James Quin, Director of Research, Events Division tells us more about himself and what he respects among AR professionals. Until recently James was Lead Research Analyst looking after all research in the areas of IT Security, Regulation and Compliance and Disaster Preparedness. You can find out more about James on LinkedIn and on twitter.
- What are your coverage areas?
Until recently I ran the Risk Management practice at the Info-Tech Research Group. In the last little while however I’ve taken over our Events division. I still have over-arching responsibility for all aspects of the IT Security areas of our taxonomy but now balance it with staying current with everything we write about, as well as everything our clients want us to write about.
- What’s your typical day like?
The typical day starts at about 5:30am so that I can have some quiet time to actually work before the clients and junior analysts need their daily care and feeding. Once 9:00am rolls around it’s inquiry calls, content review, and meetings most of the day. Depending on the specific research cycle there can be briefings (vendors) and interviews (clients). If it’s an events day, it’s a drive to the airport, a plane to somewhere, a presentation and one-on-ones before the hotel room to catch up on the day.
- Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
I can’t tell you how many times a Magic Quadrant or Wave has been raised as a proof-point in a briefing, or been used as a rationalization for a better result in a completed Vendor Landscape. Newsflash – we have our evaluation process and criteria and I really don’t care what the other firms think. And most importantly, nor do my clients.
- How do you position your firm? What is your business model?
Info-Tech Research Group is unique in the market in that our primary focus is the mid-sized enterprise; don’t get me wrong, we have good penetration into the F1000 but our practical, tactical approach really resonates with businesses that don’t have an arm and a leg to spend (on either IT or research). We are almost 100% end-user focused with a subscription rather than per-use membership model.
- What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less?
We are a client-driven research house; we collect a ton of primary data from our clients through interview and survey. We cite them in our research and involve them in setting the research agenda. It’s the best way to keep the material relevant.
- Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? And why?
Roger Knott, currently with Fortinet but who I’ve known since his days with Symantec, is a standout. He’s personable and knowledgeable, makes sure he understands the company and products he’s representing as well as the analyst and research house he’s representing them to. And he’s never once spelled my name wrong – attention to (that) detail goes a long way in my books.
- Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
The good events are the ones that respect my time and realize that I’m there to work. Exposure to company executives and key product roadmaps is great, but filling my time with long-winded marketing-speak presentations gives me nothing I can actually use while keeping me away from other work I could be doing (and will now have to do late at night or very early in the morning).
- What are your offerings and key deliverables?
I (along with my team) produce 12 IT Security and Risk Management focused research projects a year, eight of which are Vendor Landscapes of key security technology areas. I supplement this with about 200 inquiry calls and a few dozen speaking engagements a year.
- Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
I’m a real foodie but my travel schedule precludes me from being in the kitchen as much as I’d like these days. That said the Royal Potato Salad out of Ottolenghi’s “Plenty” is sinfully good and pretty quick and easy to make. And you don’t even need the quail’s eggs for it to work.
- What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming six months? And for the next 30 minutes?
At times it seems to be remembering in which city I am, what time zone it is, and what presentation I need to deliver. Managing a team while on the road isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do either.