Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Ovum breaks the iPod cellphone embargo?

The New York Times is carrying a story that suggested to some people, including me, that Ovum had broken the embargo on Motorola's iPod phone. Our initial guess was that one of the firms involved forgot to ask for an NDA when briefing Ovum's Roger Entner. Our reasoning was that Entner, a really seasoned analyst, would never do anything he had agreed not to do. So the most likely thing was that someone from the companies involved had briefed him, but not told him about an embargo.

Boy, were we wrong. Sorry Roger.

This is how we made our mistake. Since Apple hides from analysts, and Motorola's AR seems highly professional, our money was on Cingular Wireless as the guilty party - and not only because Entner followed that firm while at Yankee. Cingular's top managers have always fought shy of the analysts. Rather than putting serious effort into AR, they gave AR as an extra job to the firm's team of media relations directors but without giving them the money, time, power or people needed to succeed. So we through they were the folk most likely to make the mistake.

And we also thought it would be a vendor's mistake because we also knew that Entner would not have broken an NDA or embargo he had agreed to. While Entner only arrived in Ovum's Boston office in April, he knows the rules - having earlier worked at Yankee. Ovum's sales and marketing people will be delighted to have made the New York Times -- and around 400 other papers worldwide -- all from one story.

In fact, we were wrong. As Roger explained to us, he wasn't briefed by any of the firms involved. Needless to say, he didn't break any NDAs or embargos (breaking an embargo you have not agreed to or even been told about -- that's a different issue). He obtained the information independently (maybe from John Sun's blog) and then the NYT reported it.

What the media did was to turn that into a news storm, focusing on the fact that the NYT had scooped the vendors. Unlike my thoughtful co-authors on ARmadgeddon, I am error-prone and jumped to the simplest explanation I could think of and I was wrong: not only factually but also professionally. My deepest apologies to Roger and the team at Cingular (you're back on my Christmas card list).

But all of this makes me want to ask another question: neither Apple, Motorola nor Cingular have briefed Entner about the biggest thing of the year?? After he's in 400 stories discussing their product?? What going on? Guys, you wanna borrow my phone?

P.S. An obvious solution here, borrowing from the open scene of The Matrix. Mail an iPod phone to Entner, with only your number in the address book, and then wait...

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

Redmonk: how to brief analysts

James explains "On How To Brief Analysts what we are, and expect". Well, it's less detailed than his maxifesto but common sense doesn't hurt :-)

So, an analyst briefing is (should) a two-way conversation (otherwise it's called a press conference).
He's also got an interesting concept of analysis as a conversation (as opposed to "Claudia Schiffer analysts"): to let it happen, keep your decks short...

Useful reminder...

Thursday, 25 August 2005

All resistance is futile...

Now that the Gartner Borg has completed assimilation of the META techno-utopians, they're after exterminating the remaining offshoots standing in their way to squeeze more dollars from clients -as would do any Gartner, a natural monopoly: as Analyst Equity reports, Meton is the last casualty.

Thou who have sinned shall be cursed by the Borg wrath, so will your children and their children's....

Wednesday, 24 August 2005

Gartner: now, pay to quote!

As predicted, the Borg is executing its plan to squeeze more revenue from vendors (see links below).
We have now received several confirmations from the AR community that Gartner now asks vendors to purchase reprint rights as a condition to quote Magic Quadrants in their press or marketing rights.
It is unclear whether this applies to only the graph or any quote, Gartner argues that only reproducing a quadrant can be misleading and that readers should have access to the whole piece.

Why? Read those previous posts:

Tuesday, 23 August 2005

Silverlake update

Some news on Silverlake & Partners, one the largest private equity firms in the technology sector, with a prestigious board including Bill Gates, Scott McNeily, etc....
An high-ranking ex-IBMer just joined them:

And, yes, they own Gartner too...

Monday, 22 August 2005

Gartner Watch: VA Partners boosts its stake in Gartner

Joe Guralnick (Gartner Watch): Gartner stock on the rise, is there something we don't know to explain vulture capitalists' interest into the borg?

Gartner Watch: VA Partners boosts its stake in Gartner

Saturday, 20 August 2005

AMR Research Playing Serious in Europe

Rod Johnson - AMR Research General Manager for Europe - will be moving from Boston and relocate in the UK beginning next week.
This is a clear sign that the Boston-based IT Research firm has renewed intentions to set a solid presence in the continent.

After a disastrous Europan 'campaign' in 2001/02 - basically failed because it did not provide full back-office support to its local analysts (Simon Pollard, who left to Oracle; Kevin Lucas, off to Siebel)- the company has been "licking its wounds", leaving the whole European landscape to the only Nigel Montgomery.

Nigel has done a great job in keeping clients not too angered, given that they have been almost abandoned by AMR(as a matter of fact, a European company is not that happy to be served by US-based analysts).
Nigel is now supported by other 2 analysts - Guy Dunkerley and Derek Prior ('stolen' from Gartner). An additional sign of the company' intentions to confirm its European footprint.

General consent is that Rod Johnson's physical presence in the UK will be welcome.
Indeed AMR has the great opportunity to take over part of the META Group "heritage", as it has almost the same size and flexibility of the disappeared competitor.

We believe, though, that ROD will have at least two tough short-term challenges:

1st challenge: To convince European firms that AMR is a viable alternative to Gartner and Forrester. AMR lacks the hands-on approach provided by a consulting arm that can take over an analyst interaction and help the client implement the learnt findings and recommendations.

2nd challenge: to expand AMR's reach beyond the traditional countries served (i.e., UK, Nordics, France). Southern Europe (Italy, Spain) economies are deeply supply chain and manufacturing-centric. This would be the perfect market for AMR's services. But we do not see any consistent signs of the firm to get to these countries.

If not taken seriously, the challenges might resolve in another 'disaster' for AMR.
Especially if considering what Forrester is doing. It is opening local consulting presences in countries (e.g., Italy, Egypt) not directly serviced by its analyst community.

Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Analyst World: a Never-Ending Turmoil

News from today.
Stratos Sarissamlis, key expert analyst in Service Management and Outsourcing has left Ovum, which he joined only last May coming from META Group.

Personal comment: symptom that Ovum might have internal 'survival' problems?

Monday, 15 August 2005

META hemorragy from Gartner Group continues

Amy Santenello, META Group government strategies analyst retained by Gartner has officially left Gartner and moved to Oracle.

Another nail in the coffin ...

Sunday, 14 August 2005

Another insider from ex-META Group'ers

As of August 10th Mark Theissen has taken a position with DATAllegro. DATAllegro is a data warehouse appliance vendor that is based in Aliso Viejo, California.
Mark told us that in his new position he has responsibility for presales technical support, consulting, analyst relations and education.

Another missed opportunity for Gartner.

Saturday, 13 August 2005

Gartner still a hostile environment for ex-META analysts

It looks like Gartner is not able to keep attracted relevant META analysts.

News of yesterday is that Carl Lehmann - based in Boston, MA and an expert in SRM and e-business integration strategies - has left GG to ADX (

We expect other ex-META analysts to leave sooner or later GG.
As predicted since the beginning, the super-bureaucratic work environment and the cultural differences are taking over the attempt of GG to retain the remainining pieces of the former competitor.

Friday, 12 August 2005

TigerLily teams up with Credo

We've just been given the update that Gerry Davies, one half of the Tiger Lily consultancy in England, has teamed up with PR firm Credo. Gerry has a broad background in marketing, which was reflected in Tiger Lily's focus on a broad range of influencers. It allows Credo to match the offer of Firefly, the London-based PR firm from which it seems to be abreak away.

Teaming up a PR agency is an interesting tactic. We've never felt that these 'most favoured nation' agreements really work in our favor as clients. No-one moved their PR to Edelman because of KCG's deal with them -- but it probably did make some people allied to other PR firms nervous about working with KCG.

Monday, 8 August 2005

Is it the Summer? Or the Reformation?

Did Martin Luther split Christianity in the summertime as well? Or is there some other reason that August seems to be the month for debunking myths?

We've seen Duncan denounce four myths; but Fred Abbot has overtaken him with publishing a much better paper exposing a huge total seven myths: that's three extra myths for free.

Duncan has struggled to come back by pointing out a further five dumb mistakes. It's hotting up. Sorry Duncan, but we still think Fred is ahead. Our estimate is that dumb mistakes are at least twice as easy to debunk as myths, and your five really only counts as two and a half. So it's 7 points to Fred, 6.5 points to Duncan.

Ten bonus points for the first one to nail a thesis to Gartner's door.