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.
What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
Well, like everyone, I foresee a tough market ahead. A lot of boutiques may struggle if they do not have the right mix of off-the-shelf and consulting activities. I expect some of their best analysts may join the ranks of IDC or Gartner. This is a major concern for me as the world is becoming globalized yet most of the thought leadership remains driven by US-based analyst groups. We are one of the very few non-US based analyst groups with global coverage who try to give a different perspective on things, especially in emerging regions.
What’s your typical day like?
First of all, there is no such a thing as a typical day and I love that! I spend half of my time on the road, meeting the industry on a face-to-face basis, which is where we at PAC believe the real insight is derived. Back in the office, it’s a mix of trying to catch up on emails (this nearly does me in), contributing to, selling and delivering major projects, managing short-term inquiries (usually one a day) and then carrying out briefings or research work/interviews or talking on the phone with my colleagues or partners (all time zones are represented and that’s certainly the biggest challenge I have, making sure I don’t mix them up and wake them up in the middle of the night)… I am not a huge fan of everyday news. Of course, I look at it with great interest but my work revolves around taking the time to reflect on the real consequences of an event to bring an in-depth point-of-view. There are already enough people eager to give their opinion straight away on anything.
Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
Today’s buzzword is “influencers”. This includes bloggers. While I believe this makes total sense, this can lead to some unnerving situations. I recently attended a vendor briefing. They were some bloggers there too. In my opinion, these guys ruined the Q&A session, trying to dig up a sensational story angle and missing the point, which resulted in a pointless debate that we never would have had among analysts. This was upsetting and a waste of time…
How do you position your firm? What is your business model?
PAC is a global market research and strategic consulting firm for the Software and IT Services Industry (SITSI). We help IT vendors, CIOs, consultancies and investment firms by delivering analysis and advice to address a range of growth, technology, financial and operational issues. We cover the full value chain from off-the-shelf reports, customized research to our suite of strategic consulting and market planning services. On the vendor side, we provide answers to each major decision a management team faces, while on the user end side; we concentrate mostly on vendor selection and sourcing strategies.Of course, our roots are firmly planted in continental Europe where we started over 30 years ago and that’s a great asset But our ambitions are truly global and that’s why we developed our UK, Eastern Europe and US presence, and are currently establishing an office in Brazil. But this is not enough to cover all topics and regions as we intend. So, we call upon our network of strategic partnerships we have in the APAC, MEA and LATAM regions, which are a tremendous leverage in our methodology to think globally but analyze locally. This mix of analysis and consulting and this vision to bring true value to our customer where it matters has been my personal leitmotiv the past ten years.
What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less?Face-to-face interviews & bottom-up methodology are the corner stone of all that we do. We want to deliver real insight and pragmatic recommendations about what is happening on the market as well as realistic and achievable strategies to undertake. We see this as a major differentiator compared to our competition. You cannot truly understand the world out of New England or London or even India with offshore capabilities! This is very true especially when you intend to work in non-English speaking markets (France, Germany, Italy, Japan) or emerging economies (Russia, China or Brazil). You have to be onsite and talk to the people to understand both supply and demand. Too many fellow colleagues look at what technology can achieve and not enough whether the local market will accept it or at least at what pace and through which business model. You wouldn’t believe all the local differences we experience within segments like project services or outsourcing… Having said that, we of course also leverage all kind of methodologies (phone, secondary research etc) to add “flesh on the bones” but this is not the essence of what we do.
Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?Well, I think both Michael Myers (not the actor, the AR) at SAP and Rob Petrucelli at Accenture have this ability to react fast, get timely briefings and truly understand what matters for me and my colleagues. These are trusted relationships as they work with us as partners.
Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve atttended.We are a very annoying company to work with as we request global, regional and local briefings. We are meeting guys like IBM or SAP in 30+ countries. In my opinion, these two companies are doing a great job. But I have to admit some Indian-based companies like TCS and Infosys have been very proactive as well lately.
Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?I was never a big fan of ribs until I tried the ones at Jasper’s across the street from EDS in Plano, Texas. They were ranked top three in the country and I have to admit, “Boy howdy, y’all, that cookin’ down yonder is purty damn good.” And, this coming from a Frenchmen!
What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?Helping my customers (both users and vendors) understand where they should invest and disinvest. One thing is sure though, this crisis is definitely a threat but also the occasion to increase the gap with competition.
Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work you rate highly?I have to mention Dane Anderson from Springboard Research, a guy I tremendously respect for his analytical and people skills. He is visionary on how our industry will evolve and I am delighted by the opportunity I have had the past three years to work with him as a partner. I also value a lot Sébastien Ruest at IDC.
- Around Nick McQuire / CCS Insight in 10 questions
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