BS in the market.  Why is there so much BS?  That’s easy, everyone has an agenda and often a different point of view.  Analysts can fall in love with your company or technology and tell everyone they meet.  They can also not like you personally very much and tell everyone or no one. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] The Truth About Freemium Research

By Paul Connolly (@Paul_NH, LinkedIn) from Nelson Hall (@NHInsight).

For over a decade, freemium has been the ubiquitous business model for fledgling internet firms and the developers of smartphone apps. Users sign up for free to enable basic features, and are then drawn into subscribing to various levels of premium functionality. More recently, the freemium model has been the subject of considerable attention in the B2B market research space, with some rather extravagant claims and unsound thinking being used to herald it. Let’s have a closer look. Continue Reading →

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Will research crowdsourcing finally move analyst firms to an experience business model?

G2 Crowd Grid for Help desk - IIAR website

G2 Crowd Grid for Help desk

Good piece by Tony Bradley on TechSpective.net (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. The piece talks about Chaordix and Whale Path, and I’ve known for a while about G2 Crowd. Another well known player is TrustRadius.

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

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IIAR Discussion – Negotiating with Gartner – 22nd Jan 15

What – IIAR Discussion Group – Negotiating your Contract with Gartner
When – Thursday the 22nd January 2015 @ 4pm GMT, 5pm CET, 12 Noon – New York
Where – IIAR Webinar
Who: Discussion initiated and will be chaired by Aniruddho Mukherjee (Head of AR and Branding Manager, Europe for HCL Technologies)
Register Here – To attend please REGISTER <<HERE>>, now

AuctionSuccessfully negotiating your contract with analyst firms and gaining best advantage from your contract is a key activity for all Analyst Relations teams. This second meeting of a IIAR Discussion Group will review the outcomes document from the first meeting (available <<Here>>) and continue the conversation. As Gartner is the largest of the analyst firms we expect the discussion will no doubt focus here; this will not be to the exclusion of all (or any) of the other analyst companies.
Held under Chatham House Rules the discussion will be chaired by Aniruddho Mukherjee (Head of AR and Branding Manager, Europe for HCL Technologies). The aim is to (ultimately) produce an IIAR Best Practice Paper that combines the knowledge of all participants.
Of course, by attending you will not only have the opportunity to give your knowledge and opinions but also gain from that of others and have the advantage to submit questions directly. Lets have a lively discussion, the more of you that join in the better, so please don’t forget to REGISTER <<HERE>>. Attending IIAR Events is free for all members, there may be a small charge for non-members.
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IIAR Discussion – Negotiating your Analyst Firm Contract – 31st Oct 14

What – IIAR Discussion Group – Negotiating your Analyst Firm Contract (aka – Negotiating with Gartner)
When – Friday the 31st October 2014 @ 4pm GMT, 5pm CET, 12 Noon – New York
Where – IIAR Webinar
Register Here – To attend please REGISTER <<HERE>>, now

AuctionSuccessfully negotiating your contract with analyst firms and gaining best advantage from your contract is a key activity for all Analyst Relations teams. This initial meeting of a IIAR Discussion Group will open up the conversation. As Gartner is the largest of the analyst firms we expect the discussion will no doubt focus here; this will not be to the exclusion of all (or any) of the other analyst companies.
Held under Chatham House Rules the aim is to (ultimately) produce an IIAR Best Practice Paper that combines the knowledge of all participants.
Of course, by attending you will not only have the opportunity to give your knowledge and opinions but also gain from that of others and have the advantage to submit questions directly. Lets have a lively discussion, the more of you that join in the better, so please don’t forget to REGISTER <<HERE>>. Attending IIAR Events is free for all members, there may be a small charge for non-members.
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IDC, End-Users and Strategic AR – all at our latest London meeting

MK 2small Panel 1 smallWell, that was a late one but well worth it.

In a mammoth three hour meeting (we didn’t lock the doors, people just didn’t want to leave) those attending last night’s IIAR meeting in London enjoyed an informative interview Marianne Kolding of IDC by Simon ‘Jeremy’ Levin of The Skills Connection Continue Reading →

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IIAR Best Practice Paper: The 7+7+7 Golden Rules of Engagement

 

We’ll hold a webinar to discuss our latest IIAR Best Practice Paper: Analyst Relations and Industry Analysts –The 7+7+7 Golden Rules of Engagement byLudovic Leforestier & Caroline DenningtonKeep calm and follow the rules

Date: September 11th, 2014
Time: 4pm BST, 5pm CET, 11am EST, 8am PST
Location: IIAR Webinar – Register here

AR Pros and the Industry Analysts work on the basis of undocumented principles – principles that sometimes get broken or abused and then what do you do? This webinar will look at the types of analysts AR Pros come across on a daily basis and how to engage with them. Questions such as whether there is a secret recipe on how to build trust? – When should you be transparent? – Should analysts be afforded preferential treatment? – And does NDA really mean, NDA? – will be addressed along with many other frustrations we all face in the world of AR. Oh yes, there is also a section on ‘Divas’! Continue Reading →

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