ARcade » Analyst Industry News Weblog maintained by Hill+Knowlton Strategies\' global Analyst Relations team. Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:40:13 +0000 en hourly 1 A step in the right direction – my thoughts on the Forrester Acquisition Tue, 24 May 2011 00:50:39 +0000 nadiahabibcoelho Forrester’s acquisition of Springboard Research comes at an opportune time. The move finally confirms Forrester’s renewed foray into Asia Pacific by acquiring Springboard, a firm that has an established name as well as recognition in the region.

As the lead for Hill & Knowlton’s Analyst Relations offering in APAC, I welcome the news. With clients in the IT, telecommunications and financial services sector, I am constantly on the lookout for more region specific research, particularly on markets like Australia, China and India. While we have other leading analyst firms covering this space, I say the more the merrier! There is still a hunger for insights that showcase an on-the-ground understanding of trends, vendors and customers from Asia Pacific.

No doubt, Forrester has a lot to gain from this acquisition. Springboard will definitely add to the allure of Forrester’s offering here as it has been having conversations with APAC CIOs for a long time.

Springboard has a strong understanding of not only the region, but that of the vital government IT sector as well. What we can expect to see is more than just a focus on numbers but deeper insights from stalwarts like Springboard’s CEO, Dane Anderson and Vice President, John Brand.

With the announcement having recently been made, Forrester has been quick to include joint Springboard research on its site. One that I have already found quite useful is The Asia Pacific IT Market Comes of Age by Tim Sheedy (Forrester) and Dane Anderson (Springboard)*. The report covers how Asian economies are growth engines for IT vendors. It also reaffirms the growth in IT budgets in China and India. A very interesting report and one which I recommend others to read/buy, particularly those who want to get a snapshot into the high growth markets in Asia.

I can only see the best of two worlds being combined under the acquisition, and look forward to seeing more region focused research coming out from Forrester in the coming months.

*The link to the report:

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Ovum PocketAnalyst: Just sound bite snacking, or harbinger of change for the Analyst industry? Fri, 26 Nov 2010 18:45:27 +0000 Tris Clark One of the more interesting developments this month in the AR world was the recent launch of Ovum’s PocketAnalyst tool, which maps its research and intelligence services to the schedule of its clients. At present the application can only be downloaded to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Fit for use, but for what purpose?

The focus on ‘jargon busting’ implies that it will be used for skimming information, rather than deep dive analysis – which makes sense given the form factor. It is likely to just be a smart way for Ovum to drive general awareness of the latest research among prospects and journalists, with a view to cross selling existing research to their current clients more effectively. Further down the line, Ovum could build in geo-locational features, so that users can plan their attendance at Ovum events and symposium.  Perhaps a partnership with FourSquare might be a logical option at some point?

What about the other analyst firms?

It will be interesting to see if Gartner develops something similar to promote its summits. My colleague, Jay Andersen, over in San Francisco, has heard talk from Gartner, and other firms, about using mobile devices for ‘snacking’. And as Jay likes to say, the medium is the message! With its strong digital track record in digital thought leadership I can’t imagine Forrester leaving the mobile app field alone for long either. Ovum has dipped a toe in the water. Which analyst firm is going to cross the Rubicon next?

Deeper opportunities

For me, potentially the most exciting aspect of this kind of app is bringing analyst insights to new audiences who do not currently have direct contact with analyst firms. For example, this kind of app has a lot of potential for syndicating free research – potentially moving past the traditional audience to a broader audience. In the UK, firms such as Freeform Dynamics, TechMarketView, Redmonk, MWD and Quocirca are doing a great job at popularising their research online. It is not much of a leap to see any of these players following a similar approach to Ovum and launching their own mobile app.

Target Small Businesses? Surely not!

An ideal market for an analyst app is the small business segment which the analyst industry has, by and large, ignored. This is a huge, potentially addressable market that is being left untapped. There will probably come a point when the Gartners, IDCs, Forresters and Ovums of this world plateau the addressable large enterprise audience for IT and have to turn to other markets. The SMB IT market would be the next logical market to gun for. It is that, or face cannibalizing each other within a mature and saturated market.

A bite size mobile app focused model (executed well) may successfully address the small business market – increasing analysts mind share over the purchasing process, whilst also diversifying their revenue streams. It would not be much of a stretch to see the CEO or manager of a small business benefiting from the jargon busting aspects of an analyst app. Will the analyst app become a Trojan horse that will redefine the analyst industry? Or will it be just another digital channel to drive information through? The AR team here at Hill & Knowlton would love to hear your thoughts.

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AR Certification — An Important First Step from IIAR Fri, 16 Oct 2009 21:47:03 +0000 Jay Andersen The Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) recently took a welcome step in the advancement of the analyst relations profession when it announced its Analyst Relations Certification examination. The test, which is administered online, provides an opportunity for AR professionals to demonstrate their knowledge of best practices, industry analyst protocol, and industry history and landscape. The multiple choice test covers the basics and it will be interesting to see how the test is adopted and what format advanced certifications will take.

I had coffee with the IIAR’s Peggy O’Neill earlier this month and she’s excited about getting the test up and running. She has always been a vocal proponent of advancing AR as a discipline and this is an important first step. AR accreditation is offered by other firms, but I’m most impressed by the impartial nature of the IIAR and the administration of the test. Also the test is not tied to an expensive workshop; it’s £100 for non- members and conducted online.

I took the sample test and was challenged to test H&K’s best practices against the ones blessed by the IIAR. I’m happy to report that I only missed one out of 20 and I’m looking forward to see how I fare in the longer 120 question test.  If you are an AR professional and looking to benchmark your own best practices the test is an obvious first step. And before you do, sit down with a cup of strong coffee, flex your brain and be ready for a 60-minute mental marathon. I’d love to hear from other AR professionals who have taken the test or want to brush up on best practices before they do!

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Chatting with Gartner Tue, 05 May 2009 17:58:42 +0000 Jay Andersen Last week our US-based analyst relations team spent a lively hour with Jenni Lehman, Group VP in Gartner Research, when she visited our offices to talk about the firm’s research structure, social media policies, and whom to call when things turn south.

If you haven’t met Jenni, she is responsible for research operations including the functions of Research Methodology, Research Agenda Management, Primary Research, Secondary Research, Global Editing, Research Engagement Scheduling, Research Events Programs, Research Workforce Development and Research Business Operations.  Jenni explained how Gartner has six other GVPs of research who have oversight of markets including Servers & Storage, IT Operations, Business Intelligence, etc. while she is charged with creating the framework for repeatable and high-quality research. Yes, her plate is a full one. And yes Gartner pays close attention to how research is created and developed. I might have coined a new acronym when I asked her how their recently launched CCA (Critical Capabilities Analysis) methodology was going. After explaining what I meant (I guess nobody other than me refers to them as CCA), Jenni let us know that client response has been strong and that more than 20 are planned for 2009. We’re curious to hear if anyone out there has had any experience working on a CCA (there I said it again!). She also confirmed that Hype Cycles are one of the most-often downloaded research documents at

While some have rightly criticized Gartner for being slow to have a blogging and Twitter presence, the firm is now embracing digital. Gartner has established a clear set of guidelines for their analysts to follow including avoid inflammatory subjects, don’t post information and advice for which clients pay Gartner, protect and enhance the value of the Gartner brand, and be personable and have fun. The link for their policy can be found here. As a long-time Gartner client we appreciate the fact that they are respecting our rights and not giving away one of our competitive advantages. Gartner has a number of active Twitterers which can be found here. We are encouraged to see Gartner join the conversation on Twitter and in the blogosphere. Jenni mentioned one interesting side effect of social media; analysts sometimes blog about subject areas outside of their core focus. When they do, they need to be careful that what they post does not contradict what Gartner has officially written on the subject. It might be a good best practice to search across the Gartner blog network to see if analysts you don’t normally follow are writing about your company or market. And finally, Jenni confirmed our suspicion that Gartner tracks blog readership to see which analysts are getting the most hits. A little friendly competition amongst the analyst ranks is alive and well.

And finally we talked about the role of Ombudsman, which Jenni referred to as Gartner’s Switzerland. If a vendor has an issue with published research, including blogs and Twitter posts, they are urged to take it up with the Ombudsman to address the issue. The Ombudsman’s main goal is to be responsive to end-user and vendor issues to maintain the company’s integrity, evaluate research for balance and objectivity, and deliver visibility into Gartner’s research process. It’s a lofty goal and our team has experience with the process. We’d be interested in hearing about anyone else’s experience.

Overall it was a great meeting; as an AR professional with a library research background I found it a fascinating look at what goes on behind the scenes at Gartner research. We’re hoping to meet with other folks responsible for research agenda at other leading industry research firms. Stay tuned!

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More layoffs – this time it’s Yankee Group (again) Thu, 15 Jan 2009 18:05:00 +0000 Dominic Pannell Emily Green, President and CEO of Yankee Group, has announced that the analyst firm has let a few more staff go, including analysts Daniel Taylor* and Jon Edwards. This follows a much bigger downsizing episode in August of last year, that Carter has detailed over at the SageCircle blog.


Hat tip to Carter for twittering this.

Kudos to Emily for being open about the lay-offs. Hopefully, Yankee Group is now in good shape going forward.

*Corrected as per the comment below.

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Gartner Cancels Spring Symposium, Layoffs Mon, 12 Jan 2009 05:51:00 +0000 Jay Andersen Although it hasn’t been officially announced, Gartner will be cancelling the 2009 Spring Symposium/ITxpo, one of the biggest tech events in the first half of 2009. According to our Gartner contacts, the Emerging Trends content traditionally produced for the spring event will be presented at Fall Symposium/ITxpo.

UPDATE: We’ve heard from clients that Gartner is also canceling 2009 Spring Symposium/ITxpo Barcelona

In place of the show, we recommend thinking about planning to attend one of the more focused Gartner Summit events to meet with your analysts and network with customers and prospects, including the Wireless & Mobile Summit in February, the Business Intelligence Summit in March, or the Outsourcing & Vendor Management Summit in June. An updated 2009 Gartner Events calendar will be made available on Monday, January 12th and we will provide a link once it is available.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the updated 2009 events calendar.

This news is consistent with very recent research from Hill & Knowlton’s annual technology decision-maker survey.  Record levels of technology buyers said they were going to cut back on event attendance in 2009. Be on the lookout for a summary of our full report in the next few weeks.

In addition, we are now hearing of rumors of Gartner analyst layoffs in addition to those at AMR Research and IDC. We are investigating the Gartner news and will follow up shortly on this blog. Meanwhile, if you’d like to discuss how this effects 2009 communications plans, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


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CCS Insight moves into the US Mon, 01 Dec 2008 17:58:00 +0000 Dominic Pannell CCS Insight continues its rapid growth by hiring John Jackson to lead the drive into North America. John spent several years at Yankee Group tracking the North American and global mobile and wireless sector.

John is one of a series of leading analysts who have joined CCS Insight from major analyst firms over the past three years and it has established itself as a serious research and analysis firm focusing on the communications market.

You can read the official press release here.

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Shake-up at Ovum Wed, 23 Apr 2008 15:39:00 +0000 Dominic Pannell Credit where it’s due – my former boss David Rossiter has done a great job of detailing the recent changes at Ovum, although he’s missed a couple of other leavers in Elsa LionElsa Lion, former Senior Analyst in Ovum’s mobile team, who has taken a market intelligence role at Orange and Carl GressumCarl Gressum, who used to run the ConnectedHome service, but who has moved over to Premonvision recently and is currently presenting in Korea.

At the recent IIAR meeting, Ovum SVP David Mitchell was confronted about the number of changes in the analyst teams over the past year or so, but he was apparently upbeat about the quality and number of analysts (I couldn’t be there, but my colleague Agi reported back to me).

All this comes at a time when Ovum’s advisory services are being re-organized to fit Datamonitor’s bundled service approach as the acquisition dust begins to settle. Interesting times indeed…

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NASSCOM 2008 Sat, 16 Feb 2008 08:19:00 +0000 Dominic Pannell I’ve spent the past few days in Mumbai, India attending the NASSCOM 2008 India Leadership Forum. The sell-out event was, without question a great success, bringing around 2000 stakeholders from the global outsourcing industry together under one roof for three days.

I have spent much of my time at NASSCOM introducing H&K client ITIDA to analysts and consultants who were attending the event. ITIDA is promoting Egypt as an outsourcing destination as part of Egypt’s ICT Strategy 2007-2010. Discussions at the forum have been overwhelmingly constructive and reaction to the path of progress that Egypt has embarked upon and its stated strategy of partnering with the Indian outsourcing industry was received very positively.

The conference and the trip as a whole has been an eye-opening experience for me on a personal level – seeing this country of such contrasts for the first time and getting a sense of the optimism and ambition that is driving Indian business in the early 21st century. At the Global Leadership Awards ceremony, Shri Praful Patel, Indian Minister of State for Civil Aviation gave several examples of the tremendous leap that Indian companies have made over the past decade. He also observed that India will place aircraft orders of more than $100 billion over the next ten years.

It is undeniable that much remains to be done in order for the wealth created by those businesses to impact the country’s poor meaningfully – the conference was hosted in the lavish Grand Hyatt, from whose windows the widespread poverty within Mumbai is impossible to ignore – but Indian economic success permits development in the wider country.

ITIDA’s spokespeople including its CEO, Dr Hazem Abdelazim, stressed that Egypt is learning from India’s success, particularly the important role that NASSCOM has played in this. They also highlighted that the policies adopted by the Egyptian Government aimed at returning some of the country’s industrial wealth into improving the welfare of the people, particularly through education.

On a slight Web 2.0 tangent (who would have thought it?) I managed to make several new contacts, thanks partly to NASSCOM Connect, which allows registered delegates to contact one another and partly through sheer serendipity. One very charming person I met is Kiruba Shankar who runs social media consultancy Business Blogging Pvt Ltd and who was part of the forum’s blog team. I was very pleased to learn that blogging has taken off in India together with other social media technologies. Indeed over breakfast today I learned that the Times Of India reckons it’s India’s buzziest media brand and I’ve watched numerous TV ads proclaiming that TOI’s email/SMS package is the most advanced available.

*Full disclaimer: NASSCOM and ITIDA are both clients of H&K 

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Gartner’s got a brand new portal Tue, 29 Jan 2008 08:44:00 +0000 Dominic Pannell Apologies for the late start to 2008 – we’ve been busy in the London office and at least I got round to posting something in January!

The reason for breaking my silence? Well, I just tried to access my account and it appears to have taken me to a new portal. I still have the option of using ‘classic’ and to be honest, I will probably do just that for the time being until I find the time to explore the new site (it’s taking a while to load – hopefully this is just temporary).

Peter Sondergaard, the Gartner SVP responsible for the management and direction of worldwide research, said that exciting things were in store on Gartner’s website when he spoke at the IIAR just under a year ago. In fact, the timing is rather nice as Gartner will again address the IIAR on Thursday. Hopefully, we’re in for a run down of the new toys they’ve built for us.

It’s all such fun.

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