Archive | Guest posts – AR pros

Guest posts by analyst relations professionals

[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 →

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[GUEST POST] Crunching the analyst firm numbers – what do they tell us about Gartner, Forrester, IDC & others?

This post was originally posted by Dave Noble / IntelligenAR (LinkedIn@IntelligenAR) on his blog.

aji nagabon

Not all IT research is about numbers, but the IT analyst business definitely is. It’s a business after all, and if you don’t make the numbers, you don’t have a business. But what’s interesting is how many different ways there are to make the numbers stack up.

It’s somewhat ironic that while IT analyst firms often rely on public – and private – disclosure of information from both vendors and end-user organisations to make their prognostications, they often don’t like to reveal too much about their own businesses. The big public firms, Gartner & Forrester, disclose good detail about their revenues to meet their statutory requirements, and perhaps a little more, while the private firms tend to be fairly vague. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Doing a Joint Announcement with the Competition, How to Cooperate

By John Simons (@JohnSimonds, LinkedIn),originally posted here a year ago. It’s vintage and all the better!

Recently, I’ve done joint announcements with Oracle, SAP, HP, Tibco, Software AG and HP. As you can imagine, I’ve had varying relationships with each and I’m happy to report that the state of the A/R industry is good and that we can work together.

When I was in PR, it was cat fight supreme with territorial ism and turf wars. Most of the announcements I did with these companies when in Analyst Relations didn’t have that element. For the most part, the announcements were about standards, not products. So that went a long way towards working together. Still, if you include IBM, the companies I’ve named here aren’t known for being best buddies.

As and aside, I can say that the executives (who can be the source of most problems) all worked towards the cause of the best briefing possible. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] The Final Countdown… or how to survive attending MWC 2013

Susannah Archibald / IIAR

It’s that time of year again. When all thoughts turn to the biggest global mobile technology and applications showcase in the world, Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). Held each year by the GSMA, the show unveils some key yearly indicators that any attending exhibitor, press member, or aspiring Steve Jobs-acolyte should know about mobile.

According to a recent IIAR webcast I listened into with industry analysts Keith Humphreys of euroLAN and Catherine Haslam of Ovum, as well as members of the IIAR membership committee, estimates say that you’ll be one of nearly 1,500 exhibitors, and more than 67,000 attending members of the public. And if MWC 2012 estimates from the GSMA hold up this year, there could be many more who are interested in demonstrating or learning about your mobile wares.

How can you possibly hope to get maximum value out of Analysts who are attending MWC 2013? Continue Reading →

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[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 →

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[GUEST POST] How AR is Doing: An Ex-AR Practitioner’s View from the Other Side, by Evan Quinn / ESG

This guest post has been authored by Evan Quinn (LinkedIn, @evanquinn, blog) who is a Senior Principal Analyst at ESG (Enterprise Strategy Group) covering Data Management, Analytics, Big Data and Cloud Platform-as-a-Service. While at Axicom, Evan was also on the IIAR board .

Speech is free: Evan and ESG are not associated in any ways with the IIAR and the post below contains Evan’s opinions which might not reflect the views of IIAR’s members or ESG.

A couple of years ago I decided it was time to step away from the analyst/influencer relations function for at least awhile.  The researcher/competitive analyst side of me was asking for an outlet, and so I left the AR ranks.  But, ironically, in my current job as an industry analyst I have  the opportunity to see how AR practitioners perform their jobs every business day.  I am here to report that things have changed somewhat in AR, and in some cases not for the better.  But first some background. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Six steps to get value for money from your analyst contracts

Duncan Chapple's method for optimizing spend with analyst firmsWhile the Northern hemisphere is getting chilly, this is the one month when salespeople at firms like Gartner and Forrester really start to sweat. Many vendors sign off their major contracts with analysts firms around now, and it’s a great opportunity for analyst firms and vendors to maximise the value from their contracts.

Despite the huge scale of vendor spending with analysts, many users don’t get the best value from their subscriptions. Gartner has a huge number of account managers and, while some clients don’t like being sold to, the advantage of working with Gartner is that it works harder than most other firms to make sure that seat-holders benefit from what they have bought.

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[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 →

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[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 →

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[Guest Post] A Member’s View: Forrester’s marketing pitch at the IIAR London Forum

By: Ludovic Leforestier

Dispatches from last week’s IIAR London Forum – A member’s personal perspective on Forrester’s Presentation at the IIAR London Forum. You can view the official IIAR report here.

After a fascinating presentation from Neil Pollock (see his blog post here [Guest Post] Why IT Vendors Should Take Industry Analysts (More) Seriously), Forrester came “en force” to give IIAR members an update on the company strategy. Tom Pohlmann (@tpohlmann, LinkedIn), Forresters CMSO patiently presented and answered IIAR members’ questions. My take on this is that the firm is on a journey to deliver strategic research advice up the food chain and deliver at a strategic level – they’ve started with IT managers, then moved on to CMO’s in the past and are trying to better penetrate the rest of the C-suite. Forrester disagrees with this statement. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Maximizing the impact of an analyst briefing – 2 of 2 by Richard Stiennon / IT-Harvest

 By: Richard Stiennon, Chief Research Analyst at IT-Harvest and a former VP of Research at Gartner

The second of a two-part blog on ’Maximizing the impact of an analyst briefing’. This is an adapted excerpt from Richard Stiennon’s book – Up and to the RIGHT: Strategy and Tactics of Analyst Influence. You can read part 1 here. The IIAR will be holding a webinar with Richard on October 4th to hear more about his book and IIAR members wishing to buy his book will receive a 50% discount.

Build a relationship

Every interaction with the analyst builds on your relationship but the briefing is a structured opportunity to establish a communication bond. It is important to identify who is going to represent the company to the analyst.  Contact consistency is key. If a different person briefs the analyst each time, they are not going to know anyone at your company at all. There are two separate bonds to create. The bond with the AR/PR person and the bond with the product person. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Maximizing the impact of an analyst briefing, by Richard Stiennon / IT-Harvest

By Richard Stiennon, Chief Research Analyst at IT-Harvest and a former VP of Research at Gartner (LinkedIn, @rstiennon)

In a two-part blog, the IIAR will be publishing an adapted excerpt from Richard Stiennon’s book – Up and to the RIGHT: Strategy and Tactics of Analyst Influence. In this post Richard provides some advice to AR pros on ‘Maximizing the impact of an analyst briefing’. The IIAR will be holding a webinar with Richard on October 4th to hear more about his book and IIAR members wishing to buy his book will receive a 50% discount.

Most analyst firms, including Gartner, do not charge for analyst briefings. Savvy PR professionals take advantage of this to get early recognition of their clients. The analyst briefing is one of the most important ways to influence a vendor’s position in the all important Gartner Magic Quadrant. With Gartner, the vetting process is more stringent than for an inquiry, which is another opportunity to interact with key analysts but is reserved for paying clients.  You have to fill out a briefing request and send it in. You should know beforehand which analysts you want on the call; if you appeal to more than one, you may get several on the call. A briefing is a rare opportunity to get a full hour of an analyst’s time. Follow this guide to maximize the impact of your analyst briefings. Continue Reading →

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[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 →

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[GUEST POST] Despite it all, Ovum is still a tier one analyst firm in Europe

Ovum logo - IIAR websiteNice post on Ovum by the folks at Loudhouse Blog, reprinted here with their permission.  Of course, because it’s a Loudhouse post it’s not the official IIAR position, in case anyone thought otherwise.  See also the other Ovum posts on this blog, including the one on our recent IIAR London Forum featuring Ovum’s top management.

 

 

Ovum, which has been the leading European-headquartered analyst firm for around twenty years, has been going through a lot of change. That seems to be confusing both the vendor community and analyst relations professionals, who grilled the firm’s management recently. Vendors are questioning Ovum’s relevance now in way we have not seen before. The changes at Ovum are causing these confusions unintentionally but, despite that, the firm remains a key influencer in Europe.

The confusion is also a reflection of Ovum’s sales tactics. Many of our clients primarily experience Ovum through the way that its account managers approach them. In a pretty typical interaction this week, one of our wisest clients asked: does Ovum really matter? We meet them, and then they call back to sell us reprint rights on what we told them. Continue Reading →

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[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 →

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[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 →

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[Guest Post] The Secret Sauce and the Secret Sorcerers by Simon Levin

I was sitting in the middle of a noisy intellectual ruckus about the future of research and advisory services some weeks back when an odd thought struck me.

It was at the London IIAR meeting in March, where R “Ray” Wang and his Constellation all-stars were agitating for radical change in the research industry. Ray was talking about new models, new delivery methods, and new value propositions, while some very respected AR practitioners were questioning the value of his approach. Did the world need this kind of shake-up? And, if so, was it really going to change the nature of AR’s dealings with analysts?

I was supposed to be keeping the peace and chairing the meeting. But I kept being distracted by thoughts about whether all this might be relevant to me.

I suspect our clients at The Skills Connection have a narrow view of AR, centered almost entirely on the analysts’ impact on buying decisions.

And this thought made me ponder how much that’s true for AR in general. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] The Wi-Fi isn’t working!

I’m here at an analyst conference, trying to combine a seamless online and offline experience. The presentations are compelling, the panel discussions are lively, and I should be using social media to augment and amplify the information I’m soaking up from my seat in the second-to-back row.

Except that I can’t. Because, as usual, the Wi-Fi isn’t working.

Sure, there’s a Wi-Fi network, and it worked OK for 30 minutes yesterday, but today, the connectivity is pretty much nada. I’m at a central London hotel where the IT infrastructure is clearly not up to the job, especially when 300-plus delegates all try and connect their notebook, tablet and mobile phone to the network. First, the network slows, then it just stops responding. I’m not alone. Over coffee with the chief analyst, he shrugs and says “yeah. I’ve got the same problem!”

This is very frustrating but also unfortunately commonplace. Even the GSMA couldn’t make the free Wi-Fi work at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There were Wi-Fi nodes available, but nobody I met was unable to draw data across them. And no, it’s not always so easy to switch over to good old 3G, especially when you’re incurring data roaming charges. Continue Reading →

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[Guest Post] IIAR UK Forum – Sales and Social Media Debated

Contributor: David Rossiter, Head of Sunesis Analyst Relations and Director, Harvard PR

I was delighted to host the IIAR (Institute of Industry Analyst Relations) forum yesterday in a very sunny and hot London.

It is always great to see how many AR professionals are willing to come along and meet old friends, make new contacts, learn about best practice and share their own experiences.

Fionnula Fitzsimons gave an absolutely excellent presentation on AR and sales. It was interesting, insightful and practical. Anyone in AR who needs to get their sales teams on board and demonstrate the value that AR can add to the sales cycle should make sure they get a copy of her presentation (downloadable by IIAR members from Huddle).

And then, we had an excellent panel debate on how analysts use social media with Richard Edwards (Ovum), Dale Vile (Freeform Dynamics) and Dean Bubley (Disruptive Analysis). Robert De Souza of IPsoft chaired a lively discussion. Continue Reading →

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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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