Archive | AR

Why analyst sales people can never be stopped

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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iSuppli (intends to) buy Screen Digest

The analyst market is currently in a constant state of flux with different firms struggling to find their niche. One size certainly does not fit all in this market which is why every time I see an acquisition I try and understand where this one fits.

Recently iSupply made their intentions known that they were going to buy Screen Digest. Ben Keen (the man in charge of SD in London) spoke to be on the phone yesterday and shared with me his diplomatic answers regarding how things were going to change… Continue Reading →

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

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

Here’s the reasoning:

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

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

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[GUEST POST] Analyzing the Analysts: Comparison of Gartner and Forrester by James McGovern

James McGovern (@mcgoverntheory) has posted this on his blog (Enterprise Architecture: From Incite comes Insight) recently: Analyzing the Analysts: Comparison of Gartner and Forrester and I thought it was too good not to cross-post. So here you go, what do you think?

Analyzing the Analysts: Comparison of Gartner and Forrester

I have frequent interactions with industry analysts in my day job as an Enterprise Architect for a Fortune 100 enterprise. Likewise, during evening hours I can be found on Twitter under the handle of McGovernTheory engaging in virtualized short-form conversations where many analysts also hang out.

I currently follow the likes of Ray Wang of Altimeter, Nick Selby of Trident Risk Management, Brenda Michelson of Elemental Links, James Governor of Redmonk and others who periodically throw daggers. Their comparisons are usually cordial and tend to leave out certain relevant detail for us end-customer types to fully understand the real conversation. The challenge of the outsider looking in.

Industry Analyst Relations professionals such as Barbara French and Carter Lusher provide great insight for vendors on which analyst firms to work with, but otherwise leave a void in that they don’t address end customer considerations. Today’s blog entry starts with me attempting to emulate their style. Imitation is the best form of flattery…

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Around Ralph Silva in 10 questions

Ralph Silva of  Silva Research Network was featured  in the Vertical Analysts panel at the IIAR London Forum on May 27th. Ralph graciously accepted our invitation to answer our infamous “Around in 10 questions” interview – many thanks to Ralph for sharing his insights!

what is your area of coverage

The firm covers all industries but I’m personally responsible for the financial services practice.

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

It’s a 1950’s business trying to serve a 2010 world……The business is a shadow of itself, too slow for a 24/7 world, so expensive that its audience is limited to less than 1% of any firm, in an attempt to satisfy everyone, they end up satisfying no one and lastly its supporting the operational needs of the back office ignoring the fundamentals, that is to help companies develop products that customers are actually willing to buy. The business will always exist, it serves a critical need, however, just like buggy whips, fewer companies serving very specialized needs.

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

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

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

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

– How can I defend my AR budget?

– How do I make the case for AR?

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

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Highlights from the May IIAR London Forum on vertical analysts

The May IIAR London Forum at Bell Pottinger on the 27th May 2010 featured an impressive panel of analysts representing a broad range of vertical market focus in the financial sector, government, healthcare, retail, and manufacturing:

  • Peter Farley / IDC Financial Insights EMEA
  • Peter Thorne / Cambashi
  • Stephen Roberts / Kable (read his interview: Around Stephen Roberts from Kable in 10 questions)
  • Ralph Silva / Silva Research Network.
  • The analysts shared their insights about how the business is changing, with less traditional research and more custom research on a global basis, how IT shops are getting smaller and technology is getting better.  The analysts advised on how to engage with analysts,  how to  help them to understand your company’s business goals and successes, and stressing how important it was to be more candid about the company’s business situation so they can better support your go to market activities.

    But don’t just take it from me, go to IIAR member Andy Bairsto’s blog for an interesting and informative  perspective.

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    [Guest post] V3: It’s All About the Analysts

    There is a kind of Google out there in the realm of IT industry analyst firms, a purveyor that turns the successful models of the “Big Three,” Gartner, Forrester and IDC, on their proverbial ears.  This little firm does not market itself very much; it rather eschews the “branded analyst firm” approach where analysts largely become subsumed in the one-to-many brand-first approach, hoping for margins that impress boards and investors.  Rather it aims for some simple values:  It purely focuses on serving its affiliated analysts and helping its affiliated analysts service their clients.  Maybe you have heard of “V3.”

    I challenge you to find V3 on the Web:  The URL is actually not www.v3.com but www.valleyviewventures.com – like International Data Corporation goes quite strictly by “IDC” these days, but the URL just hasn’t been changed yet.  You will not be awed by the V3 web site, but that doesn’t matter one iota to Fred Abbott, V3′s founder, who says with utter sincerity, “It’s all about the analysts.” Continue Reading →

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    Recap of the IIAR May 6th Teleconference on AR best practice at analyst-firm sponsored events

    Last week, the IIAR hosted a teleconference about best AR practices at analyst sponsored events like Gartner Summits, Forrester IT Forums or IDC Directions.

    Many thanks to the featured panelists for taking their time to share their insights and taking questions from the members.

    • Gerry Van Zandt / HP, Worldwide Analyst Relations Manager (@gerryvz,LinkedIn)
    • Kent Cook/ Microsoft, Director Corporate Analyst Relations
    • Bill Reed / St. Cross Group, Managing Director (former IBM manager of industry analyst relations, EMEA) (LinkedIn)
    • Sandeep Thawani / Mahindra Satyam, Head of Marketing and Communications, Europe (LinkedIn)

    Here are some highlights from the discussion.

    • AR must help identify the right events to focus on
    • Invest in fewer events, and look closely at attendee list
    • In general ROI for participating at events is difficult to ascertain
      – Short term ROI – measured in blog postings, published notes, twitter notes
      –   Long term ROI – shifted analyst perceptions(change in annual vendor rating report)
    • In general ROI for participating at events is difficult to ascertain
    • Do as much as you can as early as you can
    • These events are not opportunities for briefings & knowledge transfer
    • Follow-up after the event, generating conversations afterwards is what results in knowledge transfer

    IIAR members will be able to access more detailed notes from the teleconference by logging into the members area at http://analystrelations.org/members-area.

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    IIAR discussion group: AR best practice for analyst events

    IIAR discussion group: AR best practice for analyst events by Ed Gyurko.

    The IIAR will hold a discussion group teleconference on the subject of AR best practice at analyst-firm sponsored events like Forrester’s IT Forums,Gartner Symposia and IDC Directions on Thursday 6th May 2010 from 1500 BST to 1600 BST / 10:00am EST to 11:00 am EST. The discussion will cover all levels of participation from simply attending to main sponsorship.

    We’ve got a great line up of panelists:

    • Gerry Van Zandt / HP, Worldwide Analyst Relations Manager (@gerryvz, LinkedIn)
    • Kent Cook/ Microsoft, Director Corporate Analyst Relations
    • Bill Reed / St. Cross Group, Managing Director (former IBM manager of industry analyst relations, EMEA) (LinkedIn)
    • Sandeep Thawani / Mahindra Satyam, Head of Marketing and Communications, Europe (LinkedIn)

    IIAR members who would like to join should RSVP on huddle or by email or to jcourtenay at analystrelations dotte org.

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    [GUEST POST] Doing a Joint Announcement with Your Competitors

    Today’s guest post is from John Simmonds (@johnsimonds) from IBM AR, read more on his blog here.

    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 territorialism and turf wars. Most of the announcements I did with these companies 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.

    Some things are given, like in a certain area (we just did SOA) the analysts know the exec’s by company and the exec’s know each other so I’m happy to report they acted like grown ups.

    TURF WARS

    With the typical name calling (from the CEO’s)and belief in your own products, the first issue to overcome is that the announcement is usually about a jointly create product or standard, not us vs. them.  That rule has to be set down first and if you don’t overcome that, you have no chance at building trust, the basis for working together.

    DIVIDE THE DUTIES

    One company can’t dominate the duties or it is not a joint announcement.   This also forces the companies to work together to approve what the others have created as their part of the announcement.   There are analyst lists, invitations, charts, follow up issues and any number of duties that need to be attended to and dived up.  Once that is done, you must rely on each other and the level of trust inherently rises.

    THE ANNOUNCEMENT

    It’s important that the analyst see this as equal amongst the companies.  One company presenting more than another is a dead give away.  You can’t help Q and A as the analysts will direct the question directly to a company.

    LESSONS LEARNED

    You either put your differences aside and work together, or you’ll never get anything done.  It’s tough to do when your day job is to hammer the company that you are working with on the announcement.  These are the days of co-opetition though.  You learn to get along or you’ll never make it to announcement day.

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    [People on the move] Ellie Warner joins HP AR

    After a busy year’s freelancing Ellie Warner is moving back to the corporate world to head HP’s AR program in APAC. Working for the company’s Enterprise Business Group, she will be based in Singapore. Prior to that, Ellie worked at Sun Microsystems where she built the International AR program in Europe and Asia.
    I want to congratulate Ellie for her new appointment and thank her for her contribution to the IIAR, including (link to papers) . But this is not the end!  Anyone interested in a potential IIAR Chapter in Singapore should contact Ellie!
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    Proteiform Analystus -the multichannel dilemna for IT analysis firms in the socmed era

    I was reading Merv’s post on Analysts Don’t List Themselves on Social Media « Merv’s Market Strategies for IT Suppliers and it coiincidentally resonated with a conversation I was having this week with an account manager at an IT analysis research form.

    Merv’s point that twitter handles and blogs are not listed on analyst bios raises a good point: I mean surely this is so obvious that someone should have thought about it already. After some checking, someone already came up with this IDEAs (sorry, bad play on word but it’s Friday).

    My comment on Merv’s blog was:

    Going even further, when I do a search on gartner.com, idc.com or forrester.com, I would expect the blog posts to come up as well.

    Why is the blog content not aggregated in the research portals???

    Indeed. In today’s two-zero’s world, analyst output is proteiform (see Should the analysts be blogging?), so why segregate it by channel?

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    How far should an NDA go?

    Jeff Mann from Gartner (@JeffMann) blogged yesterday about NDA Games.

    It’s an interesting subject, in particular with respect to what useage analysts are allowed to make of information disclosed in an NDA briefing, or to spell it out, a briefing during which the information exchanged is disclosed under a “Non Disclosure Agreement”.

    Just to go back a little on the basics, and as Jonny (@jonnybentwood) points out, the ability to exchange non-public information (to a certain extent, because publicly traded companies are subject to some rules on equal access to information towards investors and shareholders, so it should not be material infomation to the sense the SEC understands it) is what differentiates a press interview from an analyst briefing. It’s also one of the things that make this relationship much more interesting and insightful if you ask me. Most firms, such as Gartner, have “blanket” NDA’s with large vendors.

    The vendor Jeff mentions should not however say a whole briefing is under NDA, but AR people should take great care in flagging (before and after, as I train my spokespersons to do) what’s under NDA and what’s not. Clearly, what happenned there is not best practice.

    Except that talking too soon about a new product can kill sales for today’s product. Some vendors are very good about talking about futures and not selling what they have, but clearly that’s a pre-do-crash business model, not one for today’s business environment.

    Any thoughts on how to reconcile this with the need to brief analysts on what’s coming so that their research is accurate?

    And question to Jeff and other analysts: can you elaborate on “what’s in it for a vendor to brief you on roadmap/futures?” I think I know some of it but I’m interested in the answers…

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    [GUEST POST] Josh “Groundswell” Bernoff on What do analysts actually do?

    Josh50_2Josh Bernoff, yes as in Josh Groundswell Bernoff, from Forrester posted recently a great post on what analysts actually do. Now, it’s not a new subject but it’s still pretty difficult to explain to your mother. Joes does it elegantly and kindly accepted my request to reblog it here. Thank you @jbernoff!

    PS: another thing about Josh, is that he’s got a really great job title: Senior VP, Idea Development
    Forrester Research. That’s quite cool I thought….

    What do analysts actually do?

    As you think about the debate about Forrester’s blogging policy, I’d like to share a little more about how the opinions you read from Forrester analysts come about. With 15 years experience in this business, I know it’s a collaboration. The analyst needs data and support from the company, and the company needs the analyst’s brain and benefits from the reputation that analysts build up. A lot of time, resources, and quality standards go into what we do. I’d like to take you inside the relationship between analysts and Forrester. This is a long post, because there’s a lot that goes into what we do. Continue Reading →

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    Friday: scheduling

    Scheduling is one of my pet peeves, simply because locking diaries for a briefing between an exec and an analyst is complicated. They’re just usually really busy and travel so much they have a better chance to bump into each other in an aiport lounge than on a conference call! I sometimes think it’s easier to keep track of particules in the LHC…

    Thankfully, there are a few tools today that make my life simpler:

    • I’ve already blogged about tungle.me, it would be great if all analysts used it!
    • I also use twitter to see when analysts are available for a quick chat
    • dopplr and tripit are also useful to see when they might be in the same location

    Anyway, what prompted this post was the cartoon on the left from the multi-talented Andreas “Andy” Bitterer: we already knew his photographic and analytical skills (need advice on data quality anyone?), it seems he’s quite good at drawing too. It’s funny as well, just to disprove some myths about Germans 🙂

    So check his blog, it’s well worth it:
    Analysterical – The Exotic Life of Analysts

    Other related posts:

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    Latest IIAR Best Practice Paper – Making the Case for Analyst Relations

    By Thomas Ryan (LinkedIn)

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

    • What can we do to keep at least the base of our budget intact?
    • How can I defend my AR budget?

    or more generally,

    • How do I make the case for AR?

    The IIAR’s latest Best Practice Paper, “Making the Case for Analyst Relations,” identifies the four principles for building solid executive-level sponsorship for your AR program.  Each principle is explored in terms of how AR programs today are effectively – and ineffectively – applying the principle’s key elements.  Examples from successful AR programs are provided to illustrate how each principle can be adapted to your organization’s culture, objectives, and expectations. Continue Reading →

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    Latest IIAR Best Practices Paper – A New Foundational Approach to Analyst Tiering

    By Susan Galer (@smgaler, LinkedIn)

    Everyone knows the industry analyst relations landscape has changed with firm consolidations, resultant influencer moves and content proliferation across an explosion of new channels. In a headlong rush to understand and exploit this new world, it’s easy to get reactive and lose focus on what really matters: having the right information to make the right decisions about working in the best way with analysts most relevant to an organization’s business objectives.

    The IIAR’s latest Best Practices Paper, “Beyond Best Practices: Industry Analyst Tiering for Business in the Real Word,” sheds some light on a new foundational approach to sort out which analysts matter to a company, and develop a rationale for optimal engagement strategies. As the title suggested, this paper goes beyond traditional best practices to offer a step by step guide for navigating the industry analyst community in the context of real world challenges. It’s designed to help teams get the in-depth knowledge needed for accurate decision-making about who to engage with and why. Included are answers and suggestions for handling difficult situations thereby mapping advice to situations faced every day.

    In many ways, analyst tiering is foundational to industry analyst relations program success. Armed with information about who analysts are and how they form opinions, practitioners can figure out how to work together for mutual advantage. When done correctly, analyst tiering positions the industry analyst relations team as trusted advisors, and lays the groundwork for relationship building to achieve organizational success. We welcome your thoughts and feedback on this important topic.

     

    IIAR members can access this paper on our extranet: Industry Analyst Tiering for Business in the Real World

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