Archive | AR

We’ll Miss You Claire

Claire Dessaux

It was with great sadness that I heard Claire Dessaux, Managing Vice President, Research Content and Delivery at Gartner, died recently.

Claire struggled with health issues off and on in recent years, but she was still too young to leave us, and her premature death robs the world of a steadfast friend, reliable co-worker, and cheerful presence for those who knew her.

For the analyst relations community, it’s worth taking a moment to mourn her passing even for those who didn’t know her, as we lost a key advocate in Claire. In her role at Gartner, Claire pushed for more transparency, predictability, and communications with vendors. Longtime, experienced Gartner analysts would grumble about how Gartner management continues to mechanize research, making it increasingly templatized and fungible, but Claire understood the need for consistency, scalability, and getting away from the “prima donna analyst” that plagued Gartner pre-Gene Hall. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] How Analyst & Advisory Relations translates to Business

Christian Holscher (IIAR website)When even hyper-successful companies like AWS invest in dedicated analyst and advisor relations management although they seem to dominate their markets anyway, it suggests they realize much more value in AR than ‘only’ to position high in an industry report. 

Even small innovative businesses seek to engage regularly with the likes of Gartner, Forrester, IDC or with boutique analyst firms, although they may be far from making it ‘onto’ a flagship MQ or Wave or Marketscape report. Why do they prioritise time and money to AR?

Because it pays unique dividends that are harder to achieve otherwise.

This article aims to explain AR results in the context of the business functions that it supports and based on years of hands-on experience. Continue Reading →

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IIAR Webinar: Le CXP Group, a European powerhouse?

CXP Group logo (IIAR website)Over the past few months, the analyst community has been experiencing an array of changes, with many analyst departures and career moves shaking up the status quo. As we come back to work and the summer days fade into autumn, there’s no better time to catch-up with analyst firms and understand what has changed, what’s to come and exactly how their services can support AR pros and their programmes.

On Thursday 13th September at 1600 BST we will be discussing this and more with Yannick Carriou (LinkedIn, @YCarriou), Chairman and CEO of the CXP Group who will be providing a deep-dive on CXP Group and PAC, as well as addressing the acquisition of Ardour, a move that was widely discussed in the industry.

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Around Giorgio Nebuloni from IDC in 10 questions

We have had the pleasure for Giorgio taking time out of his busy schedule to take part in our infamous 10 questions. Giorgio is a research director for IDC’s  European Infrastructure and Cloud research and leads the team of analysts responsible for tracking the cloud infrastructure, server, storage and converged systems markets in Western Europe.

What are your coverage areas?

My main focus area is European infrastructure, a broad spectrum of things ranging from Multicloud management software to service provider datacenters. I’m also increasingly involved in this year’s research sprints (we call them Launchpads) around emerging technologies (Quantum, Edge, Blockchain…) driven by brilliant analysts across multiple IDC teams.

What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?

Analysing the analysts! Three trends I see: the traditional need for ad-personam advisory to IT buyers is not only steady but increasing. With technology topics becoming ever more complex (see the interdependencies of Multicloud, or political nature of Blockchain use cases or AI’s ethical dilemmas), leaders need fact-and face-based opinions more than ever. The second is the changing nature of data. Data are the wheels of any self-respecting research vehicle. In the 3rd Platform era, generating data differently, from new sources and manipulating it better and faster than ever before is crucial. The third is the growing connection between branding, marketing and analyst house services – i.e. the analyst company becoming a digital agency.

What’s your typical day like?

The day starts at breakfast or in the bus, swiping through emails. After that it’s a lot of “Can you guys hear me alright?”, pulling out the toothpaste at security LHR T2 and providing feedback on reports and deliverables. The fun part are workshops or improvised whiteboard meetings with customers, and the unpredictable, sometimes heated conversations with IT buyers at our events. Also enjoyable are the rare isolation days (often in summer heat) with a piece of paper and pen, drawing the research agenda for the next months.

Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?

Not a horror – but a thriller story. I’ve once attended an analyst event linked to a broader customer conference where the facilities were just not fit (or not booked properly). The poor AR person spent two days leading a bunch of analysts (distracted fellas in general) across ultra-crowded, immense halls from one meeting room to another, holding a tourist guide sign and a megaphone. In rare cases did the analysts arrive on time. In some cases they never made it to the meeting room. I think a couple of analysts are still roaming in that conference center (haven’t seen them since). In another case I flew into Vegas on the promise of an analyst track with executives – except there was no such thing, only technical sessions. Learnt my lesson on asking for agendas then!

What is your research methodology?

The ideas stem from anecdotal discussions with “Pathfinder” IT buyers and other IDC analysts. The proof points from primary research in form of small to large surveys. The hard data on market numbers from vendor conversations and guidance process.

Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?

Most of AR folks I know are great and enable easy access to vendor executives. I’ve worked closely and for a long time with Jos Baltes (HPE) who is not only hyper-responsive but also great to get a beer with. Most recently Caroline Dennington (NetApp) adds the British humour (!) – Antonella Crimi (Equinix) and Anna Carzana (AMD) the Italian flair. I’m missing several I know – impossible to mention all!

Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.

I’ve recently attended a one-day analyst-only event where keynotes were kept to less than 1 hour and most of the day was spent on one-to-ones, with some breaks in between. I thought it was great – even if I ended up talking myself dry. A good AR practice is booking events in the calendar well in advance – even if analysts themselves are sloppy RSVPers!

What are your offerings and key deliverables? 

Within my team, we deliver on a subscription program with report, surveys and customer enquiries; release multiple Tracker datasets on a quarterly basis and work on challenging custom project advising vendors and buyers on infrastructure-related decisions. A recent one I liked was advisory work for a custom chipset manufacturer to identify and position their Edge Computing and Gateway strategy.

Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?

With a mixed Asian-Italian family we are way too fussy about food. For the Londoners – L’oro di Napoli in South Ealing. For the Frankfurters – Sushi Boy in Eschersheimer Tor; Lam Freres in Bahnhofsviertel.

What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?

Selecting what NOT to do or cover is the tough one for the next 6 months. With Innovation Accelerators kicking off it’s like the candy shop, but one can’t do everything properly! Next 30 minutes getting home on time for dinner!

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The role of a good AR: does it change during a crisis?

Analyst relations nightmares (IIAR)Although crisis situations can at times feel out-of-the-blue, AR nightmares can usually be solved by adhering to a simple to follow maxim: it’s all about communicating what you can, when you can.

However, in an escalating crisis of epic proportions, it’s important to ensure that you, as an Analyst & Influencer Relations specialist, tend to your priority analyst relationships first and foremost.

Here are three simple tips for how to survive your first crisis as an AR professional working within an escalating crisis, or in a PR nightmare scenario where you’re asked to give advice on how to inform the analyst community. It can be anything from a briefing which has gone off the rails to an issue in a local market that mushrooms into a global performance or critical security flaw.

No matter the issue, there are ways as guardians of the relationships our Vendors have with Industry Analysts, that can be replicated across most B2B technology and marketing companies. Continue Reading →

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Peter Sondergaard leaves Gartner

Peter Sondergaard at the Gartner IT Symposium (IIAR blog)Several pieces have already been published on the  unceremonious departure of Peter Sondergaard, Gartner EVP of Research (LinkedIn, @petersonderg)already (ZD NetResearch Live, Kea), none adding any facts above and beyond the SEC filing.

We ran a quick poll yesterday and results weren’t conclusive: some will miss Peter who has been one of Gartner’s stars and highest earners over the years, masterminding the Gartner Symposium keynotes and presiding over the research agenda. Others welcome the change.

He is replaced by Mike Harris, formerly head of IT research (GITL). He was himself succeeded by Yvonne Genovese who moved from heading Gartner for Marketing Leaders (GML) where she drove high growth from a small base to a sizeable business.

AR pros should monitor closely research direction, quality and methodologies following this leadership change.

We wish good luck to Mike in his new role and send a heartfelt appreciation to Peter, also wishing him the best for his next steps.

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[INVITATION] Calling all NYC based AR Professionals and Analysts

Wendy Shlensky, IIAR, Spotlight AR and Wipro invite you to the 1st ever IIAR NYC Summer Party. Come along to mingle with your fellow AR practitioners and Industry Analysts. When: Tuesday 21st August 2018. Where: Pier I Cafe, Riverside Park South and 70th Street on the Hudson River, Manhattan

Wendy Shlensky (LinkedIn, @WLS26), IIAR, Spotlight AR and Wipro invite you to the 1st ever IIAR NYC Summer Party. Come along to mingle with your fellow AR practitioners and Industry Analysts.

When: Tuesday 21st August 2018.

Where: Pier I Cafe, Riverside Park South and 70th Street on the Hudson River, Manhattan

 

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[GUEST POST] What I Learned from 5 Years at Gartner

Martin Kihn / ex. Gartner, now DentsuMonday — on what would have been my five-year anniversary at Gartner — I left to join Dentsu Aegis Network. It was a good span at a well-run company doing God’s (technical) work. It was simply time.

When I was a management consultant, I couldn’t describe what I did. Not to my parents, not to strangers. Not in a way that convinced them I had a real occupation, and maybe I didn’t.

Try describing what an “industry analyst” does: “Research, writing, 30-minute consulting engagements.”

“But you can’t solve any problem in 30 minutes.”

“Just watch me.”

“You don’t know anything about the company.”

“I know something.”

“But — but — but –”

The assumption most people make is that marketing problems are unique. Perfect knowledge of the context, the company, its tech stack is required to construct a solution. This assumption is false. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Hsu: AR must bet bigger on fewer analysts

Andrew Hsu‘s (LinkedIn) views on AR prioritization are handy. In a recent presentation, he stressed the role of prioritisation in helping us to think about AR, be more refined than our instincts can allow and to help us justify the choices we made when we allocated limited Analyst Relations resources.
Andrew’s starting point is the need to make smart, big bets. Rather than randomly allocating effort without focussing on influence, we want to focus our energy on a smaller number of analysts and, I think it’s implied, to boost the impact of the analysts we prioritize.
The common-sense of AR is problematic. We focus on the people we know, the ones who are cynical about our brand and the ones with whom we do the most business. Instead, Andrew says that we need to focus on both our business goals and the attributes of the analysts. He hits the nail on the head when he says that AR people are often ‘doing God’s work’ – merely serving the analysts. Instead, we need to focus on the timely needs of the business. Continue Reading →

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In memory of Brian Riggs

We were very sad and shocked to hear the news that Brian Riggs of Ovum and No Jitter died this weekend in a swimming accident.

He was truly one of the best, and the analyst world is poorer without him.

Dave Michels of TalkingPointz has written a very lovely post about Brian which is very much worth reading if you knew him.

Our condolences go to his family, friends and colleagues. Rest in peace Sir.