Around Robin Bloor from Hurwitz & Associates in 12 questions

robinbloorhimself.jpgIn the second of our series of ‘email interviews’, we open up the IIAR blog to Robin Bloor (@robinbloor) of Hurwitz & Associates (and yes, the founder of Bloor Research) to share his views on the industry.

1.What are your coverage areas?
All technology except business applications such as SAP ERP or Oracle’s PeopleSoft.

2.What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
Pretty big question huh? The cost of creating, aggregating, refining and distributing data is falling like a stone. The old analyst model based on selling “my quintessential thoughts on why Oracle outperforms SQL server or doesn’t” is doomed. Blogs and collaborative analyst web sites will kill it stone dead in time. The statistical side of the industry (i.e. IDC) will continue. One day the Magic Quadrant will begin to shrink. Everyone will gather round and watch it as it happens. Eventually the quadrant will be so small that no company will have a clue where it fits on the quadrant. It will be too small to make it out. People will call it “the nanoquadrant”.
3.What’s your typical day like?
Get up, read tech news on the web, have coffee, read world new on the web. Read email, respond to email, write a blog posting, write something or prepare something (i.e. do something that’s revenue generating). Have one briefing, no more than that. Have lunch. Book air flight to somewhere for some reason. Watch one YouTube video, no more. Have several long phone conversations with business colleagues or partners. Go to twitter or facebook for comic relief. More writing, diagrams, presentation preparation. Look at the time. Gosh it’s six o’clock already. Grab glass of whiskey.
4.Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
Once upon a time there was a vampire who got a job in AR with the UK office of a big US technology company. He kept biting all the pretty AR women on the neck and turning them into undead AR women. It was quite surprising really. You just couldn’t see their reflection in a mirror. The problem they had though, was that they couldn’t do telephone briefings except after the hours of dark, otherwise they would turn to dust. This meant that the only UK analyst that ever got briefed was some jerk who lived in Austin, Texas. When the UK analysts realised that this analyst was getting all the white paper work, they got together and drove a stake through the heart of the evil AR vampire. Problem solved.
5.How do you position your firm? What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?)
I don’t actually know firm-wise (for either firm). Personally I do end-user consultancy and that’s probably 20 percent of my activity, blogging is 20 percent, vendor in-person consultancy or presentation work is about 30 percent, which leaves about 30 percent writing vendor white papers. Please bear in mind that I also spend time selling, attending conferences and doing briefings. Naturally, this takes no time whatsoever.

What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less? (primary research, F2F or phone, secondary only, etc…)
I learn how technology works and how businesses are able to exploit the technology, then I model it all based on first principles understanding of IT and business, and then I come to conclusions as to what is good, what is bad and what is deeply pathetic. Is that a research methodology? I have no idea. But it’s what I do.
7.Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?
In the UK, Bill Reed at IBM because he’s intelligent, honest and considerate. In the US, Debra Cattani at CA because she’s never once tried to flannel me about anything.
8.Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve atttended.
One good AR practice: One AR person I know specifically goes out of their way to find technology experts for me to meet. I like meeting really clever people. One good event: The recent IBM event in Portugal was good, even though I had to leave early. IBM is generally the best at AR, but sometimes goofs.
9.What are your offerings and key deliverables?
I write, I present, I blog, I consult, I think therefore I get remunerated
10.Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
Photography. Favourite restaurant is a Vietnamese restaurant in Austin called Hao Hao that serves the best Pho I’ve ever tasted. Even in the midst of the collapse of the world financial system their Pho tastes good.

11.What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
The blog, the blog, the blog. Blogging in its current form makes no sense. Who would design an information artefact that way? My challenge is to change it so it does make sense. I wonder if I’ll succeed. What is the next 30mn? For the next 30mn my challenge is to find out what 30mn are. I don’t hold out much hope on this.

12.Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work you rate highly?
Dale Vile,
Jon Collins, Gary Barnett, Neil Macehiter, Neil Ward-Dutton.

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