Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Borgosium echoes

Thanks to those who have passed some echoes from the Cannes Gartner Symposium.

Content seemed rather bland: the keynote was poor and lacking a strong theme carried through the event, mega vendors sessions have been replaced by sessions on a given industry (one server, one services, one software, instead of the old IBM, Microsoft, HP, SAP, Oracle sessions). The SAP interview was however more incisive than some of the previous vendor interviews.

The number of analysts on site has been reduced, quite a few did not stay the whole time, restricting the main pull for the event from an AR professional's standpoint: the ability to interact and have one to ones with many analysts in the same week.

The event was a step down from last year: it finished at 11 sharp and most analysts were in functions at some nicer places with vendors anyway.

The AR meeting was another let down from last year: apparently Gene Hall decided this crowd was definitely not worth his presence and dispatched some staff members who did a reasonable job explaining their research methodologies and the Customer Insights: this is an option that can be bolted onto the AR role to provide some insights on inquiry trends. It all sounds good and interesting... until you hear it's between $20 and 40k extra. They also said in passing that they were happy with the uptake of the AR role and had 340 registered users. This is quite surprising as we haven't heard of anyone in Europe subscribing to this role -we would be interested in some feedback here.

Some interesting statistics came from this meeting: Gartner has 47 research communities, take 57,000 inquiries per year.

Finally, someone asked about EXP analysts and consultants and it emerges that the briefings materials never reach those communities... although they advise end-users.

ARmadgeddon's take: Gartner Inc. (NYSE:IT) is under-performing in its events business (down 10%) compared to research (+18%) and consulting (flat) in their latest quarterly results. Symposium is suffering cannibalisation from successful summit events and reduced sponsorships. This might explain the recent tumble of their share price.

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Carter said...

Gartner had a good Q3, more influence on vendor sales coming – CEO Gene Hall – the Mark Hurd of analyst execs – reported another good quarter with 10% revenue growth, 30% income growth and 18% research contract increase. What is more relevant for the vendor community is that this growth is an indicator of increased influence on IT sales. Gartner added a net 135 sales reps so far in 2007, all focused on IT departments of enterprises $1bn+ in revenues – prime territory for most if not all vendors in SPAR. This brings the sales force to 800 reps. This exceeds the entire 2007 20% growth target in sales reps, but Hall is not slowing down sales hiring and is working to accelerate bringing on new reps. Other interesting data points include Gartner added a net of more than 550 end-user companies as clients over the same period last year. It also added 148 CIOs to the IT executive program, bringing that total to 3,635. Gartner Q3CY07 earnings announcement.

Carter said...

This is interesting. Someone posted my comment about Gartner that I sent to the SPAR e-mail list. I am not annoyed just curious who did it.

While Wall Street might be concerned about the events business, it should not be surprised about consulting being flat. Gene Hall has consistently said that consulting is not a priority until it can become more productive -- i.e., profitable. HP's CEO Mark Hurd took the same approach with HP Services, keep it flat until the structural issues can be addressed.

The key issue for AR is growth of research. While some can be attributed to price increases, much is likely to be from adding end user clients. Why end users? None of the vendors I talk to are increasing their syndicated research spend with Gartner.

Like you ARnaut, I am skeptical that Gartner has sold 340 seats of the AR product, unless... Vendors are doing it defensively to find out what is in GfITL research that Gartner won't otherwise share.