Saturday, 18 November 2006

After the Sydney Symposium

Gartner's Symposium event has closed up in Sydney. If you haven't been there, I recommend it -- and not just because the city's amazing. There's also a more practical edge to the discussions. They are less policed than in Orlando, and at times more surprising. Or perhaps it's just the jet-lag that makes them seem that way.

Mark McDonald reported on the results from the CIO Agenda survey, for example, which showed some pretty major changes over the last year. Few analysts' presentations would dare to suggest similar shifts over such a short period of time.

Despite the slight differences between the different Symposiums, the discussions over lunch in Sydney are pretty similar to ones back in the States.

Many people feel that Gartner Invest is an time-bomb. Even if Gartner is not issuing buy, sell or hold recommendations, they are naive to think that fair disclosure regulations do not already apply to vendors briefing Gartner. I've read reports that Gartner's Office of the Ombudsman is lobbying internally to have Gartner Invest communicating with both vendors' IR and AR departments. However, while we can review research, we can't review advisory calls with investors. The risk remains clear: private information given by vendors to Gartner under NDA is different from the public information that we give to investment banks. This is a calculated risk by vendors. When we brief Gartner under NDA, it's us who would suffer if this information got through to the financial markets.

Nobody believes Chinese walls will appear between Gartner Invest and the rest of Gartner. Some analysts have written research on the same topics for Invest and for mainstream Gartner. Even if there are separations, who is there to prevent verbal interactions between analysts? How can a vendor prove whether or not a leak spreading on Wall Street did or did not come from Gartner Invest?

All these problems seem massive. We just can't see how this can work. Gartner Invest should close, and close soon.

Of course, the other complaint we have is about pricing. Gartner's price hikes will go on, and on, and on. They just don't care about vendors' complaints because the extra revenue from higher prices is more than the revenue they lose from lost sales. The different product groups have a duty to make money, and they will keep on truckin'. Anything they can break out and sell as a stand alone service will be salami-sliced off from our core contracts. Gartner is adding ten sales people a month, and they will be have to work increasingly hard as the new products get successively less valuable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just today I had another great interaction with my Forrester account reps. Someone at Forrester is really smart to focus so much on customer service, especially since it's getting so much worse at Gartner.

Gartner can't even get the basics right anymore, how on earth are they going to upsell additional services?