Today’s star analyst in our Around in 10 Questions series is Albert Pang who heads up Apps Run The World. You can find Albert on Twitter under @appsruntheworld, and on his blog www.appsruntheworld.com.
1.What are your coverage areas?
Our firm is 100% dedicated to worldwide applications research, which includes both horizontal apps like ERP and vertical ones like insurance claims processing designed for the 21 industries from aerospace to utilities that we cover in depth. Our objective is to become the No. 1 source for apps research for users, vendors, tech investors and key stakeholders from system integrators to business process outsourcers. For me personally I have been covering financial accounting, HR, industry-specific, and other mission-critical operations apps markets for 25 years.
2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
A lot of new firms including ours are being formed because we want to reshape the world of IT market research with fresh perspectives, open access content and domain-specific relevancy. Instead of recycling old ideas, we come up with new ones that carry greater relevancy, immediacy and impact to what our clients are looking for. They want uncompromising insights and value-based market share data. We deliver. Ultimately the clients will decide which firm is capable of delivering the biggest value for their buck and that’s where I think the market is headed.
3. What’s your typical day like?
I get up at 5 and start working with my team in Asia Pacific, which does the bulk of our research and Web development. I work until Noon and usually go out for a 4-mile run in 28 minutes. Following a big lunch, I sometimes manage to catch a quick nap if I don’t have any meetings. Then I work until 9ish, capping the day with a light dinner. I go to sleep no later than 10. Since I often work out of my home office when I am not traveling, I get to spend some quality time with my daughters after school helping them with their homework and occasionally cooking a few good dishes for them.
4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
Through the years I have seen so many AR professionals not getting support from their executives because some of them treat us like the way they deal with the media. What we should do is to bring more candor and mutual understanding into our interactions. A well-prepared executive team that can be open and transparent about their vision and strategies is one that is going to instill trust and confidence among industry analysts. And that will go a long way.
5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?)
We operate very differently from most analyst firms. We offer our registered members free and open access to our online research library, which is growing everyday in terms of the volume of research reports on different apps markets that we cover. By this fall, you should expect to have unfettered data access to more than 2,000 pages of research documents on our site, which will continue to scale. By establishing a big audience, we will be able to fund our operations through corporate sponsorships, consulting projects and advisory services that our clients are willing to pay because of our expertise and value-added services. Because we cover a broad spectrum of the $100B+ apps market, users, vendors, tech investors and other key stakeholders will contribute equally to our revenue mix.
6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less? (primary research, F2F or phone, secondary only, etc…)
After conducting rigorous primary research based on user and vendor interviews and surveys, as well as secondary research from publicly available data and documents, we turn to our SCORES methodology – which stands for Strengths, Customers, Opportunities, Risks, Ecosystem, Shares – to evaluate a database of more than 1,000 apps vendors to predict if they are able to gain or lose share in the near term based on their past ranking and latest performance.
7. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
The AR portal at IBM has lots of good and timely information. My suggestion is for all the vendors to beef up their extranets to make it easy for analysts to look up presentation materials, technology roadmaps and detailed product information. I recently attended Judith Rothrock’s annual GrapeEscape event, which has been one of my favorites over the years because it’s intimate yet well structured. Earlier in May I went to Hyderabad, India, for the Mahindra Satyam analyst event, which was also nicely done in terms of the vision I got from the new management team.
8. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
We offer extensive coverage of the applications markets including 21 verticals and scores of horizontal segments from CRM to talent management. Through that level of research, we can help customers evaluate vendors using our rich database and an innovative methodology. We offer consulting and go-to-market services to vendors meeting their business planning and competitive market intelligence needs. We can help investors and channel companies identify the best vendors to invest and partner with in any specific applications market segment. Soon we are going to be offering our corporate sponsors exclusive access to regularly scheduled webinars to discuss specific market segments and vendors. Our deliverables include dozens of research reports, each of which contains well-written profiles of the top 10 apps vendors using our SCORES methodology that rates them above average, average or below average. They are compared against each other within their peer group in a very intuitive and easy to understand format. Simplicity is the key to delivering complex research.
9. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
My wife and I enjoy gardening and we do a lot of that on weekends. I mow the lawn to get more exercise into my routine and reflect upon what I did during the work week. Pretty relaxing, to tell you the truth.
10. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
After months of building our online research library, we are ready to serve our clients as well as a growing base of registered members. The biggest challenge is to brace ourselves for things that are beyond our control. The other day our site was down for a few hours because our ISP was reconfiguring our server without telling us in advance and we got a lot of complaints from our members. So there is always something that we can do to improve user experience, which will be our biggest challenge. For the next 30 minutes, I need to help my wife pick tomatoes and peaches from our garden. It’s harvest time after months of hard labor. By the same token, our clients will be able to reap the benefits of the hard work that we’ve put into building our research library.