Archive | IIAR

A dream for a collaborative AR platform

Gartner Inc. (NYSE:IT) came around yesterday for the IIAR forum at CA’s offices (thanks to Geoff Dorrington for hosting). So, thank you Aaron Yaverski (GVP High Tech Provider Product Management) and Andrew Rosenblatt (from Product Development). They presented some of the roadmap for the “Gartner for AR” offering and this got me thinking…The first thing they spoke about was the progress they made on the granularity and refresh cycle of the inquiry mining service. This is great news for vendors as it means they can now have an idea of what sort of things IT users are asking Gartner analysts. Of course, for confidentiality reasons we can’t access the details but it’s fantastic to have some insights on the conversations Gartner analysts are having with their end-user clients. IMHO, this is really the value of Gartner, not the actual research notes they produce.And as David Taylor commented, having a deeper understanding of how Gartner’s Influences the sales cycle, could a great step forward in solving the “Holy Grail” of measurement.

About that research, another point of importance is that the five star rankings are now available to IT vendors, but we can’t rank them let alone comment on them – like we can do on Forrester’s. While I understand there may be some sensitivities around this, it would be great to see Gartner opening the kimono and harness the community around itself.

Then we went in to “pie in the sky mode” as Gartner asked what we’d like. It was very encouraging to see Aaron and Andrew proactively soliciting views and opinions from the European AR community on what we would like to see in the future.

For me, we need a paradigm shift: Gartner needs to move from being a super Google, from presenting us information in the best way they can (and they’re doing a good job at that) towards a partnership approach. I’d like Gartner.com to be more like Facebook and less like my online banking site: of course it’s great to be able to check which bank transactions I’ve made but it would be way better if I could use the site to work with the analyst.

My Gartner-Facebook site would look like this:

  • I could check the analysts availability and that would help solving one of the biggest headache AR people have: scheduling briefings for busy execs and busy analysts who have more chance to meet in the airport lounge than in my customer visit centre. Oh, and by the way, if that Australian analyst that I deal with all the time is planning to visit London, I’d like to know please. It would be both a best use of analysts time as their travels would be optimised and save vendors money collectively.
  • Andrew showed us a “my activity” box which displayed the latest searches any given user has made. But hang on, that’s NOT my activity with Gartner. What I’d like is a report of all my inquiries, all my briefings and all my SAS days, etc.. This would help solving my second problem: reporting back to my boss my interactions with Gartner.
  • Next is the collaborative aspect. We spend a lot of time PDF’ing, zipping and sending Powerpoints (because we like our 50+ slides decks with lots of customer logo pages and our email systems don’t like anything over 10MB), receiving draft research notes and sending them back with our comments. I’d like to be able to post them on the “analyst wall”, check she/he’s got access to the latest version of our deck because otherwise he’ll be advising customers using old information. And also, make it available to his/her colleagues –or not if it’s under NDA.
  • For SAS days, the GartnerFacebook site would have a project page with a checklist and attachments: first scoping call, presentation abstract and title if it’s a speaking gig (that’s important for our marketing teams to send invites), briefing material, agenda of the day, logistics, etc…
  • The list could go on and on, but I guess by now you understand what I’m up to: I’d like a workflow extranet to interact with analysts. Some of the pieces are there already: at the IIAR we use Google Docs to share and peer review documents, I use Google Calendar to discover that I can’t attend the Forrester drinks because it clashes with the School Bingo Night, we have an extranet to post content, etc…

So, in short, what I’d like is a tool that reflects what we do together with the analysts, rather than something were I can just consume research. Gartner for AR is going in the right direction with providing us better insight into our clients and prospects’ mind, but it’s still a one-way street.

PS: From what Aaron and Andrew said, there are going to be many more discussions in the next few weeks and months. I’d encourage you to share your views and thoughts with Gartner – either by commenting on this blog or talking to Gartner directly. It looks like there are going to be some good and interesting developments happening later in the year. Now is our chance to make sure our voices are being heard.

PPS: thanks to Hannah Kirkmann, Marius Jost, David Taylor and David Rossiter for their input and for reviewing this post.

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this blog post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle or other members of the IIAR. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and compliance with copyright laws, we can’t be held liable for any unintentional misrepresentation on this post but are happy to correct any wrongs quickly.

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IIAR Member Directory

The new IIAR Member Directory has just been posted to the IIAR website – to view, go to the Library section, under IIAR General Information (membership required for access).

The directory will be updated regularly so if any members who are not included would like to be added to future editions, please just drop me an email. If any information included is incorrect or out-of-date, please let Hannah know.

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AR Institute launches on LinkedIn.com

LinkedIn logoThe Institute of Industry Analyst Relations has expanded onto LinkedIn, the main business networking site.

The new IIAR group allows AR professionals to connect with each other, and allows members to pass on connections and requests for information to other people on LinkedIn. The site lists more than 500 current contacts at each of the major analyst firms: Forrester, Gartner and IDC, making it a useful tool for professionals wanting to better understand analysts interests and connections.

IIAR members will have had invites by email: if you have not had an invite, and think you are an IIAR member (or want to become one) then contact Hannah. Dozens of AR professionals have already joined the LinkedIn group, from firms including ARM, AtosOrigin, BT, GXS, Nortel, Oracle, and Symantec.

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Blogging…

I never thought this would be so difficult!

Duncan kindly suggested WordPress because it’s much better, which I did. It’s much more difficult to set up than blogger and as soon as I did Catherine was commenting on Twitter that it’s buggy. I finally got around redirecting it but still can’t get the domains to work on WordPress (apparently I have to do something to the INAME or whatever) so that it’s seamless between the blog and analystrelations.org.

Anyway, it’s now up and running and all the IIAR members can post. We’ll be accepting guest posts too.

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Welcome to the IIAR blog!

During yesterday’s forum, kindly hosted by Susan from Logica and masterfully chaired by Janine from Vodafone, it has been decided to create a blog for the Institute. So, here here we go.
In accordance with the IIAR philosophy, it will be open to all the members and won’t be a single version of the truth -because we don’t see the world in black and white. We want this blog to be a community forum where we can debate openly, some posts might be controversial and that all more intesting.  As such, it is also a way to share thoughts and engage with the analyst community, about analyst relations the industry in general.

We will also post here survey results highlights, Task Forces thoughts, ideas around best practices and more.  However, the detailed results, best practices papers, presentations will remain on analystrelations.org‘s members area.

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AR leaders to launch professional institute

Senior analyst relations professionals from across Europe have agreed to launch a professional institute. A meeting in London yesterday gathered together members of Europe’s two analyst relations networks to agree the goals, membership requirements and organisational framework for a new international association. Half of us went for dinner afterwards, and Marius’ photograph gives an idea of how convivial the meeting was.

The institute will aim to be a voice for analyst relations professionals and a framework to support their professional development. A meeting will be held on Thursday July 13 to register the progress planned over the coming months.

Lighthouse is very positive about this development. We think there are a number of tasks that this institute could take up.

  • It’s clear that an open dialogue is needed between the analysts relations community and the analyst firms on best practice. On many issues, one side has no idea of the frustrations with the other side.
  • Work needs to be done to promote the profession. PR agencies and AR consultancies have failed to co-operate to educate the industry about the specific and separate role of analyst relations. Too often, analyst relations is subordinated to the methods and tactics of media relations. By co-operating, we can clarify the specific role of AR professionals.
  • Professional development of AR professionals is weak. There are few training courses, and they are a poor substitute for the coaching, mentoring and learning-by-doing that is really needed to develop effective, self-confident, AR professionals.
  • Worldwide, analyst relations needs to resolve the cultural imbalance. A pragmatic, transactional and curtly neutral way of working has been coupled to an extreme narrowness in the information shared with analysts. This unnecessarily obstructs effective analyst relations outside the United States. An institute could point out the counterbalancing cultural norms, and help AR managers to adapt global communications approaches to better meet local needs.
  • We can encourage local or specialist networks to help people to build up contact with AR professionals in the same area. The meeting agreed that members should be able to set up open subcommittees look on particular topics or that bring together people in the same geography. Here’s an example. At the dinner after the meeting I was talking to an attendee from Germany: it’s clear that there is more than enough interest there to develop a German committee.
  • The accelerating rate of change in the analyst industry means that new firms can win greater traction with greater speed. We can use an institute to develop and share our appreciation of the analyst landscape.

The professionals who met yesterday are keen to take one step at a time. It would be foolhardy to attempt too much, too soon. However, the appetite is there to build a serious, open professional body. Serious membership fees will be levied to fund part-time staff. Membership will be open to all with an interest in analyst relations: we have no interest in excluding those with something to contribute (the only exclusion: analyst firms’ staff may not join). A formal managing committee will rotate its members, to maximize participation.

An online group has been set up for the Institute. If you’d like to get in touch please email analystrelations-owner at yahoogroups dot com (Correspondance will go to a committee, so don’t expect a quick reply).

Originally posted by Duncan Chapple on the 4/06/2006 09:50:00 AM

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