If you don't get why smaller analyst firms are important, then you should read the latest post from Dale Vile of Freeform Dynamics.
It contains a clear, well argued and powerful explanation on the value that these 'boutique' analyst companies can bring.
Do go and read the whole piece. There's a lot more to it than I'm able to share here:
On Commercial Impact
"The earlier in the decision making cycle you can engage, the more chance you stand of closing a deal...This kind of ‘upstream’ shaping of mindsets, thinking and objectives...is influenced by a whole range of inputs...Many boutiques play predominantly in the upstream space, with hard hitting blogs, far reaching media relationships, and deep community ties into various buyer communities and constituencies."
On Market Insight
"The other reason quite a few boutiques tend to be entertained and promoted by in-house AR people is the value their executives and other spokespeople get from a different kind of dialogue. The average level of ‘been there, done that’ experience and general level of talent within smaller firms tends to be higher than in larger ones, and analysts are far less constrained in the way they interact."