Our Corporate Communications team is seeking a strategic, organized, curious, creative and self-motivated Sr. Manager, Analyst Relations to help drive the strategy and partner on the execution of our successful analyst relations program. The ideal candidate must have a passion for working closely with industry influencers, internal stakeholders and be comfortable with balancing strategic thinking with tactical, detailed communication and execution within a global, matrixed organization.Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | SAP
London, Thursday 04th July 2019 – The wait has an end…. Whilst the USA are celebrating their Independence Day, the IIAR members celebrated their annual IIAR Summer Party, kindly sponsored by Criteo and Spotlight AR this year. Highlight of the evening was the announcement of the IIAR AR Professional of the Year 2019, a highly coveted recognition among the AR professionals.
Needless to say that there were plenty of reasons to celebrate at this traditional event that brings together the AR professionals and agencies as well as the analysts who joined us from Gartner, Forrester, IDC, Ovum, 451 Research and many others for an evening full of great discussions and insights. The party is a great opportunity to engage with peers from the AR community and exchange best practices, get feedback from the key analysts in the industry and build or strengthens new and existing relationships.Continue Reading →
Hannah is currently part of the IT Influencer Relations team at SAP, covering analyst relations for Services and Support topics. Hannah has been in the technology industry for most of her career. Most recently, she worked at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide with the Microsoft Dynamics team as an analyst relations manager, covering both CRM and ERP. Prior to her work with Microsoft, Hannah was at Forrester Research and Oracle in a sales capacity.
Hannah will be helping to ensure the west coast receives regular communication and access to events as well as hosting local meet ups.
Analyst relations is a world of shifting territory, with convergence arising among blogs, traditional analysts, and even the media. I wrote this post to discuss how one software vendor navigates the blogging aspect of these difficult waters.
This post is reprinted from my blog at ZDNet, which is called IT Project Failures.
Among enterprise vendors, SAP is an industry leader in working with bloggers, so I thought it would be helpful to start the new year with a post that highlights the company’s Blogger Relations program.
SAP’s blogging outreach efforts are successful for three reasons, which other enterprise vendors should consider when creating their own blogging outreach strategy:
1. Ongoing relationship
SAP runs a formal blogging program that includes regular contact by phone, email, and Twitter; invitations to conferences and special events; and other opportunities to interact with SAP senior management, employees, and customers.
There are two primary contacts for bloggers at SAP, each of whom maintains an open-door policy. When I am working on a post and need a source, this means “one-click” access to virtually any employee in the company.
This convenience and accessibility simplifies gaining detailed information about SAP’s activities and products. The clarity of SAP’s message depends on the particular interviewee, but at least the opportunity for dialog is present.
2. Customized programming
SAP is attentive to the professional interests of bloggers in their program. As a result, each participant receives individual attention regarding his or her specific area of focus. In my case, for example, emphasis tends toward discussion around issues pertaining to projects and the intersection of business and IT. Other bloggers engage SAP in areas such as sustainability or enterprise technology.
This customized programming is especially significant when SAP holds events and arranges meetings with senior executives. Matching bloggers and executives who share specific interests helps keep the discussion relevant to all parties.
3. Mutual expectations
The relationship between SAP and bloggers requires substantial investment of time and effort for both sides. My “covenant” with any vendor is simple and fair: I seek straightforward access to information while the vendor has a right to balanced analysis.
Of course, SAP advances its perspective and I write about IT failures, so natural tensions are present. These tensions are healthy and help ensure that blog posts do not devolve into a glorified press release or a one-sided attack.
To learn more about the history and goals of SAP’s blogging program, I recorded this video with Mike Prosceno, the company’s Vice President of Social Media Relations:
THE PROJECT FAILURES ANALYSIS
By demonstrating serious commitment to open up and engage, SAP now participates in conversations that previously eluded the company. This kind of personalization is difficult to achieve, especially for such a large company.
The blogging program actually represents an investment in the rapidly evolving future of corporate communications, which has seen barriers drop in traditional boundaries around media and analyst relations. Blogging offers a particular challenge to corporate communications because it does not fit easily into existing media or analyst definitions.
Serious enterprise bloggers are typically professional experts in some aspect of enterprise software, raising strong parallels with industry analysts. Unlike analysts affiliated with established firms, however, most bloggers are independent and have no contractual relationship with the vendor. At the same time, some industry analysts also write excellent blogs, which further blurs traditional distinctions.
To place these distinctions into broader context, I spoke with Jason Busch, Managing Director of analyst firm, Azul Partners. Jason is also a top enterprise blogger on procurement issues, writing at Spend Matters.
Here’s what Jason told me:
I’ve often found the transparency of bloggers to be a breath of fresh air relative to traditional industry analyst firms.
In general, the better tech bloggers in the enterprise space fully disclose clients, affiliations, advertisers/sponsors, etc. In contrast, traditional analyst revenue waters are often murky; you don’t know who is paying them or how much.
SAP was way ahead of the curve in recognizing the rising role of bloggers and the blurring of analyst/blogger distinctions. It’s probably the most prescient thing they’ve done from a marketing perspective.
My take. SAP understood early on that traditional corporate communications has shifted from a message-based orientation to identifying, building, and nurturing relationships with influencers.
Despite the maturity and excellence of its program, however, SAP now faces competition in blogging relations from other enterprise vendors, some of whom are catching up quickly. To maintain its lead, SAP must continue to innovate and invest in this area.
The growth of enterprise blogging as a recognized form is great news for technology buyers, who rely on independent sources of information when making important technology and business decisions.