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…


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.

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