Tag Archives | IIAR

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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Analysts: When you’re looking for a briefing – help me to help you

As much as Analyst Relations professionals spend time pitching briefings to analysts, we also spend alot of time fielding briefing requests from analysts with specific needs whodon’t always appreciate how much work is required to set up a briefing. Before we actually get everyone in the same room or on the phone, we AR professionals need to:

  • Understand the depth and scope of the information requested by the analyst: is it strategic, forward-looking and under NDA or is it available in existing content such as publicly delivered decks, collateral or online content
  • Identify the right spokesperson(s): is she/he authorised? AR trained? Does he/she have all the knowledge or do we need multiple spokespeople?
  • Select the best delivery method for this content and how long will it take: are we talking about an all-day live demo or will a series of shorter phone-based conversations do the trick?
  • Make sure the content is right: Does the spokesperson knows how does this fit into the overall corporate messages? If based locally, is the spokesperson familiar enough with the Corporate content and possible future releases and other upcoming stuff?
  • Do we need to include customer or partner evidence and, if so, what form does that need to take: a case study or a phone call w/ an actual customer?

We then need to steal time from those people’s day. For instance, if it’s a local briefing using pre-sales, how can we justify spending one full day of on screen demo with a local analyst when that resource could be working on a RFI for an important deal?

All that is not always easy, even if good AR folks are like swans: maintaining serene appearances while paddling frantically.

How can analysts help then? By being specific and actionable. For instance, if you just write a show email asking for a meeting like the one below, it doesn’t contain enough information to be truly actionable:

Good morning dear X,
How are you? Very well I hope. I have learnt that you had taken over responsibility for topic X at Vendor A.
I just wanted to make sure you knew that our firm had invested in the space and we now have a full time analyst covering topic X. His name is Y.
Could we schedule some time to meet, and we could perhaps meet some people on your team?

The easiest is to send us a professional (rather than personal), corporate-sounding email, that we can easily forward stating the following:

  • Who you are and what your firm does?
  • Your areas of coverage?
  • How the briefing you’re asking fits into your research schedule?
  • What is the research process you’re using?
  • What’s the end deliverable? A report? How long? Does it mention other vendors? Who’s the intended audience?
    Etc….

It doesn’t need to be War and Peace but it does need to contain enough information to help the AR professional fulfil your request as quickly and completely as possible.

Thanks to Naomi Higgins for her contribution to this post.

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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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The IIAR Analyst of the Year survey — and the winner is….

Over the past few months, the IIAR have been running a survey to identify who AR practitioners believe should win the award of ‘analyst of the year’. With over 116 respondents from around the world, the number of firms and individuals that people wanted to recognise was extraordinary (191 different analyst names and 103 separate houses).

For an analyst or their company to have made the top 10 is a truly remarkable achievement and my congratulations go to them. Specifically though a few individuals and companies should be highlighted:

Ray Wang, Principal Analyst with Forrester Research, Inc., is the analyst of the year. Respondents praised his insight, depth of industry knowledge, and independent voice. Runners up for the title

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Dealing with AR

Alan Pelz-Sharpe In this article, Alan Pelz-Sharpe, Principal with CMS Watch and former VP North America for Ovum, shares some very interesting insights on AR from the analyst’s perspective.

Some tips on how not to deal with a critical ‘independent’ analyst

I have been an analyst and commentator for 10 years now – for most of that time I have written or contributed to detailed and critical evaluations of software technologies. My topic areas are the Content Technologies ranging from ECM and Document Management to e-mail Archiving – my audience is almost exclusively buyers and implementers of these technologies – and a typical deal size is in the high hundreds of thousands to the multiple millions. People read my research to create shortlist’s, and typically to ensure they have a better chance of selecting the right product. It’s a simple model really – much like a ‘Consumer Reports’ or ‘Which Guide’.

I play with the technologies, I see them in action, I talk to many users, I talk to channel partners, resellers and also consultants and integrators. I also talk to the vendors – but my use of vendors is more for fact checking, product demo’s and gaining insights on nit picky elements than anything else. I appreciate the help of vendors, but ultimately my research focuses on how products work and are sold in the real world, and the world of vendor marketing and sales is of peripheral interest. Granted that is an unusual research model, having been in the ‘industry’ for 10 years and having run research practices and undertaken extensive competitive intelligence, I am well aware that typically ‘research’ by analysts is heavily dependent, and in many cases almost entirely dependent on, ‘vendor briefings’. I am also aware that the vast majority of analyst firms are dependent on vendor funding of one form or another to pay the bills. Hence I go to great length with all those I write about to try and inform them of my requirements – and my methodology.

So to be clear, I am a realist – I know that most analysts make their money by selling ‘independent’ analysis to the very people they claim to be ‘independent’ of. It’s the way it is – whether I like it or not. I also understand that AR professionals have a very tough job to do. Frankly I do not envy your role – you have to try to keep everyone happy all the time, and that is an impossibility. I have deep admiration for many AR professionals, some of whom I am proud to call friends rather than contacts. I also have deep admiration for any vendor who stays in business more than six months, life is tough out there. Running a business or simply having responsibility for a P&L is always a challenge. At the same time, my job is to provide my customers with honest and critical evaluations of products. That means highlighting all the warts, along with spotlighting all the shiny positives. If anything my job is to focus on finding the warts. Because lets be honest, it is not hard for a buyer to find the positives. As they will be deluged by ‘White Papers’, Marketing Collateral and Sales Spin. Finding where the products sweet spot is or it’s drawbacks, is much harder. It’s my job to help them in that process, and by definition that is not going to make me popular at times.

It seems clear to me that some AR professionals simply don’t know how to deal with analysts like CMS Watch – and rather than continually lock horns, I thought I would jot down some thoughts to help the process – I am doing this as I am just about to publish a major report (major in the sense that it runs to over 300 pages) technical evaluation of 14 vendors. The frustrations and wounds of dealing with AR are very fresh! So here goes:-

1: Don’t assume the analyst is out to get you

You are not as important as you may think. The analyst is writing about many vendors, you are just one in a long list. You almost certainly have no context to judge their review of your product, in light of what they have said about your competitors – you may wish to consider slowing down before jumping to bias conclusions. In my most recent report, the AR group that had the biggest and nastiest hissy fit, ironically is the vendor that has received the best review of all in the report. They are also the vendor that had the biggest hissy fit last time they were reviewed (different product, different report, different analyst – again a great review). They are also the vendor that analysts from rival firms share AR horror stories about…. The firm has good technology, but a terrible reputation for bullying or attempting to ‘coerce’ analysts.

2: Do make an effort to understand the analysts research methodology

If the methodology is focused on talking to customers and partners and you have been asked to supply customer references. Respond in one of two ways – politely but immediately decline, or do your best to provide references. Ignoring the request for weeks or months is not a good policy. By that time customers and partners have been found by the analyst and interviewed. When critical views are captured from such interviews you cannot at the last minute claim “our customers love x or y or z” – we know they don’t and frankly you haven’t been able to supply any that do. Harsh as it sounds, we are not just going to take your word for it.

3: Don’t threaten analysts

If you don’t like what an analyst has written – try at least to be respectful and polite. You are far more likely to enter a dialogue that way. Provide facts to counter their critical assertions, if you cannot provide facts and instead rely on bluster you will only dig a deeper hole for yourself. Also remember that analysts are human, threats via nasty e-mails (the cowards way) or phone calls, hurt (no matter how long you have been in the industry) and they don’t get forgotten quickly. Using such a confrontational approach does not make the AR person look important or even imperious, it makes you look unprofessional.

4: Don’t quote your own press releases or other analysts reports as evidence

There is frankly nothing more silly than to tell an analyst that they must be wrong about your firm/product because “Forrester/Gartner/IDC…ranks us as a ‘leader’ etc”. The only thing that rivals this is to quote from your own press releases – trust me this has been done. Most of the time, this kind of response will simply result in an internal e-mail chain that shares the joke with other analysts. Bottom line, that kind of supporting evidence, looks desperate, patronizes the analyst, and suggests you have simply drunk too much of your own kool aid.

5: Never say “we provided an x% ROI…….to our client over six months etc etc.”

Its a silly thing to say, period – and its a daft thing to say to most buyers. It’s a little like Home Depot claiming that they dug my vegetable garden for me, when all they did was sell me a spade. You provide tools – people use the tools, the use of those tools provides business benefits (or doesn’t). And just like the spade I bought from Home Depot, most software likewise goes unused.

7: Understand the difference between a fact and an opinion

For every 10 vendors I evaluate there will be one or two that freak out – most work well with me and we agree to disagree, and where there are errors (I make many, and do my best to fix them) we work together to get them corrected. I never want my reports to contain factual errors, presumably nor do you. But my opinions are my opinions, I am paid to have opinions. To change my opinion requires a very different approach from AR. To change my opinion you need to understand why I have formed that opinion (see below) before attempting to ‘re-educate’ me. In addition, when you claim a report is full of factual inaccuracies, and then send an annotated Word document listing differences of opinions – and can quote no factual errors at all – expect your response to be ignored, and my respect for you to slip.

9: Understand that those that use and/or implement your systems have a very different perspective to share

Just as I will see your product or service differently to you – recognize that a sales person, a channel partner, a user, an implementer or a consultant will all have differing perspectives. When a report does not reflect your personal or corporately mandated vision, that does not mean it is wrong. Some vendors use my reviews of their products to change perceptions, in some ways they see my reports as free consulting – a fresh pair of eyes if you like. They recognize that the information and insights that I get are not usually available to them – they see criticism as potentially constructive. Some find out there are strengths to their product, that I have noted, that they had previously underestimated. Remember, if the only research you have read is from people you directly or indirectly pay – then it won’t be surprising if you find some kind of uniformity with your own viewpoint. True outside opinions will by definition differ from your own.

10: Don’t believe your own hype

We know it’s your job to be passionate about your company, about its product and its services. We understand it is your job to help sell this vision and to educate us all. But make the effort to really understand your competitors and your competitive landscape too. Work out who really influences your deals and those of your competitors – understand your competitors strengths in terms of product, sales focus, corporate culture etc – don’t live in a vacuum, analysts don’t. I applaud your enthusiasm, and I wish you and your colleagues the best of luck, I really do. But I wish all your competitors the same too. I am not passionate about your company, I am passionate about ensuring that buyers and users avoid costly and sometimes disastrous mistakes. That they pick the right product each time, and that they use it to its best advantage. We have different agendas, but they don’t need to be agendas in conflict.

Disclaimer: Alan is not a member of the IIAR and this post reproduce his own opinions, not those of the IIAR or its members.

 

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Last chance to vote for your analyst of the year!

The Institute of Industry Analyst Relations closes the Analyst of the Year survey at 10:00 p.m. BST on Wednesday April 30. To vote, go to http://snipurl.com/23gv1. In exchange for sharing your opinion, you’ll get a summary of the results next month.

The IIAR is a not-for-profit organization established to raise industry awareness of the value of analyst relations, promote and share best practice in AR, and give opportunities for AR professionals to meet and network with their industry peers. Members can participate in regular events and teleconferences, gain access to a growing online library of AR tools and resources, and contribute and share experiences with other AR professionals through working parties.

To find out more, visit the IIAR website at www.analystrelations.org.

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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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Analyst of the year – submit your answers today

IIAR Analyst of the YearQuis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Or more to the point, who analyses the analysts? In this case it is the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR).

In a marketing world that is dominated by PR, the creation of a dedicated body to promote AR best practice and stand as a forum on issues has been warmly welcomed by the community.

One of my responsibilities in the IIAR is running a task force which in this instance has focused on compiling the ‘analyst of the year’ survey. This survey aims to answer questions such as:

  • Which analysts deserve the title ‘analyst of the year’
  • Which analyst companies deserve the title ‘analyst firm of the year’
  • Which firms have most increased / decreased their relevance in 2007

The survey is open to in-house and agency AR professionals, and a summary of the results will be sent to all respondents. Please note that anonymous responses and those from analyst firms will be discarded. Individual responses will be kept strictly confidential and only aggregated results will be shared.

To take part in the survey please click here.

Preliminary results will be shared at the IIAR forum meeting at Lighthouse on 3rd April where Chris Lewis and David Mitchell from Ovum will be the guest speakers.

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Building the future of DARA and IIAR

Today, the German Analyst Relations Working Group, (Deutscher Analyst Relations Arbeitskreis, DARA) will meet for the first time this year (and for the 9th time since it was founded) at Fujitsu Siemens Computers‘ offices in Munich. It is interesting to see that more German-speaking professionals from technology companies are becoming interested in being a part in an organization that helps AR professionals network. One point we look forward to discuss will be the collaboration between DARA and the IIAR. Both organizations have made tremendous progress in the last few months:

  • Not only has the IIAR won new members, it has also helped to raise the profile of Analyst Relations as a profession and communications activity within the IT and telco sector. The IIAR has moved into the league of internationally recognized organizations which add value for analyst relations experts.
  • The DARA is just about to publish its book, “Industry Analyst Relations in Deutschland” and has produced a paper on ethical behavior in IAR. It has further developed its membership base and has become the most recognized German network for analyst relations professionals in
    the area.

What will be the role of DARA in the future? While the IIAR is an international organization, hosting guest speakers such as Gartner’s Aaron Yaverski, GVP High Tech Product Management and Andrew Rosenblatt, Product Development, the DARA could regularly contribute new pieces of
“local knowledge” to the AR community. For example, one guest speaker at the next DARA forum will be the Managing Director of Business Application Research Center, BARC, a growing Germany-based research house, mainly focussing on BI. Many DARA members are interested in learning more about this research firm and look forward to the session.

Simultaneously, the German forums will also transfer international knowledge to German AR professionals. The DARA will increasingly seek to host analysts from abroad, in person or via web conference: For example, Redmonk‘s James Governor will also present as a guest speaker at the forum.Of course, there is also the possibility to bring members from both locations together to organize an exchange of ideas and best practices. Such a forum would make a wide range of opportunities available and I think many of us believe something like this would be well worth a try.

In my opinion, one of the most important questions is where the AR community will see the most significant synergies between DARA and IIAR and how we can bridge any geographical distances better. A first step is already made: Two of the IIAR board members are German analyst relations professionals. Reflecting on the feedback from many IIAR members, I get the impression that these board members will have the remarkable opportunity to help connect both organizations better. They could facilitate further progress on the road to a global AR community.

I am interested in other views on this matter -please feel free to comment on this post.

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this blog post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of HFN Analyst Relations or other members of the IIAR. We can’t be held liable for any unintentional misrepresentation on this post but are happy to correct any mistakes or nonconformities.

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IIAR Member Directory

The new IIAR Member Directory has just been posted to the IIAR website – to view, go to the Library section, under IIAR General Information (membership required for access).

The directory will be updated regularly so if any members who are not included would like to be added to future editions, please just drop me an email. If any information included is incorrect or out-of-date, please let Hannah know.

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Blogging…

I never thought this would be so difficult!

Duncan kindly suggested WordPress because it’s much better, which I did. It’s much more difficult to set up than blogger and as soon as I did Catherine was commenting on Twitter that it’s buggy. I finally got around redirecting it but still can’t get the domains to work on WordPress (apparently I have to do something to the INAME or whatever) so that it’s seamless between the blog and analystrelations.org.

Anyway, it’s now up and running and all the IIAR members can post. We’ll be accepting guest posts too.

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Welcome to the IIAR blog!

During yesterday’s forum, kindly hosted by Susan from Logica and masterfully chaired by Janine from Vodafone, it has been decided to create a blog for the Institute. So, here here we go.
In accordance with the IIAR philosophy, it will be open to all the members and won’t be a single version of the truth -because we don’t see the world in black and white. We want this blog to be a community forum where we can debate openly, some posts might be controversial and that all more intesting.  As such, it is also a way to share thoughts and engage with the analyst community, about analyst relations the industry in general.

We will also post here survey results highlights, Task Forces thoughts, ideas around best practices and more.  However, the detailed results, best practices papers, presentations will remain on analystrelations.org‘s members area.

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AR leaders to launch professional institute

Senior analyst relations professionals from across Europe have agreed to launch a professional institute. A meeting in London yesterday gathered together members of Europe’s two analyst relations networks to agree the goals, membership requirements and organisational framework for a new international association. Half of us went for dinner afterwards, and Marius’ photograph gives an idea of how convivial the meeting was.

The institute will aim to be a voice for analyst relations professionals and a framework to support their professional development. A meeting will be held on Thursday July 13 to register the progress planned over the coming months.

Lighthouse is very positive about this development. We think there are a number of tasks that this institute could take up.

  • It’s clear that an open dialogue is needed between the analysts relations community and the analyst firms on best practice. On many issues, one side has no idea of the frustrations with the other side.
  • Work needs to be done to promote the profession. PR agencies and AR consultancies have failed to co-operate to educate the industry about the specific and separate role of analyst relations. Too often, analyst relations is subordinated to the methods and tactics of media relations. By co-operating, we can clarify the specific role of AR professionals.
  • Professional development of AR professionals is weak. There are few training courses, and they are a poor substitute for the coaching, mentoring and learning-by-doing that is really needed to develop effective, self-confident, AR professionals.
  • Worldwide, analyst relations needs to resolve the cultural imbalance. A pragmatic, transactional and curtly neutral way of working has been coupled to an extreme narrowness in the information shared with analysts. This unnecessarily obstructs effective analyst relations outside the United States. An institute could point out the counterbalancing cultural norms, and help AR managers to adapt global communications approaches to better meet local needs.
  • We can encourage local or specialist networks to help people to build up contact with AR professionals in the same area. The meeting agreed that members should be able to set up open subcommittees look on particular topics or that bring together people in the same geography. Here’s an example. At the dinner after the meeting I was talking to an attendee from Germany: it’s clear that there is more than enough interest there to develop a German committee.
  • The accelerating rate of change in the analyst industry means that new firms can win greater traction with greater speed. We can use an institute to develop and share our appreciation of the analyst landscape.

The professionals who met yesterday are keen to take one step at a time. It would be foolhardy to attempt too much, too soon. However, the appetite is there to build a serious, open professional body. Serious membership fees will be levied to fund part-time staff. Membership will be open to all with an interest in analyst relations: we have no interest in excluding those with something to contribute (the only exclusion: analyst firms’ staff may not join). A formal managing committee will rotate its members, to maximize participation.

An online group has been set up for the Institute. If you’d like to get in touch please email analystrelations-owner at yahoogroups dot com (Correspondance will go to a committee, so don’t expect a quick reply).

Originally posted by Duncan Chapple on the 4/06/2006 09:50:00 AM

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