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Forrester Research Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer to Speak at IIAR UK Forum

Our next IIAR Forum in London is going to be a very special one!

We have two fantastic speakers lined up and are extremely privileged to be able to host such distinguished guests in what we believe will be a truly valuable Forum for all those in the AR profession.

Please mark your diaries: Thursday 27th September, 4-6:30pm BST

Forrester Research Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, Tom Pohlmann will be making his way from the US especially to meet with IIAR members and discuss Forrester Research’s plans and strategy. This is a unique opportunity to speak with and hear from one of the most influential executives within Forrester Research and have your questions answered directly on the future of the company and why you should continue your investment as a client / prospect.

In addition to that we have Dr. Neil Pollock, Reader in Information Systems from the University of Edinburgh School of Business who has carried out the first ever academic study of industry analysts and the kinds of influence they wield on IT decision makers and IT vendors. His talk will report on some of the top line findings of this research. Continue Reading →

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IIAR APJ Forum – Forrester APJ Update with Dane Anderson, VP Forrester

The next IIAR APJ Forum will be held on Wednesday 25th July at 4pm Sydney / 2pm Singapore / 11:30am India at Forrester’s offices in Sydney with webex facilities for those who wish to dial in.

Dane Anderson (VP – Research Director and Region Manager, Forrester) has kindly agreed to provide IIAR members with a detailed update on where Forrester is at in the Asia-Pacific/Japan (APJ) region and an update 12 months after the Springboard acquisition. This will very much be a members-led discussion and so this event provides a great opportunity to ask questions that affect your business.

Following the event there will be informal networking with AR peers and the broader analyst community at the Cargo Bar, Darling Harbour from 5:30pm Sydney time onwards.

This session is free for IIAR members. Non-members can pay $A25 to attend via conference call or $A100 to attend in person. Please contact me to secure your place and receive further details or to request an invoice for payment. The event will be hosted by Dave Noble, IIAR Board Member.

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Paris report: oh là là cinq Forrester forums

Forrester ran this week its annual landmark European conference, or rather EMEA Forums. Indeed this year, the EMEA IT Forum was dismembered into five separate, co-located role-based events: Infrastructure & OperationsCIO, SecuritySourcing & Vendor Management (IT services in plain English) and Enterprise Architecture.

Those five events were marketed separately but they were in fact more like parallel tracks in a larger conference –without a main session, meaning many attendees did not get to hear from CEO, George Colony with regard to his views on the markets and emerging trends.

From an AR standpoint, this divide and conquer audiences strategy made scheduling one to ones somewhat tricky as attendees could only book meetings in advance for the “event” they were registered for (although Forrester subsequently commented this should not have happened).  Continue Reading →

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IIAR Café at Forrester Forums – 19 June in Paris

The IIAR will be hosting an informal networking session at the Forrester Forums during the evening of Tuesday 19th June in Paris.  It’s a chance to unwind, discuss the day’s events with AR colleagues and talk about the latest activities and upcoming events within the IIAR. Hosting the Cafe will be Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic) from BearingPoint and former IIAR Board member as well as Ed Capps from AR Insights.

For further details of the event and to register your interest please email me.

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The hype cycle of Vendor Briefing Requests

Have you ever submitted a vendor briefing request? For those of you who have, and for those who have yet to experience this joy, here’s a humorous and (perhaps only slightly) exaggerated description of the process and some insights into why AR people always seem to struggle with it.

What’s clear is that analysts and executives alike don’t know or care how complicated the process is and don’t appreciate AR folks sometimes …. especially when it goes wrong. I’m sure we all have stories of briefings going wrong before they have even started – because the dial-ins don’t work, or there’s a troublesome time-zone challenge, or because the IP-based telephone network decides to crash.
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[GUEST POST] An Insider’s Guide to Technology Analysts

Thanks a lot to ReadWriteWeb to allow reposting of this excellent entry by By Cormac Foster (LinkedIn, @cormacfoster).

The original post can be found here.

Gartner. Forrester. IDC. And lots of smaller fish, too. You can’t read a tech-industy news story, attend a conference or listen to a sales pitch without someone quoting an industry analyst. For tech companies, analysts are big news and big business, promising to help with transformation, monetization and a slew of other things ending in “-ation.”

But what do technology industry analysts really do? And how do you find the one that’s right for your company’s needs. Let me try to explain, from the inside. You see, from 1999 through 2001, I was an analyst at Jupiter Research, now part of Forrester Research.

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Gartner gets the IDEAs from Forrester

It seems Gene took Gartner‘s shopping trolley on a jumbo to Oz this week and a page from George‘s book: the research firm just announced it was buying Ideas International [ASX:IDE] was established in 1981 as a consultancy service and since 1986 has provided its special brand of research to IT users and vendors. This acquisition is still subject to regulatory and other approvals.

This move has a strong reminiscence from Forrester’s purchase of Springboard last year (read our post:Forrester joins the feeding frenzy, buys Springboard)

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Has time come for a disruptive analyst firm?

Wine connoisseurs take as much pleasure talking about drink than savouring it…. so let me indulge you into an analogy between research firms and some of my favourites.

As with fine wines and corporate buying trends, so goes analyst firms.  The shift of power from IT to Business signifies a move from Wine to Champagne….

Ray (@rwang0, LinkedIn, blog) writes here about the latest IIAR Forum London and he’s got a few interesting points.

  1. Client base and research approach
    • There’s a wine analogy there: Gartner is like a Bordeaux (predictable blends) and Forrester is more like a Burgundy (more variable but sometimes great).
    • Gartner tends to sell to a mature IT audience, which is where most of the IT budget is. Its research output thus tends to be more conservative, after all most people don’t really want to experiment the at bleeding edge. As a result, it’s unlikely you’ll be surprised by a genial piece of research.
    • Forrester does this as well, but because (or thanks to) its marketing research, also cater for that role and its research style tends to be more adventurous (the Giga legacy probably) even if its coverage quality and quality is less constant.
    • And IDC sells to IT vendors mostly, a little to industry leaders (has to be a Côtes du Rhône, with elements of both depending on the individual analyst for opinion whilst the trackers are more constant –Shiraz is a bit like Marmite, it’s “love it or hate it”).
    • The point there is that your client base is your legacy, and unless you’re Steve Jobs or Henry Ford, most fail to break away from ‘building a faster horse’. In IT research aspects, it translates into “IT must align with business” (yawn). Analysts have been preaching this for the last 15 years, and it seems the issue hasn’t gone away.  Some part of the IT will be run as a utility (a better word than cloud, and in the same bucket than facilities and real estate) whilst the innovative stuff will be done by the business. IT is the business, the rest is a commodity (this doesn’t mean that everyone knows how to provision a commodity efficiently).
    • Another interesting aspect is that because they sell to a mature audience, they will confronted to a bit of an issue when baby-boomers will (finally) retire in the coming 5 years and be replaced by Gen-X and Gen-Y who have no appetite for academic style research. [Note: there’s a discussion here with some fellow IIAR members on whether the Gartner client base is that, er, experienced. What do you think?]
      Indeed Gartner is trying (again) to grow its SMB user base, but unless they radically change the way research is written, they will probably fail again. Constellation has probably a good card to play there by targeting smaller, innovative companies –even though up to 2/3 won’t make it into adult age.
  2. On “design point”, Constellation is pitching itself right in the “future of work” trend.
    • For analysts, time will tell if it’s ensuring, but trying to retain them by force (check this letter from Forrester’s CEO George Colony on non-compete) isn’t going to build a star-stable. Indeed, whilst Gartner seems to be doing a good job at keeping its best analyst, but it’d be curious to see how the average experience of Forrester analysts has evolved over time. There seem to be more researchers who graduated as analysts than analysts who came from a previous career. That in itself isn’t a sole predictor for insight, though it helps, but one would think that there’s a cost aspect (it’s the Forrester vs. the Giga models).
    • For users, I’d venture out to say it’s again like Marmite.  For establish companies, dealing with established brands having real offices offices is probably deemed ‘safer’. For Constellation’s target customers, meeting in a Stabucks probably isn’t a problem. James Governor (@monkchips, blog) seems to have found out that being unconventional actually helps with his specific audience: developpers.
  3. On analyst access
    • In terms of business model, Ray is indeed accessible which is quite refreshing compared to other analysts who for instance reduce briefing slots to 30mn. Whether that can be scaled without administering Modafinil to the rest remains to be seen.
    • For end users, it would be a net-gain if the processes to ensure a constant user experience as Constellation grows in size work effectively.
  4. On research approach
    • Legacy firms underplay the community aspect indeed but let’s not forget that Gartner is quite a large community in itself.
    • From an end-user aspect, one could expect more innovative research.
  5. On sales
    • IMHO it’s where I’ll be watching Constellation as converting from a consulting model to a RAS one isn’t that straightforward. So far they seem to be on the right track though.

Bottom line:

  • Gaining enough scale to gain a sufficient end-user base is challenging for mid-sized firms but Constellation seem to be making all the right noises.
  • Establish firms need to break away from their traditional user base to reinvent themselves before baby-boomers retire.

Ludovic Leforestier (LinkedIn, @lludovic)

See also Duncan’s post on the IIAR Forum with Constellation:

And Ray Wang’s own post:

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Social media for the APJ AR pro

IIAR Asia-Pacific recently held a virtual forum to discuss social media. It was a great opportunity to talk more about one of the current hot topics in the AR industry and how it relates to the local APJ markets.

Discussion centred on different uses of varying social media channels leading to the conclusion that social media represents an extension to personal communication preferences. For Steven Noble, (Senior Analyst / Forrester), social media is a normal part of his working life and used through the development of a research paper. At each step social media plays its part; awareness gathering, development of research topic ideas, information gathering, surveying, publishing, promotion. Continue Reading →

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And the IIAR Analyst of the Year 2011 is…

For the fourth year running, AR professionals have been polled to select the analyst and firms they consider the best best for thought leadership, ease to do business with, influence and value for money.

The IIAR is delighted to announce that this year’s IIAR Analyst of the Year 2011 goes to…

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Analyst firms: rock star bands or record label dinosaurs?

A recent contract renewal conversation with an IT analyst firm rep got me wondering how record companies ended up suing their best adopters and whether the end is nigh for them. Both music and research live on IP, and there are many similarities, though we’ll only explore the consumption and value aspects in this post.

Many have a better informed opinion than myself on the music industry but I tend to agree with Jon: there’s been a lack of innovation. The CD was a more practical format but quality wasn’t one hundred times better. I have yet to be immersed in a true quadriphonic experience, and so on. Sure thing, the mp3 format is much more practical but it would be far fetched to claim to say that the industry embraced it willingly. Actually, I would go as far as to say iTunes is Steve Job’s best ‘invention’, that was to get record labels to licence their music on it. In addition to the lack of technical innovation, there isn’t a great deal clarity in the offerings. Good new sounds maybe surfacing all the time however most are ephemeral. I can’t think of many that indeed built a following matching that of the 60ies  and 70ies (and even 80ies) household names. That last point is important, as building up a loyal consumer base is much more profitable than rotating new products. Continue Reading →

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IIAR Asia/Pacific Virtual Forum: Value of Social Media to APJ AR

The IIAR will be holding is first Virtual Forum in Asia/Pacific with a guest panel to discuss:
What’s the value of social media to Asia/Pacific AR professionals?
  • Steven Noble – Senior Analyst (eBusiness & Channel Strategy), Forrester
  • Mandi Bateson – Director, Digital, Hill & Knowlton
  • Dave Noble – Asia/Pacific Chapter Lead, IIAR (moderator) Continue Reading →
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Around Jennifer Belissent from Forrester in 10 questions

Jennifer Belissent, PhD. is  a Senior Analyst at Forrester, serving the Vendor Strategy professional role within the Tech Industry Client Group. Having recently moved from the US Jennifer now lives in Les Houches, France, about an hour outside of Geneva, and regularly spends time at Forrester’s offices in Paris. Jennifer can be heard via her blog and on twitter

1.   What are your coverage areas?

As I like to say, I am not a technologist; I study context. My coverage area is the context in which technology is purchased and used. As my bio reads “My research focuses on technology adoption and deployment patterns in emerging markets and in the public sector with a strong emphasis on “smart cities” and new business models to enable them.” Forrester serves 19 roles across business, marketing and strategy and technology industry professionals, and so I serve the Vendor Strategy role in tech industry companies. To help them do their job as successfully as possible, I look at what governments and businesses in Europe as well as globally are buying and why, who is doing the buying and from whom, and what the business terms are that enable the purchase.  The “story” fascinates me.  Continue Reading →

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Around Peter O’Neill from Forrester in 10 questions

Today we hear more from Forrester’s Vice President and Principal Analyst – Peter O’Neill. Peter is dedicated to technology marketing research helping companies find the right balance across headquarters and field marketing operations. Now based in Frankfurt, Germany, Peter advises vendors and users worldwide and can be heard via his blog or on twitter.

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    I research and advise a specific role, the technology marketing professional. I help them to be successful in their marketing processes, organization and automation by relating best practices.
  2.  What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
    It is changing dramatically. Analysts are still influencers but that aspect of their game is receding. They are taking on new functions and delivering insights to new audiences and in new ways. Continue Reading →
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IIAR Café at the Forrester IT Forum – 9 June, 2011

The IIAR will be hosting a members-only networking opportunity during the Forrester IT Forum, 8-10 June 2011 in Barcelona.

This will be your chance to discuss pertinent AR issues, as well as hear more about the latest news from within the IIAR. Discussion will include; IIAR future plans and upcoming events. This is a great opportunity to help shape and influence planned topic areas for 2011. Take a 45-minute break away from the hectic meetings scheduled and maximise your stay by networking with peers in the analyst and influencer relations community in a relaxed setting. Hosting the Cafe will be Ed Capps from ARInsights.

For details of the event and to register your interest please email: henrietta(at)analystrelations(dot)org.

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Forrester joins the feeding frenzy, buys Springboard

Source: Forrester

In a terse press release issued today, Forrester (@Forrester, twitter list) announced it was buying Springboard Research (@SpringboardRes, twitter list), ending months of speculations and rumours.

The rationale for purchasing the 48-strong firm based in Singapore is geographic complementarity, allowing the Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA) based #3 IT analysis firm to pick-up speed in a geography where it has never been very strong. IDC is still the king of the hill there, and in this respect it’s interesting that Springboard sells market sizing too.

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Gartner Wields the Most Influential Influencers, Peers, Not Analysts

A Glimpse into Peer Connect

Every AR person knows that many of the most influential analysts in the information technology industry work at Gartner.  But analysts are not the most influential influencers out there, peers are – IT buyerPicture showing ranking of influencerss and practitioners most trust the insights of other IT buyers and practitioners who have been through similar buying and implementation processes. The historical blockades to peer-to-peer exchange, however, have been (a) finding qualified peers and (b) providing a safe harbor for peers that prefer to remain anonymous in order
to participate. Continue Reading →

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Gartner details the MQ process

Magic Quadrant ChartFollowing some debate on Quora ( How much does it cost to be included in Gartner Magic Quadrant?,  do make sure you check Nancy Erskine’s answer), Lydia Leong from Gartner did publish a very useful blog post on The process of a Magic Quadrant.

Gartner’s MQ continues to be the source of much debate, mostly since it pits vendors against each others some are bound to be disappointed (a MQ with all vendors in the leaders quadrant won’t probably be of much use to IT buyers).
Gartner has overhauled the process in the last 5 years and made it quite robust now, though the weightings and ratings are still not publicised (a key difference with Forrester’s wave and IDC’s Decision matrixShort List).

No one asked for my opinions, so here they are:

  • it’s better to be in than not, even if in the niche quadrant
  • an MQ is better than a Marketscope (I don’t like rating vendors against a linear scale because it implies you should choose the one to the right)
  • an MQ is still only 2 dimensions (hear below Gideon Gartner on this point)
  • allocate enough time, about 100-120 man hours per MQ on the vendor side
  • make sure you manage your constituents expectations and get their support
  • IIAR members should read @edgyurko’s Best Practice Paper (link below)

Does this help? What is your experience? Do you have any tips?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7zzl1RM02U]

Related posts:

 

13/1/11 edit: corrected the “IDC MQ” name after Vuk’s comment (below).

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The IIAR Analyst of the Year 2010

This year the IIAR conducted the largest survey yet to identify who AR pro’s believe are the best firms and analysts in the market. These awards, summarising the votes of over 150 participants, reflect a significant change from previous winners and demonstrate that in a year of monetary uncertainty more focus has been spent geared towards the large international houses as oppose to the regional boutiques.

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