From the horse’s mouth

We tweeted earlier this week about some changes afoot at the Horses (formally known as HfS Research) and Phil came back galloping with some comments, which we’re only too happy to relay below.
This answers a few questions indeed. I’ll write up something later.

Firstly, there’s been some changes in Europe:

Other recent staff changes include:

In total, HfS has 15 analysts, covering IT outsourcing and Business Process Outsourcing trends globally, and this includes Europe-specific, in addition to Asia/Pac specific reports and market coverage, in addition to the US and Latin America. HfS is actively recruiting additional analysts into our US and India operations.  HfS has two fulltime staff in Europe at present – Brian Robinson and Sudhanshu Saxena.  We are welcoming resumes for candidates interested in sales, analyst positions and consulting functions.

They see their difference being to cover shared services and operations issues, i.e. selling outside the IT function to business function heads, such as CFOs, CPOs, COOs and HR heads. If true, they would be leading the pack of analysts who talk tirelessly that IT needs to align with business but not cover business issues.

In terms of business model, they use extensively social media tools and claim to have 57,500 opt-in subscribers to our research site and blog, to push research out to the public. The idea is to offer 50% as freemium and sell the rest as premium, to vendors and users with the latter making up for more than half of the revenues.

Bottom line: although staff turnover is always destabilising for vendors, HfS assures us business is good. We take this as a proof you can sell subscriptions via SocMed, not a revolutionary model but maybe one that can scale?

What’s your opinion? How do you use HfS?

1 thought on “From the horse’s mouth”

  1. Thanks for the update guys! It’s been quite a ride for us over the last 18 months, since we launched, but today we’ve built a global full-time analyst team with offices in US, Europe, India and presence in Australia. We’ve found our major differentiator in the market has been building a team with the right balance of experience and personality which can embrace the new research model (more details below). We’ve found that taking real practitioners out of industry who have analytical and writing skills, make the kind of analyst user clients empathize with. We’re veering away from recruiting analysts for the traditional firms who don’t have much real world experience.

    Here are a few points of differentiation we feel have helped our growth and establish ourselves in the industry:

    Unparalleled Sourcing Reach and Influence

    • The number 1 sourcing/services content platform with one hundred thousand web visits per month
    • Close to sixty thousand research subscribers
    • A preeminent Peer-to-Peer networking forum of Sourcing Leaders “HfS 25″ – that work with us behind closed doors with us to help define our industry, the like of which hasn’t been done before. We believe demand side direction is more pertinent than supply side stimulus.

    Highly Visible Community

    • Leveraging our social network to research demand trends we have surveyed over 12,000 IT and Business executives just over tge last year
    • We drive thousands of attendees to our industry webinars on a monthly basis
    • We have built a social presence with a dedicated Linkedin groups of 14,000 practitioners
    • Our qualified Google news status results in thousands of downloads for available research
    • Relationships with key partners including SIG and Outsource Magazine to extend reach and influence

    Broad and Deep Sourcing Coverage

    • We do Sourcing. We don’t try to be all things to all people. What we do, we do very well. We focus on the integration points between business process, IT and Cloud Computing.
    • From Research to Practice. We are Practitioners and analysts – Not ivory tower types that have never “lived a deal”. We are involved in user sourcing advisory work helping us practice what we preach and honing our Points of View with input from the trenches.
    • We have true global coverage of services with dedicated coverage of US, LatAm, Europe and Asia/Pac regions

    Fresh and Transparent Culture

    • We don’t hide behind our firewall – we make the call
    • We hire analysts with personality and reward people that are unafraid to voice a balanced honest opinion to the market
    • We shy away from “paid-for” puff pieces, such as white papers

    Always happy to discuss further – and thanks IIAR for providing a great discussion forum for these issues,


    Phil Fersht | Founder & CEO, HfS Research
    email: phil dot
    web: | blog:

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