Tag Archives | AR debates

2017, a tectonic year for influencer relations?

This January feels like our IIAR April Fool posts came early. After Gartner gobbling the largest peer-to-peer advisory firm CEB (Corporate Advisory Firm) for a cool USD 3.3 billions (2.6b in cash and stock plus 700m debt), the long awaited and many times postponed sellout of IDG, the parent company of IDC, happened yesterday.

Gartner acquisitions: META, AMR, Burton, Ideas, Software Advice, Captera, SCM WorldThose two deals are nothing less than tectonic shifts in the tech influencers space.

Firstly, the acquisition of CEB by Gartner is notable for three reasons:

1. It’s large. 3 billion dollars gorilla like.
If there was no overlap and divestures (CEB also sells some software which Gartner will have to offload to prevent conflicts of interests), the combined turnover Gartner and CEB turnover would be over USD3.3 billions (2.4b+951m) we’re seeing a 40% increase in revenues and the combined entity is on course towards 2,000 analysts. The next players, IDC and Forrester are around USD 300m in revenues, give or take. The last estimates I saw (a while back mind you) were that Gartner has anywhere between 40 to 60% market share. Having such a dominant player means higher prices (some say higher margins were the driver behind Gartner’s acquisition of META Group) and less bargaining power for buyers. It’s also obviously hard to ignore Gartner, so a little advice to vendors is maybe not to pick fights with them -such is their share of mind with technology buyers.
However, just like in the old PCM days, Gartner knows to leave scraps to second fiddles and it leaves space to disruptors -in particular on the sell-side. The IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year constantly showed that 451, Constellation, HfS and other players are definitely more than just worth looking at. And as Crawford Del Prete argues it, a second opinion can be invaluable.
2. Is Gartner plateau’ing?
With the CEB acquisition, Gartner gets access to new C-suite roles. Surely, I’d bet most CEB CIO customers also buy Gartner services and so there might be a bit of customer set duplication however CEB also serves HR, Sales, Finance and Legal functions. In fact Gartner claims it will become the leading global research and advisory company for all major functions in the entreprise.
So this is not a META Group style margins-led competitive take-out (2005) but more an expansion into new markets just like in 2009 as Gartner bought AMR, SCM World and Burton to address techies and supply chain roles.
One could infer that after years of tinkering with metrics to get more leverage, the Gartner executive team saw territory expansion as an EPS growth lever. In other words, this might signal that Gartner’s core business in IT research is plateauing? Nevertheless, with Gartner’s excellent track record in execution (IIAR members can read some tips on contract negotiation here) and international reach, expanding to other functions certainly has legs. It has already ventured in marketing and claim good growth, however Forrester still has a much better hold with this fickle audience.
The good news here for AR and influencer relations folks is the ability to leverage existing relations with Gartner to look at other audiences.
 
3. Does the age of algorithm prediction also apply to Gartner?
Personally, I believe the most significant impact of this acquisition is cultural. After buying and developing no less than three peer reviews offerings Gartner is moving further in the peer to peer advisory world with CEB. This is important not only because buyers value the advice from their peers more than anyone else’s but also because all of a sudden, the mighty technology priest, the feared predicator, the revered oracle becomes is demoted from his/her ivory tower. Truth ceases to be a caste monopoly and becomes the product of algorithm. Gartner famously predicted in the 2015 Symposia the age of the algorithm economy, where those become valuable IP that needs cherishing and runs the world.
As Gartner grapples with the difficult challenge of embedding more bottom-up logic in its research and offerings, it will be interesting to watch what this does to the role of the analyst: will they merely curate and socialise the result of increasingly automated insights? Looking at the profitability of Gartner’s EXP services, this might well be a wet dreams for its execs.

Where does that leave IDC and the others?

Since the disparition of founder Pat McGovern and his philanthropic wish to progress research on the human brain, the media group IDG he founded -and parent of analyst firm IDC– was up for sale for two years with several cliffhangers. We know little of Chain Oceanwide, however my bet would be for a divestiture of IDC at some point.
Whilst IDC predominantly addresses tech vendors, it also enjoys a great brand recognition and probably has the best geographical reach of all firms but none. Yet, its attempts to crack the end-user (buy-side) research and advisory services (RAS) business petered out, I suppose due to poor execution and a lack of investment in sales and go-to-market.
We’ve asked IDC to come and update the IIAR members -stay tuned!
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Constellation and the curse of the quadrant

At the beginning, the intent was pure.Gartner Real Quadrant

Industry analysts, more specifically the buy-side “prescribers” exist to help technology buyers (often referred to as end-users) select the best vendors and providers. They gather insights through public and private sources such as (semi-)private vendor briefings and conversations (inquiries) with their end-user subscribers. Some analysts take hundreds of briefings and inquiries in a year, allowing them to gather unique insights on the market segments they cover. This accumulated knowledge allow them to monetise this information asymmetry as reports, consulting sessions, speaking engagements, etc.

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IIAR Best Practice Paper: Agile Analyst Relations

Horst Kuchling, Yvonne Kaupp and Simon Jones (from left to right) German IIAR Chapter

Horst Kuchling, Yvonne Kaupp and Simon Jones (from left to right) German IIAR Chapter

One of the biggest misconceptions about Analyst Relations is that you need megabucks or unlimited budgets in order to succeed. Of course, having the financial muscle to engage with analysts will ultimately get you further – and help drive deeper relationships with your Tier One analysts, but you can also do it on a budget. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] The Truth About Freemium Research

By Paul Connolly (@Paul_NH, LinkedIn) from Nelson Hall (@NHInsight).

For over a decade, freemium has been the ubiquitous business model for fledgling internet firms and the developers of smartphone apps. Users sign up for free to enable basic features, and are then drawn into subscribing to various levels of premium functionality. More recently, the freemium model has been the subject of considerable attention in the B2B market research space, with some rather extravagant claims and unsound thinking being used to herald it. Let’s have a closer look. Continue Reading →

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“How to take on the Digital Wave”

A growing issue for AR pros and their companies is defining what ‘digital’ means. Or, more importantly, understanding how the different industry analyst firms define digital and “digital transformation”. It is certain that digital will “disrupt”, and that more existing businesses will get ‘Uber-ed”, as one of our panellists put it. However what is less clear is just how and where digital transformation will impact existing business models over the next few years, as well as what the opportunities and threats will emerge from digital. How might the AR pro navigate the new digital landscape when briefing and engaging with industry analysts firms? These were just some of the questions posed to a distinguished panel of leading industry analysts at the latest IIAR event hosted at the glamourous Heron Tower on August 13th 2015.

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Aniruddho Mukherjee of the IIAR kicking off the evening with an overview and update on IIAR to its members,whilst Debleena Paul and Neil Pollock also both from the IIAR look on

Is 2015 a tipping point in terms of digital transformation?

The convenor, Debleena Paul, got the ball rolling by asking the panellists whether 2015 is a tipping point in terms of digital transformation. Are digital technologies beginning to bring the kind of disruption that has been promised for some time? Marianne Kolding (Vice President and Executive Sponsor, European Digital Transformation Practice at IDC) responded that it was coming but that it was not there yet. A lot of firms have it on their agenda and are “dabbling”, but change wasn’t happening everywhere. Tim Walters (Co-founder and Principal Analyst at Digital Clarity Group), saw that ‘phase 1’ of the change had occurred, where companies beginning to educate the public about how digital was something that they would need, but that ‘phase 2’, where companies were beginning to think about what they were going to do about it, was only just beginning.

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Pictured, from left to right, Debleena Paul (IIAR), Dominic Trott (PAC), Tom Reuner (HfS), Gerry Brown (Ovum), Tim Walters (DCG), Marianne Kolding (IDC)

Digital transformation can be anything. The first problem is identifying it, says Gerry Brown from Ovum

Very quickly the panellists got to the issue plaguing discussions of digital transformation thus far: What exactly is it? Tom Reuner (Managing Director for IT Outsourcing Research at HfS), thought that digital transformation meant different things to different people. The term was being used by everyone simply as a place holder. Debleena quizzed the panellists on what their definition was – noting how each industry analyst firm seemed to have a different conception of digital transformation.

Digital transformation is a process, not a project, says Marianne Kolding from IDC

Marianne Kolding told the audience that IDC saw digital transformation as where the business model for the company was fundamentally changed. This was both in the way it served its customers but also how its employees operated. For IDC, digital transformation was not just about reconfiguring the front-end but also transforming back office processes. Firms had to build a new way of looking at technology. Digital transformation cannot simply be another project, she argued, it has to be a process. Dominic Trott, (Senior Analyst Digital Business at PAC), told the audience that PAC has two definitions for digital transformation. The first is tackling the front end where the company attempts to build tighter customer interactions but the second is a broader change in culture and mindset in terms of reorganising the business around the needs of the customer.

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Debleena Paul (IIAR) grills Dominic Trott (PAC)

Digital is a wave but has unexpected force, Tim Walters from DCG notes that companies need to understand and react appropriately to the energy

Tim Walters reminded the audience that the kinds and amount of change that companies were undergoing today was not unprecedented. Companies had been subject to similar waves of change through earlier technologies. And like these waves before companies needed to understand and react to the specific energy in the wave. What is different this time, argued Tim, was that whereas in past waves it was the company that led the change, this time around it is the consumer that is empowered; it is the customer that is driving the change.

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Tim Walters and Gerry brown debating the finer points of the digital ecosystem

AR Pro Tip 101 on how to improve a presentation: Ask the analyst what they would find valuable!

The conversation turned to how AR pros might improve the way they present their companies digital transformation strategy to industry analysts. Here, rather than dissensus, there was much agreement. Tom Reuner strongly pushed for companies not to present technologies but “narratives”. Companies needed to come up with narratives which were true for their organisation as they were for the problems experienced by their customers. Rather than standard ‘corporate decks’, Gerry Brown, (Senior Analyst, Customer Engagement in Digital Technology at Ovum), wanted to hear ‘war stories’. This includes what has worked and what hasn’t; the upsides and downsides of the digital transformation strategy. Tim Walters was similarly interested in hearing the ‘process’ by which the company understands their customers’ problems. He was much less interested in companies telling him what they can do, but rather how they were now doing things they couldn’t do before, because a client has a new problem and has asked for it.

Your Point of View!

You’re read what we think. We’d love to hear your point of view on what digital transformation might mean for companies and how AR pros could do a better job of communicating their transformation strategies to industry analysts and others. We’re working on a longer version of this blog post, and would like to incorporate your feedback into a white paper that would be circulated with IIAR members. Let us know your experiences. Add your comments to the blog or email us.

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Event attendees

It wasn’t all digital transformation, however. There was also time for some of the event attendees to enjoy an expert talk on the famous Heron building fish tank! We learnt it was the largest privately owned fish tank in Europe, and the names of quite a few fish too!

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Will research crowdsourcing finally move analyst firms to an experience business model?

g2crowd_grid_for_help_deskg2crowd_grid_for_help_deskGood piece by Tony Bradley on TechSpective.net (via Rob Enderle and Stephen England) on whether crowdsourced analysis could displace Gartner, Forrester, IDC, etc.

I’ve been watching analysts for a long time and think this is fascinating -I was waiting for such a “JD Power of Tech” for a long time.

If they get it right, it will finally change the analyst business. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] The importance of business ethics

Originally posted by Bram Weerts from KEA on BramWeerts.com: Non-Academic Views.

Business-EticsOn the 5th of March, the IIAR (The Institute of Industry Analyst Relations) will hold a panel that will discuss what the ethical standards should be across the analyst industry. Kind  as they are at the IIAR, they have invited me to take place at the table in London. I would like to take the opportunity to give a bit of my vision before the 5th. Since nobody reads  my words, it will not hurt the discussion.

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IIAR Webinar – UP and to the RIGHT – 16th April 2014

Richard Stiennon

Richard Stiennon

IIAR Webinar with Richard Stiennon, author of a key book for Analyst Relations Professionals and the book on the Magic Quadrant – “Up and to the Right. Your opportunity to discuss this book with the author, ask questions and (perhaps) gain an advantage in your next Magic Quadrant.

When: 16th April 2014 at 3pm (UK), 4pm (CET), 10am (EST)
Where: IIAR Webinar. Free to register (here) for IIAR Members. £15 for non-members, redeemable against membership, apply here.

Summary (from Host Beth Torrie) – Analyst Relations is a relatively new field. On hiring a junior AR, a few years ago, I found a terrific resource to help kick start their knowledge base – Up and To the Right. This book provides a great combination of strategy and execution to help intelligently navigate the industry analyst world. I also found it a fun and enjoyable read that I am looking forward to discussing with my peers! The title – based on Gartner’s famous Magic Quadrants – gives hints at where many CEOs want to be, but the book sheds deeper insights on how to build successful programs and relationships.

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The Ray Constellation Experience

Constellation Research has announced today that it is taking a new step in its development and hired a CEO -see press release below- in the person of Bridget Chambers (@bridgchambers, LinkedIn), who comes from the SAP User Group.

I spoke yesterday to Constellation’s founder (and IIAR Analyst of the year 2009), Ray Wang (@rwang0, LinkedIn) and Bridget and as usual found the conversation fascinating. This post is not a position from the IIAR, its members or board, not my employer  -just a sum of personal thoughts. Comments are welcome of course. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] When Your Company Takes Out Your Favorite Analyst

By Peggy O’Neill, AR Director / Informatica (LinkedIn).

It happens to the best of us. Your analyst relations program is humming along nicely – your analysts are behaving, your internal constituents under control – when one day, wham! You get a call from one of your SVPs sharing some exciting news! Joe Analyst, one of your company’s key advocates, has now joined your company.

AR managers will inevitably grapple with this scenario as analysts migrate to vendors often. Informatica took out two high profile analysts last year and I’ve experienced this at previous employers too. AR managers can expect certain behaviors when an analyst who used to cover your company comes inside, so your best bet is to prepare for when that day hits and take full advantage of the opportunity. Continue Reading →

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[Guest Post] Why IT Vendors Should Take Industry Analysts (More) Seriously

By: Dr Neil Pollock, University of Edinburgh Business School

After several years’ research on industry analysts and IT Research firms there are some interesting conclusions to be reached on how industry analyst firms are exerting influence on IT vendors and their product markets. This is just a snapshot of some of Dr. Pollock’s findings.

1. Industry Analysts Stifle Novelty

The first point shows how industry analysts are one of the new ‘institutions of information technology’ with the cognitive authority to shape technological fields. One common way they do this is through proposing names and definitions for emerging technological trends, an activity with positive and negative consequences. We saw, for instance, how this could stifle innovation. IT vendors offering new kinds of products were penalised if their technologies did not conform to standard product definitions. We observed how one seemingly novel solution belonging to a newcomer received a critical review, which led to its rejection from a major procurement contest, effectively calling into question the robustness of its solution. The suggestion here is that industry analysts can help but also hinder innovation. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Will the real leader please stand up?

I know many of you are short of time so I will try to summarise my point here. In almost 20 years spent in the influencer relations world I can count the number of AR people achieving senior promotions to leadership roles on one hand. I’ve participated in many conversations over the years with AR professionals feeling left out of those promotion decisions, maybe it’s time to either accept that as the status quo or chose to do something about it. The rest of my post focuses on doing something about it.

If you’re like me you’ll have read or listened to discussions that, on reflection were just common sense or obvious, I’m increasingly concerned that common sense doesn’t prevail and there are times when you need a simple reminder that can act as a catalyst to help you take a decision or move forward in some way. I’m hoping that this post is one of those.. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Big Dogs don’t yap: the secret ingredient for MQ success

Blog courtesy of: Simon Levin (IIAR Board Member)

What is it that makes the difference when it comes to making the step up into the Leaders section of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant? Ever wondered what companies who gain recognition as Leaders have in common? Having seen four of our MQ Tune-Up clients gain Leaders status for the first time last quarter, I thought it might be interesting to go looking for some common themes or attributes.

And as it turned out, the exercise was well worth the effort, because it highlighted one key factor I’d never consciously identified before.

We’re calling it the Big Dog syndrome, and it’s all about looking the part, acting like a Leader right from the start, and, above all, believing that that top right quadrant is your rightful home.

There’s more about this idea on The Skills Connection’s blog but the essence of it is blindingly simple. For a company to be perceived as a Leader, it has to have a leaderly air about it. It has to radiate conviction, as well as competence. It needs to put its case across well, but without the yapping, snapping desperation that marks out those that try too hard. Continue Reading →

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[Guest Post] Does the consulting approach beat published research?

By: Simon Levin, The Skills Connection / IIAR UK Co-Chapter Lead

We saw an interesting blogging spat last week between Stanton Jones of ISG and Lydia Leong at Gartner, with the flames fanned by tweeted comments from Phil Fersht of HfS. The row was centred on some research published recently by Lydia on managed hosting providers, but its ramifications are much wider.

For those who haven’t yet followed the Twitter feeds and blog links, let me try to summarise what’s going on.

Stanton’s charge is that Magic Quadrants serve a purpose by offering insight into vendors and products, but that the high-level nature of the analysis means they are poor primary tools for making choices. He emphasises the lack of nuance possible in a written article, compared with the detailed, customised insight that can be provided via a consulting engagement. And, of course, he is right. Continue Reading →

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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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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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[GUEST POST] Timing is everything

There’s no penalty for jumping the gun

On your marks. Get Set. Go. When the starting gun goes off, there is always going to be a rush of adrenalin, a surge of excitement, and a striving to get up to speed and do your best.

But when the starting gun goes off in relation to a Gartner Magic Quadrant (MQ) assessment of your company, in many ways it is already too late.

Magic Quadrants generally appear once a year. For the companies who are on the receiving end, they can be make or break factors, with a huge influence on business prospects for the year ahead.

For the analysts involved, they are important pieces of work, but they have to be fitted in alongside research reports, client inquiries and meetings, events and presentations, custom engagements, webinars, blogs, and a host of other commitments. Leaving all the rest of an analyst’s annual workload aside, producing a Magic Quadrant means identifying and investigating multiple companies that will appear in the final diagram. On top of this, the analyst has to give due consideration to all the peripheral candidates that need to be evaluated before decisions can be taken about whether or not they should be included.

The wonder is not that so many MQ assessments leave so many vendors feeling disappointed, but that so many MQs win general acceptance as being pretty fair, diligent, and useful assessments of the state of play in particular markets.

To read the full article click here.

Extract courtesy of Simon Levin, MD (Europe) – The Skills Connection

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[REBLOG] How to read an analyst report?

slfisherThis article was originally posted on hp.com: How to Read an Analyst Report. Good read.

Unfortunately we can’t reblog this, read the original report and some quotes below. The advice it gets can be summed up as follows.

  1. Picking a Firm
    • What kind of analyst firm is it? According to Ludovic Leforestier of IIAR, the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations, an industry group of analyst relations (AR) professionals, there are three major types of analyst firms:
    • The big three are Gartner (750 analysts and about $1 billion in revenue), IDC (1,200 analysts), and Forrester (300 analysts and about $300 million in revenue).
    • Midsize niches, typically with five to ten analysts, are often focused on a particular area, such as ESG for storage or Evans Data for software development trends.
    • Independents are a diverse category.
  2. Does the analyst take vendors for clients
    • “Is the report commissioned by a vendor or is it written prospectively?” asks Leforestier. “This is an important point: Although good AR people will avoid pay-to-play to get endorsements, some are known as analysts for hire. Check the research library on the analyst website and you’ll clearly see some are always writing positively about one vendor.”
  3. Is the report pay-to-play? 
  4. Where does the analyst firm get its information and analysts?
  5. What type of deliverable is it?
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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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Why do you need AR when you have PR?

I’m often asked why bother with AR when there’s already a fully-fledged PR team? To many analysts and AR pros, this may sound like a strange question, after all do you ask an electrician to do the plumbing?

However, I’ve seen many times in large corporations PR folks coming to manage AR teams (not always successfully I must say) and in small companies marketing types having to do AR on top of the rest (sometimes very successfully if not consistently).

Many AR pros, when asked will tell you analysts hate being dealt with by PR people. Analysts in fact hate being treated like journalists: sent a lot of content, not deep enough and expected to produce coverage. Continue Reading →

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