It’s been fascinating to watch Ovum for the past 15+ or so years, acquiring Butler Group, merging and un-merging with Datamonitor, buying RHK and then been purchased by event giant Informa.
The last chapter saw Informa buying the research-part of IHS, namely IHS Markit Technology (August 2019), Tractica (July 2018) and moving it all into shiny new offices on the Southbank together with Informa’s other brands: Screen Digest, iSupply, Computerwire (bought in August 2016), Heavy Reading, Infonetics, IMS and Displaybank.
The logical next step was naturally going to be a consolidation and it’s what’s been soft-launched today to its clients under the name Omdia.
I was briefed last week by Tim Jennings (IIAR> interview, (LinkedIn, @tjennings) and Clint Wheelock (LinkedIn), InformaTech’s new Chief Research Officer my take is that it’s an interesting combination with great potential.
Structurally, Omdia sits in InformaTech, alongside the other Informa divisions, altogether totalling 11,000 staff and GBP 2.3b revenues:
- Informa Markets, for exhibitions, digital content and data (a competitor of Reed)
- InformaConnect, for content-driven events and digital communities
- InformaIntelligence, for digital intelligence products, research and consultancy
- and Taylor Francis Group for scholarly research and reference-led content
The new Omdia research firm totals 450 analysts (30% in the USA and 30% in APAC), although it was unclear from the briefing I received last week whether that number is all of InformaTech or just Omdia. It covers a wide range of research formats, different teams with very different approaches to this, from high-touch advisory à la Ovum to a more quantitative approach or short takes.
This will be a transformation going way beyond today’s launch, bringing all those analysts together -a non-trivial task as any analyst relations person knows. The roadmap they’ve shared with us looks both promising and realistic –the latter was not the case with previous efforts).
This is a fantastic opportunity to bring some diversity of opinions in the mix, with a credible global challenger on a size similar to Forrester and offerings not that dissimilar to IDC -with events in addition. We’re seeing the name Ovum finally laid to rest, so a little pinch to the heart there.
On the plus side, Omdia brings experience outside in, being events-heavy with 200+ gigs -a great way to become an experience company. Inquiries have been productised into an “Ask the analyst” service.
On the minus aspects, AR pros will need to watch for three things:
- how that transformation is implemented
- the business is still mostly vendor-facing on the research side, limiting its direct influence although it claims 10,000 subscribers -not a small number
- the line between sponsored GTM products and RAS research is a little blurry
IIAR Webinar ***UPDATED***
The IIAR> will be running a webinar on Tuesday 11th February at 1630 GMT with Clint Wheelock (LinkedIn) / Chief Research Officer and Tim Jennings / Research Director at Omdia (IIAR> interview, LinkedIn, @tjennings), moderated by Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, LinkedIn) / IIAR Board Members and Anja Steinmann / (LinkedIn, @AnjaSteinmann) / IIAR UK Chapter lead.