Ovum – Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) https://analystrelations.org 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. Wed, 20 May 2020 13:40:12 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 76177372 Omdia’s Roy Illsley steps up https://analystrelations.org/2020/05/20/omdias-roy-illsley-steps-up/ https://analystrelations.org/2020/05/20/omdias-roy-illsley-steps-up/#respond Wed, 20 May 2020 13:40:10 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=315172 Omdia continues to fill out its senior positions with the appointment of Roy Illsley as Chief Analyst for the 50-strong Enterprise team.
Roy Illsey / Chief Analyst, Omdia

Spanning cloud, data center, cybersecurity, AI & intelligent automation, enterprise IT, and IoT technology, Illsley’s new remit is to put into practice Omdia’s mission to “connect the dots across the entire tech ecosystem” initially for the cloud and data center practice, but then extending this to cover all of the Enterprise team.

Illsley (LinkedIn, @royillsley) reports to Cliff Grossner (LinkedIn, @cliffgrossner), Senior Research Director, Cloud & Data Center, who in turn reports to former IHS Markit head Bill Morelli (LinkedIn), who is now Research VP for the Enterprise IT team. Illsley plans to leverage combined insights from the old Ovum forecasts into IT spending with the bottom-up vendor-sourced data from IHS Markit.

With this combined data, Roy plans to explore planned IT spending over the next 3-4 years around enterprise data center technology, as well as service desk plus IaaS, PaaS and SaaS in his new Intelligence Service IT ecosystem & operations that launches in May – and eventually working with London-based Maxine Holt (LinkedIn, @maxineholt), Senior Research Director, Cybersecurity on the wider topics of cloud cybersecurity – and to help enterprises to determine where they should be looking at placing technology investments.

Supporting a longer-term focus on increasing revenue from end-user buyers is also on Illsley’s roadmap – starting by showing them the value of Omdia’s consolidated top-down and bottom-up view of the market by working with Dan Mayo (LinkedIn, @danielmayo_ovum), Senior Research Director, Enterprise IT. “We think the end-user buyer market is an untapped market for us, but it’s managing that in a way that is balanced … making sure the services we offer are going to match what the end users are looking for. In many ways, we will be picking up on the roots of what Butler Group used to do with end-user subscriptions.”

In terms of goals, Illsley aspires to help Omdia be the strategic voice, combined with a reputation which “justifies why people should listen”. He adds: “This is a pivotal role to drive forward how we learn to connect these dots, getting out to hear the voice of the customer, bringing that into the trackers and making sure we answer customers’ questions.”

Illsley also wants to help AR professionals in navigating through the new Omdia organization – offering to help them find the right analyst for any specific topic.

Our take: There’s a lot riding on the new Omdia for parent company Informa, after years of false starts and frustrations with Ovum. It makes a lot of sense to try and combine top-down analyst insights with bottom-up data from IHS Markit – and the result is something that should appeal to technology buyers as well as vendors.

With the percentage of Omdia’s business from end-users currently around the 15% mark, there’s certainly potential for growth.

Fellow AR professionals will confirm that Roy is easy to work with – and I’m sure will also welcome his generous offer – not only will it help in navigating through the new organization, but will also help drive synergies between analysts from the “old” Ovum and IHS Markit.

Other posts on Omdia

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IIAR> Webinar – Welcome to the party, Omdia! https://analystrelations.org/2020/01/30/welcome-to-the-party-omdia/ https://analystrelations.org/2020/01/30/welcome-to-the-party-omdia/#respond Thu, 30 Jan 2020 19:28:08 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=313530 It’s been fascinating to watch Ovum for the past 15+ or so years, acquiring Butler Group, merging and un-merging with Datamonitor, buying RHK and then been purchased by event giant Informa.

The last chapter saw Informa buying the research-part of IHS, namely IHS Markit Technology (August 2019), Tractica (July 2018) and moving it all into shiny new offices on the Southbank together with Informa’s other brands: Screen Digest, iSupply, Computerwire (bought in August 2016), Heavy Reading, Infonetics, IMS and Displaybank.

The logical next step was naturally going to be a consolidation and it’s what’s been soft-launched today to its clients under the name Omdia.

Omdia logo 3
Omdia logo and signification, extract of Omdia launch presentation, reproduced with its permission for the IIAR>

I was briefed last week by Tim Jennings (IIAR> interview, (LinkedIn@tjennings) and Clint Wheelock (LinkedIn), InformaTech’s new Chief Research Officer my take is that it’s an interesting combination with great potential.

Structurally, Omdia sits in InformaTech, alongside the other Informa divisions, altogether totalling 11,000 staff and GBP 2.3b revenues:

  • Informa Markets, for exhibitions, digital content and data (a competitor of Reed)
  • InformaConnect, for content-driven events and digital communities
  • InformaIntelligence, for digital intelligence products, research and consultancy
  • and Taylor Francis Group for scholarly research and reference-led content

The new Omdia research firm totals 450 analysts (30% in the USA and 30% in APAC), although it was unclear from the briefing I received last week whether that number is all of InformaTech or just Omdia. It covers a wide range of research formats, different teams with very different approaches to this, from high-touch advisory à la Ovum to a more quantitative approach or short takes.

The Omdia advantage –we are connected, expert and influential
The Omdia advantage, Extract of Omdia launch presentation, reproduced with its permission for the IIAR>

This will be a transformation going way beyond today’s launch, bringing all those analysts together -a non-trivial task as any analyst relations person knows. The roadmap they’ve shared with us looks both promising and realistic –the latter was not the case with previous efforts).

Bottom line

This is a fantastic opportunity to bring some diversity of opinions in the mix, with a credible global challenger on a size similar to Forrester and offerings not that dissimilar to IDC -with events in addition. We’re seeing the name Ovum finally laid to rest, so a little pinch to the heart there.

On the plus side, Omdia brings experience outside in, being events-heavy with 200+ gigs -a great way to become an experience company. Inquiries have been productised into an “Ask the analyst” service.

On the minus aspects, AR pros will need to watch for three things:

  • how that transformation is implemented
  • the business is still mostly vendor-facing on the research side, limiting its direct influence although it claims 10,000 subscribers -not a small number
  • the line between sponsored GTM products and RAS research is a little blurry

IIAR Webinar ***UPDATED***

The IIAR> will be running a webinar on Tuesday 11th February at 1630 GMT with Clint Wheelock (LinkedIn) / Chief Research Officer and Tim Jennings / Research Director at Omdia (IIAR> interview, LinkedIn@tjennings), moderated by Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovicLinkedIn) / IIAR Board Members and Anja Steinmann / (LinkedIn@AnjaSteinmann) / IIAR UK Chapter lead.

IIAR> Register

Thanks to Simon Jones (@SimonDestrierLinkedIn)  for his contribution to this blog post.

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The IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2018 https://analystrelations.org/2019/10/11/the-iiar-tragic-quadrant-2018/ https://analystrelations.org/2019/10/11/the-iiar-tragic-quadrant-2018/#comments Fri, 11 Oct 2019 17:49:36 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=311306 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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[GUEST POST] Informa adds IHS Markit tech analysts to equal Forrester https://analystrelations.org/2019/05/22/guest-post-informa-adds-ihs-markit-tech-analysts-to-equal-forrester/ https://analystrelations.org/2019/05/22/guest-post-informa-adds-ihs-markit-tech-analysts-to-equal-forrester/#comments Wed, 22 May 2019 16:20:58 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=297507 IHS Informa logos (IIAR website)Informa (INF.L) has acquired IHS Markit’s (INFO) TMT business. Informa Tech, which includes Ovum, will have revenues similar to Forrester’s $350m. It represents a dramatic shift in the analyst landscape.

Informa announced the transaction on 22 May as part of an exchange of Informa’s agribusiness service for IHS Markit’s TMT portfolio, including the OTT and media teams.

A sixty-year-old firm built through acquisitions, IHS its has absorbed numerous tech research firms, including Infonetics Research and IMS Research.

IHS Markit has clarified that it will retain RootMetrics and part of its market intelligence business. Because the exchange is subject to US regulatory approval, it can’t be completed until July at the earliest.


Informa and IHS Markit are similar firms and know each other well. Many colleagues at one have worked at the other, including the head of Informa agribusiness. Given the broad scope of their information services, ‘co-opetition’ is unavoidable in many areas. For example, IHS Fairplay was previously part of Informa’s Lloyds List business. As a result, we expect the transition to complete smoothly.

As well as a substantial base of business, Informa gains senior market analysts like Abel Nevarez, Clifford Leimback, Devan Adams, Diane Myers, Heidi Adams, Laura Aguilera, Michael Howard, Ruomeng Wang and Stéphane Téral.

Informa’s current TMT business, Ovum, will be dwarfed by IHS Markit colleagues.  For example, the ARchitect analyst database lists 354 colleagues at IHS Markit in categories including IT, telecom, media, industrial, automotive, electronics, and solar: Ovum has 147. LinkedIn lists 1,000 colleagues in total at IHS Markit Technology, compared to 309 at Ovum. The heartland for IHS Markit is the USA, while Ovum is headquartered in London.


Our take

The exchange of assets is partly a defensive move. Both IHS and Informa have acquired extensively, and in doing so have complemented their long-standing roles as providers of industry data that spans multiple markets. In doing so, the businesses have developed profitability that Forrester can only dream of: Informa just reported operating profit of £732m on revenues of £2,369m. That’s double the firm’s revenue in 2015. Unlike Gartner, the firm is able to pay a regular dividend to shareholders.

From an analyst relations point of view, these purchases have been hard to understand. The integration of these businesses into the methods and content delivery platforms of IHS Markit and Informa has produced a degree of commodification and homogeneity, which has certainly led to a clash of cultures. Most importantly, AR professionals need to understand that the Informa business model is not Gartner’s. Measuring Informa Tech by how much it will resemble Gartner is a waste of time. Informa’s reach into the enterprise will be broader than ever.

As a result, Informa Tech will have a different value proposition to Gartner and Forrester. We expect its emphasis will be more on market data, events, lead generation and access to buyers than on inquiry calls and procurement support.


By Duncan Chapple (LinkedIn, @Duncan Chapple), Head of Analyst Relations, CCgroup PR.

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[GUEST POST] Looking Back at Three Analyst Firms by Barry Rabkin / Market Insight Group https://analystrelations.org/2019/02/05/guest-post-looking-back-at-three-analyst-firms-by-barry-rabkin-market-insight-group/ https://analystrelations.org/2019/02/05/guest-post-looking-back-at-three-analyst-firms-by-barry-rabkin-market-insight-group/#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2019 21:21:31 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=271411 By Barry Rabkin (LinkedIn, @Impactoftech), President & Principal Analyst, Market Insight Group, Ltd.


Barry Rabkin / Market Insights GroupI was fortunate to become an insurance industry analyst in 1997.

Before that time, I had worked in the business side of the insurance industry for 17 years (primarily in marketing and/or market research across all major lines of business) and then due to, what was to prove a very lucky event in hindsight, being caught up in a purge from John Hancock, becoming a management consultant. After eight years as a management consultant, I got and grabbed the opportunity to become an insurance industry analyst. I definitely found my true professional love being a part of the analyst community. [One difference between a management consultant and an analyst? Analysts don’t have to be nice!]

My insurance industry analyst experience included leading or launching and leading insurance strategic advisory services in the US and the UK. Looking back at those experiences at META Group, Financial Insights (IDC), and Ovum, these highlights standout to me. BTW Before going into my highlights I want to state that I respected all three firms for not being just vertical (i.e. industry) analyst firms but instead were homes for analysts from a large variety of IT and Telco disciplines as well as having vertical analysts.

I continue to not understand where analysts who work for analyst firms that cover only industries (i.e. only insurance or only insurance, banking, and capital markets) get their IT and/or Telco information. I felt blessed that I could walk over or talk to IT or Telco analysts. Part of my role as an insurance industry analyst was to understand and learn what the IT and/or Telco analysts considered to be trends, issues, challenges, and implications, in their respective fields and then repurpose their ideas, where appropriate, for the insurance segments I was covering.

From 1997 on, I quickly discovered that “the world is not flat” – what may seem to be an important emerging technology (or even a maturing technology) really wouldn’t capture the insurance industry lines of business at anywhere near the pace that the IT or Telco analyst thought it would. I carried a large number of sharp pins to prick their balloons when we discussed the insurance industry – or really, specific insurance lines of business.

The Three Analyst Firms

Returning to the title of my post, here are my key take-aways for each of the three analyst firms:

META Group

  • Very strong analysts – they knew their technology and industry spaces cold.
  • Very opinionated analysts (which I totally loved) – to this day I continue to feel / behave as if I am still a Meta Group analyst.
  • Analysts used sparingly by the consulting area – the philosophy was to use analysts as subject matter experts but don’t take up their time pursuing consulting engagements. (Analysts exist to research, do analysis, write reports, deliver presentations, and be briefed by firms or brief firms.)
  • Analysts ‘took a stand’ but changed their position as they ‘got smarter’ from more research and ‘talking to their market.
  • Short reports (about 1,200 words MAX) but each analyst had to write 6 – 8 reports / month.
  • Coherent themes for the analyst firm and simultaneously for each service area.
  • Had freedom to create an insurance research agenda that aligned with the Meta themes – still left a huge opportunity area.
  • Analysts’ text took priority over the editors – correct the grammar but do not replace the analyst’s text.
  • Quick editorial process – get those reports published !!

Financial Insights, IDC

  • Strong analysts but nice people, really nice people – I once told one of my colleagues that if IDC analysts were any nicer I would need an insulin shot.
  • Quite a few templates to write our reports – quite a few templates. But I didn’t think the templates were ‘over-engineered’ as some of my IDC colleagues.
  • Significantly more than analysts “who count boxes.” Quite a brush-back I almost always heard from Gartner analysts (and only Gartner). Didn’t take me long to realize that IDC analysts are waaaaayyyy more than box-counters.
  • However, IT Spend is a critical component / theme for IDC – ironically, I don’t believe in IT Spend at all. Not even an iota. I care about the ‘why’ and ‘what’ but not the ‘how much’ or ‘how many.’ IDC analysts cover that entire spectrum of those facets.
  • Relatively efficient editorial process – with the right attitude that editors shouldn’t re-write what an analyst has written (except correcting grammaritical mistakes).
  • Still shocked that our reports didn’t have an Executive Summary – but the 3 – 5 bullet points on the first page served that purpose.
  • I was part of a great global team of insurance industry analysts – and it was global: Canada, London, Italy, and Singapore. I always reminded the team that when we crafted our annual research agenda to change it however they felt necessary because they knew their regional significantly better than I ever could.
  • Colleagues from other parts of the world – and other practices – graciously agreeing to participate in the areas around the globe where we didn’t have insurance industry analysts.
  • I did run into some IDC analysts in my first year who told me that they never would have hired me once they found out I came from The META Group. (That gave me a few chuckles ….)
  • Used analysts in consulting engagements, including pursuit teams. Analysts had a consulting component of their compensation. Hated it.

Ovum (an Informa Company)

  • Gave me an opportunity to better understand first-hand the issues and challenges that insurers faced around the world, specifically Europe and Asia-Pacific.
  • Erroneously believed that one insurance industry analyst, or two analysts for that matter, could cover the entire planet. Insurance regulatory differences make that impossible (even if the one analyst or the two analysts are willing to work without any sleep).
  • Strong analysts including extremely strong Telco analysts – it quickly became apparent that Ovum’s roots were in Telco.
  • Editorial process (peer review and editing) that served to slow down the production of analyst reports.
  • Editorial process that erroneously was built to enable the editors to over-ride what the analyst wrote (beyond grammatical errors).
  • Reports that were too long – really too long … and when I first got there were organized as books with chapters. Books !! I continue to believe if an analyst has a lot of material the analyst should write multiple reports.
  • Far too much emphasis on head-to-head (i.e. Decision Matrices) for my taste – yes, they are important but they take way too long and analyst areas with three of fewer analysts shouldn’t be asked to do any H2H reports.
  • Analysts from various services were happy to collaborate – significantly different from IDC where some of the analysts would only collaborate if their service got a % of the subscription price (of the analyst asking for collaboration) or wanted to be shown as a co-author even if the collaboration was a short paragraph.
  • Wonderful approach to help analysts not just understand issues their market faces by sending the analyst to different parts of the world – got me to Australia twice and New Zealand once to visit clients and prospects.
  • However, wouldn’t tackle North American when I was with Ovum. Yes, there is a whole world out there but not being willing to compete with IDC, Gartner, and Forrester in North America is myopic IMO.
  • Used analysts in consulting engagements. Analysts had a consulting component of their compensation. Hated it.


If I had a magic wand, I’d combine META Group and Financial Insights, IDC into the analyst firm that I’d want to work. (I would eliminate the IT Spend and, of course, any head-to-head reports.)

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IIAR> Analyst Of The Year 2018: The Awards Unwrapped. https://analystrelations.org/2018/12/04/iiar-analyst-of-the-year-2018-the-awards-unwrapped/ https://analystrelations.org/2018/12/04/iiar-analyst-of-the-year-2018-the-awards-unwrapped/#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2018 20:00:32 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=261326 Who’d have thought Christmas would come this early? Grab a glass of bubbles, put on the festive music and light the fire. It’s time to unveil the IIAR Analyst Of The Year award winners.

2018 was a year in which influencer relations became more important in delivering business impact, and so unsurprisingly analysts’ voices have been a critical focus for sales enablement and marketing. We see analysts themselves continuing to build profile beyond repors, through social media and content, and in response organisations are ramping their commitment to tracking how analysts impact their brand. It’s an exciting, evolving time.

So for the IIAR community, it’s important to recognise the range of analysts and firms who are leading the way. We listen carefully to the voices of our members and remain fully engaged with the global analyst network.

To this end we’ve heard from the community in eleven countries across four continents. We’ve reviewed hundreds of nominations and thousands of point scores. Award winners were determined based on the scoring provided by IIAR members, in accordance with the IIAR SOSM methodology. The nominations therefore reflect the best practice promoted within the IIAR.

All of this leads to one thing – as a festive drumroll is unleashed – the award winners

IIAR New Entrant Of The Year 2018

The winner is: Paul McKay / Forrester (LinkedIn@PMcKayForrester)

IIAR Client Partner Of The Year 2018

The winner is: Chris Cook / Ovum (LinkedIn)

Well done to Michael Devagno / Ovum ( LinkedIn@mdevagno) and Greg Pace / Gartner (LinkedIn@gregpace12) who were runners up in the category.

IIAR Influential Analyst Of The Year 2018

The winner is: Pat Sullivan / Gartner (LinkedIn)

And congratulations to Donald Feinberg (LinkedIn@Brazingo) and Lydia Leong (LinkedIn@cloudpundit) both also from Gartner.

IIAR Innovative Analyst Of The Year 2018

The winner is: …in fact the ‘winners are’ in a dead heat:

Bravo indeed to each of Tim Jennings / Ovum (Tim Jennings@tjennings), Ray Wang / Constellation (LinkedIn@rwang0) and Owen Rogers / 451 (LinkedIn@owenrog) who were joint first in this new category.

And the overall winner of the IIAR Analyst of the Year 2018

The winner is: Margaret Adam / IDC (Margaret Adam@madam_idc).

Read her IIAR Around In 10 Questions interview.

And congratulations to Gilbert van der Heiden / Gartner (LinkedIn) and Liz Herbert / Forrester (LinkedIn@lizherbert) who were runners up in the category.

Finally, we can announce the IIAR Analyst Firm Of The Year 2018

The winner is: Gartner (related blog posts@Gartner_inc)

And congratulations to the following firms who represented the rest of the IIAR community’s top five:

In second place, IDC (blog posts, @IDC)

Third comes Forrester (blog posts, @forrester)

In fourth position we have 451 Research (blog posts, @451Research)

And fifth but not least, Ovum (blog posts,@Ovum)

So bravo to everyone who won and to the runners up – and thanks to the IIAR community for your time in voting. We look forward to another highly engaged year in 2019. Until then have a great Christmas and festive season.

By the IIAR Awards Committee

Previous IIAR Analysts and Firms Of The Year

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In memory of Brian Riggs https://analystrelations.org/2018/07/17/in-memory-of-brian-riggs/ https://analystrelations.org/2018/07/17/in-memory-of-brian-riggs/#respond Tue, 17 Jul 2018 15:57:24 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=240111

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

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

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

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

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Who is the IIAR Analyst of the Year 2017? https://analystrelations.org/2017/12/01/211235/ https://analystrelations.org/2017/12/01/211235/#respond Fri, 01 Dec 2017 14:33:35 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=211235

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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What’s really going on with Ovum? Meet the MD, Aneil Rakity https://analystrelations.org/2017/09/18/whats-really-going-on-with-ovum-meeting-the-md-aneil-rakity/ https://analystrelations.org/2017/09/18/whats-really-going-on-with-ovum-meeting-the-md-aneil-rakity/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:16:10 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=187600 Aneil Rakity / Ovum - IIAR website - Photo©John Cassidy The Headshot Guy® www.theheadshotguy.co.uk 07768 401009Ovum (related blog posts, website) the UK-based analyst firm which enjoys a soft spot in the hearts of many AR pros, has gone through tough times in recent years.

Multiple changes of ownership accompanied by several different MDs have led to inconsistent and regularly changing strategies for the business, and a considerable turnover of staff.

Is this period in Ovum’s history now at an end, following the appointment of Aneil Rakity (LinkedIn) as the MD in 2016?

David Rossiter (LinkedIn, @davidrossiter), IIAR UK Chapter and director of analyst relations at Harvard, had the opportunity recently to sit down with Aneil and chief research officer Tim Jennings (@tjennings, LinkedIn) to find out what’s going on.

Read on for this and don’t miss the IIAR Webinar with Ovum on Wednesday 25th October > REGISTER NOW.

Since joining 18 months ago, Aneil has worked with his team on developing the vision and strategy for Ovum, securing parent company Informa’s support for his plans, and getting the business in shape to deliver them.

One of the first questions I put to Aneil was whether the Ovum brand would continue to be used. He was quick to dismiss any suggestion of rebranding to Informa and confirmed that Informa agreed with this decision and saw substantial value in the Ovum name.

In discussing where Ovum plays in the TMT (technology, media and telecoms) ecosystem, Aneil confirmed that Ovum has a focused strategy and isn’t trying to offer a comprehensive range of research and advisory services across all areas of the TMT space.

Instead, he is focusing Ovum not only on traditional areas of expertise (e.g. consumer/enterprise telco services, media & entertainment, service provider technology) but also increasingly targeting specific high-growth or disruptive subsets of the TMT market where he believes the company has market-leading capabilities. These include IoT, Cloud, 5G, Big Data, Security, Payments, Devices and AI.

Data and forecasts, which Aneil described as “a historic Ovum strength”, remain critically important to the business, and a key part of the strategy is to ensure that Ovum’s insights are built on a robust fact base.

Aneil also confirmed that Informa investment is going into an upgrade to the Ovum Knowledge Center platform and the creation of a new Forecaster product that will give clients what is thought to be “a unique ‘whole of market’ view.”

Overall, Aneil wants Ovum to be able to make a difference to its customers, enabling digital service providers and their technology partners to profit from the connected digital economy.   At its core, Ovum says it is helping its customers to answer three questions: where to play, what to deliver, and what to sell.

To accomplish this, Aneil is looking to expand Ovum’s international presence (there’s a new office in San Francisco and further hires in Asia) and approach its target areas in a more joined-up, coherent and practical way, concentrating on how technologies can be applied to specific use-cases and industries.

Driven by customer interest, this has led to a research agenda covering topics such as “The Augmented Customer”, “Digital First Strategies” and “The Hyper-Connected World”.  Aneil and Tim discussed the importance of vertical understanding, highlighting strengths in areas ranging from communications to financial services, the public sector, education and retail.

Given active support by Informa at board level, there seems to be a good chance of Aneil’s strategy for Ovum succeeding.  He is clear about the challenges that Ovum has faced in the past and wants to avoid the company making the same mistakes again.

The goals he has set look ambitious but reasonable and achievable, and capable of delivering value to customers.

He has also been able to secure the support of some well-known and highly-regarded research leaders to sit on his research leadership team, including Tim Jennings as Chief Research Officer.

On top of this, Brad Hecht joined Ovum earlier this month as Global Research Director. If his name isn’t familiar to you, Brad’s worked for over 20 years in leadership positions at the Reputation Institute, CEB, and the Yankee Group. He was also the vice president and general manager at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was responsible for expanding MIT’s content strategy, including working with MIT’s Technology Review magazine and the creation of its Internet media property.

Despite all this, there do remain some questions over what Ovum’s future will look like.

One difficulty in targeting fast-growing, disruptive markets is that other firms also see the opportunities these present. At least two other global analyst firms we’ve spoken to recently have identified the same segments as a key focus. Ovum will only be successful in these sectors if it is able to deliver a unique approach for customers, something that has already been given some thought and attention.

Then there’s the question about how much emphasis Ovum will continue to place on selling research and advisory services to the end-user enterprise market.

Aneil says this continues to be an important market segment for Ovum but that services will be increasingly delivered by analysts outside of the traditional “technology buyer” team.

The rationale is that these end-user clients (including both line-of business and technology executives) are looking for a trusted advisor on so-called “digital hotspots”. They want the answer to the question “how do I transform my IT in a digital way?”  Aneil sees their needs being best met by bringing together sector specialists and horizontal technology analysts, which seems a sensible approach.

When asked about some of Ovum’s differentiators, Aneil called out its comprehensive data and forecasts, depth of analyst and consulting expertise in key digital services and markets, and the benefits of being part of Informa.

On the latter point, Aneil highlighted not only the enterprise reach and influence that Ovum gains through Informa’s series of conferences (that its analysts regularly chair), but also the benefits of Informa’s acquisition last year of Penton Information Services, a US exhibitions and professional information services group.

Penton has brought Informa a new set of marketing services capabilities and the ability to reach over 20 million professionals in North America, across a range of industry sectors.  Aneil, who is regularly out talking to Ovum’s clients, said that they had responded very positively to this development and new services “are in the works.”

However, probably the biggest question is whether Aneil will be given enough time to fully implement his strategy and show it is working.

In the past, Informa has sometimes left the impression that it’s overly impatient to see results; if Ovum didn’t deliver quickly on a new strategy, it was time for a change.

Aneil’s vision and strategy for Ovum come across as credible and realistic. It also seems that early results are promising and customers are buying into the new-look company.

Let’s hope so. In a market dominated by one global player, it’s good to have as many credible alternatives out there as possible. A successful Ovum has an opportunity to firmly cement itself as one of these.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.

Upcoming Webinar

We will be holding a webinar with Aneil and some of his Ovum colleagues on Wednesday 25th October, including Q&A. If you’re interested, please REGISTER NOW.

IIAR Webinars are free to attend for all IIAR Members, a good reason for joining the IIAR. For non-members there is a fee of $25 / £25 (pay here) that is redeemable against IIAR Membership over the next 12 months. Join the IIAR via the form on this page, new members are always welcome !


Previous posts on Ovum

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IIAR Webinar & Cafe with Ovum POSTPONED https://analystrelations.org/2017/03/10/iiar-cafe-with-david-rossiter-and-ovum/ https://analystrelations.org/2017/03/10/iiar-cafe-with-david-rossiter-and-ovum/#respond Fri, 10 Mar 2017 11:14:21 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=160020 PLEASE NOTE THAT UNFORTUNATELY WE HAVE TO POSTPONE THIS SESSION,  apologies for any inconvenience caused

There are lots of rumours on what is going on at Ovum. David Rossiter, Sunesis Global AR (LinkedIn, @davidrossiter), will be hosting an IIAR Cafe with the MD and Chief Research Officer, providing you with the perfect opportunity to come meet with and learn what is really going on.

Aneil Rakity, managing director(LinkedIN)and Tim Jennings, chief research officer, (LinkedIN, @tjennings) will be sharing the truth about what’s happening at Ovum and putting to bed some of the rumours that have been flying around about the company for the past couple of years, including the future of the brand. The presentation and open Q&A session will include updates on Ovum’s strategy, market positioning, target markets and competitive differentiators as well as the latest on its research organisation and research agenda. They’ll also be talking about how Ovum fits within Informa, the big investments taking place in product development, its expansion into the US market and the continuing convergence between Ovum’s service provider and technology teams.

If you’re interested in Ovum, this is a “don’t miss” event. Pre-registration is essential

David Rossiter

Location: London & Webinar


Note that this event is open to IIAR members, the Forum is free to attend for IIAR Members (another good reason for joining the IIAR) or for non-members there is a fee of £75 that is redeemable against IIAR Membership over the next 12 months. Click here to proceed.



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The IIAR Tragic Quadrant for 2017 https://analystrelations.org/2017/02/24/the-iiar-tragic-quadrant-for-2017/ https://analystrelations.org/2017/02/24/the-iiar-tragic-quadrant-for-2017/#comments Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:49:40 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=155166 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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Constellation and the curse of the (not so) magic quadrant https://analystrelations.org/2016/10/14/constellation-and-the-curse-of-the-quadrant/ https://analystrelations.org/2016/10/14/constellation-and-the-curse-of-the-quadrant/#respond Fri, 14 Oct 2016 00:17:03 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=133298 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 Tim Jennings from Ovum in 10 questions https://analystrelations.org/2016/05/24/around-tim-jennings-from-ovum-in-10-questions/ https://analystrelations.org/2016/05/24/around-tim-jennings-from-ovum-in-10-questions/#comments Mon, 23 May 2016 23:02:14 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=113594 Today we ask our probing questions of Tim Jennings (LinkedIn, @tjennings, bio) Chief Research Officer and Research Fellow at Ovum (@ovum, see related posts).


1. What are your coverage areas?Ovum Tim Jennings
As Chief Research Officer at Ovum, my focus is less on a specific topic, and more on how technology overall is being applied to create business value. That said, I need to keep abreast of all the hot topics, and be able to hold vaguely sensible conversations on anything from converged infrastructure to customer experience. If I was to pick the coverage area that I enjoy most, it would be BI and information management.

2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
There continues to be a lot of change in our market, and the two trends that I would pick out currently are the impact of peer advice and communities, and the move for research and analysis to become more data-centric. I think though that there is no letup in technology innovation, so there will always be a place for knowledgeable, trusted advisors to help make sense of it.

3. What is your typical day like?
Very varied! I spend a lot of my time face to face with enterprise clients, perhaps rather less time at vendor conferences than I used to. When I’m not on the road, I split my time between Ovum’s London office and my home office near Birmingham, but I often find that the least disturbed place to work is on a train. As with many analysts the day gets extended at both ends with calls to Asia-Pac in the morning and to the US in the evening.

4. Now, c’;mon, tell me an AR horror story?
The guilty shall be nameless (and this one was a long time ago), but sitting through a six hour briefing from 10 to 4 with no lunch or sustenance was not an easy thing to do – I was a young and inexperienced analyst in those days, so didn’t say a thing. More generally, my biggest bugbear is when AR people don’t have a good understanding of my coverage or the firm’s business, and briefings end up missing the mark completely – thankfully these occasions are rare.

5. How do you position your firm?
What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?) Ovum helps leading technology service and solution providers find the most effective route to market. We also work with 50,000 global IT decision-makers each year. We enable them to formulate and implement IT strategies, and select the right technologies and solutions. The majority of our revenue comes from technology users, particularly across telecoms, media, financial services and public sector organizations. Advising on the impact and application of technology on business in these industry sectors, with dedicated teams focusing on each, is a critical part of our proposition.

6. What is your research methodology? 
There’s no substitute for talking to users, so that underpins everything that I do. It’s also important to me to have these viewpoints supported by extensive primary research, and augmented by quality conversations with technology executives.

7. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended?
I feel that it’s the relationship that’s important in AR, and having been an analyst for … hmm … quite a long time, I most appreciate those good long – term relationships with folks like Ricarda Rodatus, Dennis Macneil and the rest of the Oracle AR team, Geoff Dorrington at CA, Malee Dharmasena at Cisco, and many others that have been good friends over the years.

8. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
Downtime for me is taking my motorhome on the road – in the UK if it’s a short break, but preferably to France, Germany or Spain. The greatest pleasure in France is to sit down with a large plate of crevettes and a glass of rosé. (P.S. I’m making myself hungry just writing that!)

9. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
For the next 6 months, collaborating with our clients, and with my colleagues across our analyst teams, to build a great research agenda for 2017 and beyond, that achieves a fair balance for everyone, and hits all the right notes. For the next 30 minutes, making sure I don’t miss my flight back home from Schiphol, having
had an enjoyable day visiting some of our Dutch clients. (I’ve also decided that I’ve spent too much of my life bashing away at my laptop in Schiphol – far too much of a home from home!)

10. Is there another analyst whose work you rate highly?
My thoughts turn to four colleagues who are sadly no longer with us – Madan Sheina, Mike Thompson, Rob Hailstone, and David Mitchell. All of them were great analysts, with robust independent views, and strongly protective of the analyst craft, and I learnt plenty from them at different stages of my analyst career.


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IIAR members – be among the first to meet the management team of new Ovum https://analystrelations.org/2014/06/06/iiar-members-be-among-the-first-to-meet-the-management-team-of-new-ovum/ https://analystrelations.org/2014/06/06/iiar-members-be-among-the-first-to-meet-the-management-team-of-new-ovum/#respond Fri, 06 Jun 2014 17:45:24 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=17050 Ovum logoAt 17:00 on the 26th June, the UK arm of the IIAR is meeting with Steve Hotham CEO of the newly merged Ovum / ITM Research company (which is branded Ovum), along with Martin Hill, MD of Ovum’s Telecoms Research and Consulting, and Ian Charlesworth, MD of Ovum’s IT Research and Consulting.

They will be presenting the new Ovum organisation and its new product range and capabilities as well as explaining the many changes that have taken place as a result of the merger, which was announced in April.

Following many years of consolidation of all of Informa plc’s technology research companies under the Ovum brand, Ovum now claims to be the world’s largest telecoms industry research firm and fourth largest technology analyst house by analyst numbers. It also believes it provides the most in-depth analysis across the IT, telecoms, and media industries combined, enabling the firm to best advise on the opportunities and challenges of convergence.

Secure your place to find out what’s in store for Ovum and ask the questions that matter most to your AR priorities.

Should you have any questions beforehand that you would like addressed in Ovum’s presentation, please email these to trevor at analystrelations do.t org

You are also invited to join the session in person either in person or by webex, pls register using the form below or directly here for the webex. This is free for IIAR members , £15 for non-members, redeemable against membership, apply here.


Related posts:



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[GUEST POST] This Thursday, learn what the new Ovum is up to: webinar with CEO Steve Hotham https://analystrelations.org/2014/05/19/ovum-webinar-with-ceo/ https://analystrelations.org/2014/05/19/ovum-webinar-with-ceo/#respond Mon, 19 May 2014 16:10:56 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=16954 By David Rossiter (LinkedIn@davidrossiter) from Sunesis,

The new CEO at OvumSteve Hotham, is hosting a webinar on Thursday this week (May 22nd 2014) at 1600 UK time.

It’s open to all AR professionals and users of the current Ovum and Informa Telecoms & Media (ITM) research services.

According to Claire Booty, PR manager for Ovum, Steve will use the webinar to explain the rationale behind the merger of Ovum and ITM, highlight its new products, research agenda, and introduce key staff appointments.

If you want to attend, just email Claire with the names, job roles and contact details of those who wish to attend. She’ll send you all the details.



About the author

David Rossiter (LinkedIn@davidrossiter) runs Sunesis, a specialist AR agency, and writes the Analyst Insight blog.  He is a former board member of the IIAR and is now co-chair of the UK chapter.

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Ovum finally gets assimilated https://analystrelations.org/2014/04/07/ovum-finally-gets-assimilated/ https://analystrelations.org/2014/04/07/ovum-finally-gets-assimilated/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 08:26:13 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=16583 ovum[1]It’s been quite a long time in the making, it follows many acquisition rumours, many merger denials, but it’s finally there: Ovum merges with Informa Telecom and Media.

On paper, it’s the fourth ICT analysis firm of the market, depending on where place the line between analysis and market research. The staff doesn’t change much and they’re keeping the stronger brand, Ovum.

The merged business, which will be fully integrated by the end of May, will be led by Steve Hotham, current MD of Ovum, who will become its CEO. Spread across 23 offices, in 6 continents, Ovum will employ 275 staff, including 180 analysts providing a combination of global and local insight.

The press release doesn’t menti0n end-user influence, a key difference between both firms, but the Ovum Industry Congress is coming soon and will be a good place to assess this.


There are few reasons to change my conclusions from a previous post:

  • Ovum remains a credible analyst firm in its key markets, so AR folks should not discount it

  • AR pros should look for opportunities to leverage this 180-analysts strong firm, while watching for coverage gaps

  • AR pros should consider Ovum’s vertical technology expertise when creating vertical AR plans/programmes as it’s part of its DNA AR pros should check vertical coverage outside of telco
  • Like many other research firms, Ovum needs to more clearly articulate its differentiation and generate market awareness via sharper thought leadership


Older posts on Ovum:

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[GUEST POST] 451 hires ex Ovum, Gartner chief to lead global research https://analystrelations.org/2014/01/30/guest-post-451-hires-ex-ovum-gartner-chief-to-lead-global-research/ https://analystrelations.org/2014/01/30/guest-post-451-hires-ex-ovum-gartner-chief-to-lead-global-research/#comments Thu, 30 Jan 2014 08:13:01 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=12873 Brett AzumaBy David Rossiter (LinkedIn, @davidrossiter) from Sunesis.

It was good to hear from Brett Azuma last week. He got in touch to let me know he’s just been appointed to lead the 60-strong analyst team at 451 Research.

If you don’t know him already, Brett’s an experienced and well-respected leader.  He’s previously held senior positions at Ovum, where he was managing director, and Gartner, where he was group vice president/chief analyst.

At 451, (where his official title is senior vice president, research), Brett will be providing leadership, direction and operational management to the company’s analyst team. This includes responsibility for the research agenda and analyst process as he is tasked with ensuring that 451 Research “continues to be insightful, with a focus on innovation; to be objective, reliably thorough and accurate; and most importantly to ensure that 451 delivers value to our clients.”

Brett’s very clear that as far as he’s concerned, his team is already doing a great job. Brett’s focus will be on helping guide the team successfully into the future, getting it ready for the next wave of growth. He sees opportunities for 451 Research to bring together resources to provide new and differentiated services to customers, for example by coupling 451 Research’s qualitative research and analysis services with the quantitative data resources owned by other divisions of The 451 Group.

We can also expect to see more research being written by Brett himself.  He acknowledges that he’s looking forward to getting out in the field again as an analyst. While it’s early days, he’s also got some new and interesting angles around the impact, opportunities and challenges that the Internet of Things may have on enterprise IT infrastructure.

So, congratulations to Brett on the new role and to 451 for a good hire.  Over the past few years, 451 has grown steadily in size and influence through organic growth and acquisition. What does the future hold?  Well, we’re looking forward to learning more as Brett gets his feet under the table

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Ovum, the quietly competent of ICT research industry? https://analystrelations.org/2013/05/17/ovum-the-quietly-competent-of-ict-research-industry/ https://analystrelations.org/2013/05/17/ovum-the-quietly-competent-of-ict-research-industry/#comments Fri, 17 May 2013 11:49:06 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=5673 Ovum Industry Congress #oic13If your research firm was a car manufacturer, which one would you be? In the early 20th century, there were hundreds of cars manufacturers and automobiles bought by nobility and industrialists. Fast forward to the present day: mass production has made them accessible to virtually all households and there are now fewer than 10 global car manufacturers. The story is much the same for IT, only on a 30-40 year time frame: just like Hispano-Suiza, few remember Prime Computers, and servers are now bought by business types rather than being operated by an army of lab coats. In other words, IT is becoming more normal from all aspects: financial, procurement, usage… yet more pervasive than ever. Just like you would not think of riding on horseback to fetch your loaf of bread, who could do without accessing email on their smartphone?

Along with its ICT substrate, the industry research microcosm is experiencing those mutations: there are still some artisans but at the other end of the spectrum Giga, Meta, Yankee have all been swallowed up.

We’re back from the Ovum Industry Congress that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week (15-16/05/13) and it dawned on us to compare research firms to cars. Gartner? Global and reliable just like VAG (VW for DataQuest, Audi for EXP, etc).  IDC? Global and predictable, just like Toyota. Forrester-Giga? Overall good with some blind spots but also flashes of genius -a bit the Fiat-Chrysler group.

Where would you place Ovum then? We would venture the proposition that they’re quite like Subaru plus GM: quietly competent in IT, yet dominating the telco segment.

Or would you have other choices?

More to the point, we met with Steve Hotham (LinkedIn), the new Ovum MD  and the two segment heads of the IIAR Global Firm of Year 2012: Richard Mahony (@richardmahony, LinkedIn) for the telco arm and Ian Charlesworth (@ian_c_worth, LinkedIn) on the IT side.

For AR professionals, the choice of Steve to succeed Brett Azuma means continuity – always good news. Indeed, Ovum has a turbulent past, but has been flying solo since its independence day. Over the past few years it has made measurable progress without rocking the boat too much, despite some streamlining in its operations and sales – including the closure of Butler’s historical Hull HQ. Theres been many speculations around Ovum over the last few years, but our personal opinion after considering several confidential sources, is that Ovum is stabilised; we don’t anticipate any ownership changes in the near to mid-term horizon for the least, including further structural changes within Informa.

On the telco side, Ovum claims to be the largest player: in addition to its 60 analysts, it is the only analyst house covering the industry end-to-end; from enterprise to consumers and from devices to wholesale, including key regulatory capabilities.

On the IT side, despite its relative lack of market presence, Ovum analyses 11 industries and technologies – mostly software plus services – and has in the region of 15,000 enterprise subscribers.

This two-pronged approach has the potential to put Ovum in a very desirable position, thanks to the convergence of IT and telecoms. It also has a few ‘golden nuggets’, such as a new decision matrix (more details to come in a call for IIAR members), a strong ANZ presence (especially in the Public Sector), the analysts’ experience and seniority (allowing them to be trusted advisors to businesses) and a healthy and steadily growing consulting organization. We’ll be watching with great interest its progress on converging its offerings across both industries. Another point of interest is how it grows its events into a profitable business, certainly an area where it can capitalise on Informa, the largest global business conference company bar none.

Its size also has undeniable advantages, such as agility to move in developing trends and ease of conducting business – something AR pros often complain about when talking about rivals.

Bottom line:

  • Ovum remains a credible analyst firm in its key markets, is developing in ANZ and is certainly influential in key segments and geographies

  • AR pros should look for opportunities to leverage this 120-analysts strong firm, while watching for coverage gaps

  • AR pros should consider Ovum’s vertical technology expertise when creating vertical AR plans/programmes as it’s part of its DNA

  • Like many other research firms, Ovum needs to more clearly articulate its differentiation and generate market awareness via sharper thought leadership



Older posts on Ovum

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[GUEST POST] Crunching the analyst firm numbers – what do they tell us about Gartner, Forrester, IDC & others? https://analystrelations.org/2013/05/02/guest-post-crunching-the-analyst-firm-numbers-what-do-they-tell-us-about-gartner-forrester-idc-others/ https://analystrelations.org/2013/05/02/guest-post-crunching-the-analyst-firm-numbers-what-do-they-tell-us-about-gartner-forrester-idc-others/#comments Thu, 02 May 2013 08:45:38 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=5573 This post was originally posted by Dave Noble / IntelligenAR (LinkedIn@IntelligenAR) on his blog.

aji nagabon

Not all IT research is about numbers, but the IT analyst business definitely is. It’s a business after all, and if you don’t make the numbers, you don’t have a business. But what’s interesting is how many different ways there are to make the numbers stack up.

It’s somewhat ironic that while IT analyst firms often rely on public – and private – disclosure of information from both vendors and end-user organisations to make their prognostications, they often don’t like to reveal too much about their own businesses. The big public firms, Gartner & Forrester, disclose good detail about their revenues to meet their statutory requirements, and perhaps a little more, while the private firms tend to be fairly vague.

As a former analyst, I’ve always been intrigued about the insights you can gain by breaking down the numbers. Topline and bottom line figures tell you one thing, but there’s often a more interesting story when you dig a bit deeper – you can see this in my recent post analysing the 2012 financial results for Gartner & Forrester.

I’ve long considered analyst headcount a good indicator of the health of analyst firm. If the headcount is growing, then that’s a reasonable sign that the business is also growing – or has good prospects of growth. Analysts are a product, and typically you don’t hire more of them if the ones you’ve already got aren’t selling.

But it’s not as simple as that. If you can increase revenue without adding analyst headcount ie adding costs, then you’re going to increase the profit margin, which is also a positive indicator. So you need to look at the relationship between analyst headcount, total headcount and revenue to get a better idea of how a firm is performing.

This is where it gets tricky. Not all of these data points are available for all firms, nor are they necessarily comparable. But by poking around the websites of a few of the leading firms and asking questions of their PR folks, I’ve come up with some insights.

Analyst headcounts

For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to use the term “analyst” a little loosely because of the different way that each firm categorises their staff, combining analysts & consultants, because these roles are sometimes shared.

According to Gartner’s website, it has 902 analysts and 500 consultants (total 1,402), an increase of just under 10% from a year earlier, while Forrester employs 432 “research professionals”, a decline of 4% from last year. IDC told me it employs 1,075 analysts, which is higher than the 1,000 stated on its website, although that latter figure has been unchanged for some time.

Ovum advised me that it currently employs 102 analysts and consultants, which is lower than I’d estimated from the analyst bios listed on its website, but those include management. This figure seems largely unchanged from a year ago. Frost & Sullivan confirmed that it employs 1,800 analysts and consultants worldwide, and while this figure seems relatively unchanged, it is unclear how many of these are focused primarily on IT & communications, as is the case for the other firms.

Looking at analysts as a percentage of total employees, Gartner has the lowest ratio – just over 25% – while IDC has the highest, at 63%. Forrester – at 35% – and Ovum – 55% – sit in between these two extremes, and all appear to have drifted downwards slightly in the past couple of years. Of course, these firms have quite different business models, research services, analyst types and client bases, so it is not unusual that the ratios should vary, but it is interesting how starkly different they are.

Unfortunately, we don’t have accurate data for sales headcount for these firms (except Ovum, which is about 25% of its total), but we do know that Gartner has invested heavily in its salesforce over recent years, particularly in Asia/Pacific, but elsewhere as well. Forrester and IDC have also increased their sales hires in the past year, evidenced by total headcount growing at a greater rate than analyst headcount.

Mapping headcount to revenue

The headcount figures become more interesting when we map them against revenues. Forrester and IDC have similar revenue per employee figures – about $US236,000 – but Gartner’s is about 25% higher, just under $US300,000.

headcountThe differences become even more dramatic when we compare revenue per “analyst.” Gartner is generating more than $1.1 million per analyst, some 70% higher than Forrester, and more than 200% higher than IDC! Granted, the different business models don’t make this an apples-for-apples comparison, but the deltas are large enough to demonstrate the point.

So what does this tell us? Certainly, Gartner has optimised its sales-to-analyst ratio in recent years, but can it still make gains from pushing this approach further? At what point does reducing the analyst percentage of headcount start to have a negative impact?

Forrester blamed poor sales execution for its weak financial performance last year, and has indicated a greater focus on sales to turn the business around. But does it need to match Gartner to make that happen? Forrester is about one-fifth the size of Gartner, so does scale change the equation?

IDC obviously has a different client base to these two firms, and the analyst workloads are quite different, but can it benefit from adopting this approach, driving analyst percentages down and sales ratios up to increase revenues & margins?

And what does this mean for other, smaller firms, where the sales ratios tend to be lower? Can they learn and benefit from Gartner’s approach?

On the surface, this doesn’t look like a good trend for the analyst business, from an AR perspective. But on deeper assessment, fewer analysts with greater impact & influence are much easier to engage with than lots of analysts with less impact. In other words, simply increasing analyst headcount is probably less effective than improving the penetration of existing analysts by putting more sales resources behind them.

This is one of those areas where I don’t have all the answers, but I find the questions intriguing. What do you think? How important are these ratios to the performance of an analyst firm, to the health of the analyst business overall, to the execution of a vendor AR program? What else can we learn from this analysis?



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Analyst events- Is booze better than a booth? Financial Services- Why economic downturn is killing the City but not European FS industry analysts https://analystrelations.org/2013/03/14/analyst-events-is-booze-better-than-a-booth/ https://analystrelations.org/2013/03/14/analyst-events-is-booze-better-than-a-booth/#comments Thu, 14 Mar 2013 01:36:09 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=5354 Blog courtesy of: Simon Levin (IIAR Board Member), Managing Director at The Skills Connection
David Rossiter (IIAR UK Chapter), Director at Sunesis Analyst Relations

The IIAR held its latest London Forum at the UK HQ of the IT services giant Tata Consultancy Services last night. The event saw a turn-out of over 30 of UK’s leading AR and marketing professionals to have a discussion with fellow AR pros on sponsoring analyst events and listen to views of some of the best Analysts in the Financial Services sector. Participants included Dell, Symantec, Deloitte, BAE Systems Detica, Bearing Point, CognizantEdinburgh University and AGT International.


The London Forum started with a best practices roundtable chaired by IIAR Board Member Caroline Dennington (@CDenningtonLinkedIn) and one of the IIAR UK Chapter Leads David Rossiter (@davidrossiterLinkedIn) on sponsoring analyst events.  One of the many issues covered circled around the ROI of sponsorship packages vs. simple hospitality.

The financial services panel was chaired by Sally Yates (@sallyyates, LinkedIn) from Metia with Analyst speakers coming in the form of IDC Financial Insight‘s Alex Kwiatkowski (@alexkwiatkowski, LinkedIn), Daniel Mayo (@ovumICT, LinkedIn) from Ovum as well as Celent‘s Catherine Stagg-Macey (@Staggmacey, LinkedIn) and Ralph Silva (@rsilvalondon, LinkedIn) from SRN.

pizap.com10.172902399674057961363220971534For an hour, Alex KwiatkowskiDaniel MayoCatherine Stagg-Macey and Ralph Silva entertained, informed and challenged the audience before everyone adjourned around the corner for more private conversations over drinks and food at the Horse and Groom pub.Financial services specialist, Sally Yates successfully moderated a spirited conversation that ranged from overall FS market trends through the changing role of IT vendors to how the financial crisis has affected the analyst firms themselves.

Ralph was the first to share his views on the changes currently taking place in the Financial Services sector and what these mean to suppliers of technology and IT Services. A regular BBC pundit, Ralph was not shy of sharing some strong views and creating a feisty debate amongst panellists as to what will happen next in the Banking and Insurance industries.

DSC06430The big debate was really around the role of suppliers and what they should do next for a market still struggling after the financial crisis. While cost containment still remains the primary order of the day, many FS companies are starting to look at where innovation can be used to drive new market opportunities. Cloud, mobility, social media and big data were all key themes put under the microscope.Despite some pessimistic views on the state and future of the UK banking industry, all our analyst firms are optimistic about the future. Even if SRN’s hopes for the future are pinned on Wall Street rather than in the City, the others agreed that there continues to be a strong demand in Europe for advice from banks and insurers. They are not ready to lie back and die yet and are actively looking for insights on how to advantage of the winds of change which continue to buffet London, Frankfurt and the other financial centres within Europe.

We are glad to have received so many mentions on Twitter by attendees/firms:

Check out @IIAR for more….

The forum concluded successfully and was very well received and appreciated by attendees.

The complete audio recording of the sessions can be found in the members area on Huddle.
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