Constellation – Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) The IIAR is a not-for-profit organisation established to raise awareness of analyst relations and the value of industry analysts, promote best practice amongst analyst relations professionals, enhance communication between analyst firms and vendors, and offer opportunities for AR practitioners to network with their industry peers. Thu, 30 Jan 2020 20:00:09 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 76177372 A turn of the tides? The IIAR> Analyst and Firm Of The Year 2019 Wed, 27 Nov 2019 19:45:00 +0000 London, Wednesday 27th November 2019. At the IIAR> we believe in taking a stance and recognising greatness when we see it -an approach we find more impactful than sprinkling awards to dozens of “winners”. 

Today, at the IIAR> London Christmas Party kindly sponsored by HCL, we celebrated the top industry analysts and firms of the year. The IIAR> surveyed analyst relations professionals globally and from diverse industries, predictably casting a wide net on coverage areas. The evaluation used the IIAR SOSM methodology, to reflect the best practice promoted within the IIAR> looking at not only perceived sales impact, but also strategic insights, resonance in the media and ease of doing business with.

This year, analyst relations (AR) professionals have voted and provided clear insights both on the value they see from analysts, as well as how they perceive industry analyst firms’ value to them as clients. There were some interesting shifts in the 2019 results compared to prior years…read on to learn more! 

Without further ado, the Analyst Relations community has spoken and the winners are….

IIAR> New Analyst Of The Year 2019

IIAR> New Analyst of the Year 2019

IIAR members were again asked to identify fresh talent within the analyst community. We asked you to call out your IIAR ‘New Analyst of the Year’ nominations and we are delighted to announce: 

IIAR> New Analyst of the Year 2019:
Eric Schmitt / Gartner (LinkedIn), covering AdTech. 

AR pros commented that Eric “got up and running really quickly and always strives to deliver best value.

The runner ups are Mark Harris / Gartner (LinkedIn) covering security, and Erica Spinoni / IDC (LinkedIn, @SpinoniErica) covering AI, Scott Wilkinson / Cignal AI (LinkedIn, @ScottWilkinsonQ) covering Optical transport and networking, Jason Cerrato / Gartner (LinkedIn, @JasonACerrato) covering HCM, Knud Lueth / IoT Analytics covering, you’ve guessed it, IoT.

IIAR> Analyst Of The Year 2019

The IIAR> Analyst Of The Year 2019

The overall winner of the IIAR> Analyst Of The Year 2019 is Frances Karamouzis, Chief of Research and Distinguished VP Analyst / Gartner (LinkedIn, @Fran_Gartner), covering sourcing strategies for business and IT services. Respondents consistently commented on Frances’ “Exceptional understanding of the market dynamics and its ecosystem players, with strong influence in engaging with C-Suite decision makers.” 

#GRATEFUL.   Its humbling to be recognized for this award as analysts are constantly in the company of amazing minds.  And most of all, this includes all of my teammates and colleagues. Any award of this type is tribute to the team rather than any one individual.

Frances Karamouzis / Gartner, IIAR> Analyst Of The Year 2019

She is followed in second position by Dan Bieler, Principal Analyst / Forrester (LinkedIn, @DSBieler) covering digital platforms and business innovation strategies, who commented:

“A great working relationship with AR professionals is essential to get the work of an industry analyst done. Many thanks for the trust that we have built over many years.”

Dan Bieler / Forrester

See also Dan’s 2016 IIAR> Around in 10 Questions interview.

In third place comes Nick McQuire, Vice President, Enterprise Research / CCS Insight (LinkedIn, @nickmcquire) said:

“Thrilled and honored to be among the analysts recognized in the IIAR’s 2019 Analyst of the Year nominations. This is 100% down to our fantastic clients and the superb team we have at CCS Insight. Our research is laser focused on helping our clients assess key market trends, understand the implications for their businesses and above all, succeed with customers. The wonderfully close and productive partnerships we have within the AR community helps make this possible.” 

Nick McQuire / CCS Insight

Bindi Bhullar, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner (LinkedIn), and Phil Fersht, CEO and Chief Analyst at HfS Research (LinkedIn, @pfersht) round out the top 5 nominations for the 2019 IIAR> Analyst of the Year awards and were also recognised for their research and contributions. There were many nominations from the AR community this year, but these 5 analysts were most often called out for providing consistent value by the AR community. 

IIAR> Analyst Firm Of The Year 2019

The IIAR> Analyst Firm Of The Year 2019

This year’s Analyst Firm of the Year award was hotly contested. After four years in the lead with IDC and Forrester jockeying for second place on the podium, it was interesting to see Gartner moved down to third place. We’ve redone the maths several times but it was the verbatim comments which shed some light on AR professionals’ lost love for the industry research behemoth. Whilst Gartner is still recognised for its breadth of analyst coverage and overall impact, with many analysts being commended for their individual work, survey feedback indicated Gartner as an organisation has become increasingly more difficult to work with, attracting severe criticism on overall client experience from in-house analyst relation professionals. 

The IIAR> Firm Of The Year 2019 is Forrester (website, @forrester).

Well done to Forrester for coming on top this year, earning praise from analyst relations professionals for its thought leadership and agility.

Ludovic Leforestier / IIAR> Board Member

In second place comes IDC (website, @IDC).

In third place, we have Gartner (website, @gartner_inc) 

In fourth position is HFS Research (website, @HFSResearch)

And in fifth place, 451 Research (website, @451Research)

Other Analyst Nominations

Most impactful analyst – Has significant impact on sales and end-user buyer preferences: Donald Feinberg / Gartner (LinkedIn, @Brazingo)

Most insightful analyst – Continuously delivers thought provoking industry insights in research: Ted Schadler / Forrester (LinkedIn, @TedSchadler)

Best project results – Consistently delivers sound, practical advice and results for their clients: Adam Ronthal / Gartner (LinkedIn, @ARonthal)

Most social influence – Broad reach within social channels and communities: Ray Wang / Constellation (LinkedIn, @rwang0)

IIAR> Client Partner Of The Year 2019

IIAR> Client Partner Of The Year 2019

The IIAR> Client Partner Of The Year 2019 is David Stanley / Constellation (LinkedIn, @kiwigate), whom members said they appreciate his collaboration as he, “really looks to deliver clear business value” and is a true partner. Special mention from the IIAR> Awards Committee for the best LinkedIn banner as well…

The runner-ups were: Jeremy Green / IDC (LinkedIn, @JeremyG86006699) and Erna Begic / Forrester (LinkedIn).

Congratulations to everyone who has been recognized by the IIAR community – and thanks to the AR professionals for taking the time to vote. Here’s to continued engagement between industry analysts and the community of AR professionals  in 2020!

Stephanie Look / IIAR> Awards Committee

IIAR> Webinar: results from the AOTY 2019 survey

IIAR> members will be able to dial in the webinar presenting detailed results on the 13th December 0800 PST / 1100 EST / 1600 GMT / 1700 CET > register here.

The IIAR> Awards Committee

Previous IIAR Analysts and Firms Of The Year

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[GUEST POST] Tips to Ensure a Productive Analyst Briefing Mon, 28 May 2018 15:16:26 +0000 IIAR blog: illustration for post on briefing best practices by Cindy Zhou / ConstellationSince becoming an industry analyst almost two years ago, I’ve sat in on nearly 100 vendor briefings and have some tips and do’s/don’ts to share to help you prepare for your next analyst session. First, know that Constellation is a firm very accessible to technology companies of all sizes and no, you don’t have to be a client to brief us. Based on availability and relevance to my coverage areas, I’m happy to take the call and enjoy helping young start-ups.

Let’s ensure we both get the most out of our limited time together, so here are my tips for you :


  • Be respectful of the analyst’s time. Our free briefings are 30 minutes, and if I’m able to, I will often extend to 45 mins (at my discretion).
  • A little light research to understand who I am and my coverage areas (Marketing (B2B and B2C), Sales, and Customer Experience. I prepare by visiting your company website and learn about you on LinkedIn before the call, please extend that courtesy.

The best way to utilize the 30 minutes is to have a concise/tight deck to walk me through the following:

  • 1 slide on company background – Where’s your headquarters, who your investors are, revenue (or you can share a range), highlight any unique experience of your executive team, and the space/market you play in.
  • 1 slide on who your customers are – “Nascar-style” logo slides are fine, but please highlight 3-4 customers and tell me what you do for them. For example, I often see the same logo for multiple competing marketing companies. Tell me the group using your solution and the context. Also, Who is your target customer and their role?
  • 1-2 slides on your go-to-market strategy.
  • 1 Marchitecture slide to illustrate your product or market slide on your solution and where it fits.
  • Tell me about your pricing model, how do customers buy?
  • Share what’s new or coming soon. Whether it’s an upcoming product launch, you sign(ed) a new customer, secured new funding, etc. You would be surprised how many times the news gets buried and forgotten in a briefing.
  • Prepare a demo. Especially if I agree to extend to 45 minutes, I want to see your solution in-action.

Send me your slides the day before the briefing. This way I can save you time by not asking questions answered on a later slide.


  • Spend time to educate me on the market. If you looked at my background, you’ll know that I was a practicing marketing executive then an industry analyst. I do understand what the market challenge is for marketers/sellers and have the battle scars to prove it. So telling me the marketing technology landscape is more complicated than ever with 6000+ vendors or that the sales process is broken – is well, wasted time.
  • Come unprepared and attempt to do a “discovery” call in a briefing. Talking through your product architecture with no visual representation only adds confusion. Our time together is limited, preparation is key.
  • Ask me or emphasize every 5 minutes, “This is under NDA right?”. As an analyst, I respect our confidentiality and take it very seriously as a matter of integrity. If there is something I’m interested in tweeting about or sharing publicly, I will ask you if the information is public or ok to share. Otherwise, understand our briefing is confidential.
  • Say, “we don’t have any competitors” when I ask who your competitors are. I am not asking because I don’t know. I want to know who YOU think your competitors are.
  • Follow-up with me asking what kind of “article” I will write after the “interview.” Please understand the differences between industry analysts and the press/media.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with many of the best Analyst Relations (AR) teams in the business, people who understand how to best engage with us and if you work with one – take their advice!  If you use a PR firm to help with Analyst Relations, make sure they can demonstrate to you they understand the differences with AR.

If we haven’t spoken yet, I hope this was helpful and look forward to a productive briefing from you!


Cindy Zhou (@cindy_zhou, LinkedIn)covers digital marketing and sales effectiveness at Constellation Research. Originally posted on her LinkedIn and reproduced with permission. Opinions expressed in this guest post are not an IIAR position and may not reflect IIAR members individual opinions. 


Other posts on analyst briefings best practices

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The IIAR Tragic Quadrant for 2017 Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:49:40 +0000 Two years ago, in 2015, we produced the first IIAR Tragic Quadrant. It was met with much enthusiasm and comment, thus we have decided to repeat the exercise once again this year. Below we present the Tragic Quadrant for 2017. The Tragic Quadrant is compiled from data collected as part of the 2016 IIAR Analyst of the Year Survey, where, annually, we invite analyst relations professionals to rate individual industry analyst and the firms they work for. This year more than 100 different individual organisations responded to our survey. We were interested to see if we could do further analysis on the data that was collected.

In producing the Tragic Quadrant what we sought to do was to rank analyst firms according to three criteria. We chose these criteria because this is what the IIAR survey asks respondents to assess:

  • Impact: The Y axis depicts the ‘Impact’ of the industry analyst firm on the purchase decision. This also relates to their perceived credibility and capability to provide an objective opinion.
  • Relevance: The X axis marks their ‘Relevance’ for the purchase decision. This means their capability to cover the market and their specific geographical allocation. It also includes public recognition of their presence in the market (e.g. as an expert).
  • Interaction: The size of the bubble is ‘Interaction’. This relates to issues of communication (e.g. how easy is it to get to them and to talk to them).

The IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2017 featuring Gartner, IDC, Forrester, 451, Ovum, ESG, Machina, Crisp, Constellation, HfS

IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2017

We are able to represent the top 10 industry analyst firms according to this new analysis. Gartner is “up and to the right”, which means that it leads in terms of impacting purchase decisions and relevance (e.g. their analysts know their stuff).

However, the small size of its bubble indicates that analyst relations professionals think Gartner is amongst the hardest of analyst firms to do business with out of all the analyst firms represented. Close behind is Forrester and IDC. The size of IDC’s bubble merits attention, as it was reported to be “one of the most flexible firms” to deal with, to use the words of one of our respondents. All three firms more or less maintain the same ordinal position in the top right quadrant as last time (see the Tragic Quadrant for 2015 below).

Other notable developments is HfS which has improved its ‘relevance from the previous Tragic Quadrant but it is perceived to be slightly less impactful by analyst professionals. Ovum and 451 Research maintain more or less the same position with regard to the ‘Big 3’, but 451 has overtaken Ovum in terms of relevance, whilst Ovum has made a dramatic improvement in terms of ease of interaction. Constellation remains more or less in the same position as last time. New entrants this year into the Tragic Quadrant include Machina and Crisp Research, with the former, by some degree, perceived as the most flexible of analyst firms to work with by analyst relations professionals.

IIAR Tragic Quadrant for 2015

The IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2015 featuring Gartner, IDC, Forrester, Ovum, HfS, Constellation, 451 Research, Celent, Pac, ESG, Digital Clarity Group, Ventana, SMB Group

For those who have not come across the Tragic Quadrant before, it gets its name from the infamous GartnerMagic Quadrant’ of course. We see it as a kind of ‘Magic Quadrant of Magic Quadrant’. We are not claiming that it is the results of an exhaustive study. Nor do we pretend that the Tragic Quadrant is a completely serious piece of research. (There is a clue in the title “Tragic”). Nonetheless, we do think the data collected – and note, that we now have Analyst of the Year surveys stretching back several years – throw some interesting light both (a) onto the changing nature of the industry analyst landscape and (b) how analyst relations professionals view the analyst ecology. It is demonstrating that in engaging with analyst firms IT vendors are balancing the requirements for these firms to have ‘impact’, ‘relevance’ and to be ‘easy to work with’.

Analyst relations professionals could therefore use a tool like this to look at their target audience engagement strategies. It would encourage them to balance ‘ease to do business with’ against ‘relevance’ and ‘impact’. To say the same thing in different words, they shouldn’t brief analysts just because they’re easy to deal with. Or, conversely, they should approach those analysts which are less of a pain depending on the type of impact the AR professional is looking to achieve (see the AR SOSM model).

Analyst firms might also use this tool to monitor the ‘transactional tax’ that they impose on analyst relations professionals. If they raise the ‘interaction barrier’ too high (e.g. make it too difficult for analyst relations professionals to interact with them) while not providing sufficient coverage and showing impact, this could affect their vendor information source. They may be left with only a partial view of the market (raising exhaustivity and fairness issues). Finally, their vendor revenues might suffer too.


By Fabio Rocha (LinkedIn), Ludovic Leforestier (LinkedIn@lludovic), Neil Pollock (LinkedIn@neilpollock).


Related posts:

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Winners announced: IIAR Analyst of the Year 2016 Tue, 06 Dec 2016 19:30:25 +0000 The IIAR is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s

IIAR Analyst of the Year 2016 and IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2016



Keep reading below for the IIAR Analyst of Year 2016, IIAR Global Analyst Firm of Year 2016, IIAR Independent Analyst of the Year 2016 and the best new entrants

Analyst relations pros voted for over 170 different individual analysts. Having run the survey over several years, it was striking to see the amount of new analysts that figured this year as compared to previous ones. This goes to show the dynamic nature of this space. There are now hundreds of so-called ‘upstarts’ firms, analysts continue to move between firms, and new analysts enter into the picture.

The analysts were rated along a wide range of criteria that included: i) their knowledge of the domain, whether their research gives actionable advice, is their writing novel and thought provoking etc; through to ii) questions about their impact on technology adoption decisions; and iii) whether the particular analyst was easy and flexible to work with from an analyst relations point of view.

Unlike last year, where the vote was a close run thing, this time around there is a clear winner. One analyst stood “head and shoulders” above his peers with respect to how he was viewed by analyst relations pros.

The IIAR analyst of the year 2016 is Phil Fersht from HfS Research (LinkedIn@pfersht). Phil was runner up in the award last year, behind Julie Short of Gartner. This is a hat-trick for Phil as was he was also a previous winner of the award in 2010 and 2011. Congratulations once again to Phil. He is obviously doing something right!

The winner of the analyst of the year was nominated for the following reasons:

“Thought leader…say no more”.

“He is head and shoulders above all industry analysts as an influencer in the market and gives great unvarnished advise to our senior leadership”‘.

“Phil is very approachable and his advice brings in a different dimension to our thinking towards our strategy and business”

Phil Fersht

The runners up this year were Julie Short (LinkedIn@JulieDShort) from Gartner and Doug Cahill (LinkedIn, @dougcahill) from Enterprise Strategy Group. Whilst Julie was winner of the award last year, this is the first time that Doug has featured on our winners dais. Congratulations on their second and third places. Here are some reason why they received so many votes:

Julie is “driven, smart and easy to work with”.

Doug has “strong ability to distill and interpret complex concepts into key takeaways and actionable guidance – whether that is to end users or vendor clients”.

Following close, and unlucky not to be included in the final shortlist of three, were a large group of highly rated analysts. This included Chris Pang, Gard Little, Liz Herbert, Barbra McGann, Andrew Butler, Andy Mulholland, Mark Grannan and Ray Wang.


Global and Independent Analyst firms of the year were run using the same format based on 15 criteria, but in separate categories to allow for more equitable comparisons between the larger and smaller firms. The industry analyst market is segmented in terms of role and by size.

IIAR Global Analyst Firm of The Year

The IIAR Global Analyst Firm of the Year 2016 is Gartner.

The runner ups are Forrester and IDC.

This year again, Gartner was the clear category leader, followed by Forrester, IDC and Ovum. Forrester managed to reverse its position from last year where IDC came out in front. Special mention should be made of Ovum who continue to close the gap on the firms in front of it.

Here are just some of the comments we received about Gartner:

“I like how quickly and aggressively Gartner has grown out their marketing practice over the past 3 years”. 

“Gartner is premium priced, but delivers business value. Gartner has the broadest and deepest coverage of end-to-end data management. At least with the analysts I deal with on an ongoing basis, the analysts are client service focused and check their egos at the door”. 

“Gartner is the leading analyst firm by far, and their new recruited analysts are eager to learn. Great account team!!!”.

Here is a selection of comments about our runners up:


“Their account management exceeds the competition, and they make a true effort for us as a client to feel we are getting a full value from our investment”.

“Great group of analysts, Sales teams, and management. Fair pricing considering the competition above them…”.


“Regional and WW a great firm to get data on markets and products, very useful to build GTM plans and activities. Nice people!!”.

“What I enjoy about IDC is that their analysts are very approachable (they are not as formal as say Gartner), they are covering more and more of what we do, they publish a lot of Marketscapes which is difficult in terms of time commitment and resources but when the end result is positive its a good outcome/visibility for the firm, the analysts are good at writing ad hoc pieces (IDC Links) and working with them for PR or marketing purposes is easy”. 

“This is the ONLY global analyst/research firm that focuses on manufacturing and related technology on a truly global basis”.


IIAR Independent Analyst Firm of The Year

The Independent Analyst Firm of the Year 2016 is HfS

The runner ups for this year are and ESG and Constellation Research.

In the Independent Analyst Firm of the Year category, HFS emerged as the clear winner, with ESG and Constellation fighting it out for second and third respectively. 451 Research and RedMonk also scored well.

Respondents described how HfS were:

“Thought leaders, flexible and very fast to see the latest trends”.

“Great firm, and growing global influence. Still needs to catch the Big 2”.

“HfS analysts are very easy to approach. Their content is easy to understand and use. They are very flexible in their deliverable usage”.


IIAR New Firm of The Year

Best New Entrant

In this category, our respondents were asked to identify a number of promising and potentially disruptive new firms. A wide range of new firms were mentioned. This shows that there is not one ‘market’ for industry analyst research but diverse markets with theses smaller firms able to cater for specialized products, technical fields and industrial settings. Here we list some of the firms in order of the votes they received: Moor Insights and Strategy, Aite GroupMachina Research, Current Analysis, IHS, ABI Research, Aptitude Research Partners, Celent and Creative Strategies.


About this survey

The data was collected and analysed by Fabio Rocha (LinkedIn) and Neil Pollock (LinkedIn, @neilpollock). Fabio is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years of enterprise sales, marketing and business development experience in IT software and services. He is currently completing a PhD at the University of Edinburgh Business School. Neil is a member of the IIAR board. In his day job he is Professor of Innovation at the University of Edinburgh Business School. He has recently published How Industry Analyst Shape the Digital Future. A more detailed analysis of the findings will be posted in due course, including of course a new version of the IIAR Tragic Quadrant. Finally, Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovicLinkedIn) oversaw the development of the survey and has been behind its continued improvement over several years following the original version by Jonny Bentwood  (LinkedIn@jonnybentwood).


Past winners

The IIAR Analyst of The Year has been running since 2008, see below the past winners.

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Constellation and the curse of the (not so) magic quadrant Fri, 14 Oct 2016 00:17:03 +0000 At the beginning, the intent was pure.Gartner Real Quadrant
Industry analysts, more specifically the buy-side “prescribers” exist to help technology buyers (often referred to as end-users) select the best vendors and providers. They gather insights through public and private sources such as (semi-)private vendor briefings and conversations (inquiries) with their end-user subscribers. Some analysts take hundreds of briefings and inquiries in a year, allowing them to gather unique insights on the market segments they cover. This accumulated knowledge allow them to monetise this information asymmetry as reports, consulting sessions, speaking engagements, etc.

One of the first report format aiming specifically at helping technology buyers to select vendors/providers was of course the Gartner Magic Quadrant. Based on a two-by-two matrix (as popularised by BCG, which is ironic considering Gartner is ran by a McKinsey alumni), the “MQ” quickly became irreplaceable. The X axis is for how good a product/service is (completeness of vision), the Y axis is for market traction (ability to execute) and the quadrant is in fact four quadrants, from leader to niche with visionary and challenger in between. Gartner now publishes a staggering 149 MQ’s, enough to employ a small army of analyst relations (AR) managers at each megavendor. Those type of landmark vendor ratings not only impact sales by pre-selecting vendors in long or short lists but also shape markets altogether as my fellow IIAR board member Neil Pollock studied. No wonder it’s been abundantly blogged about. See our own IIAR Best Practice Paper on Managing the Magic Quadrant.


As with most industries, digital disrupts industry analysis firms, for instance crowdsourcing may challenge the information asymmetry position they enjoy. We’re now in an attention economy and firms are competing for attention with free content. The sentiment that everything can be found on Google seems universally accepted by Generation Y, which doesn’t bode well for detailed research. Quadrants cut through that clutter with their neat, apparently scientific, visuals. Everyone likes a list and wants in, buyers can zero in on prospective suppliers, analyst firms can sell reprints (I mean webrights), so what’s not to like?

And thus each and every firm now needs to have a vendor evaluation landmark report that is based on the seminal quadrant: Forrester surfs on Waves, IDC churns out MarketScapes, HfS paints Blueprints, G2 crowdsources TrustGrids, Ovum publishes the Decision Matrices, Chartis issues the RiskTech Quadrants, etc. Even the IIAR proudly boast the Tragic Quadrant. Apart from PAC who went full circle with their RADAR and MetaGroup who tried ellipses, they all look like Jeff Mann’s spoof above, though some introduced a third dimension with bubble sizes.  Ping me a comment for the ones I forget and I’ll build a list.


We’re in quadrant paradise -and it keeps everyone busy.

Over time, under vendor pressure and to respond to client queries, methodologies have incrementally become more robust and now routinely include detailed spreadsheet-based surveys, mandatory client references checks, independent surveys, vendor briefings, etc. In my own estimates, one MQ will cost ICT vendors and service providers between 100 and 150 man-hours -more if they got consultants on the bench to keep busy. On the analyst side, they’re likely to disappear in a dark room for one to three months, before escalations. This makes quadrant expensive and too slow to produce -sometimes missing refresh cycles on some markets. One fix is to automate and get users to do the legwork. G2 pioneered the crowdsourcing model and Gartner is gradually introducing more Peer Insights into their MQ’s. Another drawback of industrialised quadrants is that the analyst opinions and insights are either concealed behind a methodology black-box or diluted.

Too slow, too expensive, too numerous, not insightful? Maybe and yet, it seems quadrants are not going away.

Constellation saw that and think they’ve got a fix. They’ve just introduced ShortLists which are just that: short lists.  Here’s an example of the graphic below.
Constellation Short List group messaging 10/16
As you see, it’s a deboned quadrant: there’s no axis, not even a ranking as vendors are in alphabetical order. Call me a cynic if you like but I find that refreshing in its simplicity and also in the approach: all of it is free. You can download ShortLists for free, cite them in press release for no fee, use the graphic for zero Dollars (and even less Brexit Pounds), schedule an inquiry for nothing and even brief the analyst gratis. Look away awards sweatshops. Their methodology isn’t detailed but I’ll take the contrarian viewpoint that methodologies might have gone a little too much in the way of opinions at large firms.
Of course, Constellation hopes to increase their market traction, convert some prospects into paid subscribers but as for me I like that freemium model.

Yet, landmark vendor evaluations are such a pull for research firms that they’re unlikely to drop those signature reports any time soon. They’re usually the most downloaded research formats with case studies and vendor fuel the hype with a flurry of press releases each time a favourable evaluation comes out (but who would miss out?) They also buy webrights (reprints in industry parlance), a nice little earner for many firms -and a business model in itself for some.

Quadrants are imperfect but it seems there for the long haul. Personally, I would love to see them not only augmented with social ratings but also with informed opinions.

Is that too much to ask? What do you think?

Read also


All previous posts on the Gartner Magic Quadrant (and more)

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Around Ray Wang in 10 questions (redux) Fri, 22 Jan 2016 10:44:47 +0000 Ray Wang / Constellation (IIAR website)Today we ask our 10 probing questions of Ray Wang from Constellation. Ray (Linkedin@rwang0) was runner up in this years IIAR Analyst of the Year for 2015 as voted by analyst relations professionals.

1. What are your coverage areas?

Digital transformation, disrupting technologies, service providers transition, cloud bill of rights, vendor selection, software licensing and pricing.

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

The market is shifting as we see new market influencers enter the arena.  These new influencers come from media, consulting, academics, authors, event organizers, membership organizations, and of course analysts.

3. What’s your typical day like?

I really have no typical pattern other than that every day is different.  I could be on a flight the whole day enroute to give a keynote to 10,000 people and I could be in a hotel room taking internal calls around research editing process or doing 5 briefings, 10 inquiries, 3 press calls at the same day, or I could be out at a conference packed with meetings from 7:00 am to 1 am as we get to know clients, partners, and the vendor.

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

I think mine is pretty public. It had to deal with SAP’s AR team given the order to have me fired from Forrester during the Leo Apotheker days.  In fact, I have to thank Leo as he put me on the map and set off my career.  But the horror story is when you helped someone get a job, an ex-boss who you thought was a friend, you don’t forget how they treat you, even under pressure because how they treat you under pressure is a real sign of who they are as a person.

5. How do you position your firm?

We have a 2:1 ratio of end user clients to vendor clients.  The business model is all about supporting the early adopter buy side clients.  We hope to grow that ratio 3:1 next year and 5:1 in 3 years.

6. What is your research methodology?  

We spend time on primary research via inquiry with early adopters and exposure to case studies and early adopters from vendor customer references.  We use a number of survey instruments and will also have a standard set of survey offerings in 2016 at a macro scale.  

7. Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? 

I think there are quite a few.  I hope I don’t offend anyone for not naming any. I’ve always respected Peggy O’Neill for how she protected her team from the politics in the organization’s she’s worked at. I think Alyssa Gilmore does a great job building out a brand new categories at Bloomberg. Sharon Sulc at Infor has done a great job of training the next generation of AR Managers. Sarita Torres and Elissa Houchin at IBM who really have built strong AR programs where AR managers end their career not start their career and have the respect of their management team. We see a lot of good things with Cass Whobrey in the C&E team as she repairs the damage from years of bad PR masked as AR at Microsoft.  Melissa Czapiga and Vera Wangdo are doing a bang up job at MuleSoft as they navigate pre-IPO.  Anne Chen at is probably one of the hardest working people we know.  Ricarda Rodatus at Oracle has transformed the team esprit there and Kris Barondess, Christine Wan, Brenda Connor and many others have led a lot of the change. We keep seeing continuous improvement in how Maria Poveromo, Janet Arsenault, Erin Singleton drive AR as a strong influencer throughout their organization and with their influencers.  There’s a lot more to name but that’s a few off the top of my head here at 5:00 am in the UK

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

Salesforce and IBM have one of the top AR analyst events.  It’s really the access to key executives and the knowledge that they take your input seriously.  I would have said Microsoft Dynamics had the best program, but they cancelled it as they were going through a reorg. Fall Analyst Event was the best program in the industry hands down but we’re sad it’s been put into a larger Microsoft program to be defined in the middle of a large conference, which defeats the point of intimacy and input.

9. What are your offerings and key deliverables? 

For our buy side, we focus in on our Constellation Executive Network membership.  You can access our daily news analysis product CR Insights, you get 8 – 15 minute inquiries, and you get access to the community all for a low price of $4950.  If you want access to the full research library and a ticket to our flagship innovation summit Constellation Connected Enterprise, that’s about $14,950.  This is for buy side only.  Our offerings for our sell-side clients are based on a pre-paid credit model.  The prices per credit drive down as the number of credits increase.  We offer access to the research seats, reprint rights, surveys, webinars, videos, panel moderation, speeches, keynotes, competitive analysis, advisory hours and days.

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

For fun, I love to just kick back and spin vinyl records, hit the ski slopes, learn golf with the kids, or find a tennis racquet.  But food and good conversation is the best.  Imagine if you could have the best dinner party every night of the week with rich broad and engaging conversation.  Food wise I’m fine with street food to gastro experiences.  It’s really understanding the story behind the food, the art of preparation, and of course the experience.

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

We want to keep growing our buy side influence.  We face challenges in hiring analysts as we seek some stiff criteria.  We’re looking forward to doubling our business in the next 3 years so a lot of growth challenges ahead.  We will be hiring a few more client success folks.

12. Is there another analyst whose work  you rate highly?

I’ve always respected the work of Ted Schadler, Andy Bartels, John Rymer, and Bobby Cameron at Forrester.  It’s the combination of experience, storytelling, and rich insight that make them legends.  On the Gartner side, I love the work of Scott Nelson behind the scenes, I think Merv Adrian’s rocked it over there, and Peter Sondergaard’s doing a good job catching up to our coverage areas.  We know we have to work harder with him aggregating a lot of our ideas!  But we also think there is great work at IBM Institute for Business Value and Michael Chui at McKinsey Institute.  Phil Fersht has done a good job disrupting the BPO space and keeping it fresh.  We love working with Scott Liewehr and watching him build out new products and giving Forrester a run for the money.


Recent ‘IIAR Around in 10 questions’ posts


More posts mentioning Ray



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Winners announced: IIAR Analyst of the Year 2015 Tue, 01 Dec 2015 19:00:27 +0000 The IIAR is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s

IIAR Analyst of the Year 2015 and IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2015

IIAR Analyst of the Year


Keep reading below for the IIAR Analyst of Year 2015, IIAR Global Analyst Firm of Year 2015, IIAR Independent Analyst of the Year 2015 and the best new entrants.

The IIAR analyst of the year 2015 was a close run thing this year round. Unlike previous years there was a lot more variety in the numbers and kinds of analysts chosen. Analyst relations professionals voted for over 150 different individual analysts, rating them along a wide range of criteria that included: their knowledge of the domain, does their research give actionable advice, is it novel and thought provoking etc; through to questions about their impact on technology adoption; and whether they were easy and flexible to work with from an analyst relations point of view.

Congratulations to the IIAR Analyst of the Year is  Julie Short at Gartner (LinkedIn, @JulieDShort). This is the first year in which Julie has won the award and we would like to extend our congratulations to her on behalf of the IIAR. Reasons AR pros gave for Julie’s nomination include:

“Got to grips really quickly with the consulting market, one that’s very fragmented and hard to analyse”.

“Julie is forging new ground for traditional tech analysts in the business consulting space – she is pushing understanding and definitions!”

“Julie has taken on and evolved a coverage area – Business Consulting – that is still nascent at Gartner and has created rigour and a clear definition for the topic with her colleagues internally in particular.”

The runner ups this year were Ray Wang / Constellation Research (LinkedIn, @rwang0) and Phil Fersht at HfS Research (LinkedIn@pfersht).

Both Ray Wang and Phil Fersht are past winners of this award (see links below). Congratulations on their 2nd and 3rd places. Here are some reason why they received votes:

“Constellation has shaken up the AR market the 4 years they’ve been on the scene. There approach to research and influencing the market is novel and refreshing and they are the most approachable firm with the most approachable analysts in the business”.

Talking about Phil Fersht: “Thought provoking, very honest and knowledgeable. One of the very best writers around. And his engagement in discussions in social media/blog is unparalleled”.

“I do not understand how Phil is so prolific and insightful simultaneously. But he is”.

Following close, and unlucky not to be included in the final shortlist of 3 were a large group of highly rated analysts. This included: Dan Bieler / Forrester, Errol Rasit / Gartner), Gianluca Tramacere / Gartner, Kevin McPartland / Greenwich Associates, Marc Cecere / Forrester, Neil MacDonald /Gartner and Zeus Kerravala / ZK Research.


Global and Independent Analyst firms of the year were run using the same format based on 15 criteria, but in separate categories to allow for more equitable comparisons between the smaller firms.

IIAR Global Analyst Firm of The Year


The IIAR Global Analyst Firm of the Year 2015 is Gartner.

The runner ups are IDC and Forrester.

This year again, Gartner was the clear category leader, followed by IDC and Forrester. Interestingly, other firms like Constellation, 451 Research and HfS are beginning to make a showing in this category. Here are just some of the comments we received about Gartner:

“The only analyst firm that really makes a difference”.

“Premium priced, but worth it for the breadth, depth, and quality of research and advice. The most influential firm with the greatest impact on enterprise sales deals – no other firm even close”.

Here is a selection of comments about our runners up:

Talking about IDC “Trusted advisor for our company and is considered one of the TOP TIER firms”. “They are the most global”. “Very easy to work with these folks – they are great!”.

“Forrester’s recent financial woes belie the quality of its research and thought leadership in several topics – especially customer experience, mobile, privacy, security, and digital transformation”.


IIAR Independent Analyst Firm of the year

The Independent Analyst Firm of the Year 2015 is Constellation Research.

The runner ups for this year are HfS and ESG.

In the Independent Analyst Firm of the Year category, Constellation emerged as the clear winner, with Hfs and ESG fighting it out for second and third respectively. CCS Insight, Digital Clarity Group, Forrester and PAC all scored well also. One respondent described how:

“Constellation has shaken up the AR market the 4 years they’ve been on the scene. There approach to research and influencing the market is novel and refreshing and they are the most approachable firm with the most approachable analysts in the business”.

As for our runners up:

“While they have been around for some time, HFS has a whole new team that is highly business focused, looking to generate new technology research, offers freemium access”.

 IIAR New Firm of The Year

Best New Entrant

In this category, our respondents were asked to identify a number of promising and potentially disruptive new firms. Here we list them (in no particular order): TECHnalysis Research, Securosis, KeyInterval Research, Aptitude Research Partners, SCM World, Machina Research, G2 Crowd, Aragon Research, Blue Hill Research, Subscription Insider, Gigaom Research.


About this survey

The data was collected and analysed by Neil Pollock. Neil is co-lead (with Aniruddho Mukherjee) of the UK Chapter of the IIAR. In his day job he is Professor of Innovation at the University of Edinburgh Business School. He has been researching industry analysts for several years. If you require further information about the survey he can be contacted on A more detailed analysis of the findings will be posted in due course, including of course a new version of the IIAR Tragic Quadrant.


Past winners

The IIAR Analyst of The Year has been running since 2008, see below the past winners.

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Will research crowdsourcing finally move analyst firms to an experience business model? Wed, 15 Jul 2015 22:16:35 +0000
G2 Crowd Grid for Help desk - IIAR website

G2 Crowd Grid for Help desk

Good piece by Tony Bradley on (via Rob Enderle and Stephen England) on whether crowdsourced analysis could displace Gartner, Forrester, IDC, etc.

I’ve been watching analysts for a long time and think this is fascinating -I was waiting for such a “JD Power of Tech” for a long time. The piece talks about Chaordix and Whale Path, and I’ve known for a while about G2 Crowd. Another well known so called Peer Review Site (PRS) is TrustRadius.

If they get it right, it will finally change the analyst business. Analysts are not going to disappear anytime -they may just be called something else: you’ll still need curators, pundits, showmen and showwomen, futurists and other shamans. But if the data collection could be automated instead of those more or less bad quadrants, they could focus on experience. It remain to be seen whether firms can be weaned off subscriptions? We, vendors, all know that moment when your rep suddenly wakes up and invites you to lunch… They’re all hooked onto subs: it’s relatively easy to renew, they can sneak in a 7-15% uplift tax (I did not say racket, did I?) every year, they produce the research once and sell it many times (Gene Hall calls this leverage and it certainly worked so far for Gartner).

This reminds me of a debate between the transition from on premise and SaaS: in the industry analysis industry, moving to an experience model would be a similar business model shift.

The other reason why analyst firms find moving towards being an experience business (despite some talking ad nauseam about the age of the customer) is psychology. Analyst firms are geared up to create technology myths and own the truth. To them, crowdsourcing is abdicating. The larger the firm, the harder it is: some smaller firms are very inclusive in bringing folks together (I was really impressed by a recent Constellation event for instance) while on the other hand I always thought that networking at Gartner Symposium was hard work. Both Gartner and Forrester market services aimed at specific communities, for instance respectively EXP and the Councils but it remains analyst-centric (although I haven’t paid the required 200k to try the EXP CIO service, so my guess is as good as anyone’s here).

One final thought. What everyone forgets (except maybe Le CXP) is the role of the smaller (and not so small) consultants and system integrators. Large firms have the scale to have research desk and even publish research and thought leadership (that’s actually my day job) but smaller ones don’t have that luxury. What they have however is hands-on experience of implementing solutions, deep relationships with their end-user clients and often an extremely good knowledge of a functional or technical niche.

In other words, consultants have insights that is complementary to analysts and are not competing with them. With a mechanism such as G2crowd, analysts could leverage them. Consultants on the other hand could get access to detailed benchmarks which the analysts currently struggle to produce. That would be Uber for research and I think the concept sounds cool.

What do you all think?


Read also:



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The IIAR “Tragic Quadrant” Mon, 08 Jun 2015 15:16:20 +0000 Last year, as part of the 2014 IIAR Analyst of The Year Survey, we invited analyst relations professionals to rate their favourite industry analyst individuals and the firms they worked for. More than 60 individual organisations responded to our survey. We were interested to see if we could do further analysis on the data that was collected.

When we set out to do the IIAR Analyst of the Year (with Helen Chantry), we always had envisioned doing a Magic Quadrant of analyst firms. This year the survey provided us with further information which we have been able to breakdown and analyse to provide a more detailed understanding of how analyst relations professionals perceive the relevance, impact and reachability of industry analyst firms. We are not claiming that this is an exhaustive study. Rather it simply opens a new (slightly cheeky – hence the notion of “Tragic Quadrant”) window onto the analyst landscape, where we attempt to rank industry analyst firms by impact, relevance and ease to do business with.

The IIAR survey asked respondents to assess individual industry analysts on a range of issues broadly grouped according to the following criteria:

  • ‘Impact’ (to what extent does the industry analyst impact the technology purchase decision);
  • ‘Relevance’ (is the particular industry analyst relevant to the technology purchase decision, do they understand the marketplace);
  • ‘Interaction’ (how easy is the industry analyst to reach and to interact with).

We are able to represent the top 13 industry analyst firms according to this new analysis. We have produced three Tragic Quadrants according to i) overall industry analyst firms, ii) global industry analyst firms, and finally iii) independent industry analyst firms.

  • The Y axis depicts the ‘Impact’ of the industry analyst firm on the purchase decision. This also relates to their perceived credibility and capability to provide an objective opinion.
  • The X axis marks their ‘Relevance’ for the purchase decision. This means their capability to cover the market and their specific geographical allocation. It also includes public recognition of their presence in the market (e.g. as an expert).
  • The size of the bubble is ‘Interaction’. This relates to issues of communication (e.g. how easy is it to get to them and to talk to them).

Overall Industry Analyst Firms Quadrant

The IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2015 (Overall) featuring Gartner, IDC, Forrester, Ovum, HfS, Constellation, 451 Research, Celent, Pac, ESG, Digital Clarity Group, Ventana, SMB Group

The IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2015 (overall) featuring Gartner, IDC, Forrester, Ovum, HfS, Constellation, 451 Research, Celent, Pac, ESG, Digital Clarity Group, Ventana, SMB Group

In terms of the Overall Industry Analyst Firm Quadrant, Gartner, Forrester and IDC came out ahead of rivals. In terms of their specific ranking according to our analysis, Gartner is 1st, Forrester 2nd, and IDC 3rd. Gartner is higher on impact and relevance than its immediate rivals, but did less well in terms of interaction. IDC by contrast scores someway ahead of Gartner in terms of interaction but is perceived to be slightly less impactful and relevant. By contrast, although some way behind the leaders in terms of impact and relevance, Digital Clarity Group, Ventana and SMB Group did particularly well on interaction.

Global Industry Analyst Firms Quadrant

2015 IIAR Tragic Quadrant - Global Firms featuring Gartner, Forrester, IDC, HfS Research, Ovum, 451 Research

2015 IIAR Tragic Quadrant – Global Firms featuring Gartner, Forrester, IDC, HfS Research, Ovum, 451 Research

In terms of the Global Industry Analyst Firms Quadrant, Gartner stood out as 1st. This was followed by, in 2nd place, Forrester, and IDC in 3rd place. As mentioned above, Gartner were successful with high levels of relevance but performed less well on interaction. IDC performed particularly well on impact and interaction. In terms of the other firms, HfS performed well across all three categories but scored particularly well on impact. 451 Research and Ovum did well based on interaction.

Independent Industry Analyst Firms Quadrant

2015 IIAR Tragic Quadrant - Independent analyst firms featuring Constellation, HfS Research, Ventana, SMB Group

2015 IIAR Tragic Quadrant – Independent analyst firms featuring Constellation, HfS Research, Ventana, SMB Group

In terms of the Independent Industry Analyst Firms Quadrant, Constellation were in 1st place, HfS in 2nd place, followed by SMB Group in 3rd place and Ventana in 4th. Constellation scored particularly well on impact, whilst HfS performed well on impact and interaction but less well on relevance. SMB Group scored highly in terms of interaction. Ventana did well in terms of impact but slightly lower in terms of interaction.

In case you were wondering the Tragic Quadrant is by no mean meant to be a normative or scientific depiction of the industry analysis industry. It offers but one window onto this world that was partially inspired by Juvenal’s ancient dictum Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? (which, roughly translated, is who assesses the assessors? or, in our case, who analyses the analysts?). Whilst it was initially intended as a bit of fun we do nevertheless think there are some interesting aspects for AR professionals and analyst houses to take from it. We see at least two takeaways emerging for different audiences:

  • AR professionals may use this as a subjective analysis tool to look at their target audience engagement strategies. They should balance ‘ease to do business with’ against ‘relevance’ and ‘impact’. Or, in other words, they shouldn’t brief analysts just because they’re easy to deal with (or conversely they should look at analysts which are less of a pain depending on the type of impact the AR professional is looking for (see the AR SOSM model);
  • analyst firms should monitor the ‘transactional tax’ they impose on AR people: if they raise the ‘interaction barrier’ too high while not providing sufficient coverage and not showing impact, their vendor information source might soon provide them only a partial view of the market (raising exhaustivity and fairness issues) or their vendor revenues might suffer too.


By Neil Pollock (LinkedIn@neilpollock), Yulia Sidorova (LinkedIn) and Ludovic Leforestier (LinkedIn@lludovic)


Related posts:

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Digital Disruption Tsunami takes over Analyst firms Mon, 09 Mar 2015 17:59:53 +0000 Constellation loves DCGConstellation loves DCGConstellation loves DCGIn an age of Digital Disruption and Business Transformation, when organisations are continuously embracing reinvention to stay in the business, change is imperative.


Who would have thought that the once dominant brands such as Blockbuster would be killed by a 30 staff strong Netflix due to their failure of recognizing the change and seizing the opportunity. And this is only one of the many classical examples of the rise and death of brands.


Digital Disruption or the Digital Business Transformation is a widely and most talked about term by almost every analyst firm in the past few years addressing organisations’ challenges and advising them to adapt themselves to this. In this era, you either need to be the disruptor (either reinvent yourself or acquire a unique combination of skills through alliances & acquisitions) or be disrupted by a competitor who embraces the change earlier than you.

And the analyst firms themselves aren’t any exception. Constellation Research Group (@ConstellationRGannounced today  a strategic alliance with Digital Clarity Group (@just_clarity). Currently only focused on the buy-side market the partnership promises to address organizations’ challenges through the complexities of digital transformation.


While DCG (since it was founded in 2012) in the past few years has emerged with a strong focus on organizations navigating on digital disruption and focusing on (digital) agencies, Constellation Research (a Silicon Valley based business research and advisory firm) has helped clients transform business models with disruptive technologies focusing on large offshore system integrators so it will only be interesting to see how the alliance pans out addressing some of the client challenges.


While the specifics of the scope of this partnership outside the buy- side are unclear for now, one should keep a close eye into what it will have to offer both in terms of their research and influence on the buyer community. Also, given that the major analyst firms have a strong focus in the already complex Digital Business Transformation space, this alliance is something to watch out for in the near future.


Bottom line:


Recent posts on Constellation

Recent posts on DCG

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The IIAR Analyst of the Year 2014 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:16:16 +0000 The IIAR is delighted to announce the winners of the 2014

IIAR Analyst of the Year


Following yesterday’s announcement of the IIAR Analyst Firm of The Year 2014, here are the individual nominations.

Place to the results!

IIAR Analyst of the Year

The IIAR Analyst of The Year 2014 is Ray Wang / Constellation (LinkedIn, @rwang0)

In second place comes Liz Herbert / Forrester (LinkedIn, @lizherbert) and in third place ex-aequo Andy Butler (LinkedIn) and Chris Pang (LinkedIn) both at Gartner


So it seems Ray is ubiquitous indeed. As he said “I’m very thankful and appreciative of the IIAR for this distinction.  As an independent and trusted professional association, the award conveys great responsibility and honour.  As part of that responsibility, I’m looking forward to more of a mentoring role as well as encouraging colleagues to  develop of the next generation of analysts who can serve buyers, vendors, and other influencers.

More details will be provided to IIAR members during a call on the 15/1/15.

Thanks to Helen Chantry (LinkedIn) and Trevor Howard (LinkedIn) for their invaluable contributions to this research.

Read also:

Past winners

The IIAR Analyst of The Year has been running since 2008, see below the past winners.

  • The IIAR Analyst of The Year 2012 was Alex Soejarto, Gartner
  • The IIAR Analyst of The Year 2011 was Phil Fersht / HfS Research
  • The IIAR Analyst of The Year 2010 was Phil Fersht / HfS
  • The IIAR Analyst of The Year 2009 was Ray Wang back then at Forrester
  • The IIAR Analyst of The Year 2008 was Ray Wang / Forrester
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[GUEST POST] Key Requirements for Vendors When Briefing Software Analysts, by Natalie Petouhoff / Constellation Thu, 17 Jul 2014 08:06:42 +0000 Natalie Petouhoff / Constellation (IIAR)By Natalie Petouhoff (@drnatalie, LinkedIn) from Constellation Research.

In any given week, analysts hear many pitches. What may not be apparent is “How engaged is the analyst?” So if you are a vendor, how do you engage an analyst? First, don’t be one of those people who is more interested in getting through all your slides in the short period of time you have with the analyst versus really having an engaging conversation with the analyst.

Slides are important as a visual representation of the product and / or services, but more important is the conversation that happens between the vendor and the analyst. Presenting a slide deck where only the vendor presents and the analyst has no time to comment or interact, is not engaging and doesn’t really help the analyst understand your software.

Most analyst have been listening to vendor pitches for years. And after a while they all sound very similar. The only way often times an analyst can grasp what is new or different, is if the vendor has really done their homework prior to presenting to the analyst and can articulate the following things in the first three slides:

1. What does your company do?

2. Who are your top 5 competitors?

3. Why is, what you are offering, so different and so much better those top 5 competitors?

Analysts don’t want a linear presentation with the history of the company, with how many employees… We don’t really always believe when vendors say they have “displaced” this vendor and that vendor. If all the vendors who said they displaced another vendor were true, then no one would have software.

What we want, as analysts, is to quickly assess in the first 5 minutes is “Why am I listening to this presentation?” (Besides the obvious, which is, it is our job to take vendor briefings… )

The issue is that most vendors don’t really know the answers to the top three questions. Why? Because it takes a lot of work to do a SWOT analysis, to understand what your company does and to be able to message that in a unique and interesting way.

I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve seen nearly the same slide deck from different vendors in the same week, month or year. What I mean by this is that the content on the slides – even though they are different vendors — is very similar. So if the vendor can’t tell me why they are different, better, unique… it makes it very difficult for us, as analysts, to describe to end-users of software why they should consider a particular vendor over another one.

It’s up to the vendor to really do the SWOT analysis and know your competitors and how you are different or better than your competitors. What I find is that most vendors don’t spend the time to do this exercise. The issue is that when a vendor doesn’t do this, the presentation doesn’t really inform the analyst what they need to know to help recommend them to their network of end users. Which is part of what a vendor wants – they want the analyst to know enough about the vendor to make a recommendation to their end-users so the vendors can make more sales.

The net-net is that the analyst’s attention is not captured in the way that the vendor would like or perhaps thinks that is happening during the briefing.

The solution? Before briefing an analyst, make sure that your first three slides are about:

1. What does your company do? What problem(s) in a company does it solve? Who does it solve those business problems for? What roles? Do you know what keeps that role up at night and why does your solution solve their problem(s)?

2. How does your software solve that problem for that role? What are the details — the how to’s –how does the software solve those issues for that role better than any other software company?

3. And why is your software able to solve those problems differently and better than any other competitor? What is your competitive edge?

I hope that vendors that want recommendations to buyers take the time to either go through this exercise themselves or get help to create conversations and presentations that do engage analysts. If vendors are able to do this, they will make the conversation between the analyst and the software vendors richer, more productive and in the end, both parties will end up with what they both want – analysts to have a clear picture of the marketplace and the vendor to get more sales.


About the author

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff (bio, @drnatalieLinkedIn) is a Vice President and Principal Analyst at Constellation Researcg focusing on the integration of traditional business strategy and operations with social / digital business transformation at scale by using the latest trends in software that result in increased customer and employee engagement and major shifts increased revenue and decreased costs. Prior to this she was a Forrester software analyst and change management consultant ta PWC.


Related posts:

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Kim’s Game Plan for Constellation Mon, 03 Mar 2014 13:59:54 +0000 Constellation Research GroupConstellation Research, Inc.–the award-winning research and advisory firm focused on how disruptive technologies transform business models–announced today the addition of Peter Kim to the research team as Chief Strategy Officer and Principal Analyst. Kim, whose research focuses on Digital Marketing Transformation, expands Constellation’s ability to provide marketing leadership research/solutions to its early adopter clients worldwide and cement its unique position “somewhere between an analyst firm and a futurist firm” as Constellation Research Founder and Chairman R “Ray” Wang describes it.
As Chief Strategy Officer and Principal Analyst, Kim will focus on the intersection of marketing and technology, where brands need more help than ever orchestrating platforms and service providers to deliver innovative customer experiences. Kim’s research agenda will provide guidance to CMOs, CXOs, and business strategists in the rapidly evolving area of Digital Marketing Transformation.  In the CSO role, Kim will apply his expertise to optimize recurring revenue streams and build out successful client-driven projects into more scalable product offerings.
What IIAR members should know:
  • Peter Kim is based in Austin, TX. follow him at @peterkim and on his blog
  • Constellation now has 250 clients
  • It has recently launched a new influencer community
“Constellation Research has been disrupting the research industry model and I’ve sought to do the same in my work over the past two decades as a strategist, marketer, consultant, and industry analyst,” said Kim. “I’m delighted with the opportunity to take my talents to Constellation Research.”
Peter Kim was previously Chief Solutions Architect at Dachis Group, a multi-million dollar business advisory firm that pioneered the discipline of social business design. Prior to Dachis Group, Kim was an analyst at Forrester Research, where he helped brands take advantage of the rapid rise of corporate social media.
“I’m truly excited to have Pete on the team as a colleague and peer.  His ability to identify astute insights for marketing executives and grow multi-million dollar businesses is bar none in the industry research world”, said Wang, “Pete’s arrival will help our clients with co-creation and co-innovation in world of digital disruption.  His domain expertise will bring gravitas to our Digital Marketing and Customer Experience business themes.  We’re honored to have him on the team.”
More about Constellation
  • Constellation Research was founded in 2010, and has since grown to serve over 250 clients around the globe. The firm’s commitment to providing Open Research challenged the traditional analyst models.  Today, Constellation continues to disrupt its own industry as it helps clients explore disruptive technology and trends.
  •  Constellation’s research, training programs, innovation workshops and ideation events focus on the under-served connections between business and IT strategy; recent projects have included helping senior executives at some of the world’s leading companies to prepare board-level strategy and cultivate innovation.
  •  In 2011, the firm launched its Connected Enterprise event, which returns October 29th to October 31st, 2014 at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay.  This year’s executive innovation summit focuses on dominating digital disruption and headliner keynotes include Rachel Botsman of the Sharing Economy and Raj Chetty from Harvard speaking on the Equality of Opportunity.
  •  Also recently launched is Constellation Orbits, an “influencer network designed to extend Constellation’s coverage of digital disruption in technology, business models, and society.”  The blog features Constellation analysts alongside other industry influencers; the firm plans to add to the contributor roster throughout 2014.
  • For more information, visit Constellation Research on the web, at

Are you a Constellation user?

  • How are you using Constellation?
  • Do you think Constellation revolutionising the analyst business model?
  • If you’re an AR pro, what does that mean for you?
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“Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM” Tue, 01 Oct 2013 15:52:41 +0000 “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”  – a widely used cliché (FUD) from the 70s and 80’s. This would not work as a sales line now and perhaps, the days of “No one ever got the sack for using Gartner” and the role of AR professionals are also numbered ?

Disrupting the status quo of the legacy analyst firms with their “Fiery Fireside Chat“, on 26th September, were R “Ray” Wang (@rwang0)of Constellation Research and Phil Fersht (@pfersht) of HfS. This great discussion raised many points of interest for all Analyst Relations professionals; like: Do you have the right boss? Who do the analysts speak to in your company? and Do you spend too much time completing surveys ?

So if you missed the IIAR Webinar with les enfants terribles of the industry research industry or want to listen again you can read the report, listen to the recording or run through a relevant presentation from Ray Wang. If you are a member, click on the links. If you are not an IIAR member, may be it is time to join. This Webinar report and recording are only part of the wealth of Member Resources available, once you have joined. (Click here for more information).

Plus – if you are a member and not yet registered on “Huddle”, where our Member Resources are held, then this is the time to find that registration invite or request a new one. Don’t miss out, they are your resource.

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IIAR Webinar – A Fiery Fireside Chat with R “Ray” Wang of Constellation Research and Phil Fersht of HfS. Mon, 23 Sep 2013 13:15:01 +0000 constellationResearch_logo[1]hfsresearch_logo_small.pngA Fiery Fireside Chat with R “Ray” Wang of Constellation Research and Phil Fersht of HfS.

Disrupting the status quo of the legacy analyst firms:

An IIAR Webinar with les enfants terribles of the industry research industry. Speak with two disruptors, they’re both loud, they claim to break away from what they call legacy research but what are they really doing differently? Are they influential other than on Twitter?

Don’t miss the opportunity to join R “Ray” Wang and Phil Fersht in what promises to be a “fiery” discussion. 

This IIAR Webinar is open to all IIAR Members who may register here. Non-members who are interested in joining the IIAR may attend the Webinar on a “Try-before-you-Buy” basis. This allows non-members to attend one IIAR event to see if it is for you. This is a great event for prospective members to attend, don’t miss the opportunity – please register and contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.

This webinar will be moderated by Mike Meyers (@M_Myers, LinkedIn) and Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, LinkedIn).

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The Ray Constellation Experience Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:00:12 +0000 Constellation Research has announced today that it is taking a new step in its development and hired a CEO -see press release below- in the person of Bridget Chambers (@bridgchambers, LinkedIn), who comes from the SAP User Group.

I spoke yesterday to Constellation’s founder (and IIAR Analyst of the year 2009), Ray Wang (@rwang0, LinkedIn) and Bridget and as usual found the conversation fascinating. This post is not a position from the IIAR, its members or board, not my employer  -just a sum of personal thoughts. Comments are welcome of course.My key takeaway are:

  • There’s been some flux in the Constellation analysts (Charles Brett left, then joined for Freeform for instance) which means their franchise model isn’t for everyone. Yet, personally I believe that the nework/franchise model is not only the future of work but will also be more prevalent in business as speed and flexibility take precedence on vertical integration.
  • Constellation brands itself a disruptor that focusses more on the business and new technology intersection than the traditional IT, has built an impressive brand in a short time and claims 200 clients served with 10 analysts and a total staff of 20.
  • It’s hard to measure what progress Constellation is making with end users, one of the key aspects for influence from an AR standpoint but hiring someone coming from an end-user association is certainly unusal and I dare to say very interesting. In my post on Analyst firms: rock star bands or record label dinosaurs?, I wrote that the days of syndicated research was as dead as CD sales. The future of research, IMHO, is clearly in the experience its clients get -something Gartner struggles with culturally (it is The source of Truth), that Forrester aoms to execute (its website is one of the best still and their Leadership Boards is a good idea too) and on which the CEB has built its business.

Don’t miss the upcoming IIAR Webinar with Ray Wang and Phil Fersht / HfS

  • The date is the 26th September 1600 BST
  • Watch this space for the details
  • IIAR members only

Previous posts on Ray and Constellation


San Francisco, CA – September 3, 2013 Constellation Research, Inc. the research and

advisory firm focused on how disruptive technologies transform business models,

announced today that Bridgette Chambers, a well respected and accomplished

executive with a track record of successful corporate turnaround, transformation, and

growth is joining Constellation as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of

Directors.  Chambers will take the reins from founder Ray Wang, who will maintain his

role as Chairman and Lead Analyst and continue to drive the company’s research


Chambers comes to Constellation from Americas’ SAP Users Group (ASUG), the

largest independent trade association serving SAP customers and partners on the

globe.  During her tenure with ASUG, Chambers led a transformation that took the

twenty-year brand from a period of financial and operational trouble to one of prosperity

and stability. While serving as CEO for ASUG, Chambers doubled membership,

enhanced service and delivery, rebuilt the corporate culture, and created substantial

growth in earnings.  ASUG was awarded two American Business Awards under

Chambers’ tenure, including Company of the Year recognition in 2012 and 2013.

Chambers was awarded several ABA awards as well, including recognition as Maverick

of the Year in 2012 and Executive of the Year in 2013.

“Constellation Research has experienced remarkable growth in the past three years.

We are poised to continue the growth and success by enhancing our business strategy,

growing our analyst community, and expanding into end-user markets,” said Wang.

“Bridgette has long championed purposeful disruption for the sake of progress and

innovation and I am confident she is the right person to take our firm to the next level.

This new Constellation Research leadership team has a shared vision for the future and

a passion to take the company to new heights.”

“Making smart technology decisions is an imperative; translating those smart decisions

into value is a source of competitive advantage.  I believe Constellation’s unique value

proposition empowers our clients to make bold use of smart, disruptive innovation and

thus, become more competitive in the market place,” said Chambers.  “Ray has built an

exceptional brand and an impressive body of market-leading research.  I am excited

and honored to join the firm.  I have no doubt that our growth strategy and expansion

plans will elevate Constellation Research, and the customer communities it serves, into

the ranks of the most innovative brands on the globe.”

Chambers received her B.S. from The University of Houston and her MBA from Texas

A&M University.  Chambers is a well-known keynote speaker and presenter.  Chambers

honed her leadership skills while proudly serving in the US Army Reserves and Texas

Army National Guard.

Constellation Research is hosting their successful Connected Enterprise event, The

Executive Innovation Conference October 30

Half Moon Bay.  During the successful event Wang, Chambers, and COO Dennis

Kanemitsu will address Constellation’s exciting growth strategy and launch new

offerings.  Register here:


to November 1


Twitter: @bridgchambers



Constellation Research is a research and advisory firm focused on disruptive and

emerging technologies. This renowned group of experienced analysts, led by R “Ray”

Wang, focuses on business-themed research including Digital Marketing

Transformation; Future of Work; Next Generation Customer Experience; Data to

Decisions; Matrix Commerce; Technology Optimization and Innovation; and

Consumerization of IT and the New C-Suite.

Constellation’s collection of prestigious analysts bring real world experience,

independence, and objectivity to client solutions that span cross-role, cross-functional,

and cross-industry points of view. Clients join Constellation Research for a fresh and

business focused perspective.

Unlike the legacy analyst firms, Constellation Research is disrupting how research is

accessed, what topics are covered, and how clients can partner with a research firm to

achieve success. Over 100 clients have joined from an ecosystem of buyers, partners,

solution providers, c-suite, board of directors and vendor clients.

For more information about Constellation Research, visit


Constellation Research, Constellation SuperNova Awards, Constellation Orbit,

Connected Enterprise, Constellation Cosmos, and the Constellation Research logo are

trademarks of Constellation Research, Org. All other products and services listed herein

are trademarks of their respective companies.

Press Contacts:

Contact the Media and Influencers relations team at for

interviews with analysts.

Sales Contacts:

Contact our sales team at


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New Eastern star sighted in the Constellation Thu, 31 Jan 2013 09:19:20 +0000 Catalyst
Constellation just announced (post, tweet) it entered a partnership with ITR, the well known Japanse research firm.

This is a good time to stop and have a look at those two firms.

Founded in 2010 by Ray Wang (@rwang0, LinkedIn), after leaving Forrester and a stint at Charlene Li’s Altimeter. At the start, Constellation focussed on end-user advisory but quickly expanded its portfolio to RAS (research and advisory services) and events. The pricing and consumption models are flexible, based on pre-paid units.  The revenue split is in majority towards syndicated research, events being in the norm (about ⅕) and consulting (end consulting and vendor) making up the rest.

Constellation now claims to have 170+ clients with a 60/40 end users / vendor ratio in numbers, revenues between both segments being at parity -which is not a meagre achievement. It seems the firm has put in place a robust support infrastructure, an investment many start-up balk at, with 5 full time sales staff in addition to a “network of resellers.”

Finally, going down in the boiler room the firm has now 10 analysts -most on the associate model (see below).

Constellation, along with some other “disrupters” are pioneering an interesting new approach to the thorny connondrum of the analysis firms business model (see Analyst firms: rock star bands or record label dinosaurs?). It is inspired from ‘The future of work’ principles as a reaction to firms such as Forrester, IDC and Gartner. One of the most diverging traits is the deliberate play to capitalise on “Star Analysts.”
In passing and IMHO, this is one of the key differences between Gartner and Forrester -the latter nurturing its engine from graduates up and the former hiring seasoned industry professionals.
In this model, each associate is an integral part of the venture, just like a franchisee. It’s not for everyone and several new recruits such as Barry Wilderman (LinkedIn, @BarryWilderman), Alea Fairchild (LinkedIn, @AFairch) and Paul Papadimitriou (LinkedIn, @papadimitriou), have left recently. It’s worth noting at this point that by large, Constellation is a virtual organisation as none of those associate analysts are on the payroll.
However, it has the potential to disrupt the industry where other associations of firms (European in particular) have not succeeded in the past.

ITR started its existence back in 1994 as the Gartner local representative, a model still in place today in South Africa and Russia for instance. In 1997 it started developing their own research services, partnered with META Group in 1998 (acquired by Gartner in 2005), then with Forrester from 2005 to 2012 and now with Constellation.

Dave Noble / Intelligen, (LinkedIn, @IntelligenAR) has written a blog post on this and provides a perspective on the APJ ramification.

ITR is an interesting firm because it has always operated as a buy-side advisory firm in a market where external advice is not always valued. It has a comparatively small roster of analysts (relative to Gartner & IDC in Japan), but they are generally considered knowledgeable, experienced & solid. Its penetration of end-user accounts is pretty much blue-chip in Japanese terms, and preceded Gartner’s more recent deeper engagement outside the technology manufacturing sector in Japan.

Key takeways

  • At this stage, it’s difficult to see what both partner gains, other than some Constellation research being shared with ITR clients -Ray is coy about future plans.
  • Potentially, it could be a mutually beneficial channel to cross-sell in each country.

Advice for AR practitioners

  • ITR is the key end-user focussed firm in Japan
  • Constellation, being well versed in SocMed and communications generally, enjoys a SOV much larger than its size.
  • AR pros should definitely place the duo on their briefing list, if they haven’t done so already -but with different and specific objectives in mind.

Thanks to Dave Noble / Intelligen (LinkedIn, @IntelligenAR) and Duncan Chapple / LighthouseAR (LinkedIn, @duncanchapple) for their input on this post.

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IIAR offered free access to Constellation’s Connected Enterprise LiveStream! Sat, 10 Nov 2012 01:09:18 +0000 Good news for IIAR members! They have been offered free access to the LiveStream of Constellation’s Connected Enterprise event 2012, being held in California, US from November 9 to 11.
and the invite to IIAR to register for the event:
Constellation’s Connected Enterprise is the intimate innovation summit for senior business leaders successfully using disruptive technologies such as social business, cloud computing, mobile enterprise, big data and analytics, gamification, and unified communications/video to drive business value and transform business models.

The 3-day, 2-night executive retreat will include mind expanding keynotes from visionaries and futurists, interactive best practices panels, deep 1:1 20 minute interviews w/ market makers, rapid fire high energy new technology demos, The Constellation SuperNova Awards event, a golf outing, and an experiential companion program.

Building on the success of the 2011 event, this year’s themes focus on the key business issues executives face including:
• Future of Work
• Next Generation Customer Experience
• The Shift From Data To Decisions
• Matrix Commerce
• Technology Optimization and Innovation
• The New C-Suite and Consumerization of IT

Hope you enjoy it!
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IIAR Analyst of the Year 2012: Winners Announced! Wed, 31 Oct 2012 10:00:56 +0000 IIAR Analyst of the Year logoThe IIAR is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s IIAR Analyst of the Year and Analyst Firm of the Year



Analyst of the Year:

  • Gold medalAlex Soejarto, Gartner (Research VP, outsourcing & IT services)
  • Silver medalZeus Kerravala, ZK Research (Founder & principal analyst, communications)
  • Bronze medalR “Ray” Wang, Constellation Research (CEO & principal analyst, enterprise software)

Global Analyst Firm of the Year:

Independent Analyst Firm of the Year:

Most innovative firm:

  • HfS Research

This year marked a change from previous formats in that participants were asked to rate their chosen analyst against a list of 10 criteria ranging from ‘Quality of research’ to ‘End-user influence’, with the average of all criteria providing an overall rating. The winning analyst, Alex Soejarto, achieved the highest overall rating from multiple votes, with strong results in understanding, accessibility and end-user influence.  Alex was just clear of Zeus Kerravala, who also performed well on accessibility as well as domain knowledge, and R “Ray” Wang, who rated well across the board.

Global and Independent Analyst firms of the year were run using the same format based on 15 criteria, but in separate categories to allow for more equitable comparisons between the smaller firms. The competition for Global Analyst Firm of the Year was closely fought with Ovum and IDC emerging as joint winners, followed by Forrester and Gartner. In the Independent Analyst Firm of the Year category, competition was also tight, with relatively recent market entrant, ZK Research, emerging clear of Aite Group and HfS Research.

The IIAR this year introduced a new category, ‘Most Innovative Firm of the Year’ to allow a comparison between the global and independent analyst firms. It prompted a strong response and HfS Research was the clear winner based on the volume of votes and the respondent commentary, which highlighted its innovative approach to conducting, analysing and presenting research directly relevant to business needs. Gartner and Forrester also performed well in this comparison, suggesting that innovation is not unique to smaller firms.

Over 200 AR professionals from across the globe took time to complete the survey and nominations were received for 204 individual analysts from 60 separate firms. The data was analysed by Dave Noble, IIAR Board member and MD, Intelligen AR.

A more detailed analysis of the findings will be posted soon – please watch this space for more.


“A most sincere thanks to all that voted for myself and ZK Research. It’s a true honor to be recognized by the analyst relations community in both the individual and independent firm categories.  My philosophy as an analyst is to focus less on any one particular product area but instead look for markets that are in transition and how that will reshape the technology landscape so it’s nice to see that this methodology is being well received.  Once again, a most sincere thank you.”

Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst, ZK Research

“It’s always an honor to be recognized by the analyst relations community, especially after you’ve left the legacy analyst firms.  IIAR’s endless devotion to improving the profession demonstrates the impact of a well-run professional society.”

R “Ray” Wang, Constellation Research

“On behalf of our 1,000+ research analysts worldwide, IDC is honored to receive this recognition from the analyst relations community.”

Kirk Campbell, President & CEO of IDC


“We are delighted to see that the continued investment in our products and services is being recognized by the AR community. To receive the title of Global Analyst Firm of the Year is testament to the quality of Ovum’s people and research, our clear approach to the market, and our commitment to helping customers make better decisions. The market demands clear, independent insight in a fast-moving business landscape, and we recognize and appreciate the important role the IIAR plays in guiding selection of an appropriate research partner”

Brett Azuma, MD, Ovum

“Aite Group is honored to be identified as one of the top in class among worldwide AR professionals.  This global accolade reflects our professional growth and international expansion efforts, and validates us as a leading independent research and advisory firm. A big thanks go to the IIAR and all their work, and to the AR community for recognizing us in this space.”

Frank Rizza Partner/Chief Operating Officer, Aite Group

“We would like to thank IIAR’s members for recognizing HfS as the most innovative analyst firm.  Our goal has been to engage our 120,000-strong social community to conduct rapid research that is quick to market, easy to access and offers a unique perspective on new trends and dynamics.  Having our efforts recognized by such a respected group of professionals proves our socially-driven research strategy is having a major impact.”

Phil Fersht, Founder & CEO, HfS Research

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Constellation Research continues expansion with digital marketing appointment Mon, 10 Sep 2012 22:23:04 +0000 By Dave Noble, IIAR board member & APJ chapter lead

Constellation Research has added to its research portfolio with the appointment of an Australian digital media veteran to lead its coverage of digital marketing transformation, a new research theme which again shifts focus away from traditional IT purchasers and on to business buyers.

Based in Sydney, Gavin Heaton was for five years the leader of social media engagement for SAP’s Premier Customer Network, a CEO peer group encompassing 300 of the software vendor’s most strategic global accounts – not surprisingly, few of these customers are located in the southern hemisphere.

Heaton has an extensive IT and marketing background, having worked with IBM Global Services and DMR Consulting, an Australian services firm acquired by Fujitsu, and then as director of interactive with marketing agency Creata, where he lead the global digital strategy for McDonalds.

He also walks the talk. Heaton is a prolific tweeter and blogger – his Servant Of Chaos blog is one of most-read business sites in Australia and a source of constantly-updated insights into what’s happening in social media, digital strategy and related business issues. He is also a passionate advocate of crowd-sourcing, micro-financing and other community-based, social media-enabled processes.

The appointment of a single analyst is not news in itself – this brings Constellation’s roster to just 13, most of whom don’t work full-time for the firm under its “franchised” model. Nor should it be seen as a geographic play, rather it’s another data point in the ongoing discussion about the changing roles and focus of the analyst business.

In the IIAR APJ Forum on new & emerging analyst firm business models a couple of weeks ago, Constellation founder R “Ray” Wang talked about the firm’s focus away from traditional IT purchasers.

“We’re focused on business needs and business challenges – we’re not focused on technologies, or roles, or markets… we’re targeting people who are buying from the business side, not IT,” he said.

According to Constellation’s press release on the appointment of Heaton, his research will focus “on the changing role and expectations of CMOs, the fusion of marketing channels and change-driven marketing innovation, [and] expand Constellation’s ability to provide digital marketing research and advisory services to its early adopter clients worldwide.”

In a blog post discussing his new role, Heaton continued the theme of disruption in IT spending. “There is no doubt that we are seeing a dramatic shift in the role of marketing. Advertising is under pressure, social is changing our customer relationships and the consumerisation of IT is changing the way we do our work. There has never been so much change or opportunity…” he wrote.

From an AR perspective, this trend is a challenging one. While traditional analyst firms have fairly clearly focused on influencing purchasing through IT departments (or working directly with vendors), the business buyers are a little less obvious. Vendor sales forces don’t necessarily target business buyers – yes, some do, but many don’t – which makes aligning AR to sales a much tougher proposition.

Social media influence on enterprise IT buyers of any stripe is also still unresolved, but it’s a trend that AR pros cannot ignore. Once again, though, the level of focus that AR should apply to this channel is unresolved, and varies considerably depending on the product/solution portfolio.

It’s the speed of movement – not necessarily change – in this space that makes it both interesting and challenging. Current information and insight has more value than research published only a few months ago, but it doesn’t always make it more correct. (Though I must give Gavin Heaton a thumbs-up in that respect – his Twitter, LinkedIn and Servant of Chaos bios were all updated within hours – if not minutes – of this announcement).

It’s a bit lame not to come to a solid conclusion with a piece like this, but this is still an evolving space. AR pros need to watch, listen & learn and – picking up a few tips from the analysts driving the agenda here – engage outside the traditional IT purchasing silos.

And ask questions of these new firms and new analysts. And ask questions of your peers – that’s what these platforms are all about.

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