Archive | IIAR

Useful statistics for making the case for AR

At Gartner’s AR Forum in Orlando last week, guest speaker Joshua Reynolds from Hill & Knowlton gave a presentation about social media trends and analyst relations, and provided some up to date statistics on how AR impacts sales. For those AR managers who didn’t make it to Orlando, Gartner just posted Josh’s presentation at its AR Community page today. Do take a look at Josh’s presentation and take note of the survey of tech buyers and how they use analysts. AR managers will be able to use these statistics with their internal audiences to make the case for analyst relations.  http://www.gartner.com/technology/about/ar_community.jsp

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IIAR at Gartner EMEA Symposium

The IIAR will be holding a couple of informal gatherings at Gartner’s EMEA Symposium in Cannes, for those interested in networking with AR peers and finding out more about the Institute. These include a breakfast meeting at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday November 4th, hosted by Ludovic Leforestier, and a dinner meeting at 7:30 p.m. on the same date, hosted by Susan Lyddon. Please email me at hkirkman at analystrelations dot org for further details.

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IIAR Christmas Cafe

Come and join the IIAR for an early celebration of Christmas at our next AR Café in Central London from 6:00 p.m. onwards on December 3rd. Members, non-members and analysts are welcome.

For more details and to RSVP, please contact IIAR Secretary Hannah Kirkman at hkirkman (at) analystrelations (dot) org.

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IIAR Best Practices Paper: managing the Forrester Wave

The Forrester Wave™: Global Delivery Infrastructure Management, Q4 2005 By Robert McNeill with Robert Whiteley III, , Olivia Ester

The Forrester Wave™: Global Delivery Infrastructure Management, Q4 2005 By Robert McNeill with Robert Whiteley III, , Olivia Ester

Last week IIAR hosted a call with AR professionals about sharing best practices for managing the Forrester Wave. The IIAR last month published a paper about the Wave, which outlined common best practices in dealing with this high profile research report. Forrester is also in the middle of reviewing changes to the methodology, although it has signaled it doesn’t expect major changes this go around.

Curious to get other AR managers’ thoughts on the Wave.  What has been your experience, and do you have any best practices you want to share?

For IIAR members, the IIAR Best Practice Paper is available on our extranet > Managing the Forrester Wave

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IIAR Launches Certification for Analyst Relations Managers

Have you ever been embarrassed by a fellow AR manager? Some clueless person who purports to represent our profession and has not the slightest idea about the difference between an inquiry and a briefing? Or thinks the more you pay an analyst, the better the coverage will be?

Not much you can do about it, as anyone can hang out a shingle and call themselves an analyst relations manager. But at least those of us who take our profession seriously can push for high standards and look for ways to separate the amateurs from the pros.

The basic certification test that IIAR is launching today (read the official press release) will hopefully enjoy widespread adoption and become a way for hiring managers to differentiate between the poseurs and the pros. The IIAR is also looking at advanced certification requirements and will roll that out at a later date.

It’s the first time we are trying to answer the question, “What are the basics that an AR manager should know?”  The exam covers topics such as citation policies, market share methodology, analyst etiquette, and event best practices. Regional knowledge, business model basics, and pricing and licensing fundamentals are also in there.

Not sure if you’re ready? Sample questions and a quiz are available here.

Candidates interested in taking the exam should make arrangements by contacting me directly at peggy.oneill@analystrelations.org as passwords are distributed individually.

What do you think? Is certification helpful in promoting higher standards in our profession? Should it be mandatory instead of voluntary?

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IIAR PRESS RELEASE: THE IIAR ANNOUNCES ANALYST RELATIONS CERTIFICATION

London, 1 October 2009: Today, the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) is announcing its Analyst Relations Certification examination, the first independently administered qualification for analyst relations (AR) professional.

The examination is aimed at encouraging AR managers to master best practices, analyst protocol, and basic knowledge of the industry.

AR professionals who take the examination, which consists of a multiple choice test on a wide range of topics related to the discipline and execution of analyst relations, are deemed “certified” by the IIAR. The test is administered by the IIAR and is open to both members and non-members. The fee is £100 for non-members and includes the opportunity for one retake if candidates initially fail the test. The exam is free for IIAR members.

In addition, the AR Certification examination will form the foundation level for an Advanced AR Certification, which is currently under development. The Advanced AR Certification is aimed at AR professionals with four or more years of experience, and assessment will be based on length of service, proven track record and contribution to the enhancement of analyst relations as a profession.

Peggy O’Neill, Board Member of the IIAR, said “We’re excited to be launching the AR Certification examination, which for the first time provides AR professionals with an opportunity to demonstrate their industry experience and knowledge through an independently administered qualification.”

Kathy Nottingham, Director of Industry Analyst Relations for Lawson Software, and the first analyst relations professional to be certified by the IIAR, commented “Industry certification is good for analyst relations professionals as individuals and as a group. While each AR role is unique, the practice of AR has evolved to a point where we have established proven best practices. The IIAR has developed an AR certification test that validates a baseline of AR knowledge and expertise.”

For further information and to view sample questions, please click here.

About the IIAR
Established in April 2006, the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations is a non-profit organisation dedicated to raising industry awareness of the value of analyst relations, promoting and sharing best practice in AR, enhancing communications between vendors and analyst firms, and providing opportunities for AR professionals to meet and network with their industry peers. For further information, visit www.analystrelations.org.

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Around Philipp Bohn from Berlecon in 10 Questions

Philipp Bohn, Berlecon’s Mobile & Telecommunications Analyst in Berlin, has found the time to answer 10 questions. Here is what we have found out – thanks to Philipp Bohn again!

1. What are your coverage areas?
I cover communication and collaboration technologies for enterprises and SMBs, specifically VoIP, Unified Communications, Fixed Mobile Convergence.
2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
Some market trends I observe:

  • International technology vendors increasingly demand local market research.
  • Boutique analyst houses are further developing their profile and footprint.
  • Strong demand for maximum transparency regarding research methodologies and business relationships.

3. What’s your typical day like?
My daily work is modularised, core modules being:

  • Check RSS reader, work on current report/white paper/presentation/etc., get briefed.
  • In between, I started experimenting with Twitter to stay connected with other analysts and AR professionals.

4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
It’s not really a horror story, but in the course of an analyst tele-briefing that I requested the vendor representative confessed to just going through the respective press release.

5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model?
Berlecon Research is an ICT research and consulting boutique primarily (not solely) focused on the German market.
Our two main research topics are IT services and outsourcing as well as mobile and business communication technologies.

6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less?
Our methodology follows high standards regarding scientific research and transparency. We collect information about the German ICT market through qualitative and quantitative research as well as discussions with corporate users and technology vendors.
– For technology assessments, we cooperate with Fraunhofer ESK.

7. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
I think a good AR event is primarily about the right people and how you are able to connect personally as well as professionally. It’s important not to feed analysts with marketing messages.
8. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
We sell independent research studies, competitor analyses, customised research as well as strategic consulting for ICT vendors and users. Berlecon also supports ICT vendors with strategy workshops and speaking engagements.

9. Any favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
My current addiction is udon noodle soup from Susuru, a Japanese restaurant here in Berlin.

10. What is your biggest challenge for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
To defend opinion leadership on the unified communications market in Germany.
To increase international footprint without overly increasing my carbon footprint! 😉
Next 30 minutes: surviving Berlin car drivers’ traffic antics on my way home.

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Next IIAR discussion group on Managing the Forrester Wave

Tomorrow, we’ll be holding our regular discussion group call, and this month the topic is ‘Managing the Forrester Wave’. The session will be led by Peggy O’Neill, who recently authored a white paper for the IIAR on this subject. IIAR members who would like to join the discussion, please contact IIAR Secretary, Hannah Kirkman. Details of upcoming events can be found on the events calendar.

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The IIAR annnounces its new Board

London, 24/09/09 – The IIAR is delighted to announce that its new Board for 2009/10 has been elected as follows:

Thank you to David Rossiter and Sally Elliott for their contribution to the last board, as well as to Hannah Kirkman, our secretary.

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An update from Ovum

Since the last post I wrote on Datamonitor/Ovum/Butler after Mark Meek and David Mitchell came to present at the IIAR London Forum, they have been busy streamlining the organisation and bring together their research products.

I’ve had many conversations with them, and as far as I can tell, they seem to be executing well:

– As promised, the IT brands have all been consolidated under Ovum. Datamonitor provides the line-of business/non-IT research and Orbys provides sourcing research. Butler events are to be co-branded, as Ovum Butler.

– Clients should now have a single sales rep, apart from large international clients where it makes sense to have sales representatives in each market e.g. US and EMEA

– The research portfolio is being consolidated, and new research will all be in a consistent format. This process will take place over the next 3 months or so

– There will be a single team of analysts, with topic coverage areas grouped by horizontal technologies and services under Tim Jennings and the verticals under Ian Charlesworth

– The telco is pretty much unchanged, apart from the addition of a new set of contact centre research

Ovum’s running a webinar tomorrow; I’ve pasted the invite below with their permission.

What do you think?

Ovum Ovum
Imagine a technology analyst firm that understands the specific business issues of your industryWelcome to the new world of Collaborative Intelligence

As of today Ovum has integrated it’s IT offering with Datamonitor Technology and Butler Group creating a single, more powerful research partner under the Ovum brand. In addition Ovum’s 150+ ICT analysts will be working side-by-side with the Datamonitor Group’s 350+ business analysts – an approach which we call Collaborative Intelligence.

This Collaborative Intelligence approach will produce research and analysis that tackles the problem of the business value of IT.

Collaborative Intelligence

Attend our online launch webinar
Dial in and find out why SageCircle – Analysts of Analysts – say “The reorganization shows real promise to shake up the analyst market”.

Join David Mitchell, Ian Charlesworth and Tim Jennings, Directors of technology research who will introduce the new research agenda, Collaborative Intelligence philosophy and how it will benefit your company.

Wednesday 23rd September – 2.30pm GMT, Daylight Time (GMT +1, London)/8.30am EST – Book now >>

http://www.uptilt.com/images/mlopen_post.html?rtr=on&siteid=13120&mid=2098119&mlid=61772&uid=6123813127

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Ray Wang named IIAR Analyst of the Year 2009

London, 25 August 2009: The Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) today named Ray Wang, most recently Vice President, Principal Analyst with Forrester Research Inc., as its Analyst of the Year for the second year running. Ray was nominated by a global survey of 137 analyst relations professionals. Runners up for the title were Jon Collins of Freeform Dynamics and David Mitchell of Ovum. Jon Collins of Freeform Dynamics was voted the EMEA Analyst of the Year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given an industry-wide retrenchment in IT research spending, the traditional global analyst firms performed very strongly this year. Gartner, Forrester Research and IDC were ranked first, second and third respectively in the Analyst Firm of the Year category. The three firms were also highly rated in terms of their importance, achieving top three places in five of the nine industry segments. Nevertheless, boutique firms and specialists, particularly those based in Europe, also managed to hold their own in a tough economic environment. Freeform Dynamics, RedMonk and Quocirca all appeared in the top five Analyst Firm of the Year in EMEA, and their analysts scored highly in terms of importance in SMB, developer/IT Pro and Software, and green IT/sustainability, respectively. What do AR professionals most value when working with analysts? In addition to knowledge and market insight, flexibility in approach, responsiveness and willingness to listen all scored highly. “At a time when vendors are having to evaluate carefully where they should invest their limited funds, it is refreshing to see best-of-class analysts receiving recognition for the value they deliver.” said Jonny Bentwood, Board Member for the IIAR. “Now, more than ever before, analysts have to prove their tangible worth and those that provide independence, integrity, flexibility and deep industry knowledge of their specific areas are being recognised as true partners for vendors and IT buyers.”

Commenting on his award, Ray Wang said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised by the IIAR, especially in a year where clients challenge analysts to provide more actionable and personalised advice. As we rely more on social media tools to improve client delivery and outreach, I’m often reminded not to forget the other part of the equation – building strong relationships. In fact, the best AR pro’s I work with master the art of fostering strong relationships and understand that art often trumps science when dealing with people.”

A full list of the winners can be found at http://blog.analystrelations.org.

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IIAR Analyst of the Year 2009 (Part 2)

IIAR Analyst of the Year logo

Honesty, integrity, knowledge, curiosity, insight, passion, respect and influence

These characteristics were repeatedly highlighted when AR Pro’s were asked to identify the analyst house and individual who they wanted to recognise as being the best in the industry. This second post in the “analyst of the year” series aims to highlight individuals and firms who are seen as the best in the industry regardless of their speciality sector. See here for the first post.

At a time when vendors are having to evaluate carefully where they should invest their limited funds, it is refreshing to see best-of-class analysts receiving recognition for the value they deliver. Now, more than ever before, analysts have to prove their tangible worth and those that provide independence, integrity, flexibility and deep industry knowledge of their specific areas are being recognised as true partners for vendors and IT buyers.

Without further ado, here are the results:

 

Global Analyst of the Year

1st Ray Wang, Forrester
2nd Jon Collins, Freeform Dynamics
3rd David Mitchell, Ovum
4th James Governor, RedMonk
5th Steve Blood, Gartner

This is an incredible coup for Ray having been named the analyst of the year in 2008. Some people have argued whether his influence will diminish now that he has left Forrester but in my opinion, when we get to the cream of the analysts, companies seeking to work with analyst houses tend to invest in the individual rather than the firm they work for. Ray has of course now left Forrester and joined Charlene Li as a Partner at Altimeter Group looking at bridging today’s world of enterprise apps with the E2.0 world of connected business platforms. Commenting on this award, he explained:

It’s a great honor to be recognized by the IIAR, especially in a year where clients challenge analysts to provide more actionable and personalized advice.   As we rely more on social media tools to improve client delivery and outreach, I’m often reminded not to forget the other part of the equation – building strong relationships.  In fact the best AR pro’s I work with master the art of fostering strong relationships and understand that art often trumps science when dealing with people.

I mentioned this last point in the previous post but believe it is worth reiterating as to why so many European analysts tend to feature so well. At first analysis, I was immediately concerned over the relatively high number of awards that have gone to EMEA-based analysts and firms thinking that this was due to the physical location of the voters.

However, 72% of all respondents were based in the US or Canada.

My personal view is that whereas a great deal of syndicated research tends to get created and published from the US, the European analysts have to rely on their revenue stream coming from their local market knowledge, deep messaging insights and customer focus. To put it bluntly, they need to prove value otherwise they will be out of a job. This point may well be the most contentious and I am happy to discuss this point further.

 

Global Analyst House of the Year

1st Gartner
2nd Forrester
3rd IDC
4th Ovum
5th AMR

 

This year has seen the larger, global firms dominate the awards when it comes to sector importance. It is of little surprise therefore that when it came to picking an individual firm who represented the highest value, Gartner came top. Their success should not be underestimated. In a time when many firms are cutting back on their analyst expenditure, the fact that the Gartner remains so highly recommended (even though they are far from cheap) is tantamount to the calibre of people they have working for them as well as their relevance and influence they bring to the table. Peter Sondergaard, SVP & Global Head of Research, Gartner was delighted at Gartner’s recognition and explained:

We really value this feedback from the analyst relations community as we are fully committed to constantly improving the quality of our products and the service we provide to all our clients worldwide.

I am especially pleased to see that Ovum and AMR can be recognised after they both missed winning ‘importance’ awards by sector by coming in fourth place. As an aside, and similar the UK premier league, it is always refreshing and healthy for there to be a highly competitive market where the larger firms cannot rest on their laurels and must continue to innovate or be overtaken by the competition.

 

 

EMEA Analyst of the Year

1st Jon Collins, Freeform Dynamics
2nd David Mitchell, Ovum
3rd James Governor, RedMonk
4th Steve Blood, Gartner
5th Neil Rickard, Gartner

It has been a great year in Europe for boutiques. These firms, more than any, have had to challenge traditional analyst business models and the boundaries in which they operate such that the art of defining what an analyst is and does has had to change. Nevertheless, a few firms with considerably fewer analysts have seen their share of voice rise disproportionately – within the market they are recognised by AR Pros as being able to contribute a level of service that is exemplary. Jon Collins, who has recently taken over the role as MD at Freeform Dynamics explained upon receiving his award:

I’m delighted to be called out, I see this as a vote of confidence not just for me but the whole Freeform Dynamics team, not to mention its collaborative philosophy and approach, which keeps us all grounded in the real world of mainstream IT usage and makes this job such a pleasure to do.

 

EMEA Analyst House of the Year

1st Gartner
2nd Freeform Dynamics
3rd Forrester
4th RedMonk
5th Quocirca

Gartner once again steal the show. With a solid presence of industry experts, they are recognised as being the best in the region. However, a significant number of ‘boutiques’ also make the top 5 – edging out likely candidates such as IDC and Ovum. In the previous post I explained that it is of little surprise that firms are cutting back and focusing on the analyst houses that have the greatest global reach. However, it is somewhat refreshing that other houses have managed to carve out their own niches – notably: Verdantix and Quocirca in the green IT space and RedMonk and MWD in the developer/ IT Pro sector. It is in these smaller, areas where ‘boutique’ firms have managed to push their own USP and become sector leaders.

 

Comparing important analysts and ‘analyst of the year’

it’s quite an interesting dichotomy between the analysts who were voted as most important by their coverage areas (as it highlights perceived expertise) compared to the analyst of the year overall ranking. The characteristics that stand-out amongst this crowd are difficult to combine but necessary to be a good analyst:

  • Social/Relationship (ease to deal with)
  • Domain Expertise
  • Influence/Presentation skills

 

Final thoughts

My congratulations go to all the firms and individuals who have been recognised with awards. The third and final post to be published in a couple of weeks will look at which firms provide the greatest offering for bespoke research, consulting/inquiry and reports. It will also identify which firms have increased in relevance the most over the past year and the key reasons why people tend to work with analysts in the first place.

As I complete this second post, a statement that Vinnie Mirchandani made to me when I was discussing the definition of an industry analyst sticks to my mind:

“analysts” are just a small subset of a 1000 points of influence

Regardless of the debate regarding ‘who is an analyst?’ – a clear point remains. We work in a time where those that can influence buying decisions are in high demand. If analysts wish to remain a significant player within this, they must continue to offer the level of service and value that the firms and individuals who have been recognised by the IIAR in these awards provide.

 

Methodology

1) Entrants:

This survey was open to anyone who works in analyst relations in any country, either in-house or at an agency/consultancy. In order for someone’s entry to be validated, they had to submit their email address and company name to verify they not an impostor trying to distort the results. This personal information will not be distributed or used beyond sending copies of the results to all participant. The survey was open for specific period of time and IP addresses were taken to ensure that someone could not vote twice. A total of 137 AR Pros completed this survey.

2) Questions:

The survey specifically focused on an individual’s perception of the analyst world. A full list of every analyst house was made available for respondents to select their preference.

3) Segmentation:

Respondents were asked to specify their submissions based upon geography and segment. Based upon these criteria further analysis could be made of the results to identify specific regional or segment champions.

If you have any questions or comments about this survey please contact me (@jonnybentwood)

 

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What makes a good analyst event?

The IIAR’s teleconference in July focused on vendor analyst days. One point everyone on the call agreed to was that the most influential analysts go to vendor events for face-to-face meet ups (one-to-one sessions) with a vendor’s top execs who are impossible to get time with at any other point during the year. If this is the case, why is it that the internal management at many vendors prioritise the big sessions at an analyst event instead of making more time for one-on-one sessions and for networking?

Yes, one-to-ones are the most valued by analysts but not always practical; in the worst case, they should be reserved for analysts that fit into an AR programme’s top priority list or specifically address a knowledge gap for an executive.

At a recent analyst event that I attended, a senior analyst at a global research firm said he “can always tell the junior analysts because they ask questions during a Q&A that give insights into their research agenda. If you notice, it’s rare that a senior analyst will ask questions in a group setting.” It could be that senior analysts get more time with vendors which results in other ‘junior’ analysts having to ask more questions.

For some vendors, the one-on-one issue is addressed by encouraging an open analyst discussion with senior executives. However, US and APAC analysts or a vendor’s management team may not be comfortable with the European-style of analyst debate.

Another technique that some vendors are resorting to is announcing major news at analyst events. Sometimes analysts won’t travel to events simply for one-on-ones if they have already been talking to executives on a regular basis. [For tier-one vendors, analysts never seem to have enough time to pose questions to C-level execs.] Announcing news at an event can result in greater analyst attendance and generate more interaction with the analysts. However, this PR-driven strategy has pros and cons. With regards to the latter, treating analysts like journalists can be a risky proposition for AR managers trying to manage the expectations of internal management.

With analysts less willing to travel and seeking ROI for being out of the office, addressing the balance of content and interactive sessions can make the difference between a passable event or a really great one.

For the analysts who read the IIAR’s blog, here’s your chance to let AR managers know about the do’s and don’t’s for vendor AR events. With more virtual analyst events happening (i.e., webinars and Telepresence), is the dominant model for an analyst event changing? Please share your thoughts on analyst event format/agenda, logistics, location, content and duration.

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Analyst of the year 2009 (part 1)

In a year where analysts have had to prove their worth to fight back against the reduction in discretionary spend, we would like to applaud those companies and individuals who have shown a commitment to providing a service that goes above and beyond what is expected.

This series of blog posts will showcase the results of the recent ‘Analyst of the Year Survey’. The results of this survey were collated over a three month period during which time 137 AR pros responded to a questionnaire available on surveymonkey.

In case you are wondering, the highest accolade of “Analyst of the Year” and “Analyst Firm of the Year” will be announced in the second post in this series.

 

Results (part 1)

Most Important Analyst House

image

 

Most Important Analysts

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*NB. Not enough data was collected on “important consumer analysts” to make the results confident.

 

Opinion on Firm Importance

Note – this post refers to ‘importance’ NOT analyst of the year which will be covered in the next post.

When I compare the results from last year there seems to be a significant trend to the larger international houses. Gartner, Forrester and IDC seem to haul in the majority of opinions as to which firm is the most important.

Perhaps it is of little surprise that firms are cutting back and focusing on the analyst houses that have the greatest global reach. However, it is somewhat refreshing that other houses also are listed and have managed to carve out their own niches – notably: Verdantix and Quocirca in the green IT space and RedMonk and MWD in the developer/ IT Pro sector. It is in these smaller, areas where ‘boutique’ firms have managed to push their own USP and become sector leaders. Whether this was by choice or accident, I don’t mind but perhaps this is a new trend that we should monitor.

It is also worth giving a special mention to both AMR and Ovum who between them seemed to just miss out as they both made a high number of 4th places.

 

Opinion on Analyst Importance

There is a partial correlation between analyst house importance and analyst importance with a few significant exceptions. Most notably where people attach more importance on the individual rather than the company. This could be because of the bespoke value they give to firms and their unique intelligence and insight.

Notable analysts who fall into this category include David Mitchell from Ovum, Ray Wang from Forrester and James Governor from RedMonk.

David Mitchell, commenting on the results said:

Being recognized by your customers is always an honour, especially when the recognition comes from the IIAR and its members. Being recognized in enterprise, software, and services is especially gratifying.

 

European excellence

Even though the IIAR is based in  the UK, the fact that new chapters are opening up around the world is testament to the fact that this survey was truly global in its reach. At first analysis, I was immediately concerned over the relatively high number of awards that have gone to EMEA-based analysts and firms thinking that this was due to the physical location of the voters.

However, 72% of all respondents were based in the US or Canada.

As to why the Europeans tend to so well…

My personal view is that whereas a great deal of syndicated research tends to get created and published from the US, the European analysts have to rely on their revenue stream coming from their local market knowledge, deep messaging insights and customer focus. To put it bluntly, they need to prove value otherwise they will be out of a job. This point may well be the most contentious and I am happy to discuss this point further.

Given that there are NO US boutique analysts that appear in the “most important” list, perhaps the question that should be raised is “what gives European based analysts this reputation in the US but not vice versa?”

 

What factors make someone pick a firm or individual as important

Brand, sales coverage and processes (to ensure the quality, independence and exhaustiveness of the research) are universally important.  So is the impact that an analyst firm has on deals.

Individual traits include: bringing unique insights to the table, being easy to deal with, delivering value to end users and vendors with each interaction, and understand user needs whilst providing tangible real world benefits.

In the second of this series of blog posts, the coveted “Analyst of the Year” and “Analyst Firm of the Year” will be announced.

 

 

Methodology

1) Entrants:

This survey was open to anyone who works in analyst relations in any country, either in-house or at an agency/consultancy. In order for someone’s entry to be validated, they had to submit their email address and company name to verify they not an impostor trying to distort the results. This personal information will not be distributed or used beyond sending copies of the results to all participant. The survey was open for specific period of time and IP addresses were taken to ensure that someone could not vote twice.

2) Questions:

The survey specifically focused on an individual’s perception of the analyst world. A full list of every analyst house was made available for respondents to select their preference.

3) Segmentation:

Respondents were asked to specify their submissions based upon geography and segment. Based upon these criteria further analysis could be made of the results to identify specific regional or segment champions.

If you have any questions or comments about this survey please contact me (@jonnybentwood)

 

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Brief summary of the last IIAR Forum presentation by Datamonitor

Duncan Chapple from Lighthouse AR has posted on his blog the following entry: Datamonitor, Ovum & Butler cohabitation makes AR easier (Analyst Equity).

It’s a good summary of the last IIAR London Forum, kindly hosted by David Rossiter from Sunesis and at which Mark Meek / Datamonitor CEO and David Mitchell / SVP IT Research.

Overall, I would say the reactions were very postive, juste tempered by a “wait and see” attitude towards whether they will execute efficiently. This is my personal take on some of the reactions and by no means an IIAR position or the aggregation of all the present members opinions. We can’t say too much as we’re bound by an NDA, but here are my thoughts -for what they’re worth.

Still personally, I think this goes in the right direction and if they they execute it correctly, we will end up with:

  • one single point of contact for the commercial aspects
  • unified deliverables formats and research agendas
  • no more duplication in coverage areas

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The growth of twitter (with analysts)

Everyone knows that Twitter is huge. Not a day goes by without another story showing how it saved someone’s life, broke a news story first or has fundamentally changed the way we think – its growth and entry into everyday life could justifiably allow its usage to be called (in technobabble bingo) a ‘paradigm shift’.

The questions I have been debating focus on growth. Specifically:

  • Does news fuel growth in Twitter or does uptake fuel news?
  • Do analysts (as supposed ‘fortune tellers’) get it right and are they ahead of the curve or mere sheep?
  • Why is this important?

To answer these questions, I have looked at my favourite community of analysts. With a little help from Carter Lusher’s analyst twitter directory as well as my own research, it has been possible to monitor the uptake of analysts on Twitter.

One of the fortunate aspects of using analysts as the criteria for this search is that there are very few closed communities that we can easily track growth in – if you know any let me know and I’ll add them to the table.

The graph below shows the growth of analyst participation on twitter, compared to twitter in the news (as shown by Google Trends) and unique visitors to twitter (as shown by Compete).

image

Does news fuel growth in Twitter or does uptake fuel news?
Not surprisingly the two are well connected – with a clear conclusion that in the early part of this year news significantly drove new visitors to twitter.

Do analysts (as supposed ‘fortune tellers’) get it right and are they ahead of the curve or mere sheep?
Analysts appear to be ahead of the curve. Whereas there is still a clear relationship between their uptake on news/growth they still seem to be slightly in front of the trend.

Why is this important?
It is an analysts job to understand technology trends. Obviously sometimes they get it wrong but if they get it right and predict that we should be using product x as it will be the next big thing – then, I will use it too. Our role as communication professionals is to engage with our key audiences no matter where they have these discussions.

The recommendation I would make is that we continue to monitor what the analysts predict are the major changes in how people use social media. There is a great advantage in being an early adopter of a product – such as being a trusted participant. Whereas we do not have time to try and test every new solution, there is lot to be said by watching analyst behaviour – if they are using a new solution then maybe we should too. Maybe we should be taking Jeremiah’s advice and look to get ahead in the areas of social colonization, context and commerce.

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AR professionals should canvass inside firms

It’s all too easy to assume that by briefing the lead analyst on a vendor or on a coverage area, your job as AR professional is done.

Don’t…

While some firms have robust sharing practices, such as repositories for presentations and vendor briefing teams that check which other analysts may be interested in a briefing, you can’t rely on those for the following reasons.

  • You know best what you’re trying to say.
    Vendor briefings follow the firms’ coverage model, and it usually works. However, you might want to brief some analysts in a “new” area, as you’re about to launch a new product or respond to new trends. Think for instance of Cisco entering the servers market, Oracle launching apps for the iPhone, etc…
  • Politics hinder the information flow Some topics breach the usual silos within analyst firms and as a result you need to brief several analysts. In an ideal world, we would all be working in happy-family-like-companies and all work together towards achieving the highest customer satisfaction. However, some analysts may not view positively others stepping on their coverage area while others may not spontaneously and proactively share the information. It’s not only job protection, it’s also the fact that they tend to have incredibly busy schedules, with some targeted to produce over 15 notes per year, in addition to the briefings, the sales calls, the events and the customer engagements.
  • Metrics can prevent analysts from collaborating
    The way people are incented can also play a role. In some firms analysts get more brownie points for notes they write solo (which is IMHO as perverse as incentives for long notes). So, do make sure you tell everyone what you’re up to to facilitate collaboration (but don’t force it).
  • The coverage model may not work for what you’re trying to say
    For instance, if your are doing AR for some products that are not part of a firm’s coverage map but may impact the edges of some analysts’ interest areas. There are also firms that have decided to cover “roles”, which can mean that they won’t effectively cover industries. In those cases, try to find a theme that’s of interest to some analysts or propose vertical case studies to horizontal analysts.

Key learning point: look further than the “obvious” analysts, remember your job is to sell ideas and not everyone’s buying off plans!

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IIAR breakfast meeting at Forrester IT Forum

If you are planning to be at the Forrester IT Forum EMEA in Berlin next week, and are interested in finding out more about the IIAR and networking with your peers, we will be holding an informal breakfast meeting from 08:00 a.m. CET on Wednesday June 3rd at the Maritim Hotel.

If you would like to join us, please drop me a line to let me know at hkirkman (at) analystrelations (dot) org.

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