Friday, September 26, 2008

A tale of two analyst firms

I was delighted to hear the other day that CCS Insight continues to expand. It's launching a new consulting division, headed up by Thomas Reuner; hiring two new researchers in the core research business; and opening up a new office in Slough.

CCS Insight's decision to bring in Thomas to run the consulting business is consistent with the way the company has grown over the past two years. Bring in experienced individuals with good reputations who can hit the ground running and deliver value from day one. Thomas certainly fits that mould, as a former strategic consulting partner with IDC as well as stints with Gartner, NelsonHall and KPMG Consulting.

The Yankee Group layoffs were made the same week that Ben and I spoke. It's an interesting contrast. Both firms play in the same market, yet one is experiencing tremendous growth while the other is having to cut back costs drastically.

I've always wondered about Yankee's 'Anywhere' model. It struck me as another example of an analyst firm looking to create a differentiator and then trying to force its views on to the market.

I’m sure Yankee has also suffered from the increased competition in the analyst market. CCS Insight is just one of the smaller firms that have popped up in recent years. Staffed by senior-level, experienced analysts, these boutiques are hungry. They are able to provide a high-quality of service at a competitive price. The boutiques may not be able to provide the same breadth of coverage as Gartner or IDC but they can often compete very effectively in a particular niche or market sector.

Mind, the boutiques aren't having it all their own way. Some of the mid-sized firms are hitting back. Yankee might be shrinking but look at Analysys Mason. Since bringing in Tony Lavender from Ovum a couple of years ago, the company has transformed itself and is now reinforcing its position as a major player in the telecoms market.

No-one knows how the market will play out in the next few months or years. There will certainly be more victims as the economy continues its downward trend and some big, well-established names are likely to disappear. At the same time, we can hope that the boutiques will thrive – at least the good ones which are delivering what customers want.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Gartner and happy folk

I'm starting my day with a smile.

Sometimes I just read a blog post and go "yeah, I know how that feels!"

Read what Jesse Freund of Sun had to say about Gartner:

I'm nothing to do with Sun (never have been) but I know how it feels when it all comes together.

It feels great!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Matt Hatton joins Analysys Mason

Matt Hatton has joined Analysys Mason as a principal analyst covering the wireless and mobile area.

Matt is probably best known for his work at Yankee Group, where he covered the consumer wireless/mobile market. He left there last summer to join 3UK in a market intelligence role.

Nice to have you back Matt. And a good hire by Tony Lavender, who runs Analysys Mason's research business.

Rob Enderle: Gartner Goofs on Server Numbers

Just read an interesting article by Rob Enderle that starts off telling how Gartner has had to restate some market share numbers before moving on to a closer look at the whole 'numbers' process.

Hat tip to Ludovic for pointing this out (via Twitter - yes, I'm starting to see the point...)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Updated / IDC can take over 24 hours to moderate comments on blog

I just noticed the comments policy on IDC's blog, 'eXchange'.

"Submitted comments are moderated; some comments may not appear. Posting may take longer than 24 hours. Please check back."

Longer than 24 hours? Wow, they must have a lot of comments to go through.

So, I checked. Nope. There's been a handful this year - and most are trackbacks.

Credit to Frank Gens though. When someone has left a question, he's answered it.

Update: Read the comments on this post - IDC has changed its policy and its process (and to be fair, it was already in progress and not as a result of this post!)

Monday, June 30, 2008

New analyst covering 'sustainability' at Quocirca

Quocirca has taken on an analyst covering the 'Sustainability' market.

Simon Perry, who started earlier this month as a principal associate analyst, will be covering green issues.

In addition, Clive Longbottom, an owner of the company and service director for Business Processes Facilitation, explained that Simon will also be looking at "more advanced matters around the impact of sustainability on businesses - whether looking at cost-effective sustainability (for example, saving electricity through consolidation and virtualisation), investment sustainability (longer-term pay back that may not be seen on the bottom line for an extended period of time), mandated sustainability (as in Australia and India, where the governments have passed laws to force organisations to be more sustainable), or ethical sustainability (where it is purely a choice by the organisation involved)."

You can find out more about Simon by reading his biog.

Monday, June 02, 2008

IIAR 'Analyst of the Year' - Results Announced

And there are some surprises...It's an interesting mix of big and small. 

By now you might be wondering who the winner was.  Well, you can find the full results over at the IIAR blog.  

Friday, May 09, 2008

New telecoms specialist at Freeform Dynamics

Dale Vile's just confirmed that Freeform Dynamics has appointed an analyst to take responsibility for the telecoms service provider market. 

Josie Sephton, who starts on 2 June, is a principal analyst. She will cover telecoms solutions and services in the enterprise and SMB sectors.

Until recently Josie was a consultant with Ovum. She spent 12 years there before leaving in January 2008.

Dale will work alongside Josie on enterprise mobility while Jon Collins and Tony Lock will work with her when the service provider domain meets enterprise networking. Dale says: "The lines will be deliberately fuzzy, though, as they are in the industry in general."

You can read what else Dale has to say on Josie on the Freeform Dynamics' blog.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ovum telecoms chief to leave

It’s all change at the top of Ovum’s telecoms team.

Earlier this week, Chris Lewis, senior vice president (SVP) of telecoms research, announced that he was leaving the company.

He joins a number of other senior analysts who have moved on recently or will be leaving shortly.

Martin Garner, head of wireless and mobile research, is setting up his own firm but will continue to work for Ovum on a freelance basis.

Mike Cansfield, head of fixed telecoms research, is joining Forrester Research.

Other departures from the telecoms team include Marta Muñoz Méndez-Villamil, Annelise Berendt, John Delaney and Jonathan Arbor.

In an email exchange last week (about an earlier draft of this post), Rosemary Masterson, Ovum’s operations director, was able to provide some thoughts from Mark Meek, the new Datamonitor CEO and managing director of Ovum.

“Ovum provides a high quality syndicated offering which is based on highly collaborative teams, not just individuals. We are continuing to recruit for people in both research and consulting who want to be part of a dynamic commercially focused team.”

The company has decided to promote internally to replace Chris, Martin and Mike.

Brett Azuma is replacing Chris as SVP. He will also maintain his current role as head of the carrier networks & technology practice.

Based in the US, Brett doesn’t have a very high profile in Europe. However, he has over 20 years industry experience and was previously chief analyst for telecommunications at Gartner.

Reporting to Brett will be four practice heads:

Jeremy Green takes over mobile strategy while Jan Dawson picks up fixed telecom strategy.

Richard Mahony and Michael Philpott continue to run the enterprise and consumer teams respectively.

Ovum is also hiring externally. Jonathan Doran is joining the consumer team. He’s currently a senior analyst at Yankee Group where he covers broadband access and service strategies for the consumer market. There are more “senior” hires in the pipeline.

As you’d expect, Mark is bullish about Ovum’s future prospects: “Last week, I set out my vision for a business whose commercial success will be driven by its people and the best-in-class content they produce for its clients. This message applies not just across Ovum but the entire Datamonitor Group.

“Post Datamonitor's acquisition of the Ovum business, there were many challenges as to be expected with the integration of two public organisations. The major elements of these have now been addressed, including putting the underlying financials of the business on track and Ovum profits and sales growth are currently tracking at historic highs.

“Moving forwards I will be focusing the attention of the management team on people retention and morale. We've had some staff turnover but there are many good people still here who want to see the Ovum business succeed.

“Datamonitor continues to invest in Ovum, rolling out its interactive content delivery platform, the Knowledge Center, which is now live with our clients, and are resolute in maintaining the respect the Ovum brand commands in the marketplace.”

Given the volume of change in such a short space of time, Ovum’s great reputation in the world of telecoms research has undoubtedly taken a hit. Many of the departing analysts are held in high regard in the market.

However, there remains a lot of good will towards Ovum and there are many who hope these changes are just a short-term blip.

It’ll be interesting to see how Brett and his team now respond. There are plenty of folk out there watching to see what happens next.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Have you entered the "Analyst of the Year" awards yet?

The Institute for Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) is currently running the inaugural "Analyst of the Year" awards.

As an AR professional, this is your chance to choose both an 'analyst of the year' and an 'analyst firm of the year'.

There's more information - and details on how to enter - on our blog.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Top mobile analyst leaves Ovum for IDC

John Delaney, a top mobile analyst at Ovum, has resigned and will be joining IDC at the end of April.

It's a real coup for IDC. John is highly regarded and enjoys a great reputation in the mobile market.

With John heading up IDC's work in the consumer mobility market, it allows enterprise mobility guru Lars Vestergaard to focus all his energies on that market.

After all the changes in the past year or so, IDC now seems firmly set on re-asserting its position as a market leader in the mobile sector. John is joining, Jonathan Arber is already on board and we expect more appointments to be announced in the next few months. A device specialist is high on the priority list.

It also begs the question: what's happening at Ovum? Two of its consumer mobile people have now jumped ship to IDC while other telecoms analysts have moved to join vendors and operators. We hear that there's more people heading for the door.

It'll be interesting to hear what Chris Lewis, SVP for telecoms research, has to say at the IIAR meeting on Thursday this week (3 April 2008). If you'd like to come along, please get in touch with Hannah Kirkman.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Gartner has a "queue manager" for vendor briefings requests

I just spotted that Gartner has a "queue manger" in the North America and EMEA vendor briefings team.

It made me chuckle.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Ethics and independence among industry analysts

I just finished writing a post on analyst ethics and have decided it will work very nicely as my first contribution to the new blog from the IIAR (Institute of Industry Analyst Relations).

You can find the piece here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Worth reading: New mobile analyst blog

The team over at CCS Insight has just started blogging.

Ben, Geoff and Tom have already made some interesting posts from Mobile World Congress.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

IDC lures another analyst away from Ovum

Jonathan Arber has left Ovum to join IDC as a senior research analyst covering the European consumer mobile market.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Why small analysts are important

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 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."

Friday, February 01, 2008

Gartner and the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations

I know. Two posts in a day.

Still, I wanted to blog about the great IIAR (Institute of Industry Analyst Relations) meeting yesterday (hosted by CA, thanks very much Geoff Dorrington).

Aaron Yaverski (GVP High Tech Provider Product Management) and Andrew Rosenblatt (Product Development) from Gartner came in to discuss some of its plans for the "Gartner for AR" product.

It was a very interesting conversation - and "it was very encouraging to see Aaron and Andrew proactively soliciting views and opinions from the European AR community on what we would like to see in the future."

I stole that line from a post written by Ludovic Leforestier at the new IIAR blog. You should pop over there and read it in full.

I'd echo his closing comments: "I’d encourage you to share your views and thoughts with Gartner - either by commenting on this blog or talking to Gartner directly. It looks like there are going to be some good and interesting developments happening later in the year. Now is our chance to make sure our voices are being heard."

FYI, I am a board member of the IIAR

Analyst asks "Is it just me, or is webcasting completely useless?"

Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis explains his problem here.

So, think about Dean's advice when you're planning a briefing with him: "The old way works better - either email a PDF/PPT, or a link to download it. Then use a normal phone call or audio webcast."

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Some AR blogs I have been reading recently

A few new AR blogs have appeared in recent months. I've added them to my blog roll (over there, on the right) but wanted to highlight some that I find interesting.

The first is by Dale Vile, MD of Freeform Dynamics. Open Reasoning is "a vehicle to provide insight and commentary on the workings of the industry analyst community, particularly the community of smaller players in the market that live alongside the large global firms such as Gartner, Forrester, IDC, etc."

Another comes from SageCircle (recently relaunched by Carter Lusher and Dave Eckert). Their views are well worth a read and can be found on the SageCircle blog.

Until recently, Carter was head of AR for HP. Its corporate AR blog (which he set up) has some gems.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bradshaw leaves Ovum for IDC

I hear that Ovum's David Bradshaw is leaving to join IDC. He starts on Monday 18 February.

Bradshaw has been with Ovum for over a decade. He is best known for his work in the CRM space.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bloor on Analyst Relations

Robin Bloor has begun a series of blog posts called 'Analyst Relations: Dealing with Analysts'.

The series is pitched as providing "advice to technology vendors on how to become more effective in their relationships with analysts." Alternatively, Robin describes it as "a campaign to make my job easier."

I always find it interesting to see what analysts have to say on the subject of AR and Robin speaks a lot of sense. Any experienced AR professional worth their salary will find little new in what Robin says but he articulates the fundamentals in a very clear and easy to read way.

For beginners to AR (and for the many, many PR folk who really don't get the industry analysts or understand how to work with them), Robin's series should be required reading.

There are two posts so far (links below). I am looking forward to seeing more.

The Pre-Briefing

AR or PR

PS - I also found The IT Analyst Gallery on Robin's site. Very entertaining.

Monday, January 21, 2008

RedMonk - the world's first "make-side" analyst firm?

I was reading James Governor's blog earlier today (essential reading I'd suggest) and was struck by how he describes RedMonk:

"Other analyst firms primarily target sell-side or buy-side (the buyers or sellers of technology). We really don’t see the world that way. RedMonk’s core constituency is “make-side“: the makers and doers, hackers and players. They might work at vendors, at dotcoms, at service providers, or traditional enterprises. Open source and web oriented technologies are the bridges between them. Industry analysts they really need to be advocates to be effective. We are not user advocates. We’re not vendor advocates. We’re maker advocates."

James, I like it. And you have inspired me to make my first blog post of 2008.