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MQs, accreditation and a debate on IT services – all in the same evening

Those of us fortunate enough to be able to attend* yesterday’s IIAR Forum enjoyed a treat.

Ed Gyurko presented the latest IIAR whitepaper on Magic Quadrant submissions (available from Monday, free of charge to members).  It will prove immensely useful to those who have to work on the seminal Gartner reports.

Following Ed was David Taylor who spoke about the IIAR’s plans for AR accreditation. These are really starting to take shape. David and the group he’s been working with deserve a lot of thanks for their hard work to date.   There’s more that still needs to be done – but it’s definitely getting there and that’s very exciting.

And then we had the third highlight of the meeting – a spirited and informative debate with analysts from three firms that are focused on the IT services market:  Kate Hanaghan of Bathwick, John Willmott from NelsonHall and Puni Rajah of TechMarketView (who was joined by her colleague Anthony Miller).

There are some clear differences between the three firms but all three are in agreement: relationships with clients are the key for success in the next 12 months.  There was also consensus that good analyst firms would survive but there would be casualties among those unable to demonstrate the value they deliver.

While all three acknowledged the difficulties of doing business in the current market, TechMarketView was very upbeat about the future.  Puni and Anthony are predicting that the overall analyst market will grow in size over the next year (and as a result, there will be more demand for AR people).  It will be nice if those predictions come true.

There was plenty more discussion and our hour was quickly over. If you couldn’t make it, then I’m sorry. You did miss a really good meeting.

Finally, thanks to our analyst speakers for coming along and taking part in an absolutely fascinating debate.

Also a big thank you to Robert De Souza who chaired the analyst discussion, Laura Woodward who hosted the meeting and Hannah Kirkman, the IIAR secretary for bring it all together.

* Attendees came from a wide range of companies including Accenture, BT, Capgemini, Cisco, CSC, CustomerClix, Edelman, HCL, Hill & Knowlton, Logicalis, Nortel, Oracle, Prasada, Richmond Green, Sunesis, Weber Shandwick and Zeus.

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Team Work Needed for 2009!

DARA Event on 20.1.2009 / Podcast about the IIAR

As the year has started with some of the most negative predictions we have heard for the past years, it becomes obvious that close collaboration between AR professionals of different companies and among AR and IT research professionals will become even more important than before.

One little step towards this objective are the local events organized by the IIAR and its associated organizations and chapters. In Germany, a few volunteers and I have also worked to bring AR and IT research together.

Next week, we want to strike a balance and look ahead:

Tower Bar Frankfurt/MainFor the 20th of January this year, the German Analyst Relations Working Group, which is closely working together with the IIAR, is organizing a fireside chat and networking dinner in the city center of Frankfurt / Main. The official title is: “IT industry and the IT research industry in times of economic slowdown”

We are enabling networking and discussions between important analyst relations professionals on the one side and important analyst houses on the other side. We have seen extremely positive reactions to our plans from both, the IT industry and the analyst houses.

The event is almost booked out by now and has been organized with the help of three sponsors: Fujitsu Siemens Computers, IBM Germany and Wilken, a German software company.

Our guests are:

  • Wafa Moussavi-Amin, General Manager Germany & Switzerland, IDC
  • Jeff Golterman, Group Vice President and Analyst Relations Community Leader, Gartner
  • Peter O’Neill, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
  • Stephan Kaiser, Senior Consultant, Pierre Audoin Consultants

We want to discuss the reactions of IT user organizations and IT vendors to a beginning worldwide recession. However, the perspective of the IT research industry is also important: How do they change, and how do they react / adapt to the new situation?  This evening will be a possibility for all participants to share their thoughts, experiences and views on the market.

The event will be a wonderful opportunity to again raise the topic of officially opening a German Chapter of the IIAR in Germany. The German Analyst Relations Working Group (DARA) has developed a lot of momentum by today. The history of the DARA and the IIAR is a history of collaboration and mutual support. I personally hope that both organizations can push their level of integration even further.

The DARA will also elect a new board early this year. As a board member, I have led the organization of all its events until today. I would like to announce that this event will be the last I will have developed and organized: We are looking for someone who is dedicated to take on this responsibility in the future.

If you would like to hear the voices of some people involved in the IIAR (and DARA), you can listen to the latest podcast that I have just finished today. I recorded it end of last year with an IIAR Board member:

The topic is: “The Institute of Industry Analyst Relations – An interveiw with Peggy O’Neill” In this cast, we are talking to Peggy O’Neill about the IIAR and trends in the industry.  Peggy startet her career as a journalist. Today, she is heading Hill & Knowlton‘s North American AR practice.
Listen to the podcast (direct link) – Part one of two (mp3, 8 min.)

If you like this cast, you can subscribe to it here.

If you would like to attend the fireside chat and networking dinner, there is a fee of 49 EUR per person to cover the cost for the dinner. This is the data you need:  Date: 20 January 2009, Location: Frankfurt am Main, Germany – Kaminzimmer des “Tower – Bar & Restaurant”
Eschenheimer Turm, 60318 Frankfurt/Main – (Tower – Bar & Restaurant: Tel: 0 69 – 29 22 44)
See the agenda and get the latest news about the event here: http://www.dara-online.de
To reserve, please contact: Sebastian Grimm –  E-Mail: [email protected]

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Gartner engages in debates on their blog

Following some critical comments from a vendor on a Magic Quadrant, Gartner analyst Andreas Bitterer posted an answer on his own blog: Setting the Record Straight

While personally I would not say that publically challenging a research piece is likely to produce a positive outcome for a vendor, it’s refreshing to see a Gartner analyst engaging in a public debate on his blog: it does a lot for transparency and credibility of the research.

So, kudos to Andy for taking the time to debate openly.
Related post: IIAR publishes Best Practice Paper on Managing the Gartner MQ

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Around Michael von Uechtritz / Gartner in 10 Questions

Today, we’re delighted to welcome Michael von Uechtritz, Research Director clip_image001with the Outsourcing and IT Services research team at Gartner, into the interview hotseat.

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    Business and IT Consulting
  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
    With some businesses being challenged by the economic downturn in a number of regions, practical advise such as from the IT Analyst community is of growing importance to the buying and selling side of the IT market. Therefore, in my view, the IT analysis marketplace will remain “large in size”, dominated by a few research firms but become more challenging for IT market analysts given the aforementioned situation.
  3. What’s your typical day like?
    I like my work – seriously, with roughly 400+ client calls per year, 30+ research document’s, conferences and sales support, six days make it a busy week I would say, but gaining so many new insights each day – I like my work.
  4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
    Well, leaving comments about an individual analyst for the presenting executive in the footnotes of a presentation, but sent to the analyst instead.
  5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?)
    See www.gartner.com and its financial reports please, the business certainly is a mixture of both, end users and provider revenue streams from research, events and consulting.
  6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less?  (primary research, F2F or phone, secondary only, etc…)
    The research methods are Gartner IP and include Scenarios, Magic Quadrants, Market Scopes, Vendor Ratings, Hype Cycles, Market Statistics and others. On my part I have conducted primary research, worked with our secondary research folks, did phone interviews, in person research leveraged web based tools etc.
  7. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve atttended.
    I found some IT services providers approach with small scale events (<10 analysts), short in duration (0.5 days), focused (consulting services), and targeted (European region), clearly prepared (facts send before! the event) and held in an open manner (NDA) very useful – the mix of financial analysts and market folks I found to be less productive.
  8. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
    Read my reports published in Gartner Dataquest or Gartner Core Research. It’s what you need to know, what you need to do, where you need to look, and who you should be paying attention to. It’s independent, insightful, and instantly applicable to your business challenges.
  9. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
    My five kids Vincent, Oscar, Clemens, Cosima and Victoria are my livelong “hobby” and Friederike’s, my wife, cooking deserves a 5 Star Michelin certificate, other than this running – but not enough.
  10. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
    Keeping the “right” balance of work versus life in a demanding job and my career progression.
  11. Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work  you rate highly?
    In my area of business and IT Consulting, „Chris Adams“.
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Kudos to the Gartner Ombudsman for asking tough questions

I read this post on the new Gartner Ombudsman blog today: How confidential is “confidential” information?

It’s about what happens when an analysts defects to join your competitors. Granted, there is no simple answer and in reality we’re in a very incestuous industry, but kudos to Nancy Erskine for asking tough questions.

Personally, my sense is that you should divulge roadmaps to analysts and limit the horizon to 6 months. What do you think?

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The IIAR Analyst of the Year survey — and the winner is….

image Over the past few months, the IIAR have been running a survey to identify who AR practitioners believe should win the award of ‘analyst of the year’. With over 116 respondents from around the world, the number of firms and individuals that people wanted to recognise was extraordinary (191 different analyst names and 103 separate houses).

For an analyst or their company to have made the top 10 is a truly remarkable achievement and my congratulations go to them. Specifically though a few individuals and companies should be highlighted:

Ray Wang, Principal Analyst with Forrester Research, Inc., is the analyst of the year. Respondents praised his insight, depth of industry knowledge, and independent voice. Runners up for the title were David Mitchell of Ovum and James Governor of RedMonk.

Ray was also named Analyst of the Year for the Americas, while David Mitchell of Ovum was voted the EMEA Analyst of the Year.

Forrester was highly regarded by respondents in all regions, and was voted the Analyst Firm of the Year. It was commended for the strength of its analyst team, the quality of its client services and its ability to spot new trends. Gartner and IDC came second and third, respectively.

Not only have the traditional global analyst firms done well in this year’s survey, but the smaller, boutique consultancies also scored highly. Freeform Dynamics and MWD came in the top five in EMEA with RedMonk in the top three in the Americas, and a number of other firms also received honourable mentions. Respondents liked their honesty, ability to innovate, the quality of their research and use of new media channels.

What came out clearly from the survey was that integrity, independence and market knowledge are the analyst qualities that are most highly valued by AR professionals. It demonstrates very positively how much the IT research industry has matured.

The results below have been split into several segments to reward those whose specialty in niche areas should be recognised.

A full copy of all the results can be downloaded here

  Analyst of the Year 1   Analyst Firm of the Year
1 Ray Wang, Forrester 1 1 Forrester
2 David Mitchell, Ovum 1 2 Gartner
3 James Governor, RedMonk 1 3 IDC
4 Ed Thompson, Gartner 1 4 RedMonk
5 Michael Cote, RedMonk 1 5 AMR
6 Jeffrey Hammond, Forrester 1 6 Freeform Dynamics
7 Dale Vile, Freeform Dynamics 1 7 Ovum
8 Bola Rotibi, Ovum (now MWD) 1 8 MWD
9 Massimo Pezzini, Gartner 1 9 Enterprise Strategy Group
10 Brian Babineau, ESG 1 10 CCS Insight

EMEA Focus:

  EMEA
Analyst of the Year
1 1 EMEA
Analyst Firm of the Year
1 David Mitchell, Ovum   1 Gartner
2 Dale Vile, Freeform Dynamics   2 Forrester
3 Ed Thompson, Gartner   3 Ovum
4 Philip Dawson, Gartner   4 Freeform Dynamics
5 Neil Rickard, Gartner   5 MWD

US Focus:

  US
Analyst of the Year
    US
Analyst Firm of the Year
1 Ray Wang, Forrester   1 Forrester
2 David Mitchell, Ovum   2 Gartner
3 Michael Cote, RedMonk   3 RedMonk
4 Jeffrey Hammond, Forrester   4 Enterprise Strategy Group
5 James Governor, RedMonk   5 AMR

Communications & networking Focus:

  Comms & Networking
Analyst of the Year
    Comms & Networking
Analyst Firm of the Year
1 Neil Rickard, Gartner   1 Forrester
2 Ben Wood, CCS Insight   2 Gartner
3 Nick Jones, Gartner   3 Ovum
4 Zeus Kerravala, Yankee Group   4 IDC
5 Danille Levitas, IDC   5 Yankee Group

Software Focus:

  Software
Analyst of the Year
    Software
Analyst Firm of the Year
1 Ray Wang, Forrester   1 Forrester
2 David Mitchell, Ovum   2 Gartner
3 Ed Thompson, Gartner   3 AMR
4 Jeffrey Hammond, Forrester   4 RedMonk
5 Michael Cote, RedMonk   5 MWD

Services Focus:

  Services
Analyst of the Year
    Services
Analyst Firm of the Year
1 Pascal Matzke, Forrester   1 Forrester
2 Stephanie Moore, Forrester   2 Gartner
3 Paul Roehrig, Forrester   3 IDC
4 Michael von Uechtritz, Gartner   4 Ovum
5 Dane Anderson, Gartner   5 NelsonHall

Importance vs. Relevance: Analyst Firm of the Year:

  Most Relevant
Analyst Firm of the Year
1   Most Important
Analyst Firm of the Year
1 Forrester   1 Gartner
2 IDC   2 Forrester
3 Freeform Dynamics   3 IDC
4 Burton   4 Ovum
5 RedMonk   5 AMR
6 AMR   6 Redmonk
7 Ovum   7 Enterprise Strategy Group
8 MWD   8 Freeform Dynamics
9 451 Group   9 Current Analysis
10 Gartner   10 TowerGroup

EMEA:

  Most Relevant
Analyst Firm of the Year
1   Most Important
Analyst Firm of the Year
1 Gartner   1 Gartner
2 Freeform Dynamics   2 Forrester
3 Forrester   3 Ovum
4 Ovum   4 IDC
5 MWD   5 Freeform Dynamics

US:

  Most Relevant
Analyst Firm of the Year
1   Most Important
Analyst Firm of the Year
1 Forrester   1 Forrester
2 Burton   2 Gartner
3 IDC   3 IDC
4 Ovum   4 RedMonk
5 RedMonk   5 AMR

Commenting on his award, Ray Wang said:

I’m very pleased to receive this distinction. AR professionals represent the critical link between an analyst’s perception and the company’s reality. Because the AR profession is not only a science but also an art, good AR professionals build the relationships from a position of trust which drive the foundation for all interactions. I’m thankful to have worked with so many true professionals.

David Mitchell, ranked first in EMEA commented:

Analyst relations professionals are playing an increasingly important and influential role in the ICT (Information Communication Technology) industry, both when working directly for companies and when working as third party advisors to those customers. As such, it’s a great honour to be recognised by the IIAR.

One of the interesting results from the survey is the distinction made between relevant and important analyst firms. From my perspective it appears that people made the recognised tier 1’s (Gartner, Forrester, IDC) as the most important as they realise that these companies have a strong impact on sales due to their customer base and research viability. However, relevant firms did not necessarily map on to these same firms and the ones ranked most highly tended to have a greater focus on bespoke advice (largely gained through inquiry time).

When we run this survey next year we would be delighted to hear suggestions regarding how this can be improved. For your benefit I have listed below a brief summary of the methodology used.

Methodology

1) Entrants:

This survey was open to anyone who works in analyst relations in any country, either in-house or at an agency/consultancy. In order for someone’s entry to be validated, they had to submit their email address and company name to verify they not an impostor trying to distort the results. This personal information will not be distributed or used beyond sending copies of the results to all participant. The survey was open for specific period of time and IP addresses were taken to ensure that someone could not vote twice.

2) Questions:

The survey specifically focused on an individual’s perception of the analyst world in 2007. All questions were free text to ensure that results could not be biased by presenting a pre-made list of companies or analysts. The result of this was extraordinary with 191 different analyst names being submitted as ‘analyst of the year’ and 103 different firms listed for the ‘analyst house of the year’.

3) Segmentation:

Respondents were asked to specify their submissions based upon geography (US, EMEA, AsiaPac, Global) and segment (Software, Hardware, Services, Communications and Networking). Based upon these criteria further analysis could be made of the results to identify specific regional or segment champions.

If you have any questions or comments about this survey please contact either myself or Hannah Kirkman

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IDG to merge IDC with Gartner?

We have heard today (from three sources) that IDG, the parent of IDC, intends to buy Silver Lake Partners’ share in Gartner and the holdings of CEO Eugene Hall. As part of the deal Neil Bradford, former head of Forrester Americas, and Anthony Parslow, until recently head of Datamonitor, will replace Gene Hall as co-CEOs. Bradford will direct the US business; Parslow (who serves on IDG’s board) will head Gartner’s troubled operations outside the Americas. This is obviously news that will shape the industry – you have seen it first here!

Generally speaking, this isn’t a surprise.

– Silver Lake was, for a long time, the largest shareholder in Gartner. As the firm’s stock price rose it aimed to cash in its gains. Despite a large share buy-back by Gartner, the value of the shares has now fallen. Silver Lake is looking for opportunities to exit. IDG will pay a 7% premium over the current Gartner stock price.

– IDG has a strategic orientation towards expanding its share of the analyst industry. It narrowly lost out to Gartner in bidding for META Group. It sees the possibility for a roll-up spanning different price points across the value chain. IDC’s end-user Insights businesses could gain from the custom-consulting and mid-market work that Gartner cannot do economically. The businesses could also benefit from common base data, as the Datamonitor companies do.

– Gene Hall has revolutionised Gartner, and taken it to a new level. It’s a good time for him to cash in and move on.

However, we are skeptical of claims that IDG will merge IDC and Gartner. There are two strong brands with different positions. The main opportunity in the closer co-operation is for IDG’s non-IDC services to reuse and promote Gartner research, and to use IDG’s events business to rebuild Gartner’s now-sold vision events business.

To see a copy of IDG’s statement, please click here:
http://tinyurl.com/2q9j9y

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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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