[GUEST POST] Gartner Announces pilot to handle mergers & acquisitions updates for Magic Quadrants

Gartner Magic Quadrant

Gartner today announced a new, limited pilot for flagging significant mergers, acquisitions, major corporate changes that are considered impactful for a Magic Quadrant.

The research giant is frequently criticized for being slow moving in reacting to mergers and acquisitions so it’s to be commended for rolling this out. If you’re a major player in a Magic Quadrant and you were acquired after the MQ was published and that acquisition is very helpful for your company, it feels like a very long, long year before it’s updated again and you get “credit” for the thrilling event that just happened. Similarly, if one of your competitors just got swallowed by some known doofus overlord who has no vision for the acquisition, never invests in companies they buy, you’re licking your chops at this highlighting this news. In short, this is Gartner taking the pragmatic view that major acquisitions and mergers are important to flag for customers to consider in their buying decisions.

The pilot kicks off today and will end in Q3 2020. It affects only 11 Magic Quadrants to start with, so double check your market before panicking and pestering Gartner with questions on this. Gartner announced it by proactively inviting players in the 11 MQs in a conference call today. If it goes well, don’t be surprised to see this rolled out to all MQs eventually, which is why this high-profile pilot is worth monitoring, so proactive analyst relations managers know what to expect later, as our industry is rife with mergers and acquisitions.

I like the measured approach Gartner is taking to flagging important deals that impact a market. It’s not resorting to something radical such as updating dot positions abruptly and issuing a new MQ on short notice just because of one deal. Instead Gartner will issue a 1-2 pager about what happened, why it’s impactful, and it will be prominently flagged when anyone reads that MQ later so the reader can take that into account when reading the MQ.

Gartner is being considerate in giving vendors pre-publication review for fact checking (remember, it’s a privilege, not a right!) and vendors have two days to respond to short drafts so they’re not caught off guard and can work with Gartner to correct anything egregiously wrong in the drafts.

The escalation process is still the same, so if you’re having a heart attack while reading the draft, you’ll know what to do. It’s Gartner’s call on whether a particular deal is worth writing about, so don’t be that clueless vendor who thinks the world revolves around you and automatically assume your deal is worthy. You can of course attempt to make the case, as that’s our job as analyst relations managers.

You can get more information about the pilot at this Gartner web page.

Kudos to Gartner for introducing this. I certainly wouldn’t want a return to the old days of FirstTakes when analysts caught up in M&A fever would forget to be sober business consultants and instead acted like excitable journalists and popped out an inflammatory note without much thought. But mergers and acquisitions can impact a Magic Quadrant and it’s nice to see this incarnation of reflecting current events is more deliberate and thought out. 

Peggy O’Neill / VP Analyst Relations, Informatica,  (@pegoneillLinkedIn) is Vice President, Industry Analyst Relations at Informatica and has suffered and celebrated many an acquisition with Gartner over the years.

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