Today we ask our 10 probing questions of Ray Wang from Constellation. Ray (Linkedin, @rwang0) was runner up in this years IIAR Analyst of the Year for 2015 as voted by analyst relations professionals.
1. What are your coverage areas?
Digital transformation, disrupting technologies, service providers transition, cloud bill of rights, vendor selection, software licensing and pricing.
2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
The market is shifting as we see new market influencers enter the arena. These new influencers come from media, consulting, academics, authors, event organizers, membership organizations, and of course analysts.
3. What’s your typical day like?
I really have no typical pattern other than that every day is different. I could be on a flight the whole day enroute to give a keynote to 10,000 people and I could be in a hotel room taking internal calls around research editing process or doing 5 briefings, 10 inquiries, 3 press calls at the same day, or I could be out at a conference packed with meetings from 7:00 am to 1 am as we get to know clients, partners, and the vendor.
4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
I think mine is pretty public. It had to deal with SAP’s AR team given the order to have me fired from Forrester during the Leo Apotheker days. In fact, I have to thank Leo as he put me on the map and set off my career. But the horror story is when you helped someone get a job, an ex-boss who you thought was a friend, you don’t forget how they treat you, even under pressure because how they treat you under pressure is a real sign of who they are as a person.
5. How do you position your firm?
We have a 2:1 ratio of end user clients to vendor clients. The business model is all about supporting the early adopter buy side clients. We hope to grow that ratio 3:1 next year and 5:1 in 3 years.
6. What is your research methodology?
We spend time on primary research via inquiry with early adopters and exposure to case studies and early adopters from vendor customer references. We use a number of survey instruments and will also have a standard set of survey offerings in 2016 at a macro scale.
7. Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention?
I think there are quite a few. I hope I don’t offend anyone for not naming any. I’ve always respected Peggy O’Neill for how she protected her team from the politics in the organization’s she’s worked at. I think Alyssa Gilmore does a great job building out a brand new categories at Bloomberg. Sharon Sulc at Infor has done a great job of training the next generation of AR Managers. Sarita Torres and Elissa Houchin at IBM who really have built strong AR programs where AR managers end their career not start their career and have the respect of their management team. We see a lot of good things with Cass Whobrey in the C&E team as she repairs the damage from years of bad PR masked as AR at Microsoft. Melissa Czapiga and Vera Wangdo are doing a bang up job at MuleSoft as they navigate pre-IPO. Anne Chen at salesforce.com is probably one of the hardest working people we know. Ricarda Rodatus at Oracle has transformed the team esprit there and Kris Barondess, Christine Wan, Brenda Connor and many others have led a lot of the change. We keep seeing continuous improvement in how Maria Poveromo, Janet Arsenault, Erin Singleton drive AR as a strong influencer throughout their organization and with their influencers. There’s a lot more to name but that’s a few off the top of my head here at 5:00 am in the UK
8. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended?
Salesforce and IBM have one of the top AR analyst events. It’s really the access to key executives and the knowledge that they take your input seriously. I would have said Microsoft Dynamics had the best program, but they cancelled it as they were going through a reorg. Fall Analyst Event was the best program in the industry hands down but we’re sad it’s been put into a larger Microsoft program to be defined in the middle of a large conference, which defeats the point of intimacy and input.
9. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
For our buy side, we focus in on our Constellation Executive Network membership. You can access our daily news analysis product CR Insights, you get 8 – 15 minute inquiries, and you get access to the community all for a low price of $4950. If you want access to the full research library and a ticket to our flagship innovation summit Constellation Connected Enterprise, that’s about $14,950. This is for buy side only. Our offerings for our sell-side clients are based on a pre-paid credit model. The prices per credit drive down as the number of credits increase. We offer access to the research seats, reprint rights, surveys, webinars, videos, panel moderation, speeches, keynotes, competitive analysis, advisory hours and days.
10. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant/food that you’d like to share?
For fun, I love to just kick back and spin vinyl records, hit the ski slopes, learn golf with the kids, or find a tennis racquet. But food and good conversation is the best. Imagine if you could have the best dinner party every night of the week with rich broad and engaging conversation. Food wise I’m fine with street food to gastro experiences. It’s really understanding the story behind the food, the art of preparation, and of course the experience.
11. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
We want to keep growing our buy side influence. We face challenges in hiring analysts as we seek some stiff criteria. We’re looking forward to doubling our business in the next 3 years so a lot of growth challenges ahead. We will be hiring a few more client success folks.
12. Is there another analyst whose work you rate highly?
I’ve always respected the work of Ted Schadler, Andy Bartels, John Rymer, and Bobby Cameron at Forrester. It’s the combination of experience, storytelling, and rich insight that make them legends. On the Gartner side, I love the work of Scott Nelson behind the scenes, I think Merv Adrian’s rocked it over there, and Peter Sondergaard’s doing a good job catching up to our coverage areas. We know we have to work harder with him aggregating a lot of our ideas! But we also think there is great work at IBM Institute for Business Value and Michael Chui at McKinsey Institute. Phil Fersht has done a good job disrupting the BPO space and keeping it fresh. We love working with Scott Liewehr and watching him build out new products and giving Forrester a run for the money.
Recent ‘IIAR Around in 10 questions’ posts
- Around Julie Short from Gartner in 10 questions
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More posts mentioning Ray
- The Superstars: Ray Wang, Jeremiah Owyang and Deb Schultz join Charlene Li at Altimeter
- Ray Wang named IIAR Analyst of the Year 2009
- IIAR launches the AR Cafe with opportunity to meet Ray Wang
- Around Ray Wang from Forrester in 10 questions
- IIAR Webinar – A Fiery Fireside Chat with R “Ray” Wang of Constellation Research and Phil Fersht of HfS
- IIAR London Forum: Meet R “Ray” Wang and discuss the future of the industry analyst and the wrap-up
- “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”
- The Ray Constellation Experience
- Winners announced: IIAR Analyst of the Year 2015
- The IIAR Analyst of the Year 2014
- New Eastern star sighted in the Constellation
- Has time come for a disruptive analyst firm?
- And the IIAR Analyst of the Year 2011 is…
- Introducing constellation research
- Analyst of the year 2009 (part 1)
- The IIAR Analyst of the Year survey — and the winner is….
- Digital Disruption Tsunami takes over Analyst firms
- IIAR Analyst of the Year 2012: Winners Announced