Thursday, April 28, 2005

Structuring your European AR

One of the questions I get asked a lot is "what's the best way of structuring our AR in Europe?"

In an ideal world, companies would structure their analyst relations to best work with the analysts.

However none of us live in the ideal world and – unless you have the luxury of building up an AR function from scratch in a green-field company – you have to take into account factors such as the existing organisational structure, the budget and where it comes from, the corporate politics and the current AR staff.

Ultimately, there is no single right way to organise your analyst relations. Every company needs its own solution because every company has a different culture, different AR needs and different resources available.

We've written up a piece that goes into a little more detail on the main ways of organising EMEA analyst relations and the key questions to ask. If you'd like a copy, drop me an email (david AT and I'll send it over to you.

BusinessWeek on the analysts

Things have been a bit busy here recently so I'm catching up on some reading.

James Governor ( points to an interesting article on analyst independence which appears on BusinessWeek's blog.

"The Truth about Linux and Windows" looks at some Yankee Group research.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Forrester reports growth in Q1

Forrester has reported year-on-year organic growth in both revenue and EPS.

Total revenues for Q1 (ending 31 March 2005) were $33.8 million, compared with $31.7 million for the first quarter of last year.

On a pro forma basis, net income was $2.6 million compared with $2.5 million in the same quarter in 2004.

Net income growth is more impressive when using GAAP-reported figures. In Q104, Forrester reported a net loss of $257,000 companired to a net income of $2.7 million in Q105.

Chairman George Colony seems upbeat: "New business continued to improve and client renewals remained strong. Consulting, in particular, performed well during the quarter.",1769,1002,00.html

Another UK analyst relations blog

It's good to see Duncan Chapple - head of Lighthouse AR - has started blogging again. His site is at

Ovum IPO on the cards?

Ovum has confirmed that it is considering an IPO late this year.

There's been widespread speculation that 2005 could see the long-rumoured float take place.

It's now so likely that Ovum's including the information in a job ad running on Brand Republic for a new PR manager.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Another UK site about industry analysts

I got a note today from ARonaut who pointed me to their site -

It's got some interesting stuff there and is worth checking out.

It's not clear who's behind the site - it's written anonomously "by IT Analyst Relations professionals to relate tales of a symbiotic community: real stories, analyst gaffes and (un)predictions, analinguo, rumours, gossips and more."

Monday, April 18, 2005

Monday, April 04, 2005


GartnerWatch -

Written by Joe Guralnick in the US, this blog concentrates exlusively on Gartner (as you might guess from the title). It provides some fascinating insights and provokes some serious thinking.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

And then there were - well, one less than last week

And so it has happened. Gartner's acquisition of META was completed on April Fool's day. The timing seems somehow appropriate.

But why did Gartner decide to buy META? Speculation is still rife and numerous theories abound.

1. It takes a rival out of the market.
Although Gartner's long been the biggest analyst firm in the market, this does make some sense. META had a lot of sway in both the end-user and vendor communities. Take it out of the market and there's more potential business there for Gartner. After all, who else is going to come in and take it away from them? Forrester or IDC perhaps. At the moment, it's hard to see another analyst firm that's credible across all technology sectors and can provide a global insight.

Oh - and with a major rival out of the way, Gartner is free to put its prices up with little or no threat of competition.

2. META was up for sale
It is possible the whole deal is opportunistic. After all, it's not every day that a leading international analyst firm comes on the market. And who knows what might have happened if, say, Forrester had bought META instead? The combined firm would still have been less than half Gartner's size but it would have undoubtedly been a more formidable competitor.

3. Gartner wanted to strengthen its consulting business
In Europe, META had a stronger reputation for its consulting work than for its research. As Gartner's laid off so many of META's analysts and consultants, it seems an unlikely reason. Consulting is a personal business - much more so than research. You don't buy a firm for its consulting business and then get rid of all its consultants. Clients will follow them out of the door as soon as they can.

Plus Gene Hall, Gartner's CEO described the deal as representing "a significant step for Gartner in our strategy to accelerate growth in our core research business."

4. META had in-depth country expertise in Europe which Gartner would like
If Gartner wanted in-country expertise, why not buy the company which really can provide it across the world (IDC)? Perhaps because Gartner only wants to beef up its business in certain countries where it believes it is missing out of major revenue opportunities? For example, META has traditionally been strong in Germany.

5. Gartner needs more salespeople.
From the day the acquisition was announced, Hall has stressed the importance of the sales team. He emphasised it again on Friday: "Today, we significantly increased the depth and breadth of our sales coverage in the vastly underserved market for IT research by welcoming more than 100 highly-trained sales people from META - individuals who know the marketplace and our products, and who already have existing client relationships."

But there are cheaper ways of acquiring them than buying a company - like luring them away with big salaries and bonus payments.

Time will tell if this was a good move. We're going to be watching with interest to see what happens to Gartner, its services, its clients and its staff.