- What are your coverage areas?
I cover Cloud Transformation Services – basically how advanced technologies are used by consultancies and IT service companies to create and deliver offerings for digital transformation.
- What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
It is much the same as other marketplaces – you have the large incumbents that everyone moans about but continue to use, the disruptive entrants that are the most fun to work for, and the mid-sized firms that are squeezed by both sides. One thing that does bother me about the IT Analysis Marketplace is the lack of young analysts coming through – in many geos this is a side effect of the death of industry trade journalism, which is where a lot of us began our careers. I’m pleased to say 451 is investing in a graduate Research Associate scheme to help address this.
- What’s your typical day like?
I tend to have two different types of day: either I spend the day in my home office writing, researching, taking phone briefings and enquiry calls; or I am traveling to customer sites and events around the world. The former type of day is quite introspective, the other is socially demanding. The variety is part of what makes the job interesting.
- Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
Many years ago being disinvited from an event because (I was told) that although I was a tier 1 analyst the vendor had decided I worked for a tier 2 firm. I am not sure in what world that kind of attitude makes for good relationships but most analysts have experienced this kind of nonsense at one time or another.
- How do you position your firm? What is your business model?
I would say 451 Research is a disruptive firm with reasonable scale (more than 120 analysts globally). We deliver a combination of research & data across fourteen channels aligned to the prevailing topics and technologies of digital infrastructure. Our digital transformation coverage spans from the data-center core to the mobile edge.
We differentiate by publishing daily, topical, up-to-date reports via our Market Insights product. We also publish longer pieces of research such as our Voice of the Enterprise quarterly commentator products that we provide in a range of technology areas.
Our customer base is a mix of suppliers, investors and buy-side organizations in that order. However, our readership influence tips that mix on its head, as our commentator network of over 30,000, accesses our research via a “freemium” model.
- What is your research methodology?
We employ a lot of PhDs – indeed by some vendors’ metrics this fact alone would merit rebranding as a big data consultancy – so we undertake primary research. The research is largely conducted via the phone, although where we can we like to meet in person. However, the quantitative team is working with sample sizes that would make face-to-face meetings quite challenging!
- Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
I particularly welcome the all too rare ability to meet customers as part of the “speed-dating” executive 1:1 sessions that vendors provide at analyst events.
- Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
Magdalen in Tooley Street is great and brings back good memories of the CIO dinners Kate Hanaghan and I hosted when we were running K2 Advisory.
- What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
For the rest of the year? Trying to analyze “digital transformation services” in a way that is both meaningful and useful to our audiences. In the next 30 minutes? Deciding which biscuit to have with my cuppa
- Is there another analyst whose work you rate highly?
I have a lot of respect for William Fellows, who I have the pleasure of working with at 451 – he is an individual with an encyclopedic knowledge of the cloud industry. Other analysts that I find to be both creative and engaging in the way they work are Kate Hanaghan, Bola Rotibi, and Jess Figueras.
Last year, as part of the 2014 IIAR Analyst of The Year Survey, we invited analyst relations professionals to rate their favourite industry analyst individuals and the firms they worked for. More than 60 individual organisations responded to our survey. We were interested to see if we could do further analysis on the data that was collected.
When we set out to do the IIAR Analyst of the Year (with Helen Chantry), we always had envisioned doing a Magic Quadrant of analyst firms. This year the survey provided us with further information which we have been able to breakdown and analyse to provide a more detailed understanding of how analyst relations professionals perceive the relevance, impact and reachability of industry analyst firms. We are not claiming that this is an exhaustive study. Rather it simply opens a new (slightly cheeky – hence the notion of “Tragic Quadrant”) window onto the analyst landscape, where we attempt to rank industry analyst firms by impact, relevance and ease to do business with. Continue Reading →
If you don’t know him already, Brett’s an experienced and well-respected leader. He’s previously held senior positions at Ovum, where he was managing director, and Gartner, where he was group vice president/chief analyst. Continue Reading →
Last week saw yet another acquisition by The 451 Group. This time, it was the turn of the events division who snapped up Tech:Touchstone, including its innovative CEO, Simeon Turner (ex Gartner events). Tech:Touchstone is no stranger to The 451 Group having developed a strong partnership over the past four years, so this seems a logical step to continue exploring what IT decision makers are looking for from a technical events standpoint plus, progress what Tech:Touchstone knows is a tried and tested event format. It also means both companies can maximize on the strongly cultivated database which will allow them to expand through various sectors and locations including moves into Moscow, Singapore and Hong Kong. Continue Reading →
On January 3rd 451 Group announced the acquisition of Yankee Group from Alta Communications (private equity firm) for an undisclosed sum. All Yankee Group employees are to be retained and the company will operate as an independent division of the 451 Group adding the 18 analysts (and 7 affiliate analysts) of Yankee Group to the roster of some 60 analysts at 451 Group. Terry Waters will stay on as CEO of the new 451 division.
You can find some interesting analysis by Duncan Chapple regarding the financial background to this acquisition at www.analystequity.com/1853/yankee-group-saved-by-451-acquisition. Duncan’s perspective is reflective of the recent re-structuring at Yankee Group and provides some good historical context to Yankee Group’s past ownership. Continue Reading →