Archive | Guest Posts

Guest posts for the IIAR website

[GUEST POST] Looking Back at Three Analyst Firms by Barry Rabkin / Market Insight Group

By Barry Rabkin (LinkedIn, @Impactoftech), President & Principal Analyst, Market Insight Group, Ltd.

 

Barry Rabkin / Market Insights GroupI was fortunate to become an insurance industry analyst in 1997.

Before that time, I had worked in the business side of the insurance industry for 17 years (primarily in marketing and/or market research across all major lines of business) and then due to, what was to prove a very lucky event in hindsight, being caught up in a purge from John Hancock, becoming a management consultant. After eight years as a management consultant, I got and grabbed the opportunity to become an insurance industry analyst. I definitely found my true professional love being a part of the analyst community. [One difference between a management consultant and an analyst? Analysts don’t have to be nice!]

My insurance industry analyst experience included leading or launching and leading insurance strategic advisory services in the US and the UK. Looking back at those experiences at META Group, Financial Insights (IDC), and Ovum, these highlights standout to me. BTW Before going into my highlights I want to state that I respected all three firms for not being just vertical (i.e. industry) analyst firms but instead were homes for analysts from a large variety of IT and Telco disciplines as well as having vertical analysts. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] How Analyst Relations Impacts Strategy 

Analyst relations seems straightforward enough – as a tech vendor, you relate key milestones and elements of strategy to those industry analysts who you think will have the greatest reach to your target market. Right? In my opinion though, the best analyst relations professionals also flip that model. With just as much vigour and interest, they ensure that the leaders in the company are not only aware of overall market trends and emerging technologies that could impact short term AND long term revenues, but they also consider how best to respond to market indicators. How do you do THAT? It’s like inserting yourself into the C-Suite, or as part of the Office of the CEO or Strategy team. How do you get senior executive leaders to listen? And more importantly, to take action based on the market trends you bring them? Continue Reading →

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Around Giorgio Nebuloni from IDC in 10 questions

We have had the pleasure for Giorgio taking time out of his busy schedule to take part in our infamous 10 questions. Giorgio is a research director for IDC’s  European Infrastructure and Cloud research and leads the team of analysts responsible for tracking the cloud infrastructure, server, storage and converged systems markets in Western Europe.

What are your coverage areas?

My main focus area is European infrastructure, a broad spectrum of things ranging from Multicloud management software to service provider datacenters. I’m also increasingly involved in this year’s research sprints (we call them Launchpads) around emerging technologies (Quantum, Edge, Blockchain…) driven by brilliant analysts across multiple IDC teams.

What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?

Analysing the analysts! Three trends I see: the traditional need for ad-personam advisory to IT buyers is not only steady but increasing. With technology topics becoming ever more complex (see the interdependencies of Multicloud, or political nature of Blockchain use cases or AI’s ethical dilemmas), leaders need fact-and face-based opinions more than ever. The second is the changing nature of data. Data are the wheels of any self-respecting research vehicle. In the 3rd Platform era, generating data differently, from new sources and manipulating it better and faster than ever before is crucial. The third is the growing connection between branding, marketing and analyst house services – i.e. the analyst company becoming a digital agency.

What’s your typical day like?

The day starts at breakfast or in the bus, swiping through emails. After that it’s a lot of “Can you guys hear me alright?”, pulling out the toothpaste at security LHR T2 and providing feedback on reports and deliverables. The fun part are workshops or improvised whiteboard meetings with customers, and the unpredictable, sometimes heated conversations with IT buyers at our events. Also enjoyable are the rare isolation days (often in summer heat) with a piece of paper and pen, drawing the research agenda for the next months.

Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?

Not a horror – but a thriller story. I’ve once attended an analyst event linked to a broader customer conference where the facilities were just not fit (or not booked properly). The poor AR person spent two days leading a bunch of analysts (distracted fellas in general) across ultra-crowded, immense halls from one meeting room to another, holding a tourist guide sign and a megaphone. In rare cases did the analysts arrive on time. In some cases they never made it to the meeting room. I think a couple of analysts are still roaming in that conference center (haven’t seen them since). In another case I flew into Vegas on the promise of an analyst track with executives – except there was no such thing, only technical sessions. Learnt my lesson on asking for agendas then!

What is your research methodology?

The ideas stem from anecdotal discussions with “Pathfinder” IT buyers and other IDC analysts. The proof points from primary research in form of small to large surveys. The hard data on market numbers from vendor conversations and guidance process.

Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?

Most of AR folks I know are great and enable easy access to vendor executives. I’ve worked closely and for a long time with Jos Baltes (HPE) who is not only hyper-responsive but also great to get a beer with. Most recently Caroline Dennington (NetApp) adds the British humour (!) – Antonella Crimi (Equinix) and Anna Carzana (AMD) the Italian flair. I’m missing several I know – impossible to mention all!

Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.

I’ve recently attended a one-day analyst-only event where keynotes were kept to less than 1 hour and most of the day was spent on one-to-ones, with some breaks in between. I thought it was great – even if I ended up talking myself dry. A good AR practice is booking events in the calendar well in advance – even if analysts themselves are sloppy RSVPers!

What are your offerings and key deliverables? 

Within my team, we deliver on a subscription program with report, surveys and customer enquiries; release multiple Tracker datasets on a quarterly basis and work on challenging custom project advising vendors and buyers on infrastructure-related decisions. A recent one I liked was advisory work for a custom chipset manufacturer to identify and position their Edge Computing and Gateway strategy.

Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?

With a mixed Asian-Italian family we are way too fussy about food. For the Londoners – L’oro di Napoli in South Ealing. For the Frankfurters – Sushi Boy in Eschersheimer Tor; Lam Freres in Bahnhofsviertel.

What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?

Selecting what NOT to do or cover is the tough one for the next 6 months. With Innovation Accelerators kicking off it’s like the candy shop, but one can’t do everything properly! Next 30 minutes getting home on time for dinner!

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[GUEST POST] What I Learned from 5 Years at Gartner

Martin Kihn / ex. Gartner, now DentsuMonday — on what would have been my five-year anniversary at Gartner — I left to join Dentsu Aegis Network. It was a good span at a well-run company doing God’s (technical) work. It was simply time.

When I was a management consultant, I couldn’t describe what I did. Not to my parents, not to strangers. Not in a way that convinced them I had a real occupation, and maybe I didn’t.

Try describing what an “industry analyst” does: “Research, writing, 30-minute consulting engagements.”

“But you can’t solve any problem in 30 minutes.”

“Just watch me.”

“You don’t know anything about the company.”

“I know something.”

“But — but — but –”

The assumption most people make is that marketing problems are unique. Perfect knowledge of the context, the company, its tech stack is required to construct a solution. This assumption is false. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Hsu: AR must bet bigger on fewer analysts

Andrew Hsu‘s (LinkedIn) views on AR prioritization are handy. In a recent presentation, he stressed the role of prioritisation in helping us to think about AR, be more refined than our instincts can allow and to help us justify the choices we made when we allocated limited Analyst Relations resources.
Andrew’s starting point is the need to make smart, big bets. Rather than randomly allocating effort without focussing on influence, we want to focus our energy on a smaller number of analysts and, I think it’s implied, to boost the impact of the analysts we prioritize.
The common-sense of AR is problematic. We focus on the people we know, the ones who are cynical about our brand and the ones with whom we do the most business. Instead, Andrew says that we need to focus on both our business goals and the attributes of the analysts. He hits the nail on the head when he says that AR people are often ‘doing God’s work’ – merely serving the analysts. Instead, we need to focus on the timely needs of the business. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Debunking Five Analyst Relations Myths

Hand with ace card up the sleeve (IIAR website)Analyst relations is easily the most misunderstood function in marketing.

I’ve been involved with analyst relations — or AR — for over a decade, working on dozens of Gartner Magic Quadrants and Forrester Waves. I’ve experienced the impact that analyst relations, when done well, can have on growth. And I know how much time and effort it takes to do it right. It’s not witchcraft nor is it a simple “spend more / do better” formula.

It’s time to set the record straight, so in this post I’m going to debunk five of the most common myths I’ve come across. Well, turns out this ex-mathematician is not great at counting, so I’ll be dubunking a bonus 6th myth as well 🙂

  • Myth #1: Analyst firms like Gartner are “pay to play”
  • Myth #2: Your PowerPoint slides matter
  • Myth #3: Gartner is the only analyst firm that matters
  • Myth #4: You can move the “dot” in a Gartner Magic Quadrant
  • Myth #5: Just becoming a Leader in an analyst report will double/triple/10x your growth
  • Myth #6: Your PR firm can manage analyst relations

Read on! Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Does Israel have more cool vendors than China?

https://twitter.com/Loom_Systems/status/905444551204233217

Gabby Menachem, the CEO of Israel-founded Loom Systems, holds its Cool Vendor plaque

Can other vendors copy Israeli firms’ exceptional success in earning Gartner, Inc.’s Cool Vendor designation? Maybe not. Their success reflects both Israel’s unique start-up ecosystem and those start-ups’ ability to leverage Gartner’s experienced account management in Israel.

The numbers of Cool Vendors in Israel continue to rise. At the recent Cool and Hot Vendor Forum, Suwen Chen’s presentation showed, using data from Gartner, Inc., that there were more Cool Vendors in Israel than, for example, in China and the UK added together. The gap is widening: It has grown from 15 Cool Vendors in 2012 to 33 last year and 35 in 2016. The count could be even higher if we account for the many Cool Vendors originally founded, funded and staffed in Israel which have moved headquarters to the USA, such as Loom Systems. Twenty firms founded in Israel have gained the designation so far this year. More will probably be added in the rounds of Cool Vendors later this month and in September. Continue Reading →

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Trio of analyst departures at Gartner underlines why backup strategy is so important

Gartner icon logo for the IIAR websiteGartner has been forced to delay a Magic Quadrant report for at least six months due to the mass departure of pivotal analysts covering the enterprise data center space. 

The delay followed news that analysts Dave Russell and Pushan Rinnen were leaving to join vendors. The duo were the mainstays of the Gartner team covering data backup. Their counterpart in the EMEA region, Robert Rhame, is also moving on.

Their timing was remarkable: Gartner was due to kick off research for its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions last week. With all three authors choosing to leave Gartner, the firm had no credible option but to delay the start of the report: this is now on ice until 2019. Continue Reading →

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Effective Measurement: ARe we there yet?

IIAR laptop and post itsEffective measurement has become a bit of a challenge for AR practitioners, as stakeholders are demanding more tangible, immediate results that can easily be linked to business outcomes. With smaller teams and tighter budgets, AR professionals are under immense pressure to justify investment and prove overall value.

As such, the IIAR’s recent webinar on measurement and amplification, led by Oracle’s Gerry Van Zandt (LinkedIn@gerryvz), couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve included below my key takeaways from the webcast as well as Gerry’s advice for anyone looking for help or inspiration around efficient AR measurement.

A major hurdle that I keep seeing, especially in organisations that don’t yet have mature AR programmes, is the inability to set AR-relevant objectives. Too many organisations still try and measure AR in the same way as PR and get massively frustrated by the meatier up-front investment and absence of immediate results. Continue Reading →

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[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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[GUEST POST] Tips to Ensure a Productive Analyst Briefing

IIAR blog: illustration for post on briefing best practices by Cindy Zhou / ConstellationSince becoming an industry analyst almost two years ago, I’ve sat in on nearly 100 vendor briefings and have some tips and do’s/don’ts to share to help you prepare for your next analyst session. First, know that Constellation is a firm very accessible to technology companies of all sizes and no, you don’t have to be a client to brief us. Based on availability and relevance to my coverage areas, I’m happy to take the call and enjoy helping young start-ups.

Let’s ensure we both get the most out of our limited time together, so here are my tips for you :

Do:

  • Be respectful of the analyst’s time. Our free briefings are 30 minutes, and if I’m able to, I will often extend to 45 mins (at my discretion).
  • A little light research to understand who I am and my coverage areas (Marketing (B2B and B2C), Sales, and Customer Experience. I prepare by visiting your company website and learn about you on LinkedIn before the call, please extend that courtesy.

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[GUEST POST] How to lose an industry analyst in 10 days (and ways)

Julia Pope / CC Group on the IIAR websiteA few months ago, I joined IIAR’s webinar focused on the IIAR Analyst Relations Professional and Team of the Year 2017. Every year, the IIAR awards analyst relations (AR) professionals and teams based on the results of an annual survey shared with the global industry analyst community. The survey gathers the analysts’ collective insight on AR professionals and their performance, and then the IIAR contrasts it with results from the previous year, based on level of responsiveness, relationship and results (also known as the IIAR’s Three R’s of AR). Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] How to Create a More Compelling Analyst Event

Yawning catI thoroughly enjoyed and could very much relate to Jon Reed’s recent post, How to screw up a vendor analyst day – in 12 simple steps. So much so that I’m inspired to write my own take on how to create a more compelling analyst event that’s more rewarding for all involved.

Vendors spend a lot of time and money on these events. Presumably, they want to deepen their relationships with analysts and influencers, and give them the insights they need to offer constructive feedback and provide perspectives to the broader market. However, like Jon, I’m constantly amazed at how often they seem to miss these marks–as evidenced by analysts that have tuned out to look at news, email or sports on their laptops or phones. So here are my suggestions for how to create an analyst day that will help you better engage with analysts. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Why AR Managers Should Fret About Quote Policies by Peggy O’Neill

Peggy O'Neill, Senior Director Analyst Relations @ InformaticaI’m the most hated person at my company today.

 

Informatica is holding its customer conference in a few weeks and we’re running around like chickens with our heads cut off to prepare for it. I just blasted out the most obnoxious email to colleagues who are preparing speeches for Informatica World, forcefully reminding them that any references to analyst research requires permission. I got a lot of eye rolling in response, but luckily no serious push back. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Why Startups Need Analyst Relations More Than Growth Hacking

By Theo Pristley (@tprstly, LinkedIn), originally posted here on Forbes and republished with his express permission. Co-authored with Ian Gotts (@iangottsLinkedIn), tech advisor, investor, speaker and author.)

 

Industry and IT analyst firms collage (IIAR blog)

Analysts Or PR ?

You’re an innovative and growing startup, I get that. You’ve got a fab new product or service that’s going drive dramatic benefits for enterprise customers, I get that. You’ve even got a blog to push out great customer stories now and then, I get that too.

But how do you accelerate growth without piling on expensive sales guys? Or employing ninja growth hackers? And how do you make it easier for the large corporates to find you and get comfortable placing big orders with you?

ANSWER: You create relationships with the analyst community. And here’s why.

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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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[GUEST POST] What is your product and what does it do? by Adrian Sanabria / Threatcare

Adrian Sanabria / Threatcare, guest post author on the IIAR websiteThis post by Adrian Sanabria / Threatcare (@sawaba, LinkedIn) was first published here on his blog.

 

Lessons I learned trying to make the most of vendor briefings

I’ve always been a sort of ‘cut-to-the-chase’ kind of guy. I’m self-taught when it comes to security and technology. Over the years, I’ve learned how to skim through a book, article or website to extract the important information. Sometimes I’m just trying to figure out how to do something, or I’m looking for an answer to a specific question.

Just tell me what time it is, I don’t need to know how atomic time clock frequency standards work.

Conversely, I also have an appreciation for context and a good story — as long as you eventually get to the point.

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[GUEST POST] Engaging with mobile analysts … now’s the time!

Mobile World Congress logo on IIAR Website - GSMA

The final speaker agenda is being nailed down, and the Global Mobile Awards judges have now announced their shortlist. However, there’s no resting on your laurels when it comes to Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona outreach. Next on the action list is the extremely important task of your analyst outreach strategy.

Industry analysts play a crucial role in the marketing sales cycle and supplier selection.

Findings from CCgroup’s own Catalyst Insights reveal that when it comes to shortlisting vendors for an RFP, B2B tech buyers place analyst due diligence and reports in their top three most valued sources of content. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] IIAR Webinar: ‘Tis the season for Gartner Methodologies

Gartner IIAR logosOn September 7th, the CCgroup AR team joined IIAR’s latest webinar on Gartner methodologies with by David Black (LinkedIn), MVP Methodologies & Content Engagement at Gartner and moderated by Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovicLinkedIn), from the IIAR Board.

David spoke about the firm’s research methodology behind reports such as Magic Quadrants and Critical Capabilities.

The AR community has always been tuned in to Gartner’s research calendars, with “Every season is Magic Quadrant season” being the mantra shared by many. As such, many AR professionals were keen to learn more from David. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] IDC EMEA provide the IIAR with their current State of the Union: What’s changing for this year and next?

By Suzannah Archibald (LinkedIn, @suzannah_a), Head of Analyst Relations at CCgroup.

IDC is usually one of the better analyst houses I encounter. They usually show tight co-ordination amongst their end-user practices, and reach out and access their client and subscriber database across over 10,000 IT decision-maker professionals (and counting). So, in mid-2017, what’s changed at IDC? And how are they handling organisational change since their change of ownership, earlier this year? These were just some of the questions posed by Industry Analyst Relations professionals at a recent IIAR webinar and networking session with…

Dan Timberlake (UK&I MD, VP Sales, EMEA), Tom Meyer (GVP Research EMEA, @tomtxt), and Mathew Heath (EMEA Marketing Director, himself the brains behind the always-entertaining @IDC_EMEA account).
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