Of course the readership of the blog also reflects the IIAR’s growing audience. 150 people have joined us on Yahoo, 33 on LinkedIn, and even 32 hipsters on Facebook. There are also 18 on the German-language list. To find our more, visit us at analystrelations.org.
Do you want your favourite analyst to be recognised?
Do you feel that enough recognition is given to your preferred analyst house?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions – please fill in the analyst of the year survey now. This survey is open to everyone who works in AR. Send the link to your colleagues in the industry and make sure your voice counts.
… don’t delay though as the deadline for the survey is rapidly approaching (end of April 2008).
To take part in the survey please click here.
1. What are your coverage areas?
CCS Insight specialises in research about the mobile and wireless industry — but we have a diverse range of customers from all sectors, because mobile is on the agenda of almost every company these days. Personally, I’m best known for my knowledge of mobile devices and everything that is associated with them — applications, services and so on. Continue Reading →
Continuing our series of analyst interviews, next into the hotseat is David Hofferberth, from Service Performance Insights, one of the few analysts covering the Professional Services market -a huge but little spoken about industry.
- What are your coverage areas?
I cover business applications that are used in the professional services sector. Traditionally, these have boiled down to include Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Professional Services Automation (PSA). However, now I am also beginning to review other applications that include Human Capital Management (HCM), Procurement and Business Intelligence (BI) The lines have begun to blur as more product-driven organizations realize services will become one of their core differentiators going forward, I am now actually spending more time now talking to the professional services divisions of these companies.
- What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
There are obviously fewer major analyst firms than there were a decade ago, similar to what I have seen in the business application market. I would expect there will always be three to five large IT analyst firms to keep the market competitive and provide different points of view. However, I have seen a number of analysts, including myself, who have ventured out on their own. This independence has allowed us to focus on specific areas of interest, without the need to change our area focus every time some new supposed “breakthrough technology” comes along.
- What’s your typical day like?
I have a long but enjoyable day typically. My commute is very short, as I only have to walk up one floor to my office. That is when I am not traveling. I begin each morning scanning the e-mail I received overnight as well as the headlines from the various technology and business-related periodicals. In the morning I normally interact with people over in Europe, while later in the day I speak with people on the West Coast and Far East when necessary. I try to deliver any information that is asked of me in the morning, as I prefer to spend my afternoons conducting research and writing.
- Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
I have only had two AR interactions that went a poorly in my ten years of being an analyst. The sessions were argumentative and not very productive for either me or the company I interviewed. Ironically, neither of these two organizations lasted six months after my meeting with them. It probably came down to their ego in trying to tell me how the world has changed, and my disagreement that what they were doing was really world-changing.
- How do you position your firm? What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?)
I established my firm so that I could continue my research into workforce productivity through the use of information technology. Ideally, I conduct research in the professional services sector and how they use technology, then publish the research and sell it on my website. From time to time I do consulting with end-user organizations when they have a specific need such as an independent opinion of their application infrastructure and where they should go ahead going forward. I also give speeches at a number of software conferences as well as other independent conferences focused on specific topics that interest me. These conferences generally bring leads for additional work, as well as provide me contact information on organizations that I eventually survey. Currently my revenue is approximately 75% from end-user organizations and 25% from independent software vendors.
- What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less? (primary research, F2F or phone, secondary only, etc…)
I conduct primary research via surveys, by phone, or in person. I believe that primary research is fundamental to my ongoing success.
- Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? And why?
I will say a Ludovic Leforestier of Oracle because he is the one who introduced me to this Blog. Most of the AR staffs that I have met with keep me informed on a regular basis. However, Ludovic does a better job than most of keeping the current with Oracle’s activities.
- Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
The larger software firms typically have the most seasoned and polished AR practices. They understand the importance of keeping analysts informed in a timely manner. Analysts don’t like to be caught off guard when announcements are made. I especially like it when they provide me with concise information on current announcements in a book or PDF format, so that I can keep it and review as needed. I also like when these organizations provide me with a CD or thumb-drive with all of the relevant presentations on them that I can use as needed.
- What are your offerings and key deliverables?
My firm has a number of offerings: from marketing strategy, to solution development, to presentations to reports. Each of the offerings have key deliverables that range from a one page a write up of the meeting that I attended to more customized research and analysis, which ultimately leads to presentation slides.
- Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
One of the great things about being an analyst is that during your travels you have the opportunity to eat at many great restaurants. Currently, my favorite restaurant is Boulevard in San Francisco. However, it is always nice to stop at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant during my travels. In London, my favorite restaurant is the Bleeding Heart, which combines excellent food and an intriguing atmosphere.
- What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
When I became an analyst again two years ago I thought that I would be spending a majority of my time covering the PSA market, as that is where I gained market credibility a decade ago. However the ERP solution market has begun to make significant inroads in the professional services sector. I must continue to research the ERP solutions, as they are much more complex than the PSA solutions I spent most of the last decade covering. It is important for me to understand each of the vendors’ integration strategy, and how that will improve performance going forward. I suppose for the next 30 minutes I must work hard to get this document completed, as well as handle a number of phone calls that continue to interrupt me.
- Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work you rate highly?
There aren’t many analysts who cover business solutions for the services. I would suppose that I always had a lot of respect for Matt Light at Gartner Group who occasionally ventures into this area.
Or more to the point, who analyses the analysts? In this case it is the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR).
In a marketing world that is dominated by PR, the creation of a dedicated body to promote AR best practice and stand as a forum on issues has been warmly welcomed by the community.
- Which analysts deserve the title ‘analyst of the year’
- Which analyst companies deserve the title ‘analyst firm of the year’
- Which firms have most increased / decreased their relevance in 2007
The survey is open to in-house and agency AR professionals, and a summary of the results will be sent to all respondents. Please note that anonymous responses and those from analyst firms will be discarded. Individual responses will be kept strictly confidential and only aggregated results will be shared.
To take part in the survey please click here.
In the second of our series of ‘email interviews’, we open up the IIAR blog to Robin Bloor (@robinbloor) of Hurwitz & Associates (and yes, the founder of Bloor Research) to share his views on the industry.
1.What are your coverage areas?
All technology except business applications such as SAP ERP or Oracle’s PeopleSoft.
I understand why the ‘pay for play’ model can seem an attractive option for smaller companies looking to generate business but firms that go down this route always tend to get found out. Their credibility is eroded, they cannot attract quality analysts and their business slowly disappears.
Any analyst firm which values its long-term reputation in the market has to ensure that its research is independent (and also seen to be independent: for instance, I’d argue that there’s a greater need for analyst firms which produce sponsored research to be very open about their methodologies so they avoid any suggestion of conflict of interest).
However we do need to be realistic about the economics of the analyst business. Most analyst firms couldn’t exist without vendor cash – be it via sponsored research, consulting projects or speaking engagements.
And so long as analyst firms clearly communicate who is sponsoring their work, I’m fine with that. After all, the old principle of “caveat emptor” must always apply.
But what about:
- the UK company that publishes a company profile – but gives no indication that the piece was commissioned by the vendor (and for which the vendor was effectively given copy approval)
- the analyst that writes blog posts promoting a project that his consultancy is involved in – without disclosing his connection
- the division of a large group that prioritises briefings based on the likelihood of selling reprints of the resulting company profile
- the analysts that use a briefing as an opportunity to pitch their own services
- the global company that says its analysts are more likely to recommend vendor clients to prospective buyers (because the analysts know clients better than those that are non-clients)
- the vertical firm that refuses to take briefings with non-clients because it’s so busy doing consulting work it can only handle briefing requests from clients
- and what about this experience highlighted by the corporate AR team at HP?
Thankfully these kinds of behaviour are limited and the examples are few and far between. But it does still happen.
As analyst relations professionals, we face a challenge. What responsibility do we have for ensuring these practices are stamped out? Are we proactive or do we just refuse to support them? Do we have a ‘quiet word’ in the right ear? Do we out the bad apples in public?
Or do we turn a blind eye – because actually it’s good to know that you can sometimes bung a few quid to an analyst and get something positive written-up about the company we work for?
Amongst other things, all analysts now have access to the materials and the scheduling is easier. Also, vendors are getting a single point of contact -a welcome return to the client relationship model that META Group used.
This is a great improvement however some other questions like materials under NDA and access by Gartner’s consultants have been raised at the last IIAR Forum and would merit being clarified.
The IIAR is now on Facebook. Come along and join us.
Today, the German Analyst Relations Working Group, (Deutscher Analyst Relations Arbeitskreis, DARA) will meet for the first time this year (and for the 9th time since it was founded) at Fujitsu Siemens Computers‘ offices in Munich. It is interesting to see that more German-speaking professionals from technology companies are becoming interested in being a part in an organization that helps AR professionals network. One point we look forward to discuss will be the collaboration between DARA and the IIAR. Both organizations have made tremendous progress in the last few months:
- Not only has the IIAR won new members, it has also helped to raise the profile of Analyst Relations as a profession and communications activity within the IT and telco sector. The IIAR has moved into the league of internationally recognized organizations which add value for analyst relations experts.
- The DARA is just about to publish its book, “Industry Analyst Relations in Deutschland” and has produced a paper on ethical behavior in IAR. It has further developed its membership base and has become the most recognized German network for analyst relations professionals in
What will be the role of DARA in the future? While the IIAR is an international organization, hosting guest speakers such as Gartner’s Aaron Yaverski, GVP High Tech Product Management and Andrew Rosenblatt, Product Development, the DARA could regularly contribute new pieces of
“local knowledge” to the AR community. For example, one guest speaker at the next DARA forum will be the Managing Director of Business Application Research Center, BARC, a growing Germany-based research house, mainly focussing on BI. Many DARA members are interested in learning more about this research firm and look forward to the session.
Simultaneously, the German forums will also transfer international knowledge to German AR professionals. The DARA will increasingly seek to host analysts from abroad, in person or via web conference: For example, Redmonk‘s James Governor will also present as a guest speaker at the forum.Of course, there is also the possibility to bring members from both locations together to organize an exchange of ideas and best practices. Such a forum would make a wide range of opportunities available and I think many of us believe something like this would be well worth a try.
In my opinion, one of the most important questions is where the AR community will see the most significant synergies between DARA and IIAR and how we can bridge any geographical distances better. A first step is already made: Two of the IIAR board members are German analyst relations professionals. Reflecting on the feedback from many IIAR members, I get the impression that these board members will have the remarkable opportunity to help connect both organizations better. They could facilitate further progress on the road to a global AR community.
I am interested in other views on this matter -please feel free to comment on this post.
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this blog post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of HFN Analyst Relations or other members of the IIAR. We can’t be held liable for any unintentional misrepresentation on this post but are happy to correct any mistakes or nonconformities.
About that research, another point of importance is that the five star rankings are now available to IT vendors, but we can’t rank them let alone comment on them – like we can do on Forrester’s. While I understand there may be some sensitivities around this, it would be great to see Gartner opening the kimono and harness the community around itself.
Then we went in to “pie in the sky mode” as Gartner asked what we’d like. It was very encouraging to see Aaron and Andrew proactively soliciting views and opinions from the European AR community on what we would like to see in the future.
For me, we need a paradigm shift: Gartner needs to move from being a super Google, from presenting us information in the best way they can (and they’re doing a good job at that) towards a partnership approach. I’d like Gartner.com to be more like Facebook and less like my online banking site: of course it’s great to be able to check which bank transactions I’ve made but it would be way better if I could use the site to work with the analyst.
My Gartner-Facebook site would look like this:
- I could check the analysts availability and that would help solving one of the biggest headache AR people have: scheduling briefings for busy execs and busy analysts who have more chance to meet in the airport lounge than in my customer visit centre. Oh, and by the way, if that Australian analyst that I deal with all the time is planning to visit London, I’d like to know please. It would be both a best use of analysts time as their travels would be optimised and save vendors money collectively.
- Andrew showed us a “my activity” box which displayed the latest searches any given user has made. But hang on, that’s NOT my activity with Gartner. What I’d like is a report of all my inquiries, all my briefings and all my SAS days, etc.. This would help solving my second problem: reporting back to my boss my interactions with Gartner.
- Next is the collaborative aspect. We spend a lot of time PDF’ing, zipping and sending Powerpoints (because we like our 50+ slides decks with lots of customer logo pages and our email systems don’t like anything over 10MB), receiving draft research notes and sending them back with our comments. I’d like to be able to post them on the “analyst wall”, check she/he’s got access to the latest version of our deck because otherwise he’ll be advising customers using old information. And also, make it available to his/her colleagues –or not if it’s under NDA.
- For SAS days, the GartnerFacebook site would have a project page with a checklist and attachments: first scoping call, presentation abstract and title if it’s a speaking gig (that’s important for our marketing teams to send invites), briefing material, agenda of the day, logistics, etc…
- The list could go on and on, but I guess by now you understand what I’m up to: I’d like a workflow extranet to interact with analysts. Some of the pieces are there already: at the IIAR we use Google Docs to share and peer review documents, I use Google Calendar to discover that I can’t attend the Forrester drinks because it clashes with the School Bingo Night, we have an extranet to post content, etc…
So, in short, what I’d like is a tool that reflects what we do together with the analysts, rather than something were I can just consume research. Gartner for AR is going in the right direction with providing us better insight into our clients and prospects’ mind, but it’s still a one-way street.
PS: From what Aaron and Andrew said, there are going to be many more discussions in the next few weeks and months. I’d encourage you to share your views and thoughts with Gartner – either by commenting on this blog or talking to Gartner directly. It looks like there are going to be some good and interesting developments happening later in the year. Now is our chance to make sure our voices are being heard.
PPS: thanks to Hannah Kirkmann, Marius Jost, David Taylor and David Rossiter for their input and for reviewing this post.
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this blog post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle or other members of the IIAR. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and compliance with copyright laws, we can’t be held liable for any unintentional misrepresentation on this post but are happy to correct any wrongs quickly.
Aaron Yaverski, GVP High Tech Provider Product Management for Gartner, will be our guest speaker at the next IIAR Forum on January 31. Forums are open to IIAR members. For more information, please contact IIAR Secretary Hannah Kirkman.
The directory will be updated regularly so if any members who are not included would like to be added to future editions, please just drop me an email. If any information included is incorrect or out-of-date, please let Hannah know.
The new IIAR group allows AR professionals to connect with each other, and allows members to pass on connections and requests for information to other people on LinkedIn. The site lists more than 500 current contacts at each of the major analyst firms: Forrester, Gartner and IDC, making it a useful tool for professionals wanting to better understand analysts interests and connections.
IIAR members will have had invites by email: if you have not had an invite, and think you are an IIAR member (or want to become one) then contact Hannah. Dozens of AR professionals have already joined the LinkedIn group, from firms including ARM, AtosOrigin, BT, GXS, Nortel, Oracle, and Symantec.
I never thought this would be so difficult!
Duncan kindly suggested WordPress because it’s much better, which I did. It’s much more difficult to set up than blogger and as soon as I did Catherine was commenting on Twitter that it’s buggy. I finally got around redirecting it but still can’t get the domains to work on WordPress (apparently I have to do something to the INAME or whatever) so that it’s seamless between the blog and analystrelations.org.
Anyway, it’s now up and running and all the IIAR members can post. We’ll be accepting guest posts too.
During yesterday’s forum, kindly hosted by Susan from Logica and masterfully chaired by Janine from Vodafone, it has been decided to create a blog for the Institute. So, here here we go.
In accordance with the IIAR philosophy, it will be open to all the members and won’t be a single version of the truth -because we don’t see the world in black and white. We want this blog to be a community forum where we can debate openly, some posts might be controversial and that all more intesting. As such, it is also a way to share thoughts and engage with the analyst community, about analyst relations the industry in general.
We will also post here survey results highlights, Task Forces thoughts, ideas around best practices and more. However, the detailed results, best practices papers, presentations will remain on analystrelations.org‘s members area.
Senior analyst relations professionals from across Europe have agreed to launch a professional institute. A meeting in London yesterday gathered together members of Europe’s two analyst relations networks to agree the goals, membership requirements and organisational framework for a new international association. Half of us went for dinner afterwards, and Marius’ photograph gives an idea of how convivial the meeting was.
The institute will aim to be a voice for analyst relations professionals and a framework to support their professional development. A meeting will be held on Thursday July 13 to register the progress planned over the coming months.
Lighthouse is very positive about this development. We think there are a number of tasks that this institute could take up.
- It’s clear that an open dialogue is needed between the analysts relations community and the analyst firms on best practice. On many issues, one side has no idea of the frustrations with the other side.
- Work needs to be done to promote the profession. PR agencies and AR consultancies have failed to co-operate to educate the industry about the specific and separate role of analyst relations. Too often, analyst relations is subordinated to the methods and tactics of media relations. By co-operating, we can clarify the specific role of AR professionals.
- Professional development of AR professionals is weak. There are few training courses, and they are a poor substitute for the coaching, mentoring and learning-by-doing that is really needed to develop effective, self-confident, AR professionals.
- Worldwide, analyst relations needs to resolve the cultural imbalance. A pragmatic, transactional and curtly neutral way of working has been coupled to an extreme narrowness in the information shared with analysts. This unnecessarily obstructs effective analyst relations outside the United States. An institute could point out the counterbalancing cultural norms, and help AR managers to adapt global communications approaches to better meet local needs.
- We can encourage local or specialist networks to help people to build up contact with AR professionals in the same area. The meeting agreed that members should be able to set up open subcommittees look on particular topics or that bring together people in the same geography. Here’s an example. At the dinner after the meeting I was talking to an attendee from Germany: it’s clear that there is more than enough interest there to develop a German committee.
- The accelerating rate of change in the analyst industry means that new firms can win greater traction with greater speed. We can use an institute to develop and share our appreciation of the analyst landscape.
The professionals who met yesterday are keen to take one step at a time. It would be foolhardy to attempt too much, too soon. However, the appetite is there to build a serious, open professional body. Serious membership fees will be levied to fund part-time staff. Membership will be open to all with an interest in analyst relations: we have no interest in excluding those with something to contribute (the only exclusion: analyst firms’ staff may not join). A formal managing committee will rotate its members, to maximize participation.
An online group has been set up for the Institute. If you’d like to get in touch please email analystrelations-owner at yahoogroups dot com (Correspondance will go to a committee, so don’t expect a quick reply).
Originally posted by Duncan Chapple on the 4/06/2006 09:50:00 AM