Tuesday, 31 January 2006

Welcome back Joe!

After a long absence, Joe comes back to GartnerWatch with this post: Can Gartner remain relevant?

He questions whether the silo'ed Borg can remain relevant, stuck as they are in their technology segments. We agree they are struggling to move to the business consulting space and that an acquisition may help.

However, our opinion is that they're going to demerge their consulting practice, see Sweepstake opens: when will Gartner Consulting go?

Monday, 30 January 2006

Selling the value of AR

Duncan seems to be in sales mode, he just published this "buy me" post on this blog: New Readers: Start Here!

It contains a few self-sourced "research" that AR professionals can use as elevator pitch to answer those "who are you and why do you need budget, aren't you like PR and don't you just shmooze with analysts?" questions we sometimes get.


  • 72% of technology buyers use analysts opinions when short-listing products
  • 45% of them have added in a vendor because of an analyst's recommendation, while 42% have removed a vendor on analyst advice
  • 1/3 have consulted analysts
  • 2/3 say they're influenced by analyst reports
Useful to keep on a cheat-card...

Saturday, 28 January 2006

Sweepstake opens: when will Gartner Consulting go?

ARmadgeddon is launching a sweepstake to see who can best predict the date on which the sale of Gartner Consulting will be announced. The winner gets a unique ten-year collection of Gartner Symposium delegate bags (you only pay shipping).

It's clear that the ongoing speculation about the possible sale of Gartner Consulting to a private equity firm is not declining. Measured only by the web searches that are coming through this websites 'back end' at blogger.com, it's clearly a topic of rising interest and research.

Gartner's representatives, of course, deny all knowledge of any such move being considered. That seems an honest denial to us but, considering our own organizations, we must admit that spokespeople and managers are always the last people to know. If any such change were to happen, we think they would find out on a Friday afternoon telecon, just before the VC puts out its press release.

Clearly, the synergy between Gartner Consulting and the rest of the organization is already limited. In terms of growth dynamics, the consulting business is not as good as research: $100,000 of new consulting work is almost all taken up in costs; $100,000 of new research work has very little cost (other than the salesperson's cut). Gartner Consulting could function just as easily if it was able to source data from any analyst house. And we can even think of a great name for the business, whose previous owners are now selling: META Consulting.

The rising speculation will be met by frustration: there will not be new information [other than denials] until it happens. So, to help out interested parties, ARmadgeddon's sweepstake will honor the Gartner-watcher who most closely predicts the date of the sale being announced.

The rules: your participation will be anonymous; winners can chose no publicity; the winner will be the closest guess to the actual date on which Gartner announces its intention to sell Gartner Consulting or a majority part thereof; multiple winners will split the prize; not open to staff of Gartner, Silver Lake or Monitor Clipper.

Here's a tip to help your strategy: A few entries have been collected already, and half are between April 13 and May 8 2006.

Wednesday, 25 January 2006

Should AR professionals be certified?

Check the discussion on this post from James Governor: would the profile of AR be higher if all AR managers were certified? KGC offers such certification, of course others may have an idea too...

Can a visible AR function in turn increase its wallet share with analysts and expands its roles?

Monday, 23 January 2006

Becoming an analyst, getting it right and being paid for it!

The analyst landscape never ends surprising us, whether it’s consolidating or expanding is like asking the same but about the Universe. There is without any doubt a polarisation, with the Gartner Borg holding over 50% market share and on the other end independent analysts who keep spinning-off (is it like a water cycle really?) but struggle financially.
James started a series of notes to encourage new competitors: read How To Become An Industry Analyst part 1, part 2 and part 3.
In a nutshell, you need to have a passion for learning (always useful not to fall asleep at chart 78 during a vendor telebriefing), blog, declare (tag yourself) as an analyst, The best quote of all is this one:

  • “There is no qualification or examination you take in order to become become an industry analyst.”


The only things James did not say, are what do analysts DO (apart from blogging) and how do they make a living. Futile issues probably.

On another note and as the Borg members are back from their research retreat in Disneyworld, we have received confirmed intelligence that they will push their prices even further up. In the meantime, their web site will be “portalised” to offer views tailored to individuals’ research need. No words yet on a much needed “desilo-sation” though…


Experton: a new nemesis for the Borg?

The new Borg Nemesis, Experton, seems to be gaining some speed:

Check this hilarious discussion on who screwed up the most at META: was it the Brits or the Prussians? We wonder what Andy Bitterer has to say on this? (it would be interesting to see if the Borg are now censoring his replies to our blog?) See also previous posts on the same subject:

And from Duncan who seems to have found new German friends (or bought a share in the new company):

And also:

Thursday, 19 January 2006

The AR pissing contest has started!

David and Duncan both point out a post by IBM blogger John Simonds on Lighthouse's survey of IBM AR in AsiaPac. Duncan could not resist sharing some details of the survey which seems like jolly good news for Big Blue (we made some comments here on what is NOT in the survey) in this post: ANALYST EQUITY: IBM leads in our Asia-Pacific study.

This is great news for Duncan and his mates, as it opens the AR pissing contest, which in turns could means selling more surveys to vendors.

Overall, this may be a positive step for the analyst relations profession altogether, as other AR chiefs may feel pressurised to measure what they deliver back to the business, at last.
Indeed, AR departments are typically reporting "clippings" (usually based on a self-selecting sample of friendly analysts) which says little on the influence on sales or even worse they report activity (number of briefings), which says even less on the business impact.

As AR is maturing, it is about time to take measurements seriously and start showing true business impact.

See also our previous post on Measuring Analyst Relations.

Monday, 16 January 2006

[Monkchips:] No Time Wasters Please: On briefing industry analysts

James believes in sharing and in declarative living, which often translate into telling the world how how things should be done. Which is actually good when it comes to providing some feedback to vendors how to (and not to) brief this strange human breed called IT analysts.

So, after telling us once how to brief analysts he has just reoffended with this post: No Time Wasters Please: On briefing industry analysts.

Thanks James, sincerely. But we'd like names now: who's the PR outfit who did not AR train this COO?

ARmadgeddon's take: NOBODY should be talking to analysts without going through a good AR training firs. This should be a corporate policy. If you don't have the skills or the credibility to deliver it in house, get some professional help. For instance from Duncan or David (to name only some who linked to us), if you pick-up someone else, make sure that they know the European market (not like KGC).

Monday, 9 January 2006

[deal architect:] The Borg explains its compliance budget survey

Read this great post from Vinnie Mirchandani on how Gartner markets surveys without even believing they're credible: deal architect : Gartner explains Compliance Budget Numbers.

Upon seeing compliance represented as 15% of IT budgets (see Gartner: Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Hits 15 Percent of the 2006 IT Budget, French Caldwell , 9 December 2005 –subscription required :-( Vinnie did his research and wrote to Gartner to question how they came up with this quite extravagant number. And the answers were:

  1. This number comes from a survey
  2. Survey respondent played up the survey -in other words, if compliance is in your job title, you have a vested interest to give a high percentage to justify your budget (and salary) with a nice Gartner piece of research. Oh, and yes, two years ago there were not a lot of Compliance Officers (or similar titles) around…
  3. More gets flagged as “compliance project”: there’s fear around this issue, it’s the latest hype and so it’s easier to get funding for those projects. Budgets are still roughly the same, IT organisations still do the same stuff, the names under which they report projects is just changed depending on what the board wants to see.

The lessons for AR professionals are:

  • You should ALWAYS ask yourself what is the research methodology that is used in a research piece: is it a survey, a vendor poll (were all the vendors represented polled?), a DRE etc…

  • For surveys, always check the survey sample size and distribution. In this case, the sample was only 326 distributed as follows: 60 IT compliance managers, 51 CIO’s, 41 Finance manager, 23 Internal audit (IT), 20 Corporate compliance officer, 17 CFO’s, 17 Internal audit (finance), 17 IT audit manager, 7 CISO’s (not CISO’s) and 73 “others” (or 22% of the sample!)…
  • The geographic distribution was not mentioned, so one could assume those figures are valid for US of A only? (it’s the country of Enron after all).
  • The distribution by industry is not mentioned either, one could suppose that if financial sector are over-represented it could skew heavily the results (they have simply more regulations to comply with).
  • You should also question how is the sample selected: is it randomly selected from a well targeted population (check this post from Jason Corsello, a Yankee Group Analyst, sniping at an Aberdeen survey -thanks to Fred for the link) or is it a self-selecting like this one by Quocirca with El Reg?
  • Check also the taxonomy: as graphically illustrated above, it is important to understand how the categories are made and what is counted. Is IT security part of compliance???

Bottom line: understand how the research is carried out, always question the results.

See also: