Archive | IT Analysis Firms

Agenda for today’s IIAR London Forum with Forrester

Here’s the agenda for today’s Forum –action packed as usual… and with the proverbial curry at the end!

Agenda
1500-1530   Social media tutorial
1545-1600   Registration
1600-1605   Introductions and welcome
1605-1620   Report back from Gartner Symposium
1620-1655   Discussion groups:
– AR and social media
– Planning for 2010
– Gaining and maintaining executive support for AR
1655-1715 Discussion groups report back
1715-1730 Break
1730-1830 Guest speaker: Brad Holmes, VP Technology Research at Forrester Research
1830 p.m. Close of meeting and informal dinner

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Around Carsten Schmidt from HENRY Corporation in 10 questions

Carsten SchmidtCarsten Schmidt and other IDC Alumni recently formed Henry Corporation as a network of analysts offering strategic advice and marketing services to IT vendors, including Martin Hingley. Read Carter’s post for more background.

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    At HENRY I manage the commercial communication with our clients and project manage larger and cross-country projects.
  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
    A marketplace assumes sellers and buyers. Frankly, I see the buyers pulling out because of the vast availability of free information and alternate sources. Secondly analysis and marketplace are contradicting forces if we hold on to the belief that analysis is an objective or even scientific process as opposed to the notion of a marketplace. There’re numerous examples how research firms productize their analysis. By doing that information transforms from research to marketing. There’s nothing wrong (or “magic”) about that as long as we stop calling it research.
  3. What’s your typical day like?
    I communicate a lot, either by email, phone or blogs. My role is to be proactive towards HENRY’s clients, the IT vendors. I spend most mornings planning my day and prioritizing my approach. I care a lot about not wasting other people’s time. I firmly believe in business relationships that are mutually sensible meaning having the respect and interest in your client’s goals and objectives. Talking to people I never think what I can get out of it, but how it can benefit the other part. Experience has taught me that this approach is the most rewarding in the long run.
  4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
    AR’s are marketers and part of the marketing ecosystem together with research analysts and sales and marketing people. Most ARs know that which helps communication and facilitate exchange of information. It is only when AR’s commence pre-assessing the purpose of your approach that the AR misunderstands their role.
  5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?)
    Our revenue comes solely from vendors. And we are in the business of helping building pipe lines by providing lead generation on behalf of the IT vendors. This is no different from our research colleagues in the industry apart from the fact that we communicate it in the open. World business as such is becoming more and more verticalized wherefore in-depth understanding of the IT business is a prerequisite for providing tactical marketing services. Research is used as a tool in one-on-one projects and as a foundation for offering the right tactical approach. Consequently we do not believe in published qualitative research reports as they are by nature  strongly biased toward the intended buying audience.
  6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less?  (primary research, F2F or phone, secondary only, etc…)
    Qualitative research must by default be primary. If not I’d call it journalism. Quantitative data can easily come from public available sources as long as you are a skilled analyst able to verify and see behind the data. HENRY only partner with highly experienced analysts as you will know from our website.
  7. Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?
    IBM’s Carsten Grønning is a great representative for the AR community. Forward coming, helpful, proactive and knowledgeable.
  8. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve atttended.
    As long as the relationship is mutually sensible any AR practice and activity is good, simply because proactivity is beneficial and time saving for both the research company and the IT vendor.
  9. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
    HENRY has three offerings, Research-, Activate- and Event-related. We consider research as an integral part of the marketing value chain which real  purpose obviously is to improve market shares. We embrace that value chain by focusing at the ultimate goal for our clients, the IT vendors.
  10. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
    Strategy work at IT vendors are being centralized at headquarters. That has been a trend for years now. Secondly still more marketing money are spend closer to the clients at the expense of market intelligence. Our challenge is to communicate this trend to our prospect clients and to offer marketing services that are closer to our clients customers.
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Useful statistics for making the case for AR

At Gartner’s AR Forum in Orlando last week, guest speaker Joshua Reynolds from Hill & Knowlton gave a presentation about social media trends and analyst relations, and provided some up to date statistics on how AR impacts sales. For those AR managers who didn’t make it to Orlando, Gartner just posted Josh’s presentation at its AR Community page today. Do take a look at Josh’s presentation and take note of the survey of tech buyers and how they use analysts. AR managers will be able to use these statistics with their internal audiences to make the case for analyst relations.  http://www.gartner.com/technology/about/ar_community.jsp

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IIAR at Gartner EMEA Symposium

The IIAR will be holding a couple of informal gatherings at Gartner’s EMEA Symposium in Cannes, for those interested in networking with AR peers and finding out more about the Institute. These include a breakfast meeting at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday November 4th, hosted by Ludovic Leforestier, and a dinner meeting at 7:30 p.m. on the same date, hosted by Susan Lyddon. Please email me at hkirkman at analystrelations dot org for further details.

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Is shooting on the referee productive?

Contentious conversation 1 – integrity of analysts and the future of AR

Bribery illustration in a blog post by Jonny Bentwood for the IIAR website

Blog by Tom Bittman from Gartner: A Rant – My Integrity as an Analyst

Summary: Gartner analyst angry that he has to justify his integrity

My view: Edelman trust barometer consistently shows that over the past few years analysts are the most trusted

Key comments: Vinnie Mirchandani questioning whether Gartner’s reliance on large vendor subscriptions means that their reports are truly representative Continue Reading →

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Best practices for managing the Forrester Wave

Last week IIAR hosted a call with AR professionals about sharing best practices for managing the Forrester Wave. The IIAR last month published a paper about the Wave, which outlined common best practices in dealing with this high profile research report. Forrester is also in the middle of reviewing changes to the methodology, although it has signaled it doesn’t expect major changes this go around.

Curious to get other AR managers’ thoughts on the Wave.  What has been your experience, and do you have any best practices you want to share?

For IIAR members, the paper is available on our extranet > Managing the Forrester Wave

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An update from Ovum

Since the last post I wrote on Datamonitor/Ovum/Butler after Mark Meek and David Mitchell came to present at the IIAR London Forum, they have been busy streamlining the organisation and bring together their research products.

I’ve had many conversations with them, and as far as I can tell, they seem to be executing well:

– As promised, the IT brands have all been consolidated under Ovum. Datamonitor provides the line-of business/non-IT research and Orbys provides sourcing research. Butler events are to be co-branded, as Ovum Butler.

– Clients should now have a single sales rep, apart from large international clients where it makes sense to have sales representatives in each market e.g. US and EMEA

– The research portfolio is being consolidated, and new research will all be in a consistent format. This process will take place over the next 3 months or so

– There will be a single team of analysts, with topic coverage areas grouped by horizontal technologies and services under Tim Jennings and the verticals under Ian Charlesworth

– The telco is pretty much unchanged, apart from the addition of a new set of contact centre research

Ovum’s running a webinar tomorrow; I’ve pasted the invite below with their permission.

What do you think?

Ovum Ovum
Imagine a technology analyst firm that understands the specific business issues of your industryWelcome to the new world of Collaborative Intelligence

As of today Ovum has integrated it’s IT offering with Datamonitor Technology and Butler Group creating a single, more powerful research partner under the Ovum brand. In addition Ovum’s 150+ ICT analysts will be working side-by-side with the Datamonitor Group’s 350+ business analysts – an approach which we call Collaborative Intelligence.

This Collaborative Intelligence approach will produce research and analysis that tackles the problem of the business value of IT.

Collaborative Intelligence

Attend our online launch webinar
Dial in and find out why SageCircle – Analysts of Analysts – say “The reorganization shows real promise to shake up the analyst market”.

Join David Mitchell, Ian Charlesworth and Tim Jennings, Directors of technology research who will introduce the new research agenda, Collaborative Intelligence philosophy and how it will benefit your company.

Wednesday 23rd September – 2.30pm GMT, Daylight Time (GMT +1, London)/8.30am EST – Book now >>

http://www.uptilt.com/images/mlopen_post.html?rtr=on&siteid=13120&mid=2098119&mlid=61772&uid=6123813127

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Jeff Mann on Symposium

imageJeff Mann from Gartner has posted an interesting account on How Gartner Symposium Happens.

While it won’t be new news to seasonned AR professionals, it should still be worked in your AR plan to time key tactics and ensure your key analysts understand your company positioning and roadmap before they’re on stage.

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Brief summary of the last IIAR Forum presentation by Datamonitor

Duncan Chapple from Lighthouse AR has posted on his blog the following entry: Datamonitor, Ovum & Butler cohabitation makes AR easier (Analyst Equity).

It’s a good summary of the last IIAR London Forum, kindly hosted by David Rossiter from Sunesis and at which Mark Meek / Datamonitor CEO and David Mitchell / SVP IT Research.

Overall, I would say the reactions were very postive, juste tempered by a “wait and see” attitude towards whether they will execute efficiently. This is my personal take on some of the reactions and by no means an IIAR position or the aggregation of all the present members opinions. We can’t say too much as we’re bound by an NDA, but here are my thoughts -for what they’re worth.

Still personally, I think this goes in the right direction and if they they execute it correctly, we will end up with:

  • one single point of contact for the commercial aspects
  • unified deliverables formats and research agendas
  • no more duplication in coverage areas

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Softcopy formats

I first need to start this post with an apology to Merv, as I’ve kept calling him Adrian -it’s probably that it sounded more like a first name than Merv to my little French brain. So, apologies Adrian Merv!

Anyway, Merv started a poll on should AR Provide Soft Copies of Briefing Content? and asked me to relay this. I thought the question is interesting.

I always send the decks in PDF, because it’s a more open format than .ppt or .pptx -an old habit I got at IBM since no one could read Freelance decks. It’s also much smaller, which avoids getting flame mails from analysts on the move -I know this shows my age by I remember a conversation with an analyst stuck in Italy and trying to download 1 meg email (it was a lot of bytes a the time) over a 32 bauds connection. Even if the ubiquity of WiFi changed quite a lot of things (including removing the need to travel with screwdrivers to connect to telephone socket in Italian hotels…), sending an 8 MB deck isn’t well received by analysts who travel a lot. Oh, and I always send them in advance to let the analyst prepare, ask him/her if she/he has specific questions and suggest my spokespersons to frame the briefing and plan for 20-40 mn of content per 60 mn slot to avoid death-by-Powerpoint. Obviously, some spokespersons don’t comply and that’s the life of an AR manager 🙁

Merv also mentions that AR like the fact PDF can’t be changed, that’s also a point: it’s easier to send the PDF and then if the analyst needs a graphic, let him/her request it and then make sure that it’s employed correctly. Briefing decks aren’t always checked by Legal, etc, and AR needs to make sure anything can be reused. PDF’ing a deck also removes the speaker notes, which are often not in synch or updated with new decks and my contain unwanted information.

This leaves the problem of making notes on a deck, in electronic format that is. Annotating a PDF using the full-Acrobat is a good solution but some comments on Merv’s post point that analysts like to past a deck structure into a word processor and start draft a research note this way.

But what about webcasts?

Turning the problem the other way around, why don’t the analyst provide their research as a Wiki that can be updated, where you could see different contributions including vendor reviews? There would be many issues associated with this idea but I thought it’s worth a debate?

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IIAR publishes Best Practice Paper on Managing the Gartner MQ

Today the IIAR published my Best Practice Paper titled: “Managing the Gartner Magic Quadrant: a tool for analyst relations managers.”  The paper is free for all IIAR members and can be found in the Library section of the IIAR extranet.  In it, I discuss and give recommendations on the key stages of the Magic Quadrant and how to ensure you and your team are as prepared as you can be when the process begins; how to build internal support and manage expectations with your stakeholders; building the relationship with the relevant Gartner analyst; and providing customer references.

After I agreed to write an IIAR whitepaper about managing the Gartner MQ process I soon discovered that everyone has an opinion, in many cases an emotional one. In addition, I realised that the paper needed a focus or otherwise it could have easily been turned into a book. I will admit that I was selfish, that what guided me through the research and writing process was the question: what would have helped me in past situations working with the senior management at vendors? In the end, I aimed to create a pragmatic and useable document with sections that can be cut and pasted.

There’s so many people to thank for providing their insights and time. Moving forward I would like to keep writing about topics related to the MQs. I would welcome your comments, suggestions and stories (even under NDA).

IIAR members can read the full paper here > http://my.hdle.it/7601816

Related post: Gartner engages in debates on their blog

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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/Main (IIAR website)For 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. Continue Reading →

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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 “JC” Jung, SVP Consulting Services from PAC in 10 question

Today we have the pleasure to welcome our guest analyst for the world famous IIAR ten questions interview: Jean-Christian Jung is a Senior Vice President Consulting Services at PAC (Pierre Audoin Consultants). JC is based in New York and you can read his thoughts on their collective blog.

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    IT Services and sourcing in general, however, I have spent most of my time this year on application-related services particularly around SAP (and to some extent Oracle Apps). SAP is a very hot topic for us right now as we recently launched a dedicated SAP Services Research Practice covering all regions of the world. Concerning my personal role, I concentrate more on the custom/consulting activity than on our off-the-shelf reports. Continue Reading →
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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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