Tag Archives | AR debates

IIAR Discussion Group: negotiating with Forrester. Are you getting the best value from your contract?

Feeling the pinch in your negotiation with Forrester on your subscription contract?Do you feel comfortable in buying the multiple seats being pushed your way? Is Forrester covering the technology and business areas that are important for you?  You’re not alone – many of your peers and IIAR members have commented (see the IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2017)

IIAR negotiating with forrester. aniruddho Mukherjee, ludovic leforestier

Forrester seems to force sell multiple seats, TEIs etc during renewals. Forrester analysts may be amongst the top IIAR Analyst of the Year 2017 but is Forrester seeing an exodus of top talent? As per the IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 survey, AR professionals mentioned that they felt a flip flop in Forrester’s focus on various key topics and verticals. Also the research subscription costs seem to be increasing at 10-20% yoy. They also felt that while Forrester had some great visualisation of data BUT insights were focused on niche topics like Customer Experience, Business Technology, Software and Marketing. Many Wave’s have not been renewed while others are renewed in an irregular cycle. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Moving AR into IR…..

Duncan Chapple / Kea - For the IIAR blogInvestor relations just took over Analyst Relations at Tata Consultancy Services, an IT Services giant. Is IR about to eat AR for lunch? TCS has decided on the reorganisation after a year that included significant leadership changes in the firm’s analyst relations team.
In most tech organizations, AR sits within corporate marketing. This has been a natural home for AR though, as we know, not always appreciated but seen as a necessary function that is needed as part of a wider marketing organization. Most sensible senior executives know how important the analysts are in the overall ecosystem.

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IIAR Webinar: Crisp Research outlines European expansion

This spring, Crisp Research announced the appointment of well-known industry analyst Stefan Ried to head up a new practice area focused on the Internet of Things. For @Crisp_Research, his arrival was a big step – signaling aspirations beyond its core DACH market (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) to grow and cover all of Europe. And for @StefanRied, it was a return to the analyst industry after spending the last two years with a vendor.
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2017, a tectonic year for influencer relations? A world post Gartner + CEB and IDC sold

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.
According to Outsell, Information, Media and Technology was around USD 1.6 trillion in 2016.
IT research was USD 4.4 billions, and according to Statista, Gartner was USD 2.4 billion and 54% market share -effectively a near monopoly (after the CEB takeover, they are grossing 3.3 billion in 2017 still according to Statista).
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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[GUEST POST] The secret trick to working with sales

Working with sales is easy. Just think like a salesperson!

Working with sales should come naturally to a marketer once you get into the head of your sales colleagues.  More than once I have been accused by my colleagues of “sounding like a salesman”.  While not often meant as a compliment, that’s how I take it.   If truth be told, I have spent a few of my years in the Sales trenches and believe that’s what gives me a unique perspective on working with sales.

Sales incentives, illustration for blog post by Jonathon Gordon / EMI on the IIAR website

Just like in any relationship, to really get to know someone, you need to understand what makes a person tick.  The thing I really loved about being in sales, is that in most cases, it’s easy to know what you should be doing and how it’s measured.  Mostly it’s about the target.  OK, there may be other KPIs thrown in for flavor, but it’s the target that really matters.  That’s pretty much what makes sales people click and how to get there is what keeps them awake at night.  The key to working with sales is helping them reach and pass that target, quarter after quarter, year after year.  Do this, and they will always be there for you. Continue Reading →

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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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[GUEST POST] Industry Analysts can be Influencers, Supporters or Antagonists

The 3 analysts: cheerleader, amplifier, naysayer, illustration for blog post by Jonathon Gordon / EMI on the IIAR websiteIndustry Analysts – Love ’em or hate ’em, but ignore them at your peril

Industry Analysts range from the boutique one-man band to the behemoth Gartner.  Industry Analyst firms exist to fill a gap in the market – namely providing expertise in a particular field, so decision-making becomes easier.  That’s the theory anyway, the reality is somewhat more complex.

Industry Analysts spend a great deal of their time speaking to buyers and sellers of technology, which means that are speaking to your customers, prospects, competitors and then some.  To provide the best advice to their customers, analysts need to cut through the BS in the market.  Why is there so much BS?  That’s easy, everyone has an agenda and often a different point of view.  Analysts can fall in love with your company or technology and tell everyone they meet.  They can also not like you personally very much and tell everyone or no one. Continue Reading →

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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?

G2 Crowd Grid for Help desk - IIAR website

G2 Crowd Grid for Help desk

Good 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. The piece talks about Chaordix and Whale Path, and I’ve known for a while about G2 Crowd. Another well known player is TrustRadius.

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

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Wrap-up: Netscout vs. Gartner re. Magic Quadrant positioning

Gartner Magic Quadrant: Pay to be here!Two Three interesting takes on Netscout suing Gartner for not putting them in the leaders quadrant:

16/9/16 update: 

See also this 2009 post by Jonny Bentwood: Is shooting on the referee productive?

Bottom line:

  • The Gartner methodology is quite solid nowadays, however the firm is still expressing an opinion by the choices it makes on inclusion criteria and weightings for instance.

 

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[GUEST POST] Analyst value does not equal word count

Click to tweet - illustration on post by Jonathon Gordon / EMI on the IIAR blogYesterday I was reading a thread (here) on the IIAR (Institute of Industry Analyst Relations) LinkedIn group regarding Analysts’ adoption/use of social media and it got me to thinking.. It was claimed that the CIO did not see social media as an ‘appropriate source’ of analyst information. Maybe it’s because the analysts themselves have conditioned their customers to think that value=word count? As someone who still writes the occasional piece of copy, I can agree that it is much harder to write short than it is to ramble on. How can you possibly distill the core value of a 25 page whitepaper into a tweet of 140 chars? Some analysts firms regularly produce reports in excess of 100-150 pages, where is the value in that? Does the same customer then have to buy consulting hours so the analyst can explain the top 5 points of the report or the key takeaways? Some of you will be screaming, there’s an executive summary, you can read only that! My point is, you can write only that!
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[GUEST POST] #Visionaries, #Disruptors and Complete Lunatics

Recently, I have been taking an interest in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, trying to understand how helpful the model is and what role it plays. I looked at a bunch of these industry super models and one thing in particular caught my eye, or rather something that didn’t appear to be there. That something was a little dot in the far bottom right hand corner of the bottom right hand quadrant, the one Gartner calls ‘Visionaries’.

If you want a quick verification without doing all the hard work, just Google Gartner magic quadrant and take look at the image tag. Low and behold, you should get something like this and the pattern will become clear … 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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