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.

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