An announcement today confirms that Oracle, IBM and SAP have come together to buy IDC. It’s a shock move that is shaking the powerhouse of the industry, Gartner Group.
Documents relating to the deal show that that former Gartner leaders are being brought in to lead the transformation. Gartner’s research head, Peter Sondegard, and former CFO Chris Lafond will turn IDC into a tough competitor for Gartner. An SAP executive familiar with the deal said this will “shake up the industry. It is going through a patch of mediocrity. There are so many new buzzwords and acronyms being needlessly invented that it’s getting ridiculous and boring.”
The new firm will only sell to end users. Vendor contracts will not be renewed. In a year’s time, IDC could claim to be truly independent. As well as investing in the new IDC, IBM will also provide its Watson artificial intelligence system. Watson will support new research and advisory services will be around a 3-dimensional matrix (3DM) which will be accessed through the Oculus Rift virtual reality system. Clients will be taken into a virtual world of research where they will initially interact with automated Smart Analysts. Depending on their questions, clients will move seamlessly between interacting with the AI-powered Analysts and live ones. IBM’s Watson system will be underpinned with database and content management technology systems from Oracle and SAP. The consortium has announced that “Super Analysts” including Ray Wang, Phil Fersht and Fabrizio Biscotti will also be modelled for the new “Robotic Automated Analysts”, to be called RAAs. This automation will allow IDC to dramatically increase the number of end-user clients it can serve, to provide a joined-up view across analyst silos and to provide multiple language support.
After the initial technology investment, the robotic analysts will save millions from IDC’s bottom line. Gartner shares have already fallen 17% in shadow trading in Asia, and are expected to fall when the New York Stock Exchange opens later this morning. Early analysis of the deal is on Duncan Chapple’s blog.
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