Gartner Invest: Establish clear rules of engagement

14 September 2006

As part of
its vendor
relations program
, Gartner holds a quarterly analyst relations (AR) call,
during which it discusses topics that relate to vendors and the practice of AR.


Last week’s
call
focused on the Gartner Invest (GI) service, a research service which
is sold only to institutional investors. The goal of the call was to alert the
AR community to the potential implications of this service on their companies’
investor relations (IR) departments and on the AR relationship with the IR
departments. 

 

H&K First Take

  • We do not expect vendors to
    initially be impacted by GI.
    Financial/IR departments currently do not leverage Gartner
    as a supplier of financial intelligence. However, AR professionals should
    be aware of the potential implications of the GI service as it gains momentum
    in the financial markets.
  • Gartner Invest could raise SEC RegFD concerns to the
    investment community
    . 
  • Gartner does not have a “Chinese Wall” separation
    between their GI service and ‘standard’ analyst population.
      In fact, a large part of the appeal of
    the GI program is access to the feedback from the regular analyst research
    services (Gartner core research).
  • Gartner asserts that their Invest analysts are
    sensitive to these concerns, but there are no clear safeguards about
    disclosing sensitive data
    . For instance, vendors do not get to review GI reports
    prior to their publication to assess if sensitive or inaccurate data was
    included.  Moreover, even if the
    vendor is given the opportunity to review the report, damage can be done
    via inquiry even if the report is never published. In other words, a Gartner
    Invest or Gartner core research analyst may disclose information during an
    inquiry that could violate SEC RegFD and get a vendor in trouble. 

H&K
Recommendations

  • Work closely with your CFO/IR department to determine
    the information and numbers you can share with the industry analysts in a
    way that does not violate any financial regulations.
    Gartner Invest leverages
    quantitative data from the Dataquest service, therefore sharing sensitive
    data with Dataquest could find its way to Wall Street. Some vendors have
    already established limitations, especially on numbers (both historical
    and projections). Once AR and IR departments have agreed upon the level of
    details to be given out, make sure to have your legal department review it
    for RegFD compliance.
  • Work with your CFO/IR department to establish clear
    rules of engagement with the analyst on all financial-related discussions
    . If restrictions are imposed
    on what you can say/do with Gartner analysts by your CFO it could
    potentially impact or limit your ability to project certain financial
    success factors to the Gartner analysts community.  This in turn could adversely affect your
    company’s coverage and performance in the Gartner research and/or in
    client inquiries.

  

4 Responses to “Gartner Invest: Establish clear rules of engagement”

  1. David R

    Very interesting analysis.  

    I wonder if we’ll see Gartner make an appearance in the comments here to provide answers to the points you make.  Be interesting to see their response.  

    Look forward to reading more.

  2. James Governor's MonkChips

    ARcade : Gartner Invest: Establish clear rules of engagement If you, dear readers in the analyst relations community, are interested in a regular call about AR and how to work with independents, then let me know. Would you be willing…

  3. James

    Should customers whose primary business isn’t technology yet contribute to open source by starting their own projects also brief analysts?

  4. ARonaut

    Great post. We agree this is very concerning from a vendor’s perspective. Read out post from today for more…

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