Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Analyst recommends....well, another analyst

It's not often you see an analyst organisation praising one of its competitors.

So imagine my delight recently when a colleague pointed out that a major Boston-based firm was being cited positively in the daily newsletter put out by one of its rivals.

Is there some sort of analyst-loving going on here that we need to be told about?

More likely, we think, it was just a good old fashioned 'cut and paste' botch-up. I hesitate to accuse - but parts of the the story apparently read just like a vendor press release...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ovum's Bradshaw better than Gartner or Forrester, says Marc Benioff

Gareth Davies writes about something that happened a couple of days ago:

"A nice touch was that Marc pulled up David Bradshaw of OVUM who happened to be in the audience. Marc stated that when he wants to know what’s happening in the industry this is who he calls. The only analyst to have consistently called it right for the past few years, Marc stated much better than Gartner or Forrester."

Congratulations David. That's big praise indeed coming from the man at the top of salesforce.com

Thanks to James Governor.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Analyst moves: FS, Mobile, Security

Martha Bennett has left Forrester (where she led its European FS group) to join Datamonitor. She starts in October as research director, Financial Services Technology.

Nigel Stanley has joined Bloor Research to cover the security sector.

Current Analysis has introduced a new member to its mobile and wireless team. Mayur Sahni will be focusing on enterprise mobility in Europe. He previously covered telecoms for Current Analysis in Asia-Pacific.

Annette Zimmermann is joining Gartner as a research analyst in the Mobile Devices and Consumer Services team. As well as covering mobile devices, Annette will also be involved in consumer services research looking at fixed and mobile applications and services.

Over at Ovum, Raymond Yu has joined the mobile team as an analyst.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Another AR blog launches

There's a new AR blog in town. This one is from Hill & Knowlton, which launched ARcade earlier today.

The first post is very corporate and seems designed to demonstrate H&K's credentials in the AR market. Fingers crossed, future posts will provide some interesting reading and ARcade will live up to its positioning as

"a forum for mutual learning about all things AR. We will discuss issues that impact AR practitioners, the technology vendors we represent, and the industry analysts with whom we partner. We will review the latest developments in the analyst landscape, propose best practices for working with analysts and technology executives, and share lessons learned from fantastic mistakes."

I'm told we can expect regular postings from the global AR team which includes (among others) Josh Reynolds in the US and my old colleague Dominic Pannell in the UK.

Dom's blogged about AR before, most notably on The Serendipp Weblog and I found an article that Josh wrote last year which is a good read.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Various analyst changes

Thanks to Kim Horner of CustomerClix for these:

Mike Davis is leaving Butler Group. Sarah Burnett will now be covering the public sector beat.

Forrester is losing Hellen Omwando.

Dennis Szubert is joining Quocirca in September to cover infrastructure, servers, system management etc.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Adobe's AR Blog

I just found Adobe's AR blog, ARena (although I'm obviously a bit late off the blocks as it launched back in May).

It's being managed by Tim Brook, who heads up AR for Adobe in EMEA. In the first post, he outlined his intentions. The blog's purpose is to be:

a) a single point to communicate the latest product, solution and corporate news from Adobe.

b) a place where content and links from some of the other Adobe blogs are pulled together

c) a source of information on EMEA analyst events and briefings that are taking place.

It's a good idea and hopefully it's attracting more interest in the analyst community than a static AR webpage would. There's doesn't seem to be any public debate going on in the comments but of course that doesn't mean there's not dialogue going on via more private channels.

A tip of the hat to Dom Pannell for flagging this with me. Hopefully, he'll be back blogging soon...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

James Governor told off by Gartner

James Governor at Redmonk has been told by Gartner that he cannot link to this page on its website.

The page in question is a reprint of the Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms, 1Q06. You can still access the report (free of charge) directly from the website of the people who bought the reprint, SAS.

The link is also available from our friends at ARmadgeddon.

And Rob Stevens has posted about it too.

It's on the Business Intelligence Knowledge Base where it was posted by someone from SAS and on the Intelliminds news page.

You can read the full story first hand on James' blog (make sure not to miss the comments).

Sometimes you've got to watch in wonder and amazement and just ask "why?"

Update:
For the sake of completeness, Gartner has since apologised. See the comments thread on this post from James.

A few more analysts in Europe

The analyst firms are busy hiring so there's a host of new analysts who have started covering various sectors of the European market.

I know that there are plenty of others, but here are some of those we have come across recently:

At IDC, Jakob Heckscher has started as a senior research analyst covering the European supply chain management and CRM markets.

Staying at IDC, Joao da Silva has joined the European Mobile and Wireless team, joining Lars, Paolo and Rosie.

Forrester has taken on Phil Sayer in its European Telecoms and Networks team and Ricardo Arruda as an analyst on the Financial Services research team.

And it's not just the big firms.

Canalys continues its expansion. New analysts there in the past couple of months include Pete Cunningham and Mehar Zulfikar.

Quocirca is growing again. Louella Fernandes has started as a principal analyst covering enterprise printing, business intelligence and geo-locational tools. She comes from Canon, where she was European developer relations programme manager. (And while you're checking out Louella's biog, take time to notice the new Quocirca website).

And finally (for now anyway) Freeform Dynamics is also expanding and has hired David Perry. He's specialising in telecoms, networking and security.

Monday, July 03, 2006

More about influence than analysts

My esteemed colleague Antony Mayfield is leaving Harvard PR (a sister firm within the Bell Pottinger Group) to join a search engine optimisation firm, Spannerworks.

What has this got to do with industry analysts? Well, very little.

But Antony's explanation for his move is a real insight into influence and how it could be changing.

His "10 reasons I am leaving PR consultancy to join an SEO" post is well worth a read.

Mobile analyst goes blonde for charity

Update: Paolo's hair raised £730 for charity. Nice one.

Paolo Pescatore, from IDC's European mobile and wireless team, has gone blonde. And it's all for charity.

It started as a joke (if you really want to know, you can ask Paolo to tell you the story) but so many people offered to contribute, he decided to go through with it.

Paolo is donating all the money he collects to the Great Ormond Street children's hospital .

Ovum acquires Summit Strategies; fills 'utility computing' gap

Ovum has acquired Summit Strategies, a US analyst firm.

According to Ovum, this acquisition helps the company fill a gap in its coverage of utility computing.

At a cost of around $1.2 million that's obviously not the only reason. Chris Dines, Ovum CEO, explained: "Summit Strategies brings to us expertise and products in an important and growing area of the IT market. It allows us to develop a stronger relationship with blue-chip IT vendor customers and further strengthens our position in the US market."

The press release specifically names IBM, HP, and Microsoft as three of Summit's blue-chip clients.

I was talking to an ex-Ovum employee this morning. They were generally positive and highlighted similarities with a previous takeover which proved successful for Ovum:

"It seems like a sensible move, although it's not going to change the world. One interesting thing is that in many ways it mirrors the Holway acquisition - a small team with a vendor/market focus that adds specific geographic weight. Ovum knows it can execute on acquisitions like this and get value in the medium term out of them."

UPDATE:
ARmadgeddon has an interesting view on this. Find it here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

An insight into Oracle's analyst relations

Buried away in the comments section of a post at ARmadgeddon is an interesting post about Oracle's AR. It's the fifth one in and from an anonymous poster.

Aside from the comments themselves, there's reference to this presentation titled "Interacting with Industry Analysts" by Oracle's Jane Joyce Boland (who was then Senior Director Analyst Relations & Competitive Intelligence) at a UK Product Marketing Forum (UKPMF) event in June 2004.

Although a couple of years old now, it gives some insight in to how Oracle viewed the analysts and how it approached its interactions with them at the time.

(The presentation can also be downloaded from the UKPMF Files page).

This is how to make analyst briefings effective

Jason Corsello, an analyst with Yankee Group, has just posted some suggestions "in an effort to make vendor briefings more productive and useful for both parties."

I recommend you read the full post but here's a summary of what he has to say:

1) When it comes to the presentation...less is more.
2) Know your audience.
3) KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).
4) Tell me why you are different.
5) Talk about what makes your customers different.
6) Tell me where you are going to be in 3 years.
7) Passion can not be faked.

If you want your analyst briefings to be effective, following Jason's advice is a good place to start.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Successor to Spin Bunny?

Is a new UK PR blog about to claim the mantle of the much loved, now dearly departed Spin Bunny?

For now the authors of "The World's Leading Gossip Site for People Working in or around Technology PR" are choosing to stay anonymous, although they are dropping a few tantilising hints (or red herrings) as to who they might be.

Thanks to Will Arnold of Apollo Surveys for pointing it out.

Friday, May 19, 2006

New AR blogger

Somill Hwang of Bite has written a great post on the value and true nature of AR.

It's called Analyst Relations - the "other" relations and includes truisms such as:

"It's tough enough to explain PR to my relatives...I don't even bother mentioning AR to my friends and family"

and

"Instead of driving sales via BusinessWeek covers, AR focuses on raising a company's profile during those closed-door moments when customers ask analysts where they should put their money."

It's a back to basics post on what AR should be about. Well worth checking out.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Forrester's latest AR Council initiative

Would you invite an AR professional from another company to attend one of your analyst events?

Well now you can, thanks to a new initiative from Forrester Research's AR Council. Eric Lobel, the director of the AR Council in North America, explained to me that the 'Analyst Event Exchange' is being introduced as a result of "great member suggestions." The idea is to "enable members to attend an analyst event conducted by a fellow council member.“

He goes on: "The Event Exchange will allow participants the chance to see first-hand how their peers are conducting every facet of their analyst event. This will create an unprecedented opportunity for information exchange, idea sharing, and professional development."

The initiative has already generated positive feedback from AR Council members, which isn't surprising. I'd certainly be very happy to attend any analyst event should anyone out there care to invite me along. It would be fascinating to see how other AR folk decide what type of event to hold, work out which analysts to invite and how they go about the inviting, prepare their executives, run the briefings and interact with the analysts generally.

But while it's an interesting idea, I do wonder if this can be made to work in practice? Is it really feasible to get someone from another organisation to attend an analyst event, never mind get them involved with every step of the planning and set-up process? Can this stranger's presence be justified to your colleagues, your executives and even the analysts?

So far says Eric, this doesn’t seem to have presented a problem. Those individuals who have expressed interest in attending someone else's event have also volunteered in turn to act as a host. He's aware though that it's still very early days.

Will it work in practice? Who knows - we'll just have to wait and see. Talking to Eric, he’s obviously well aware of the practical challenges that need to be overcome if this initiative is to succeed.

But Forrester has to be applauded for introducing this pilot scheme. The idea of sharing knowledge, ideas and experience between AR professionals is one I support wholeheartedly.

ADDITION
Eric has clarified for me that Forrester doesn't expect guests to be involved in any way, other then as spectators during the event. The hope is for hosts to explain what went into their planning.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

New home for top mobile analyst

Ben Wood, one of the best known and most well respected analysts in the mobile comms sector, has joined Collins Consulting (aka CCS) as director of clients.

This is a big change for Ben, who is moving from being a research VP at Gartner to director of clients at a small UK consultancy. Talking to him, the reason for the move becomes obvious:

"I've had a fantastic five years with Gartner but it's time to embark on a new challenge and use my expertise and ambition in a smaller business environment. I've known CCS for sometime and it's a great fit. The company has a great set of clients and we've got ambitions to grow."

Established in 1993, CCS positions itself as providing "analysis, insight and foresight for the wireless world" via a range of consultancy services. It also provides forecasts and measurements on handset shipments, terminal pricing research and a weekly news analysis.

Although small, CCS has attracted some high profile clients including Orange, KPN, Sprint / Nextel, Sony Ericsson and Motorola. While Ben won't name names, the CCS client roster also includes "several major media and content players."

Moving forward, Ben and his colleagues on the management team, Shaun Collins and Mick Walker, have big ambitions:

"The mobile industry is going through some exciting changes as network operators wrestle with the challenges of downwards price pressures, handset manufacturers see margins being squeezed and new players - particularly from the Internet space - look poised to come in and disrupt the sector.

"With all of this in mind, we believe there's a great opportunity for smaller, more focused companies to offer strategic advice. With the wide range of expertise we have in house, as well as some of the plans we have for the future, I believe that we can successfully tap into this opportunity."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

New mobile services analyst at Gartner

Jessica Ekholm has joined Gartner's Mobile Devices & Consumer Services team as a senior research analyst.

She'll be covering mobile services in Eastern Europe as well as some key Western European countries, including the UK.

Jessica previously worked for Gartner as a business analyst. She's not up on the website yet but I'm sure she'll be appearing here before too long.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Using customers to win credibility with Gartner?

I just found this little snippet in the comments on Andy Bitterer's blog.

Richard Stiennon says: "I always advised vendors that were having trouble getting heard above the noise to have sales discover if their customers were Gartner clients. Then have them schedule inquiries...(a) typical Gartner analyst does fewer than 10 end-user calls a week. If they get three calls on a new technology and discover they all selected the same solution *that* is influential."

Which I was thought was interesting.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ben Wood to leave Gartner

Ben Wood, one of Gartner's top mobile analysts, is moving on after five years with the firm. The company says he's leaving at the end of April.

Ben's not talking about his future plans at the moment but I'll be sure to update you when we find out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Making the most of analysts

Jon Collins of MWD has posted a comment on an older post of mine. It refers to an article that deserves a higher profile.

On his site here, you can find the piece by Jon which is "about making the most of analysts...It was based on the downturn but it's still pretty valid now."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Why AR accreditation might now matter

I discovered a draft post last night on AR accreditation. It was a debate* I'd followed with some interest.

In short, my draft said that:

- I’m a big believer in the value of training but I’m more skeptical about certification and accreditation.

- Accreditation only really becomes important when people are hired because they have it - and, as importantly, when they aren't hired because they don't (think lawyers and accountants).

- A good course is a good course. Whether it results in 'certification' or 'accreditation' is irrelevant.

So, I was wondering whether to still post it when – lo and behold – what did I come across but this:

CSC is looking to hire an AR professional in the US. The job description is very clear: “IAR Professional Certification preferred. If not, the candidate will be required to obtain certification after employment starts.”

(Hat tip to Duncan).

So, with a wry smile, I have to change my conclusion.

Given what CSC is saying, AR accreditation could now really start to mean something.

Certainly if you want to work for the IT services giant, achieving professional certification has taken on a new degree of importance.

----------------------------------------

* James Governor started the debate here, commenting skeptically about its merits. Catherine Helzerman agreed (see her post here). ARmadgeddon (here) has also joined in. The concensus view is "training good, accreditation - so what?"

It's a view I used to agree with!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Do analysts charge for press release quotes?

Tom Foremski of SiliconValleyWatcher said in a recent post that:

"Gartner and IDC and Forrester analysts usually provide such quotes and they are always paid by the company issuing the press release(!)"

I was mildly surprised. On occasion, I've asked analysts to provide quotes for press releases. None of them has ever charged me. Neither have they even suggested payment would be appropriate.

(It didn't seem to matter whether or not my client had a commercial agreement in place with the analyst firm. Some did, some didn't).

So I put it down to being a US practice.

Then I thought about it some more. And actually, I'd love to know whether it really is just a North American thing? Perhaps I've simply been lucky all these years.

You see, I think that it's completely inappropriate for an analyst firm to ask for payment to provide a quote. I also think it's out of order for analyst companies to only provide quotes to their clients.

Either way, the analyst firm is at risk of being seen as endorsing a company in return for money. They're potentially allowing vendors to believe they can buy influence.

Now, I appreciate the big analyst firms must be inundated with requests and it would be impractical, perhaps even impossible, to meet the demand. So where to draw the line?

To me, the answer's simple. Either don't provide quotes at all or provide them purely on merit. Straightforward and it eliminates all the possible “analyst for hire” accusations.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ovum announces float

Just got this through on email. Ovum finally announces its IPO. A bit busy today so thoughts / analysis / comments will follow later.

----------------------------

Not for publication, distribution or release in or into the United States, Canada, Australia, the Republic of Ireland, Japan or the Republic of South Africa.

Monday 13 February 2006

Ovum announces intention to float on AIM

Ovum plc ("Ovum" or the "Company"), the international Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) research, advisory and consulting group, today announces its intention to seek admission to trading on AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange.

Bridgewell Securities has been appointed as sole Nominated Adviser and broker to Ovum.

The flotation, which is expected to take place in March, will be effected through a placing of new and existing shares to institutional investors in the UK. The Company is seeking to raise new funds to help finance its continued expansion through new product development and the acquisition of complementary businesses or research teams.

Founded in 1985, Ovum has grown organically and by acquisition to become a well established and respected international business, focused on the ICT market sectors. It employs around 200 people, of which over 110 are analysts or consultants, and operates through a network of offices in the UK, Continental Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

In the nine months to December 2005, Ovum recorded a 25 per cent increase (12% organic) in revenues of £13.4m and EBITDA for the nine months of £1m was more than double the EBITDA level recorded for the whole of the previous year.

The Directors believe that Ovum is one of the few ICT research businesses with the infrastructure, sales and marketing channels and operational systems capable of supporting a growing global customer base.

The Company's primary activity is providing value-added advisory services to retained and project clients, acting as a well respected and trusted source of industry data, knowledge and expertise on the commercial impact of technology, regulatory and market changes. Ovum engages in continuous research and industry analysis to determine market dynamics in its specialist sectors. This data is packaged and sold online through a range of bespoke and tailored products.

Ovum has developed long-standing relationships with many of its corporate clients, which include major international blue-chip companies such as: Alcatel, AT&T, BT, Cable & Wireless, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telecom, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Telstra and Vodafone. Approximately 65 per cent of revenues are generated in renewable contract form, with a historic 85% renewal rate. A majority of tailored projects are sold to the same contracted client base, providing significant revenue visibility.

The Directors believe that Ovum has strong growth prospects both organically, through the launch of new research products, advisory services, consulting propositions and through acquisition. The ICT research market was estimated to be worth approximately $2.2bn in 2004. The sector can be divided into a small number of global IT and telecoms research/consultancy businesses, of which Ovum is one, and a large number of smaller, more niche businesses. The Directors believe that this latter group offers opportunities for further consolidation.

Commenting on the intention to float, Chris Dines, Chief Executive of Ovum said:

"We are very pleased to announce the planned flotation of Ovum, which marks an important step in the continued development of the business. Since 2001, we have been focused on moving the business from its research publishing base into higher value, more predictable revenue streams from advisory services and related consulting. This transition has been highly successful and today Ovum is one of the few global advisory businesses offering expertise across a broad range of the ICT market.

"Admission to AIM will enable us to continue to build the business and to expand our product offering and expertise, both organically and by the acquisition of complementary businesses. It will also help us to attract and retain high-quality analysts and consultants and enable them and other investors to share in the continued success of the Company."

-ends-

Enquiries:

Ovum 020 7551 9238 Chris Dines, Chief Executive

Bridgewell Limited 020 7003 3000 Shaun Dobson / Nick Lovering

Hogarth Partnership 020 7357 9477 James Longfield / Barnaby Fry / Georgina Briscoe

Notes to Editors:

History of Ovum

Ovum was founded in 1985 as a UK focused technology research business. It made its first overseas move in 1994, opening an office in Melbourne, Australia, to serve the Asia Pacific region and opened its first US office in 1996. Ovum enjoyed strong growth over the next four years and in 2000 acquired Richard Holway Ltd a leading UK IT services research business. The company's founder, Richard Holway, joined the Ovum Board as a non-executive. Ovum survived the technology downturn of 2001 and returned to expansion mode in 2003 with offices opening in France and Germany in 2004. In 2005 Ovum opened an office in Hong Kong and also acquired the telecoms research and advisory business of RHK Research.

The products and services currently offered by the Company are grouped as follows:

Advisory services: These are subscription-based packages of bespoke advisory services and specialist research products, featuring contact and enquiry time with key industry analysts. Ovum has developed a number of research products (for example, industry models and forecasts, regular reports and research publications) to support these advisory activities.

Consulting services: Focused on the telecommunications, technology, software and IT services industries. Ovum enters into consultancy projects, leveraging the business' research base. Currently around 60% of Consulting business is derived from the existing Advisory client base.

Analyst engagements: An important part of the Ovum offering is the use of its analysts to provide advice in product and strategy reviews, workshops, roundtables, boardroom meetings and for presentations at conferences and other industry events. Most of these engagements come from existing Advisory clients.

Direct research product sales: Ovum generates a stable revenue stream from the sale of research products from its website, http://www.ovum.com/

Board of Directors

Chris Dines (43), Chief Executive: Chris joined the Company as Finance Director, being promoted to Chief Executive in January 2001. He is a qualified chartered accountant and has a degree from Durham University in Economics and Economic History, much of his career was with Coopers & Lybrand (now pricewaterhousecoopers), where he specialised in business advice, M&A activity and stock exchange guidance for mid-corporate clients.

Tom Carless (37), Group Finance Director: Tom joined Ovum in 2001 as Finance Controller and has recently been promoted to Group Finance Director. To provided financial guidance and leadership during the restructuring of the company and has continued to lead the finance function as Ovum has grown in recent years. Tom has 15 years experience as a finance professional, many of them gained in senior roles within blue-chip companies. Prior to joining Ovum, he worked for Citigroup as Financial Controller for the European IT operations.

Fash Darabi (48), Corporate Development Director: Fash joined Ovum in 1991 as a senior consultant. Since then he has held various positions including principal analysts, managing consultant, sales and marketing director, product development director and managing director of Ovum's telecoms advisory business. HE is also in charge of Ovum's M&A activity and is currently managing the integration of RHK. Prior to Ovum, Fash was at Nortel, where he played a leading role in the development of network management solutions for optical access networks.

Fiona Glennon (37), Business Development Director: Fiona joined Ovum in 2003. She has 10 years of sales and sales management experience, with five years spent in the research and advisory industry. She currently has responsibility for developing the existing Advisory services business. Before joining Ovum, she worked for Datamonitor (New York) and Reuters Business Insight, and prior to that worked for five years in the training and development industry.

Stephen Dawson (59), Non-executive Chairman: Stephen has been a non-executive director of Ovum since 1987 and was appointed non-executive Chairman in 1997. His early career was in IT-related companies Logica and Reuters, followed by 25 years in the venture capital industry, mainly at ECI (specializing in mid-market buyouts) where he was managing director and remains non-executive Chairman. He was also a director of the IT division of BTG (formerly National Enterprise Board). Most recently he was a non-executive director of Guardian IT, ECI'S most successful investment, which became a FTSE 250 company and was sold to SunGard Data Systems in 2002.

Frank Jones (59), Non-executive Director: Frank has been a non-executive board member of Ovum since 1999. He is currently the Non-executive Director of Xafinity and Non-executive Chairman of Inforsense, having previously been Chairman of Schlumberger plc, a position to which he was appointed following the acquisition of Sema plc by Schlumberger Limited in 2001. He has over 30 years of board experience in companies varying in size from £2m to £1.4bn. and extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions and pensions.

Richard Holway (59), Non-executive Director: Richard started in computing in 1966 as a programmer and progressed to join the board of Hoskyns (now Cap Gemini) as Group Marketing Director. He founded Richard Holway Limited in 1986 and became the leading authority on the financial performance of the UK software and IT services market and its constituent companies. In November 2000 Richard Holway Limited was acquired by Ovum. Currently, Mr Holway also serves as a non-executive director of Microgen, an Advisory Board member and partner of Elderstreet Capital Partners and an adviser to several ICT companies.

The Company accepts responsibility for the information contained in this announcement. To the best of the knowledge and belief of the Company (who has taken all reasonable care to ensure that such is the case) the information contained in this announcement is in accordance with the facts and does not omit anything likely to affect the import of such information.

Bridgewell Securities Limited, which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Services Authority, is acting exclusively for Ovum in connection with the flotation and no-one else. Bridgewell Securities Limited will not be responsible for providing advice to any person in relation to the flotation and/or the associated share offer, the contents of this announcement or any other matter referred to herein.

The ordinary shares which are proposed to be offered (the "Ordinary Shares") have not been, nor will they be, registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933 (as amended) (the "Securities Act") and may not be offered or sold, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration. There will be no public offer of securities in the United States.

This announcement does not constitute an offer of, or the solicitation of any offer to subscribe for or buy, any of the Ordinary Shares to any person in any jurisdiction to whom or in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful. The distribution of this announcement in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law and therefore persons into whose possession this announcement comes should inform themselves about and observe any such restrictions. Any failure to comply with these restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of such jurisdiction. The value of shares can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Potential investors should consult a professional adviser as to the suitability of an investment in the shares of Ovum for the individual concerned.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Fran Howarth moves to Hurwitz

Fran Howarth has left Bloor Research to join Hurwitz.

Her job title on the web site is ‘partner’ and Kim Horner of CustomerClix says that Fran will be director of European operations.

Monday, February 06, 2006

CAP Ventures brand goes

InfoTrends/CAP Ventures is retiring the CAPV name. From now on, the firm
will be known simply as InfoTrends.

The press release is here.

Friday, February 03, 2006

More on Redmonk and Freeform Dynamics partnership

I've been speaking to Dale and James about the new partnership between Redmonk and Freeform Dynamics.

There are three main elements to the agreement. Here's what they have to say:

"a) We will be exchanging intelligence and insights on the market on a routine basis. Freeform Dynamics will be making its research available to RedMonk to enhance its public domain advice and commentary. RedMonk will in turn feed back ideas and insights to Freeform Dynamics to help with the interpretation of market intelligence.

"b) Freeform Dynamics will make its primary research "engine" available for incorporation into RedMonk's services on a sub-contract basis. Conversely, Freeform Dynamics will sub-contract consulting activities to RedMonk from time to time.

"c) On a more proactive level, RedMonk and Freeform Dynamics will work together on joint business development and collaborative delivery, seeking out opportunities to provide enhanced services to vendors who require a combination of research and consulting within the same engagement."

Initial thoughts

Like this week's announcement from MWD, this seems to make sense. If Redmonk and Freeform Dynamics can make their partnership work in practice, it can only be good news.

They are bringing in different skills. Their respective clients should benefit from a more rounded service. There's more choice for the people who buy analyst services.

And with James and Dale both being bloggers, it'll be interesting for us to see over time if there are any changes in the type of post they make...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bloor rumours put to bed

Macehiter Ward-Dutton (aka MWD or "the two Neils and Jon") has joined the band of independent analyst firms publishing their research on IT-Analysis.

I also saw that Justin Speake, CEO of Bloor, has firmly denied rumours that the company is up for sale.

He's in the comments section over here at ARmadgeddon making it very clear: "No sell out planned by the Justin gang."

Update:
MWD has been a member of IT-Analysis all along. Whoops. Sorry folks.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Macehiter Ward-Dutton reveals expansion plans; hires Jon Collins and signs partners

Business seems to be going well at Macehiter Ward-Dutton, the analyst firm set up last year by the two Neils from Ovum.

Jon Collins is joining as principal analyst, covering IT service management, systems management and security. He previously worked with Quocirca and Bloor. Most recently, he took a short break from IT to co-write a book.

Neil W-D is delighted to have Jon joining MWD: “He’s a very well recognised and respected analyst, and his talents will help us continue to meet the demands of our rapidly growing customer base.”

Jon is similarly upbeat: “MWD has an excellent reputation for its understanding of the real, practical issues of IT-business alignment…I am very much looking forward to helping MWD as it continues to grow in influence and reach.”

New partners too

And more growth, it seems, is likely.

MWD has signed partnership agreements with analyst / research company Freeform Dynamics (set up by Dale and Helen Vile) and Influencer50, a marketing consultancy specialising in the IT sector.

“Our business model is founded on the principle of openness,” explained Neil M. “This goes beyond the free publishing of our research library, and recognises that both our company, and our customers, will see the best possible results if we embrace partners which can complement our skills. Freeform Dynamics and Influencer50 are both innovative, fast-growing companies which provide high-quality service, and we have already uncovered a number of significant opportunities where we can work together to provide unique insights to our IT vendor clients.”

Dale described Freeform Dynamics as specialising “in gathering intelligence on the practicalities of applying IT to create business value. This dovetails perfectly with MWD’s consulting and advisory services in the area of IT-business alignment.”

For Influencer50, director of consultancy Mark Stevenson (a rare breed who has worked as an analyst, a PR consultant, a marketing manager and a journalist) said: “MWD’s remit of harmonising IT and business strategy echoes our own focus of marketing – corporate strategy alignment. We can help vendor organisations communicate their capabilities in the most authoritative manner possible using our model of influencer marketing.”

Initial thoughts

It’s good to see MWD succeeding. It helps prove that success in the analyst market is based as much on the quality of the team as it is on the size.

And it’s good to have Jon back. He’s another analyst who always leaves my clients with something to think about.

The partnerships seem logical too and should mean that MWD is able to offer more value to its customers.

With this announcement by MWD and the news that Freeform is also linking up with Redmonk, it looks like we’re starting to see some of the smaller analyst firms come together and establish a band of ‘trusted advisors’.

Finding firms that deliver the goods is sometimes a bit hit and miss in the analyst world so - if they can make this work in practice - it should prove to be of immense value to the buyers of analyst research and consulting services.

Over the past 12 month, I’ve worked with MWD, Freeform Dynamics and Mark Stevenson. All of them have impressed me in different ways. Of course, the only real measure of success will be to see how things go for real but for now let’s be optimistic…

Update:

ARmadgeddon's analysis is here.

Duncan has also posted the news, with some commentary on MWD's decision to go "open-source" with its research.

And two of the participants have blogged about the news too. Here's Jon and Dale.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Analyst Equity: Why analysts matter - some hard facts

Some new facts have emerged about the influence that industry analysts have on the buying decision.

Thanks to Duncan Chapple at Lighthouse for sharing these on his blog.

They come from a survey which focused on CIOs and telecoms managers in businesses with over 1,000 employees.

- 72% use analysts' opinions when shortlisting products
- 56% have cited analyst research when preparing their business case
- 45% have added in a vendor because of an analyst's recommendation, while
- 42% have removed a vendor on analyst advice.

"The patterns of influence differ between country, industry and with the size of the business: most buyers in finance say that analysts influence a majority of their purchasing, compared to a quarter of those in manufacturing."

Lighthouse's research also suggests:
- One third of enterprise technology buyers have consulted analysts directly each year (by email, phone or face-to-face)
- Two fifths of enterprise buyers have ongoing subscriptions to analyst firms
- Two thirds of firms are guided by one-off analyst reports found online or given to them by vendors or analyst houses
- Over three quarters of buyers are using analysts when deciding on purchases.

"Lighthouse's annual surveys of technology buyers show that industry analysts are the top organizational advisor to buyers, used on a par with buyers' personal network."

Interesting stuff. And bound to prompt some interesting responses from those who believe analyst influence on end-users is on the wane. I shall be watching Duncan's comments with interest!

The last couple of re-posts are because of dodgy links

Sorry about that. All fixed now.

Thanks to ARonaut for pointing it out.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Focus. Focus. Focus

Good AR is about knowing your analysts.

As Louis Columbus says: "Trying to be all things to all analysts is going to be tougher than ever in 2006; it's better to be the most relevant vendor in your market with the analysts that really count."

From his post, Analyst Relations Resolutions for 2006.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

What a "numbers analyst" does

James Governor at Redmonk has got a guest post from Dale Vile of Freeform Dynamics.

Dale provides an insight into the work that some 'numbers analysts' do and the value they bring.

It's on James blog here.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The truth about analyst predictions

I had to link to this.

James Governor is quoting Richard Holway on the wisdom of analyst predictions:

"During my 40 years in this business I’ve been pretty good at spotting trends. However, I’ve been pretty p**s poor at getting the timing right."

Fabulously honest.

(The quote is originally featured here on Dennis Howlett's site. Thanks for sharing it!).

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Qualities of an industry analyst

James Governor has started up a series on "How to become an industry analyst" which makes for interesting reading.

The first two posts are here and here.

Update: And here is part three.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

IBM - why it's number one

Analysts rate IBM's AR very highly.

Why? Well, John Simonds from its AR team has posted some analyst comments over on his blog which provide an insight. They come from a recent survey of analysts in which IBM was ranked number one in AR in Asia-Pacific.

Congratulations guys.

Monday, January 16, 2006

James Governor on "how to brief analysts"

It sounds like James had a bad experience last week with a briefing.

But this isn't just a moan. James has taken time to provide some tips on how to brief him. Now, I have a policy. If an analyst gives me advice on how to deal with them, I try to take it.

Thanks to Armadgeddon for pointing out that James has provided other tips in the past.

(I don't do a great deal with James but I always learn something interesting and useful from my briefings with him. My clients tell me the same thing. Unlike so many analysts at the larger firms, James is great at turning a briefing into a discussion. It makes meetings so much more interesting for everyone).

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Thursday, January 12, 2006

All change in security

Before Christmas we saw Ian Williams move from Datamonitor to RSA. The new year has seen more changes.

At the start of the month, Thomas Raschke moved from IDC to Forrester, where he is covering the European IT security market.

And at IDC, Anita Liess has changed research focus from supply chain to IT security.