ESG – 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, 19 Dec 2019 21:11:07 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 76177372 [GUEST POST] 20 mistakes analyst relations teams are making by Mark Peters / ESG (part 1) Thu, 19 Dec 2019 16:16:00 +0000 Mark Peters / ESG: 20 mistakes analyst relations teams are making

Good news: With improvements, everyone will see better results
I’m going to make an assertion that will seem unnecessarily provocative. After working for a decade as an IT industry analyst—including interacting regularly with analysts from other firms — I am confident in saying that many, indeed perhaps most, analyst relations teams are sub-optimizing their relationships and, by extension, their companies’ relationships with the analysts covering them.

I mainly work with teams that manage industry analyst relations specifically—that is, AR teams. But good chunks of the advice I’m about to share could apply (with some tweaking) to anyone managing relationships between their company and outside influencers such as journalists, investment analysts, or other third-party pundits who need information about features, roadmaps, or strategies.Big companies have full-time AR, PR, and IR teams, but even small startups usually have someone on staff doing similar work, even if it’s just one part of their role. There are a lot of you out there. So here we go.


Articles and blogs filled with tips on working with analysts are commonplace. A3 Communications asked me to examine the topic from a different angle. Rather than concentrating on best practices, I’ve been asked to share what I feel are the don’ts, pitfalls, and worst practices.
It boils down to how we jointly communicate—particularly in briefings where you and your colleagues tell us stuff, and in inquiries where you and your colleagues ask us stuff. (I’m not focusing on the subsequent tactical interactions related to developing papers, videos, etc.)

Here are the “no-nos,” in no particular order:

  1. Don’t concentrate all your energy on discussing your written materials and PowerPoint slides. What matters most to us is the conversation that we have with you. To put it another way, present heaps of content to us only if you want to avoid a real discussion with us!
  2. Don’t waste time teaching us about well-known realities of IT today. We are well aware that data is growing….IT budgets are constrained….virtualization is efficient….and the cloud is popular!
  3. Don’t give us the customer-pitch version of your message. We want a more richly textured, comprehensive, in-depth elucidation of your company’s essence, differentiation, business plan, and vision for the future. Your five-minute elevator pitch to prospects has its raison d’etre, but that pitch is not meant primarily for an analyst audience.
  4. In a similar vein, don’t make and present just one deck! You wouldn’t present one generic slide deck to all of your company’s own widely varied customers and prospects (would you!?), so why have just one for all analysts and analyst firms?
  5. This is an obvious point, but don’t be boring. We see countless slide decks … so, so many, many slide decks. You want your message to stand out from the crowd.
  6. Here’s a not-so-secret secret. Nearly all analysts love to talk. But, they also love to help. It’s good for business all around! So, don’t just talk at us instead, ask us lots of questions. Use our loquacious tendencies to your advantage. You’ll get some level of insight during practically any analyst conversation—even when no formal subscriber relationship is in place between your organization and ours, and we’re just informally chatting. A good analyst, even one “coming in blind” to an introductory meeting with an unknown startup, will have a few interesting, helpful words of wisdom. And I guarantee you, he or she will be eager to share (or, minimally, unable to stop themselves from so doing!).
  7. In general, don’t assume we exist solely to provide feedback on your new strategy, or that we live to write briefs about your great new product. We have more to offer. We know what other vendors in your market are doing and can, therefore, play devil’s advocate. Additionally, once we feel safe placing our trust in you, we can give you candid feedback about the individuals in your own organization whom we believe are taking/optimizing/benefitting from our advice (and, conversely, who’s ignoring it).
  8. Don’t assume we need to be treated as precious VIPs. You don’t have to wine and dine us. Remember, if your company has a subscription with our firm, we’ll be happy to get on the phone with you any time. Don’t wait until your big show in Vegas, Frankfurt, or Singapore is just around the corner. To be honest, we’d rather have a truly good phone call with you than be shipped off every three weeks to one city or another’s expo center, stuck inside conference rooms for three days. We certainly don’t mind free food and nice hotels, but we (mostly!) like helping you even more.
  9. Don’t forget: No one can remember everything they hear, or review huge PPT decks while absorbing everything. So, don’t take a “full-strength-firehose” approach with us. Put thought into what you want our top two or three discussions and/or takeaways to be.
  10. You can pick and choose what questions to ask of the different analysts you engage, but don’t neglect to get a smorgasbord of input. There’s more than one analyst firm out there. Talk to a range of us. Leverage our variety.

This is it for part 1. Yes, there are more don’ts I’m planning to share. Watch this space for part 2….

Mark Peters (LinkedIn, @englishmdp) is a Practice Director & Senior Analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), with three decades of IT industry experience – the first two spent in myriad commercial management roles for vendors on each side of the Atlantic the last decade looking in on the vendors and at the market for ESG. ESG is an IT analyst, research, validation, and strategy firm that provides market intelligence and actionable insight to the global IT community. ESG helps clients achieve business results through a comprehensive portfolio of research and advisory services, consulting, and custom content solutions.

This post first appeared on A3 Communications, reposted with their kind permission.

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The IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2018 Fri, 11 Oct 2019 17:49:36 +0000 Fashionably late but always on point and by popular request here’s the IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2018, a representation of how Analyst Relations Professionals (AR Pros) have rated analyst firms in the 2018 survey we ran for the Analyst and Firm of the Year 2018.

For new readers here, the Tragic Quadrant is of course a pun on the infamous GartnerMagic Quadrant’. We do not pretend this as an exhaustive analysis -nor is it a completely serious piece of research (the “Tragic” moniker is there as a reminiscence it should be taken with a pinch of salt). Nonetheless it is based on data and, as opposed to the Gartner Magic Quadrant, there are no magical and secretive weightings. As such, it is a good indication going back several years of the changes afoot in the industry analyst landscape and the judgement analyst relations professionals cast on industry research firms. And it provides actionable insights AR pros can use, something other surveys in this field often lack.

The ‘AOTY‘ survey allowed us to collect data on AR pros’ preferred industry analysis firms, which we group in three composite indicators:

  • Impact as plotted on the Y axis is a relative position of firms based on how AR pros view their ‘Impact’ on purchase decision and moreover on the ecosystem at large. This also relates to their perceived credibility and capability to provide an objective opinion.
  • Relevance on the X axis is the relative position of analyst firms as seen by AR for relevance in their own ecosystems, including capability to cover the market, technologies and geography. It also covers the depth of expertise of analysts.
  • Interaction is the size each bubble, translating how it is easy to do business with each firm according to AR pros. The smaller the bubble, the harder it is to work with the firm. This is also a relative rating.

Without further ado, here is the 2018 IIAR Tragic Quadrant, presenting some big surprises this year as you can see from below.

IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2018 v04
The IIAR> Tragic Quadrant 2018

My comments on these results… but your guess is as good as mine.

On relevance (horizontal axis), it seems it pays for firms to be specialised or focussed on a specific expertise area accorded to AR pros, something that should be put in perspective by the fact those very specialised firms attracted less nominations. The larger firms are relevant by virtues of coverage and space, Forrester being on the left of Gartner having de-focussed from IT is probably the counter example.

Impact presents a more curious picture, with 451 clearly also benefiting from having a laser-focus on its enterprise audience for instance. It’s worth noting that this is a survey of AR professionals and not an actual measure of impact on sales or otherwise.

The most revealing dimension is the ease to do business with, where AR pros rate the leading industry analysis firm, Gartner, much lower for ease to do business with. We’re seeing a net regression there this year, maybe as Gartner is its increased domination on the market to impose rigid practices and T&C’s? Everest is perplexing as their size should make them more amenable. We would caution firms to watch this indicator as we said last year:

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.

Neil Pollock, The IIAR Tragic Quadrant for 2017

Also worthy of a mention, is besides the ‘historic’ firms 451 Research, ESG, Everest Group, Forrester, Gartner, HfS Research, IDC, Kuppinger Cole & Partner, NelsonHall, Ovum and the well publicised ZK Research, we find relatively new firms:

Bottom line

Analyst relations professionals should watch closely the ecosystem and balance their efforts towards firms that are relevant in their space, have more impact on the goals they pursue (see the AR SOSM model) and arbitrage budgets to deliver better value for money, avoid friction and un-necessary ‘transactional taxes.’

By Ludovic Leforestier (LinkedIn@lludovic).

Related posts:

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Trio of analyst departures at Gartner underlines why backup strategy is so important Mon, 04 Jun 2018 15:16:48 +0000 Gartner icon logo for the IIAR websiteGartner has been forced to delay a Magic Quadrant report for at least six months due to the mass departure of pivotal analysts covering the enterprise data center space. 

The delay followed news that analysts Dave Russell and Pushan Rinnen were leaving to join vendors. The duo were the mainstays of the Gartner team covering data backup. Their counterpart in the EMEA region, Robert Rhame, is also moving on.

Their timing was remarkable: Gartner was due to kick off research for its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions last week. With all three authors choosing to leave Gartner, the firm had no credible option but to delay the start of the report: this is now on ice until 2019.

What is notable is that vendors were informed of the slew of departures by no other than Mike Harris, SVP and head of the IT Leaders and Technical Professionals research business within Gartner. Usually, these notifications come from a team MVP.

Gartner’s roster of analysts covering the data center infrastructure space has been steadily weakening over the past year, with the remaining analysts covering enterprise hardware under pressure not to attend vendor events. Instead, they are instructed to optimize their time to help end-user technology buyer customers – which effectively means blocking up to four-hour chunks in their daily calendar to field the high volume of inquiry calls.

The retirement of veteran guru data center analysts Andy Butler (October 2017) and George Weiss (May 2018) was already a blow, and recently, former EMC marketing exec turned analyst JP Corriveau handed in his notice, to return to the vendor side. Gartner also lost storage MVP Errol Rasit at the start of the year.

It’s two vendors who have led to this disruption within Gartner: Veeam and Rubrik. Both are cloud data management firms, which hints at the future direction of the backup market. Corriveau and Russell have joined privately-held Veeam, while Rinnen, Rhame and another former Gartner analyst Ray Schafer have joined Rubrik.

Any behind-the-scenes insights that these vendors hoped to have gained in how to wrangle the backup MQ now seem to be lost, since Gartner has put the refresh on hold for at least six months. That’s still quite an aggressive timescale, since the team of analysts taking over this beat will also want to adjust the MQ in line with their perceptions of changing market and customer needs.

More than just a change of schedule

However, for vendors, the MQ delay is more than a change of schedule. It means starting over in building relationships with the analysts who will take over one of the few remaining MQs in the hardware space. (Quadrants for servers and client computing devices have long been furloughed in favor of infrequently-updated Market Guides.)

In his mail to affected vendors, Gartner SVP Harris only scratches the surface of the impact of this treble whammy, noting: “This has been a difficult decision, especially given the time and resources invested in the process of communicating the included vendors’ respective value propositions.” That’s an understatement, since right now, Gartner will struggle to field those valuable backup-related inquiries from its enterprise subscribers, let alone start the task of updating a Magic Quadrant and the associated Critical Capabilities report.

Frustrated vendors won’t have much luck either if they turn to Forrester: in this space, Rich Fichera was the firm’s last analyst still covering data center hardware until he retired this spring.

This is an unprecedented opportunity for the smaller analyst firms in this space to take a bite from Gartner’s enormous slide of the pie. We’re expecting the charge will be led by the ever-competent Enterprise Strategy Group.

It’s also a great opportunity for smaller backup vendors to punch above their weight, by focusing on Gartner Peer Reviews. As the backup MQ gets long in the tooth, so buyers will be more swayed by reviews from their peers – especially with a shortfall of experienced, knowledgeable analysts at Gartner to explain the possible pitfalls. As a top executive at Gartner recently put it, “Using peer reviews is like driving with the rear view mirror… you need the analysts to spot the bend around the corner”.

If you want a clue as to what’s ahead, note that Veeam and Rubrik both focus on cloud-based storage and data management.

But it looks like a twisty road to recovery for Gartner.

By Simon Jones (@simondestrierLinkedIn), co-lead for the IIAR German Chapter. This article first appeared on Destrier’s blog.


Other posts on Gartner

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Who is the IIAR Analyst of the Year 2017? Fri, 01 Dec 2017 14:33:35 +0000

The temperature may be dropping, but things have been heating up in the analyst community. Yes, it’s that time of year when we ask you to put the analysts themselves under the spotlight.

The 2017 IIAR Analyst of the Year Award nominations saw some hot competition, but inevitably there can be only one winner (well, actually we have three, but more about that shortly). Announced at the IIAR Christmas Party, kindly sponsored by Criteo, we celebrated the successes of some of the industry’s favourite thinkers and most serious strategists.

Recognising the voice of the analyst relations community

With the ever-diversifying tech landscape, the expertise and consultancy delivered by industry analysts gains a new stature. And so we spared no expense in interrogating the global analyst relations community as to the practitioners they most respect in their field.

We had responses from 13 countries, encompassing contributions from businesses under $50m right through to $multi-billion organisations. And as a result a wide array of analysts were recognised within the survey.


Drumroll please…

Prizes were awarded for the highest overall impact and relevance for the industry, whilst recognising how easy these analysts are to work with. The evaluation used the IIAR SOSM methodology, to reflect the best practice promoted within the IIAR. So with this context covered, we can get down to the nitty gritty and announce the winners…

This year’s winner of IIAR Analyst of the Year 2017 for Hardware is:

Jon Oltsik / ESG (LinkedIn, @joltsik)


Our winner of the IIAR Analyst of the Year 2017 for Software is:

Jost Hoppermann / Forrester (LinkedIn)

And the winner of IIAR Analyst of the Year 2017 in Services is:

Bill Martorelli / Forrester (LinkedIn, @BillMartorelli)


With this esteemed line up commended, it’s time to announce the overall Analyst of the Year Award for 2017. Recognised for his combination of strategic input to business outcomes, expertise in his field and overall quality of experience in working with him, we’re pleased to announce the winner of…

IIAR Analyst of the Year 2017 Overall

Bill Martorelli / Forrester

Huge congratulations Bill and well done on all the excellent work you’ve done with the IIAR community.


Recognising the evolving industry

IIAR members were also asked to identify fresh talent within the analyst community. We asked you to call out your ‘New Entrant of the Year’ nominations, and the response was so strong that we actually wanted to celebrate all of the nominees. So we’re delighted to commend the following analysts for making a great impact to our profession:

  • Mila D’Antonio / Ovum
  • Amanda LeClair / Forrester
  • Fernando Montenegro / 451 Research
  • Simon Abrahams / PAC
  • Meghna Mukerjee / Aite Group
  • Kiel Carlsson / Forrester


Sharing in success

Further to the individual analyst of the year, we also have our analyst firm of the year. This was a close-run competition, but in the end there was one that stood out.

This year’s IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 is 


Well done to all of the Gartner team and thanks to Nick Jones for collecting the award.


Helping us create business value

This year we added a new category, to celebrate professionals also adding incredible value to AR. We’re delighted to announce that the inaugural 

IIAR 2017 Analyst Client Partner of the Year award goes to:

Anne Stevenson / IDC

Partnerships between AR professionals and the analyst firms with whom they work are a key part of our sector – in fact it can be the critical factor in creating business value. So well done to Anne for your contributions.


With that we come to a close for this year. Congratulations to everyone who has been recognised within the awards – and thanks to the AR professionals for taking the time to vote. Here’s to another great year in 2018.


By  (LinkedIn, @Tom_Buttle) and  (@aniruddho, LinkedIn)

IIAR AOTY Working Group

IIAR 2017 Xmas Party and Analyst of the Year 2017

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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).


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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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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)


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[GUEST POST] How AR is Doing: An Ex-AR Practitioner’s View from the Other Side, by Evan Quinn / ESG Fri, 15 Feb 2013 16:16:15 +0000 This guest post has been authored by Evan Quinn (LinkedIn, @evanquinn, blog) who is a Senior Principal Analyst at ESG (Enterprise Strategy Group) covering Data Management, Analytics, Big Data and Cloud Platform-as-a-Service. While at Axicom, Evan was also on the IIAR board .

Speech is free: Evan and ESG are not associated in any ways with the IIAR and the post below contains Evan’s opinions which might not reflect the views of IIAR’s members or ESG.

A couple of years ago I decided it was time to step away from the analyst/influencer relations function for at least awhile.  The researcher/competitive analyst side of me was asking for an outlet, and so I left the AR ranks.  But, ironically, in my current job as an industry analyst I have  the opportunity to see how AR practitioners perform their jobs every business day.  I am here to report that things have changed somewhat in AR, and in some cases not for the better.  But first some background.

I started working for Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) last summer, covering databases, BI/analytics, platform-as-a-service, integration and that trend known as big data which is the subject of as much hyperbole as any trend in IT right now.  ESG, while a “tier 2” firm, has grown steadily during its over 10 years of existence, is the leading analyst firm in terms of performing lab validations – yes, we will actually install and test an IT product, unlike any of the tier 1s. While ESG has grown steadily and expanded its coverage in its over 10 years of existence, at least in terms of size, coverage breadth (e.g. no consumer research) and geographic reach (little in Asia), ESG is not a tier 1.

My other experiences as an analyst were with IDC, Gartner, and Hurwitz Group; I started my first job as an analyst almost 20 years ago with IDC. While at the tier 1s, if I asked for a briefing AR always jumped on the request.  Even if the timing was wrong, they at least responded nearly immediately, almost always same day, and if a briefing didn’t make sense at that time they would explain why and propose alternative plans.  The proactive outreach emanating from the vendors through AR was constant. But even at Hurwitz Group, which was a tier 3 firm way back when the tech bubble burst in the early 2000s, even though the proactive outreach was less than when I worked at the tier 1s, the level of responsiveness when I was interested in some information or a briefing was the same as when I was with the tier 1s.

Even a few years ago there seemed to be two fundamentals that everyone practiced in AR:  (1) Be responsive, professionally responding to email in a timely fashion, (2) If an analyst wants information, try to help the analyst obtain it because, (a) it keeps them accurate, you don’t want rogue, uninformed analysts out there and, (b) if they want information odds are high that they are going to write and/or talk about the product or service.

Surprisingly, I see those basic principles sometimes getting lost today – maybe there are not enough AR people, or AR budgets are too tight, or there are too many analysts, especially now that non-analyst bloggers are part of the influence chain.  But I believe that, despite that often legitimate excuse of “being overwhelmed,” the lack of responsiveness from AR to analysts of any stripes is full of risk and should be avoided if at all possible. What is worse is that lack of responsiveness has been institutionalized.

Enter PR Mindset, the Gatekeeper, and One-to-Many

One AR trend that was underway when I stopped working in AR was that a PR mindset was infiltrating AR.    People trained in media relations moved into AR departments, or were handling AR wholly as a shared practice with PR, or were AR agency personnel.  A long time ago AR sometimes reported into product marketing or product management, but now, with only a few exceptions, AR reports into corporate communications.  And 9 times out of 10, or maybe less, the head of corporate comms never practiced AR.

To be fair, not all PR people are poor at AR. Much has to do with the corporate comms leader; if she or he “gets” the unique nature and lifecycle of analyst relations, understands how analysts fit distinctly in the influence chain or echo chamber, that enlightened viewpoint tends to permeate the team.  When I as at Oracle, the head of corporate comms, a PR professional, totally “got” AR, and the AR and PR teams functioned effectively together, yet had their own distinct best practices.  While at HP, however, some corporate comms leaders were baffled by AR – in fact one leader didn’t know the difference between IR and AR.  Suffice it to say that AR often operated under PR principles, though someAR practitioners who knew better were effective nonetheless.   What is wrong with the pure PR mindset in the context of AR?

  • Pitch:  I am constantly pitched ideas and positions by PR people masquerading as AR.  Their mode is to strong-arm me into writing free pieces for them. They don’t understand that analysts (a) care relatively less about news cycles, (b) have their own PoVs – we are not there to simply regurgitate, (c) are willing to question and test marketing claims and have the research and knowledge to do so, and (d) have our own publishing cycles.   In terms of “news” I will write a blog post about something I find compelling and I always try to put it in a strategic context.  Pitch me too hard and I am less likely to write about your vendor, even if I was originally self-compelled to do so.
  • Throwaway Relations:  Yes, I understand we are in a dog-eat-dog business.  But a good AR person (a) grasps the work cycle of analysts, and based on that (b) consciously reaches out and “relates” to analysts.  The best lesson I ever was taught about AR was from an AR person at Sun: He called me one day when I was working at IDC.  I asked him what he wanted, and he said, “Nothing in particular, just wanted to know if you needed anything from us.”  Wow, no obvious agenda, how refreshing.  The PR mindset comes across as much more of a one way street – smile, lure, sell but when it is all done disappear; most analysts weren’t born yesterday.
  • Gatekeeping and One-to-Many:  Spokesperson time is dear and to deal with that many vendors now hold one-to-many briefings, where a spokesperson will do a web conference to outline product plans, launches, etc., for a number of analysts cross-firm.  That is okay some of the time.  But individual analysts should occasinally be given the opportunity to interact with the vendor experts; I certainly am not going to test my theories and primary takeaways in an open forum with other industry analysts.  And those general briefings often do not go into details that I think are important.One of the largest software vendors uses a well-known agency to handle non-tier 1 analysts, and the agency ONLY gate-keeps.  The agency personnel act like low level of customer service people who follow a script with a primary goal of not servicing the customer.  It is probably the worst practice I have ever seen in AR.  Analysts try to be objective, and it is something I take pride in – but if I am treated with disdain by agency PR types filling in AR ranks, it is difficult not to react.   This worst practice encourages analysts to make up their own stuff, to not give the vendor the benefit of the doubt, and to carry a grudge even if we try not to.

That said, some of the PR people from agencies that work mainly with start-ups are quite effective doing AR.  I guess just like many personnel at start-ups, the agencies that support them are comfortable wearing many hats.  My experience, for the most part, is that they do a little PR mindset pitching, but also endeavour to give analysts direct access to spokespeople – and just as I appreciate it when they understand my job, I try to appreciate their job and responsibilities too.  Quid pro quo.

Among the large vendors with full-scale AR teams, I see a widening divergence of effectiveness.  For me those two fundamentals, responsiveness and relations, make the big difference. Oracle, for example, while known for being a tough competitor in the marketplace, nonetheless excels in my recent experience at being responsive and at relationship management with analysts.  Among somewehat smaller but still significant vendors the NetApp and Informatica AR teams excel in these fundamentals as well.  Some other larger vendors seem to me to lean too much on gate-keeping, but maybe they are just following that “if he isn’t tier-1 or a family favorite, make him attend the one-to-many briefings.”  To my shock, however, some of the largest firms have left the “be responsive” fundamental in the dust.


Bottom line

Industry analysts should not thought of as influence silos: we communicate with customers, alliance and channel partners, competitors, informally to personnel inside your vendor organization (sorry about that, but it happens), media, other analysts, consultants and bloggers – not in public.  Measuring analyst influence by number of tweets or Linkedin connections is a formula for AR disaster.

AR people, regardless of background, who forget about the hidden reach of analysts, put their vendors at foolish risk in the echo chamber.  It is actually quite simple:

  1. Respond to information requests in a timely fashion;
  2. Step off the pitch accelerator pedal – save it for when you really need it, and
  3. Lobby to get each analyst at least some private interaction.


Previous posts by Evan:

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