Tag Archives | IIAR Around In 10 Questions

Around Albert Pang from APPS RUN THE WORLD in 10 questions

Today’s star analyst in our Around in 10 Questions series is Albert Pang who heads up Apps Run The World. You can find Albert  on Twitter under @appsruntheworld, and on his blog www.appsruntheworld.com.

1.What are your coverage areas?

Our firm is 100% dedicated to worldwide applications research, which includes both horizontal apps like ERP and vertical ones like insurance claims processing designed for the 21 industries from aerospace to utilities that we cover in depth. Our objective is to become the No. 1 source for apps research for users, vendors, tech investors and key stakeholders from system integrators to business process outsourcers. For me personally I have been covering financial accounting, HR, industry-specific, and other mission-critical operations apps markets for 25 years. Continue Reading →

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Around Mike Fauscette from IDC in 10 questions

Michael Fauscette from IDCToday’s star analyst in our Around in 10 Questions series is Michael Fauscette who heads up IDC‘s enterprise software team. You can find Mike on Twitter under @mfauscette and on his blog www.mfauscette.com.

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    I run the Software Business Solutions Group at IDC which includes coverage on enterprise software: ERP, CRM, PLM, PPM, SCM, Collaboration and Social Software plus SaaS, Cloud, Open Source Software, Software pricing and licensing and software partners, channels and alliances. My personal research is mostly focused on emerging trends and hot topics in enterprise software which includes things like social business, the mobile enterprise, usability and cloud. Continue Reading →
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Around David Vellante from Wikibon in 10 questions

David Vellante (@dvellante) is co-founder of The Wikibon Project. David graciously accepted our invitation to answer our infamous “Around in 10 questions” interview – many thanks to him for sharing his insights!

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    Infrastructure 2.0, cloud, virtualization, servers, storage, networking, security, information management, sustainability, CIO strategies
  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
    The IT analysis market is dominated by a small number of large players however because of the Web, the influence model is shifting.
    We see peers as the most trusted source of information and analyst communities that can foster information sharing amongst peers will
    become increasingly useful to practitioners.
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Around Ralph Silva in 10 questions

Ralph Silva of  Silva Research Network was featured  in the Vertical Analysts panel at the IIAR London Forum on May 27th. Ralph graciously accepted our invitation to answer our infamous “Around in 10 questions” interview – many thanks to Ralph for sharing his insights!

what is your area of coverage

The firm covers all industries but I’m personally responsible for the financial services practice.

What are your opinions on the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going

It’s a 1950’s business trying to serve a 2010 world……The business is a shadow of itself, too slow for a 24/7 world, so expensive that its audience is limited to less than 1% of any firm, in an attempt to satisfy everyone, they end up satisfying no one and lastly its supporting the operational needs of the back office ignoring the fundamentals, that is to help companies develop products that customers are actually willing to buy. The business will always exist, it serves a critical need, however, just like buggy whips, fewer companies serving very specialized needs.

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Around Kevin McIsaac from IBRS in 10 questions

I recently noticed we’re not giving much love to analysts based in APAC -a tragic oversight considering all the talents located down-under!   Dr Kevin McIsaac (bio, LinkedIn), from IBRS kindly obliged with taking the interview below. IBRS has been created by a few ex-META Group analysts and delivers mostly end-user consulting in Australia.

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Around Stephen Roberts from Kable in 10 questions

Today it is my pleasure to introduce Stephen Roberts from Kable, a specialist IT analysis firm covering public sector in the UK for his own interview in our IIAR Around in 10 questions. Actually, it’s 12 this Friday as Stephen took the joker questions as well. So read on, and don’t forget to book really early to get a table a this favourite restaurant!

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Around Allan Behrens in 10 questions

Allan Behrens, TaxalToday, from postcardesque Peaks District, comes the interview from Allan Behrens, ex. Cambashi and now having started his own company called Taxal (blog, twitter). I bet you’ll never figure out where the name comes from but no, he doesn’t advises bankers and MP’s on avoiding the taxman.

1. What are your coverage areas?
We’re focused on the use and enablement of IT in industry and helping IT providers make it a reality. Our focus is on technologies, a sub-set of key business sectors, sales channels, business development and management and execution consulting

2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
Many competent people, some with too little motivation to listen! With the recent spate of acquisitions it appears that the industry is moving closer to a two tiered environment – the very large and very small.

3. What’s your typical day like?
Emails, calls, research, publishing, projects and visits, often interspersed with operational issues and demands for attention from my better half.

4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
Not one regarding actual analysis per se. The most memorable nightmare I had on an analyst visit was when I missed a return flight from Dublin to Manchester; in this case an absolutely critical one scheduled to have me home in time to catch a holiday connection with my long-suffering wife. IBM’s AR team were stars in sorting out the chaos – wife was delighted (nay relieved)! Whew.

5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model?
Our revenues are principally vendor led with significant end-user touch and elements coming from governmental and investor communities. We publish insight and non-confidential research in the press and on our web site.

6. What is your research methodology?
This really depends on the project We are purely project led at this time. We tailor our methods and resource utilisation based on what’s needed to deliver the optimum output.

7. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve atttended.
Making sure the analysts actually get the collaterals they’re promised after an event – drives me nuts and costs time. Also being responsive is good practice……

8. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
Predominantly presentations, workshops, reports and publications

9. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
Hmm tricky. Best food by far is my local pub but I wouldn’t want to name it in case it gets inundated and prices go up! Not too much of an issue as it’s in the Cheshire countryside and far from the madding crowd – friends can always contact me directly for the name.

10. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
Next six month, continuing to grow the business (from a standing start late last year) and exceeding my customers expectations! Corny but true. Next 30 minutes, heads down to meet my deadlines (see second response of the first part of this question).

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Around Claus Egge in 10 questions

Today I have the privilege to introduce Claus Egge whom I’ve known for quite some time now as he was the lead storage analyst in EMEA for IDC. They’ve let some talents go recently and he’s now working as an independent analyst: check his site here.

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    Storage, content, hardware, software, cloud, backup, protection, DR, BC. The industry has been to make these disciplines as invisible as possible. IT professionals want to take all this for granted, but with an increased focus on how to make use of the information. It is not so much that there is an awful lot of information, it is about finding out the way to deliver the information and add value. There is plenty of scope to help customers and industry being successful.
  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
    Insight: there is more free information available, so it presents a dilemma: it actually makes it harder to search and digest for industry and customers. But good intelligence is always worth having. Spotting customer behaviour before it changes is cool. Opinion: quantity does not equal quality. Marketing support: The industry needs to be smarter about it’s spending as it attempts to grab the attention of customers and prospects.
  3. What’s your typical day like?
    Depends: meeting contacts is different from managing data models, so every task has got its place. It is about discipline, looking after customers of course, but also freeing up time to experiment with ideas.
  4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
    The best relationships are based on mutual respect and understanding each other’s goals and reality. So back to the question about things to avoid: pretending solutions are already perfect, pretending customers are blissfully happy, pretending competition is beneath contempt. Lots of time has been wasted that way. The best repeatable encounters are the ones you always look forward to and all parties get value from them.
  5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?)
    Currently enjoying the freedom of running my own business. Mostly vendor business but exploring IT professionals too.
  6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less?  (primary research, F2F or phone, secondary only, etc…)
    Finding the information a customer is looking for in order to help make smarter decisions.
  7. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
    Good AR practice balances the need to get in touch and the flow of information by importance. Once events are planned the good ones are a mixture of plenaries about new strategy, one-on-ones with the right execs and not least a chance to socialise. Some companies consistently put on solid gatherings and everybody benefits. Others dither and change their approach frequently. It is not so much that the paranoid may survive as much as not letting paranoia rule.
  8. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
    Varied: from strategic advice over bespoke data cuts, customer surveys, white papers, speaking at events and workshops.
  9. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
    I’ll volunteer a pub in West London. Great choice of beers as you would expect from me, but also a good restaurant. Its name is The White Horse, it is on Parson’s Green in SW6. Worth travelling across London for and also worth finding if you live abroad on a trip to London.
  10. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
    My challenge is clearly increasing my business. But also about articulating successfully how industry and customers need to work smarter and better together. I am still excited that there are a lot great solutions available to IT customers; let us help more customers exploiting them.
  11. Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work  you rate highly?
    I would like to make a plug for Martin Hingley at ITCandor. Great insight, great integrity and his energy is a source of inspiration. We worked together for many years
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Around Carsten Schmidt from HENRY Corporation in 10 questions

Carsten SchmidtCarsten Schmidt and other IDC Alumni recently formed Henry Corporation as a network of analysts offering strategic advice and marketing services to IT vendors, including Martin Hingley. Read Carter’s post for more background.

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    At HENRY I manage the commercial communication with our clients and project manage larger and cross-country projects.
  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
    A marketplace assumes sellers and buyers. Frankly, I see the buyers pulling out because of the vast availability of free information and alternate sources. Secondly analysis and marketplace are contradicting forces if we hold on to the belief that analysis is an objective or even scientific process as opposed to the notion of a marketplace. There’re numerous examples how research firms productize their analysis. By doing that information transforms from research to marketing. There’s nothing wrong (or “magic”) about that as long as we stop calling it research.
  3. What’s your typical day like?
    I communicate a lot, either by email, phone or blogs. My role is to be proactive towards HENRY’s clients, the IT vendors. I spend most mornings planning my day and prioritizing my approach. I care a lot about not wasting other people’s time. I firmly believe in business relationships that are mutually sensible meaning having the respect and interest in your client’s goals and objectives. Talking to people I never think what I can get out of it, but how it can benefit the other part. Experience has taught me that this approach is the most rewarding in the long run.
  4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
    AR’s are marketers and part of the marketing ecosystem together with research analysts and sales and marketing people. Most ARs know that which helps communication and facilitate exchange of information. It is only when AR’s commence pre-assessing the purpose of your approach that the AR misunderstands their role.
  5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?)
    Our revenue comes solely from vendors. And we are in the business of helping building pipe lines by providing lead generation on behalf of the IT vendors. This is no different from our research colleagues in the industry apart from the fact that we communicate it in the open. World business as such is becoming more and more verticalized wherefore in-depth understanding of the IT business is a prerequisite for providing tactical marketing services. Research is used as a tool in one-on-one projects and as a foundation for offering the right tactical approach. Consequently we do not believe in published qualitative research reports as they are by nature  strongly biased toward the intended buying audience.
  6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less?  (primary research, F2F or phone, secondary only, etc…)
    Qualitative research must by default be primary. If not I’d call it journalism. Quantitative data can easily come from public available sources as long as you are a skilled analyst able to verify and see behind the data. HENRY only partner with highly experienced analysts as you will know from our website.
  7. Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?
    IBM’s Carsten Grønning is a great representative for the AR community. Forward coming, helpful, proactive and knowledgeable.
  8. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve atttended.
    As long as the relationship is mutually sensible any AR practice and activity is good, simply because proactivity is beneficial and time saving for both the research company and the IT vendor.
  9. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
    HENRY has three offerings, Research-, Activate- and Event-related. We consider research as an integral part of the marketing value chain which real  purpose obviously is to improve market shares. We embrace that value chain by focusing at the ultimate goal for our clients, the IT vendors.
  10. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
    Strategy work at IT vendors are being centralized at headquarters. That has been a trend for years now. Secondly still more marketing money are spend closer to the clients at the expense of market intelligence. Our challenge is to communicate this trend to our prospect clients and to offer marketing services that are closer to our clients customers.
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Around Richard Mahony from Ovum in 10 questions

Richard Mahony

Today, in our continuing series of analyst interviews, we have the pleasure of welcoming Richard Mahony, Enterprise practice leader with Ovum.

1. What are your coverage areas?
I manage Ovum’s enterprise communications services practice. We focus on the fixed and mobile managed services market for enterprises and SMEs. We also provide sourcing and commercial mediation services to MNCs.

2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
The industry will need to continue moving beyond compiling market information and selling it on at premium price. The days of attending a supplier briefing and simply writing it up are over for Ovum. Carter’s point (http://iiar.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/dont-forget-analysts-have-a-unique-vantage-point/) about the analyst vantage point is on the mark for me – analyst houses that successfully combine their supplier and end user perspectives will be successful.

3. What’s your typical day like?
I
reply to the overnight e-mails first thing , respond to a handful of client enquiries in the early morning and typically have some content-related management to do such as planning or review reports with the team. We’ve normally got a project on the go so the remaining 50% of the day or so will be either working on fee earning assignments or writing content for the service. I look to limit my briefings to one or two a week – we increasingly have to be smarter about which briefings to attend.

4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
A few years back I attended a briefing where the supplier AR team guiding us through an open plan office on our way to the meeting room unintentionally walked us past marketing collateral mock ups for a new business which had not been announced. Personally, I once duly complied with an invitation to attend an analyst event in ‘business casual attire’ in my freshly pressed Chinos and my preppy shirt and jumper, only to find when I got to the event that everyone else had turned up in suits and ties. There’s a very funny photo of me in the auditorium with a back-drop of be-suited professionals behind me.

5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?)
We are increasingly working with enterprise users – for the practice, this is the fastest growing area of our business. We position the firm as having great depth in data, combined with leading market research methodologies and practical advisory experience with end users which provides us with a real-world perspective. Since the acquisition of Ovum by Datamonitor, the depth of Ovum’s data has further improved and having access to industry experts in financial services, automotive, retail and healthcare has helped the whole enterprise services team. Reading some of the blogs, AR firms seem to have the notion that DM has somehow diminished the Ovum value. This is the polar opposite to my experience – we are in my view a stronger organization as a result of the acquisition… I’ve also had my research budget doubled, so my job is easier too!

6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less?  (primary research, F2F or phone, secondary only, etc…)

Wherever possible we look to experience what we write about. It’s far easier to write incisively about an industry issue or supplier strategic intent having practical insight to share. However, we also turn to the usual research tools, including face to face briefings, telephone and online qualitative and quantitative research methods. I heavily rely on face to face meetings as I am all about personal contact and developing trusting two-way relationships between supplier and analyst. Such relationships are beneficial for both parties and the AR community is central in brokering this kind of interaction.

7. Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?
I would highlight Sally Elliott of BT Global Services who provides Ovum with excellent support and finds the time to connect us with the right people in her organization. She also has a firm grasp of BT’s business and positions her business heroically well. I am always impressed by the Cisco AR programme and would highlight David Taylor’s team at Cisco – I always come out of Cisco events with a new idea which I can build on and will therefore seek out their briefings. I am also seeing good things from the growing Telefonica team.

8. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve atttended.
The best event I’ve been to recently was the Cable and Wireless AR day run by David Thain. The format was relatively simple (but difficult to achieve) – which was a positioning of the business by CEO and key executives followed by open discussion with some of their largest enterprise customers. The frankness of the customer interaction was refreshing and as a result it is the stand-out event for me.

9. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
For Enterprise research we have a schedule of reports lined up this year on fixed and mobile global managed services providers and their markets; major new reports on unified communications offerings from telecoms service providers and systems integrators; surveys on multinational end-users and their global service requirements through an exclusive deal with the EVUA. We’re also expanding our annual survey of SMEs worldwide, taking in more countries. And because this market is changing and getting ever more demanding, we’ve got some new products in the pipeline—like our managed scorecard for service providers- that will tie all of our analysis together. We’ve got a pipeline of consulting engagement with enterprise clients and telecoms operators that is growing and we like to think that is a response to our research outputs last year on how to manage network services and budgets through the current economic conditions. These projects also help inform our understanding of today’s market conditions.

10. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
I enjoy running and garner the strength to do a half marathon once a year. I also suffer the joys of being a Bristol City football supporter.

11. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
My biggest challenge is to continue to differentiate what we do in the practice – there’s plenty of choice in the market and some good competition. Standing out from the crowd and articulating the team’s difference and value to our clients is therefore key. Any ideas how we can improve here from what you’ve seen from Ovum, give me a call. In the next 30 minutes, I will be defining some inter-company peering SLAs for a UC managed service. A very dry topic for most I am sure, but in my view will be increasingly important to many suppliers and enterprises as they deploy integrated communications.

12. Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work  you rate highly?
Chris Lewis of IDC – although I am not really entering into the spirit of the question, as he’s my former boss and showed me the ropes of the analyst business. Chris has a great way of reaching the crux of the issue quickly and succinctly articulating his thoughts. Within Ovum, I think you will be hard pushed to find an analyst from any house more in touch with the UC market than Peter Hall. Eammon Kennedy has also done great things to improve our IT services business.

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Around “JC” Jung, SVP Consulting Services from PAC in 10 question

Today we have the pleasure to welcome our guest analyst for the world famous IIAR ten questions interview: Jean-Christian Jung is a Senior Vice President Consulting Services at PAC (Pierre Audoin Consultants). JC is based in New York and you can read his thoughts on their collective blog.

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    IT Services and sourcing in general, however, I have spent most of my time this year on application-related services particularly around SAP (and to some extent Oracle Apps). SAP is a very hot topic for us right now as we recently launched a dedicated SAP Services Research Practice covering all regions of the world. Concerning my personal role, I concentrate more on the custom/consulting activity than on our off-the-shelf reports. Continue Reading →
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Around Michael von Uechtritz / Gartner in 10 Questions

Today, we’re delighted to welcome Michael von Uechtritz, Research Director clip_image001with the Outsourcing and IT Services research team at Gartner, into the interview hotseat.

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    Business and IT Consulting
  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
    With some businesses being challenged by the economic downturn in a number of regions, practical advise such as from the IT Analyst community is of growing importance to the buying and selling side of the IT market. Therefore, in my view, the IT analysis marketplace will remain “large in size”, dominated by a few research firms but become more challenging for IT market analysts given the aforementioned situation.
  3. What’s your typical day like?
    I like my work – seriously, with roughly 400+ client calls per year, 30+ research document’s, conferences and sales support, six days make it a busy week I would say, but gaining so many new insights each day – I like my work.
  4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
    Well, leaving comments about an individual analyst for the presenting executive in the footnotes of a presentation, but sent to the analyst instead.
  5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?)
    See www.gartner.com and its financial reports please, the business certainly is a mixture of both, end users and provider revenue streams from research, events and consulting.
  6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less?  (primary research, F2F or phone, secondary only, etc…)
    The research methods are Gartner IP and include Scenarios, Magic Quadrants, Market Scopes, Vendor Ratings, Hype Cycles, Market Statistics and others. On my part I have conducted primary research, worked with our secondary research folks, did phone interviews, in person research leveraged web based tools etc.
  7. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve atttended.
    I found some IT services providers approach with small scale events (<10 analysts), short in duration (0.5 days), focused (consulting services), and targeted (European region), clearly prepared (facts send before! the event) and held in an open manner (NDA) very useful – the mix of financial analysts and market folks I found to be less productive.
  8. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
    Read my reports published in Gartner Dataquest or Gartner Core Research. It’s what you need to know, what you need to do, where you need to look, and who you should be paying attention to. It’s independent, insightful, and instantly applicable to your business challenges.
  9. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
    My five kids Vincent, Oscar, Clemens, Cosima and Victoria are my livelong “hobby” and Friederike’s, my wife, cooking deserves a 5 Star Michelin certificate, other than this running – but not enough.
  10. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
    Keeping the “right” balance of work versus life in a demanding job and my career progression.
  11. Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work  you rate highly?
    In my area of business and IT Consulting, „Chris Adams“.
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Around David Mitchell / Ovum in 10 questions

We have the pleasure today of  welcoming David Mitchell, Senior Vice President, IT Research, Ovum and Research Fellow, Datamonitor Group. David has his own blog on IT issues in Asian and other emerging economies: Geosophical Technologies.

  1. What are your coverage areas?

    Very wide. I’ve published about a range of things. In terms of industry verticals I’ve written about telecoms, government, financial services, professional services, retail and construction. In terms of technologies and services I’ve written about BPO, databases, application development, high performance computing, grid computing, software-as-a-service, cloud computing, HCM applications, ERP applications, collaboration technology, Web 2.0, operating systems, IT-Telecoms convergence, eLearining, incentive compensation, the productization of services, and globalization…. to name but a few. There are two areas where I work on consulting projects for customers most often: enterprise applications and commercial deal negotiation.

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

    Just like the IT vendor market the analyst market is also experiencing consolidation. My view is that were looking at a consolidation into around 4-5 global powerhouses, with a number of small regional niche providers still making a decent business – even though it won’t generate massive revenues for them. The consolidation of the global players is only likely to continue, with more of the niche firms being acquired but this will not stop a stream of new firms starting up and growing quite well.  Scale
    or specialization are the most important criteria going forwards. Specialization can be by geography, technology or business theme but it needs to be resonate with a focused buying audience. Small and generalist is not a good place to be.


  3. What’s your typical day like?

    Typical day… no such thing, as I travel so much and spend as much time away from the office as I spend in it. When I’m in the office the day day normally starts about 6.30 a.m. with catch-up calls with Asia Pacific staff and clients. Middle part of the day is focused on meetings with UK clients and staff, and research briefings -both formal and informal. The day tails off about 7 p.m. with US calls with clients and staff, before getting home about 8.30 p.m. I rarely do less than a 60 hour week.

  4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
    Not a horror story but a dislike. I will do everything possible to avoid events held in Las Vegas. It’s a city that I dislike a great deal and that I can see no redeeming qualities in.

  5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?)

    Ovum’s revenue is primarily focused on our syndicated client base, with the majority of our revenue coming from this source. Consulting and ad hoc revenue comes from the analyst teams and our consulting teams, including the Orbys sourcing advisory business that Ovum acquired post-IPO. Revenue is well balanced between vendors and enterprise buyers, something that we believe is important for the integrity of the advice that we provide but also gives greater revenue predictability than a reliance on either community would. We also have a good geographic revenue balance across EMEA, US and APAC markets.

  6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less?  (primary research, F2F or phone, secondary only, etc…)

    Most of my research is done face-to-face or in phone interviews with vendors and enterprises. I’m a firm believer that a detailed dialogue, probably only loosely structured, gives a much greater insight that questionnaire driven methods alone. Across the firm we use the entire range of research methods from large-scale quantitative surveys, small group sessions, secondary research and every other technique that you’d expect. We’ve got one or two interesting research methods that we think offer us competitive advantage but you wouldn’t expect me to share those in a way that competitors could
    copy.


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

    Too many to single out any individual. Among the talented people that I’ve worked with are Peggy O’Neil, Carter Lusher, Evan Quinn, Naomi Higgins, Paula Schmidt… They’ve all got one thing in common… they invest time in building relationships between the vendor and the analyst.

  8. What are your offerings and key deliverables?

    From the Ovum software team the most important deliverables are the product evaluations that customers to help them make selection decisions. The equivalent from the IT Services team are the Ovum Navigators. Our country profiles that look at opportunities in emerging markets, not just BRIC, are becoming more important for our vendor clients – looking to expand into new markets. Our
    detailed UK market coverage continues to be popular, as does our government research.


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

    I’ve recently invested in an aquarium and have started to keep marine fish. It takes a lot of time and patience but it’s also quite relaxing. Genealogy is another one of my hobbies; delving back into the history of our family.

    Favourite restaurants… Le Manoir  aux Quat’Saisons in Great Milton, The Peat Inn near St. Andrews, Bobo’s in San Francisco, Doyles at the Quay in Sydney, Hutong in Hong Kong, Monte’s Trattoria on MacDougal in New York, Vivat Bacchus near our London office, and Locanda Locatelli in the West End of London.

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

    Fatigue. The next six months already looks incredibly busy. Bookings for client projects are looking extremely strong and there engagements that will take me on at least a dozen long haul trips in
    the next 6 months. On top of client engagements are a range of research projects that involve clients from around the world. The second biggest challenge is to continue to expand the Ovum IT research team, something that we’ve spent a lot of the past 6 months investing in.
  11. Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work  you rate highly?

    Steve Hodgkinson in our Melbourne office. As well as being an extremely creative and visionary analyst he also has a great practical touch, useful when advising the CIO client base that he works
    with across Asia-Pacific.

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Around Neil Ward-Dutton / MWD in 10 questions

Neil Ward-Dutton from MWD Advisors

This week, it is my pleasure to welcome one of the Neils of MWD Advisors.com, only shortly after he kindly participated at our last IIAR Forum: Neil Ward-Dutton. Those two ex-Ovum analyst have founded MWD in 2005, and this year have hired two more analysts and launched their first continuous advisory services. They also have a blog called On IT-business alignment, and related thing.
  1. What are your coverage areas?
    At MWD we organise ourselves around two things: “IT competency areas” (like process management, governance, software delivery, collaboration and so on) and “disruptive trends” (things like SOA, SaaS, virtualisation, Web 2.0, and so on). In our model, these form a matrix that we try and cover. As well as helping to run the company my main job at the moment is to run our research programme in the process management competency area, and also help to lead our work in SOA.
  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
    How long have you got? This is a question I’ve spent many hours debating (mainly in bars at conferences). There’s a lot of talk, amongst both our vendor and enterprise customers, about dissatisfaction with the inflexibility, high prices and complexity of dealing with the big firms. However they still have a huge amount of momentum in the market and massive mindshare, and that isn’t going to change significantly any time soon I don’t think. I like to think of them as “the furniture” – we can’t compete with them directly; they’ll always be there. They’re a bit like IBM and Microsoft in the enterprise software market. Still, though, we see a lot of opportunity for firms like MWD which are prepared to think differently and work really hard to deliver great customer service. I was recently asked about the outlook for MWD, given the uncertain economic conditions, at an IIAR round table event. My response, which I’ll stick by, is that the quality of our work and our pricing structure mean that we find there’s no shortage of business out there for us – our main challenge right now is finding the resources to go after it in the most effective way.
  3. What’s your typical day like?
    Long. But fun. The best days are spent working with customers face-to-face, helping them solve problems, or working through ideas with my teammates; the worst days are spent doing back-office stuff
  4. How do you position your firm? What is your business model?
    We’re an advisory firm focused on helping organisations align IT and business, and maximise the business value they get from their IT investments. Our starting point in everything we do is that focus. When we started the business we decided we needed to build a community and a footprint in the market: so we decided to give all our research reports away for free for the first 3 years. So until this year, all our revenue came from one-on-one consulting – with vendors and with enterprises. We’ve just launched two subscription advisory services, though, and these offer a layer of “value added” research reports and interactive decision support tools separately from our free “guest pass” research library. These are pitched primarily at European enterprises, but we’re also selling them to vendors.
  5. What is your research methodology?
    We use f2f and phone-based primary research with vendors (looking at capabilities, directions, SWOT etc) and enterprises (uncovering perceptions, challenges, maturity, etc). Some of our enterprise research in done in partnership with Freeform Dynamics.
  6. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve atttended.
    At a big analyst event last year, held at a swanky hotel, we had beautiful weather but most of the sessions were scheduled in a set of dark, windowless rooms in the basement. In one breakout, the session leader said “sod it, let’s go outside”. So rather than stand up and give a prepared death-by-Powerpoint talk, he took a group of us outside. We sat by the pool and had a great, informal round-table discussion. He was prepared to go off-piste, and I think that he (and the rest of us) got much more out of the session as a result.
  7. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
    As mentioned above our big focus right now is our new annual subscription advisory and research services (we currently offer one focused on BPM, and another focused on collaboration). These provide a mixture of vendor capability comparison tools, European best practice research and case studies, European market maturity research and enquiry time. They have “open licensing” terms that allow anyone in a customer organisation to access the research and (if the customer wants) place enquiries. In addition to these packaged products we offer custom enterprise consulting services (strategy reviews, procurement assistance, benchmarking and best practice workshops primarily) and vendor consulting services (quarterly strategy/messaging review retainers, competitive intelligence input, speaking at customer/partner events, and some very tightly-controlled creation of vendor-neutral thought leadership papers). We’re always developing new ideas, so check back regularly!

  8. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
    When I’m not working or spending time with my son, I try to find time to play guitar, write songs, grow veg and cook for friends. I’m currently trying to persuade my wife that we can keep chickens. If I ever have a chunk of money that I can throw at something completely self-indulgent I’ll always aim to take my wife to a really good restaurant.
  9. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
    For the next 6 months: continue to build our new advisory services business on a shoestring, so we can invest in some dedicated sales, marketing and customer service resources. For the next 30 min: finish some emails before my crappy laptop battery runs out…
  10. Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work  you rate highly?
    Well of course I think my MWD co-founder, Neil Macehiter, is a brilliant analyst and consultant. Without him we’d be all over the place. But outside MWD, I’ve also had the privilege of working with lots of great analysts. Dale Vile, Gary Barnett, Katy Ring, Jessica Figueras and Eric Woods (in no particular order) all spring to mind.
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Around Josh Krischer from Josh Krischer & Associates in 12 questions

Josh KrischerThis week, in our continuing series of analyst interviews, Josh Krischer, founder and principal analyst with Josh Krischer & Associates, shares his insight on the IT analysis market.

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    I cover Mainframes, high-end computing, storage, disaster recovery techniques and data center consolidation.

  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
    Vendors, in particular large companies, tend to devote too much attention to analyst firms rather than to individual analysts. Much bigger spending with the large companies and not enough support for the small, independent shops.IBM EMEA, for example range the analysts according to their influence and reputation and not for which company they work. For example, despite being a “small shop” I evaluated last year several RFPs among them most likely the largest storage RFP in EMEA (two digit million EUR)
    Some time ago, giving interview to a German journalist I was asked what is the difference between the services which a small company (like mine) can give in comparison to the large players. My answer was that in analogy it is like the differences between a department store and a boutique. I can tailor my services better to customers’ needs.
  3. What’s your typical day like?
    Every day is different; emails, projects, meetings, admin , marketing, vendor briefings, writing, etc. Storage is very dynamic industry, with constant flow of news on announcements, acquisitions and new innovations therefore I spent a lot of time on self-study and research.
    For example an excerpt from a proposal for RFP evaluation:

    Scope of the Work
    To fulfil the above obligation, the Service Provider will provide the Client with the Service provider who shall perform the following tasks:

    1. Prepare validity proof of the vendors’ claims.

    2. Set decision criteria matrix and assign weights for each proposal according to this matrix.

    3. Verification of the assessment prepared by the procurement team.

    4. Prepare numerical and graphical presentation of each vendor proposal.

    5. Prepare price comparisons (against the prices obtained in other, especially European, countries) and suggestions for the negotiations with the vendors.

    6. Deliver arguments for negotiations and support during the negotiations with the vendors

    7. Comparisons of the proposals from the strategic point of view and according to bank requirements

    8. Prepare management summary and recommendations.

    9. PowerPoint presentation of points 1-7

    10. Two days discussions with technical and management staff in xxxx .

    Depends on the RFP size such evaluation will take from 3 to 10 days to complete. In my previous life, working for a large analyst company the output was usually 30 minutes conference call sometimes followed by an email.

  4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
    Too many; all the vendors which „danced around me“ when I was VP research in Gartner but disappeared since I left.
    A funny AR story (not bizarre) on NDA and confidential information:
    Being a new analyst I called Steve Bardige (AR manager EMC) and ask him about a project with code name „calypso“. After asking the question I could hear Steve fainting on the other side of the Atlantic. After few second he answered; „Josh, you are not supposed to know about this project and not to mention even this code name, how did you find about it?“ I answered, „it was easy, one of EMC marketing guys in Germany made a presentation about Calypso on GUIDE/SHARE (IBM users forum) meeting in Hamburg.
    The morals of the story are: 1) that in some companies the AR are too paranoid in relation to secrecy 2) Giving information to customers before telling it to analysts may put analysts ( who the users expect to know everything) in inconvenient situations 3) sometimes an analyst may know more than you may expect.
  5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?)
    In 2007, about 60% of my turnover came from IT end users: I work with them on various projects, including RFP evaluations. With vendors, I author positioning papers, technical white-papers and carry-out sales training.

  6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less? (primary research, F2F or phone, secondary only, etc…)
    Trying to attend any vendor briefing which I can (and trying to stay awake), speaking with customers and trying to learn from their experience. Trying to listen and to ask as many questions as possible. Searching daily for new information and evaluating it. Usually have more value speaking with CTOs or product managers than with CEOs.
  7. Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? And why?
    Hans-Jürgen Rehm IBM Germany, Bill Reed of IBM EMEA, Ludovic Leforestier of Oracle (ex-IBM EMEA), Steven Zivanic of DataDirect (ex-HDS US) – always very helpful in good times and bad times.]
  8. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
    Never lie to analyst and try not to waste his time
  9. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
    RFP evaluations, Assistance with RFP preparations, Pricing evaluations & negotiations with vendors, Strategy development, Proofs of concept, Refresh of knowledge.
    Competitive analysis, SWOT analysis,Operations management & engineering
    Presentation preparation & delivery, Market analysis & business development

    Pre-sales consulting, Authoring & education, Keynote speeches, Revitalizing and motivating sales organizations, Sales training, New product opportunity – research and introduction ,Major account development and management, Marketing communications planning
  10. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?Gardening, carpentry. Any food ( with the exception of English) which is “dead” in particular Thai, Lebanese and Italian]
  11. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
    To be the best analyst in the areas which I cover
  12. Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work you rate highly?
    Dave Russell, Gartner – professional, fair and modest
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Around Ray Wang from Forrester in 10 questions

Ray WangThis week we have the pleasure of interviewing R “Ray” Wang from Forrester Research. In his spare time, he also contributes to the insightful Software Insiders blog. Thanks to Ray for his insights on the Software industry and also some thought provoking views on the IT Analysis industry too.

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    Research agendas for the business process and applications role focus on sustainable enterprise application strategies that include areas such as organizational readiness, vendor selection, software licensing and pricing, contract negotiations, instance consolidation, and SOA strategies for packaged apps such as ERP, Order Hubs, and Project Based Solutions. In addition, research focuses on business processes such as the order management cycle and continuous customer management, and I look at functional areas such as customer data integration and the impact of service-oriented architecture (SOA) on packaged applications. From a technology strategy perspective, I spend time evaluating the the emerging area of software ecosystems for SI’s and ISV’s.

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Around Ben Wood from CCS Insight in 11 Questions

ben Wood matrix Today we hear from Ben Wood who is a director at CCS Insight and one of the best known analysts in the mobile world. He and others in the CCS Insight team can be found blogging here.

1. What are your coverage areas?
CCS Insight specialises in research about the mobile and wireless industry — but we have a diverse range of customers from all sectors, because mobile is on the agenda of almost every company these days. Personally, I’m best known for my knowledge of mobile devices and everything that is associated with them — applications, services and so on. Continue Reading →

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Around Robin Bloor from Hurwitz & Associates in 12 questions

robinbloorhimself.jpgIn the second of our series of ‘email interviews’, we open up the IIAR blog to Robin Bloor (@robinbloor) of Hurwitz & Associates (and yes, the founder of Bloor Research) to share his views on the industry.

1.What are your coverage areas?
All technology except business applications such as SAP ERP or Oracle’s PeopleSoft.

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