Tag Archives | Magic Quadrant
I’ve been an AR professional for 15 years now and work for a variety of technology and telecoms companies (large and small). Some have Gartner contracts, some don’t.
I have never seen or heard of any evidence that says you can buy your way on to a Magic Quadrant. Nor does the amount of money you spend influence where you appear on the MQ.
My personal experience supports that. I’ve had clients who spend a lot of money with Gartner fail to be included on an MQ (or be included but not where they wanted to be). I’ve had clients who spend no money with Gartner be included on an MQ – and in good positions. Continue Reading →
The words digital economy conjure images of young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs breaking molds in a world where technology is disruptive. But could the reality be much more mundane and mercantile? Continue Reading →
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 →
The Gartner Ombudswoman has just blogged >link< about a new frequently asked questions document on the Gartner Magic Quadrant. Overall it’s really useful and contains many points that AR pros should know.
For instance, did you know the analysts had to raise a business case for every new MQ? This is meant to limit their numbers (there’s been in the past some MQ’s ranking very few vendors for instance) and ensure consistency, but as a potentially it can contribute curb the number of local magic quadrant (i.e. EMEA MQ’s for instance) -so watch this space.
I’ve also added a comment on Marketscopes, what do you think?
Other posts on the subject:
Following some debate on Quora ( How much does it cost to be included in Gartner Magic Quadrant?, do make sure you check Nancy Erskine’s answer), Lydia Leong from Gartner did publish a very useful blog post on The process of a Magic Quadrant.
Gartner’s MQ continues to be the source of much debate, mostly since it pits vendors against each others some are bound to be disappointed (a MQ with all vendors in the leaders quadrant won’t probably be of much use to IT buyers).
Gartner has overhauled the process in the last 5 years and made it quite robust now, though the weightings and ratings are still not publicised (a key difference with Forrester’s wave and IDC’s Decision matrixShort List).
No one asked for my opinions, so here they are:
- it’s better to be in than not, even if in the niche quadrant
- an MQ is better than a Marketscope (I don’t like rating vendors against a linear scale because it implies you should choose the one to the right)
- an MQ is still only 2 dimensions (hear below Gideon Gartner on this point)
- allocate enough time, about 100-120 man hours per MQ on the vendor side
- make sure you manage your constituents expectations and get their support
- IIAR members should read @edgyurko’s Best Practice Paper (link below)
Does this help? What is your experience? Do you have any tips?
- IIAR publishes Best Practice Paper on Managing the Gartner MQ
- Gartner engages in debates on their blog
- WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Gideon Gartner on the IIAR Blog!
- Wikipedia page on the MQ
13/1/11 edit: corrected the “IDC MQ” name after Vuk’s comment (below).
Late last week I resurrected a common meme around Hitler’s downfall video but this time applied it to analyst relations.
In the original post, I simply let the parody of the video speak for itself but after reviewing the many comments on the blog and on twitter, I have noticed that quite a few people are commenting about what they can learn from this.
Needless to say, when AR is done well the scenario that this video portrays should never happen. Here are some of the key points:
There is some argument as to whether we need to do any EMEA outreach or whether it is sufficient to just speak to those in the US
Being an EMEA AR pro, this one really irks me. Even though the US analysts may sometimes be the lead for a specific topic area, this is not always the case. What’s more when end users wish to buy a solution they often ask the local analysts in their region for guidance. If you haven’t spoken to them, how can you hope for positive commentary. Finally the EMEA analysts can often give valuable advice regarding how to refine the messaging to make it more relevant for their geography as well as give advice on local issues that may not be important in other regions.
We are only positioned as a challenger. They scored us down because we didn’t provide enough customer evidence
There should never be any surprises when it comes to the MQ being published. Make sure you run plenty of inquiries and SAS days to fully understand where the analysts are positioning you and why and what you need to do to change their perception. Do the process and document everything and obviously you should make sure that your executive team are prepared for the eventual placement and understand why you are positioned where you are.
We were positioned well in the Forrester Wave… a well-respected alternative
Always investigate alternatives. Despite many execs and sales people often being incapably of looking beyond the MQ, there are many tools and analysts out there. It all depends on your objectives and defining which solution is right for you.
There are many more things you can take from this video as I have tried to include as many clichés as possible. Most importantly remember that this is created in jest as a parody for our wonderful AR industry. I hope you like it.
Originally posted here: Contentious conversations in analyst relations
As a side note, shooting on the referee rarely helps -the IIAR now has a best practice paper on how to deal with the Gartner Magic quadrants available to our member on our extranet.
Contentious conversation 1 – integrity of analysts and the future of AR
Blog my 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
What this means:
There is an ongoing fight regarding how independent an analyst can be if they receive money from vendors. Whereas some firms in the past have been ‘White Paper for hire’ houses, they tend to lose industry respect very quickly and go bust. What can not be in doubt is that in subscribing to an analyst house, you have the ability to pay for more time in front of the analysts leading to a greater chance to educate them – often this will result in a more favourable position. I am not saying that to be successful in AR you need to have subs, it is more a case of – it helps.
The secondary argument (and possibly more important) is by having a look at who the key participants in this debate are. On one side we have the analyst and the other we have the IT advisor. The latter group frequently comes from an analyst background (see Vinnie Mirchandani, ex-Gartner; Ray Wang, ex-Forrester) but in their current role do not have a research agenda. By default this does not make them (in their mind) an analyst.
However, I believe we are playing semantics. Our view in AR needs to be simple: if they affect IT buying then they are an influencer and need to be dealt with accordingly. AR most closely deals with these individuals – we may need to adapt a different name so that they don’t get upset by being labelled analysts but they will remain a key audience for us to engage with and should continue to enjoy the same disclosure benefits that traditional analysts enjoy. With the growth of firms like Altimeter Group, this fundamental shift towards a larger influencer group will become more important than ever over the next few years.
Contentious conversation 2 – analysts liable for ‘incorrect’ positioning
Article in IT Knowledge Exchange – Email archiving vendor sues Gartner over Magic Quadrant
Summary: Claiming that Gartner’s MQ constitute “disparaging, false/misleading, and unfair statements” about its email archiving product that have done damage to its sales prospects, ZL filed suit for damages of $132 million to account for lost sales.
My view: This fight has caused great PR for ZL but someone’s position in an MQ should not be a surprise. If a vendor believes they are unfairly positioned the time to argue this point is before the quadrant is published.
The power of a positive ranking in Gartner is immense because it is often the case that large purchases of technology are based exclusively on the MQ Reports…For instance, the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently conducted an investigation into the use of the Gartner’s MQ reports in connection with the VA’s $16,000,0000 purchase of certain leases and services from Dell. The Office of Inspector General reported that the VA made this large purchase based solely on the leadership rankings in the relevant Gartner MQ report. (source: initial complaint)
In Mark Logic’s excellent analysis of this case, he makes the following comment about whether having the best technology means that someone should be positioned superior to another company who simply has better sales and marketing.
While Ingres arguably had the best database technology in the 1980s, Oracle’s sales and marketing prowess caused it to win the market and any analyst who — focused solely on the technology — would have recommended Ingres at that time would have done his customers a disservice.”
What this means:
Like it or not, Gartner are the original 800lb gorilla. Whether it is right or wrong, the fact remains that their MQ inherently has an influence in IT buying behaviour. What AR pros need to do is work with the analyst ideally six months prior to any publication to fully understand what success criteria are to be better positioned as a leader and work towards those goals. A great way to understand how to work with an MQ can be seen in the great IIAR White Paper.
We have to accept that the firm with the best technology does not always win (see Betamax vs. VHS) – for a company to be successful, they will need to have a great product that is complemented by a sound go-to-market strategy. Luckily for us this is where AR can help.
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
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