Archive | AR debates

What does analyst influence mean to you?

What does analyst influence mean to you?

If you’re in AR, how do you get it, and how do you measure it?

If you’re an analyst, how do you know whether you have it?

 

“Influence” is a goal for many Analyst Relations programs–and a factor of analyst effectiveness–yet there is little agreement about how to define, optimize or measure analyst influence. It can be a source of confusion and frustration for AR practitioners and our stakeholders, not to mention the analysts who are expected to provide it! Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] Analyst value does not equal word count

Click to tweet - illustration on post by Jonathon Gordon / EMI on the IIAR blogYesterday I was reading a thread (here) on the IIAR (Institute of Industry Analyst Relations) LinkedIn group regarding Analysts’ adoption/use of social media and it got me to thinking.. It was claimed that the CIO did not see social media as an ‘appropriate source’ of analyst information. Maybe it’s because the analysts themselves have conditioned their customers to think that value=word count? As someone who still writes the occasional piece of copy, I can agree that it is much harder to write short than it is to ramble on. How can you possibly distill the core value of a 25 page whitepaper into a tweet of 140 chars? Some analysts firms regularly produce reports in excess of 100-150 pages, where is the value in that? Does the same customer then have to buy consulting hours so the analyst can explain the top 5 points of the report or the key takeaways? Some of you will be screaming, there’s an executive summary, you can read only that! My point is, you can write only that!
Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] The importance of business ethics

Originally posted by Bram Weerts from KEA on BramWeerts.com: Non-Academic Views.

Business-EticsOn the 5th of March, the IIAR (The Institute of Industry Analyst Relations) will hold a panel that will discuss what the ethical standards should be across the analyst industry. Kind  as they are at the IIAR, they have invited me to take place at the table in London. I would like to take the opportunity to give a bit of my vision before the 5th. Since nobody reads  my words, it will not hurt the discussion.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

Ovum finally gets assimilated

ovum[1]It’s been quite a long time in the making, it follows many acquisition rumours, many merger denials, but it’s finally there: Ovum merges with Informa Telecom and Media.

On paper, it’s the fourth ICT analysis firm of the market, depending on where place the line between analysis and market research. The staff doesn’t change much and they’re keeping the stronger brand, Ovum.

The merged business, which will be fully integrated by the end of May, will be led by Steve Hotham, current MD of Ovum, who will become its CEO. Spread across 23 offices, in 6 continents, Ovum will employ 275 staff, including 180 analysts providing a combination of global and local insight.

The press release doesn’t menti0n end-user influence, a key difference between both firms, but the Ovum Industry Congress is coming soon and will be a good place to assess this.

 

There are few reasons to change my conclusions from a previous post:

  • Ovum remains a credible analyst firm in its key markets, so AR folks should not discount it

  • AR pros should look for opportunities to leverage this 180-analysts strong firm, while watching for coverage gaps

  • AR pros should consider Ovum’s vertical technology expertise when creating vertical AR plans/programmes as it’s part of its DNA AR pros should check vertical coverage outside of telco
  • Like many other research firms, Ovum needs to more clearly articulate its differentiation and generate market awareness via sharper thought leadership

 

Older posts on Ovum:

Continue Reading

Making the most of CeBIT (even at the last minute)

CeBIT logoIt’s big, and it’s just around the corner – it’s CeBIT time again. For AR professionals attending the show, the IIAR has put together a new paper sharing expert tips, both from ARs and analysts, on how to best use CeBIT to connect with and build relationships with analysts. This is available free of charge in our IIAR Members Area.

Even though CeBIT looms large – many vendors begin media briefings in Hanover on Sunday – both ARs and analysts also agree that it is still possible to set up meetings at short notice. However, CeBIT is not the place to expose analysts to a full-on deep dives into a new or revised strategy. See the white paper (link, membership required) to learn more about what leading Forrester analyst Pascal Matzke (LinkedIn, bio, @pascalmatzke) recommends for AR professionals. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] Ode to the Analyst Firm Salesperson and Other Key Non-Analysts

By Peggy O’Neill (@pegoneill, LinkedIn) from Informatica.

I just survived Gartner Symposium in Orlando and as part of my regular post mortem, I analyze what went well and what I can do to improve the experience next year. A critical player for me this week is my Gartner salesperson, which got me thinking about how many AR managers neglect this key participant in their program.

Analyst firm salespeople are unsung heroes in the AR world because AR managers tend to overly focus on our analysts and overlook these useful resources. I remember one year when I was at Oracle OpenWorld, I took out my account execs for dinner one evening – no analysts, only my key salespeople from the major firms to a fun dinner as a thank you and hosted them, as usually it’s the salesperson hosting us. This was years ago so hopefully things have gotten better out there, but I was saddened when one of my account execs said it was the first time he saw an AR manager do something special for sales rather than for an analyst. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

The Ray Constellation Experience

Constellation Research has announced today that it is taking a new step in its development and hired a CEO -see press release below- in the person of Bridget Chambers (@bridgchambers, LinkedIn), who comes from the SAP User Group.

I spoke yesterday to Constellation’s founder (and IIAR Analyst of the year 2009), Ray Wang (@rwang0, LinkedIn) and Bridget and as usual found the conversation fascinating. This post is not a position from the IIAR, its members or board, not my employer  -just a sum of personal thoughts. Comments are welcome of course. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

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

Whilst 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 →

Continue Reading

IIAR Best Practice Paper: Who are industry analysts and what do they do?

IIAR Best Practice Paper: who are the analysts and what do they do?Both seasoned analysts and AR professionals love a debate – no doubt that’s why they work in this industry! Conversations about the nature of influence, analysts versus bloggers, the role of analysts in buying decisions, whether independent analysts can truly ever be independent will no doubt run and run. They can make it hard for newcomers however, who could be forgiven for wondering what the fuss is all about.

With this in mind, the IIAR is releasing a primer on the analyst industry. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] When Your Company Takes Out Your Favorite Analyst

By Peggy O’Neill, AR Director / Informatica (LinkedIn).

It happens to the best of us. Your analyst relations program is humming along nicely – your analysts are behaving, your internal constituents under control – when one day, wham! You get a call from one of your SVPs sharing some exciting news! Joe Analyst, one of your company’s key advocates, has now joined your company.

AR managers will inevitably grapple with this scenario as analysts migrate to vendors often. Informatica took out two high profile analysts last year and I’ve experienced this at previous employers too. AR managers can expect certain behaviors when an analyst who used to cover your company comes inside, so your best bet is to prepare for when that day hits and take full advantage of the opportunity. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

IIAR Webinar with H&K on Influencer Survey – 19 March 2013, 1600 GMT

We are pleased to announce an IIAR Webinar with H&K to present their annual Influencer Survey on 19th March 2013 at 1600 GMT / 0900 PST.  The panel will include Joshua Reynolds (@techspinR, LinkedIn) and Tris Clark (@TrisClarkARGuy, LinkedIn) from H & K and will be hosted by Ludovic Leforestier from the IIAR board (@lludovic, LinkedIn). This survey is a great proof-point for AR folks to show the real influence of analysts.
Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] A tale of two sales teams – an analysis of Gartner’s & Forrester’s 2012 financials

Dave Noble / Intelligen AR (‎@IntelligenAR, LinkedIn) recently posted a good insight on his blog at looking in to the financial results of Gartner and Forrester. To go directly to the article click this link.

If you ever wanted evidence that success in the analyst business is about more than good research, then the latest financial results from Gartner and Forrester tell the story – it’s as much

If you ever wanted evidence that success in the analyst business is about more than good research, then the latest financial results from Gartner and Forrester tell the story – it’s as much about sales performance as anything else.

In its earnings call on Wednesday (US time) Forrester chairman & CEO, George Colony, CFO Michael Doyle & recently-appointed chief sales officer, Mike Morhardt, all pinned the blame for weak 2012 results on a complex sales compensation plan implemented in early 2012, which subsequently accelerated salesforce attrition & impacted bookings growth. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[Guest Post] Humpty Gartner’s Logic

Blog courtesy of: Simon Levin (IIAR Board Member), Managing Director at The Skills Connection

A client of mine was talking to a Gartner analyst recently and learned, to his delight, that the analyst had given a particular prospect a clear steer in his direction.

“They’re a mid-sized company and they asked for my advice on relevant vendors, so I told them you guys were definitely relevant for small and mid-sized enterprises,” the analyst said.

But nothing happened. Our client didn’t hear from the prospect. And it was only later that we discovered our client had even been removed from a previously compiled consideration list as a direct result of this brief conversation.

The client was mortified. The analyst was baffled. The prospect, of course, missed the opportunity of acquiring what may well have been the best possible solution for his particular set of requirements. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[Guest Post] Analysts are treated inhumanely

By: Duncan Chapple, Consultancy Director at Loudhouse 

This is an independent opinion piece submitted by an IIAR member and AR professional – it does not represent the official views of the IIAR.

Analyst relations (AR) programs have a substantial opportunity for improvement. This month I’ve been reviewing ten years’ worth of data from the Analyst Attitude Survey, which Loudhouse Research and Lighthouse AR co-produce. Around 700 analysts have taken part in the survey and, after around 180 analysts downloaded the summary last week, I’ve also been thinking over comments from them. What I’ve seen is that there’s a real opportunity to work smarter and more strategically. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[Guest Post] Why IT Vendors Should Take Industry Analysts (More) Seriously

By: Dr Neil Pollock, University of Edinburgh Business School

After several years’ research on industry analysts and IT Research firms there are some interesting conclusions to be reached on how industry analyst firms are exerting influence on IT vendors and their product markets. This is just a snapshot of some of Dr. Pollock’s findings.

1. Industry Analysts Stifle Novelty

The first point shows how industry analysts are one of the new ‘institutions of information technology’ with the cognitive authority to shape technological fields. One common way they do this is through proposing names and definitions for emerging technological trends, an activity with positive and negative consequences. We saw, for instance, how this could stifle innovation. IT vendors offering new kinds of products were penalised if their technologies did not conform to standard product definitions. We observed how one seemingly novel solution belonging to a newcomer received a critical review, which led to its rejection from a major procurement contest, effectively calling into question the robustness of its solution. The suggestion here is that industry analysts can help but also hinder innovation. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] Will the real leader please stand up?

I know many of you are short of time so I will try to summarise my point here. In almost 20 years spent in the influencer relations world I can count the number of AR people achieving senior promotions to leadership roles on one hand. I’ve participated in many conversations over the years with AR professionals feeling left out of those promotion decisions, maybe it’s time to either accept that as the status quo or chose to do something about it. The rest of my post focuses on doing something about it.

If you’re like me you’ll have read or listened to discussions that, on reflection were just common sense or obvious, I’m increasingly concerned that common sense doesn’t prevail and there are times when you need a simple reminder that can act as a catalyst to help you take a decision or move forward in some way. I’m hoping that this post is one of those.. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] Big Dogs don’t yap: the secret ingredient for MQ success

Blog courtesy of: Simon Levin (IIAR Board Member)

What is it that makes the difference when it comes to making the step up into the Leaders section of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant? Ever wondered what companies who gain recognition as Leaders have in common? Having seen four of our MQ Tune-Up clients gain Leaders status for the first time last quarter, I thought it might be interesting to go looking for some common themes or attributes.

And as it turned out, the exercise was well worth the effort, because it highlighted one key factor I’d never consciously identified before.

We’re calling it the Big Dog syndrome, and it’s all about looking the part, acting like a Leader right from the start, and, above all, believing that that top right quadrant is your rightful home.

There’s more about this idea on The Skills Connection’s blog but the essence of it is blindingly simple. For a company to be perceived as a Leader, it has to have a leaderly air about it. It has to radiate conviction, as well as competence. It needs to put its case across well, but without the yapping, snapping desperation that marks out those that try too hard. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[Guest Post] Does the consulting approach beat published research?

Simon Levin / Skills Connections (IIAR, 2013)By: Simon Levin, The Skills Connection / IIAR UK Co-Chapter Lead

We saw an interesting blogging spat last week between Stanton Jones of ISG and Lydia Leong at Gartner, with the flames fanned by tweeted comments from Phil Fersht of HfS. The row was centred on some research published recently by Lydia on managed hosting providers, but its ramifications are much wider.

For those who haven’t yet followed the Twitter feeds and blog links, let me try to summarise what’s going on.

Stanton’s charge is that Magic Quadrants serve a purpose by offering insight into vendors and products, but that the high-level nature of the analysis means they are poor primary tools for making choices. He emphasises the lack of nuance possible in a written article, compared with the detailed, customised insight that can be provided via a consulting engagement. And, of course, he is right. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

The hype cycle of Vendor Briefing Requests

Have you ever submitted a vendor briefing request? For those of you who have, and for those who have yet to experience this joy, here’s a humorous and (perhaps only slightly) exaggerated description of the process and some insights into why AR people always seem to struggle with it.

What’s clear is that analysts and executives alike don’t know or care how complicated the process is and don’t appreciate AR folks sometimes …. especially when it goes wrong. I’m sure we all have stories of briefings going wrong before they have even started – because the dial-ins don’t work, or there’s a troublesome time-zone challenge, or because the IP-based telephone network decides to crash.
Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] An Insider’s Guide to Technology Analysts by Cormac Foster

Thanks a lot to ReadWriteWeb to allow reposting of this excellent entry by By Cormac Foster (LinkedIn, @cormacfoster).

The original post can be found here.

Gartner IDC Forrester logos - IIAR blog post

Gartner. Forrester. IDC. And lots of smaller fish, too. You can’t read a tech-industy news story, attend a conference or listen to a sales pitch without someone quoting an industry analyst. For tech companies, analysts are big news and big business, promising to help with transformation, monetization and a slew of other things ending in “-ation.”

But what do technology industry analysts really do? And how do you find the one that’s right for your company’s needs. Let me try to explain, from the inside. You see, from 1999 through 2001, I was an analyst at Jupiter Research, now part of Forrester Research.

Continue Reading