Notes from Gartner’s Quarterly AR Call – Themes are royalty, expanded editorial calendar, org changes

On Thursday, June 19th Gartner’s Vendor Relations team held its regular quarterly analyst relations (AR) call. Because the Gartnerians do not currently offer a transcript of the call, just a replay, SageCircle is providing detailed notes.

SageCircle Advisory clients are encouraged to schedule an inquiry to discuss the call and how to apply the insights to their specific situations.

Themes – Research themes are important organizing principles like topics, roles and industries. Gartner themes cut across all boundaries and most research organizations write themes for their perspective. Themes are coordinated by the Senior Research Board. Themes are usually new or emerging topics, though some are existing topics with new relevance or enhanced impact. You should expect to get questions about themes during briefings and anticipate analysts using themes as a point-of-reference. Listed are the existing themes with their “champions.”

  • Green IT
    • Championed by Simon Mingay
  • Consumerization of IT
    • Championed by David Mitchell Smith
  • Alternative Delivery & Acquisition Models
    • Championed by Caludio da Rold and Mark Margevicius
  • Cloud Computing
    • Championed by Dave Cearley and David Mitchell Smith
  • Modernization of IT
    • Championed by Dale Vecchio
  • IT that Matters
    • Championed by Ken McGee
  • Business Impact of Social Computing
    • Championed by Adam Sarner and Nikos Drakos

In response to a question, it was admitted that Gartner Research currently does not have a way to effectively communicate who are the analysts most likely to write about or influence theme coverage. The initial response that looking at the authors of theme special reports would show who are the lead analysts was immediately shot down as being too late to do AR any good, as the report after all was already written.  When it was suggested that AR teams ask their analysts about who is covering the theme, that idea was shot down because when AR has tried that approach in the past, the analysts frankly did not know. The Gartner team is going to mull over how to approach more effectively communicating who is covering a theme. SageCircle comment – Don’t ask your primary analysts about who is contributing to a theme, ask the theme champions. They will certainly know which analysts are the go-to leads in each research area.

Forbidding use of research more than a year old – This was one of the more contentious issues during the call. The problem is that vendors are not permitted to use market share numbers or Magic Quadrants more than a year old even if the replacement research is late. When the Gartner team said that they are working on getting the analysts to be more timely in their updates, which would make this problem moot, the response from the AR professional was basically “we’ve been hearing this for four years and you have no credibility.” SageCircle comment – This issue is a continuing thorn in vendors’ sides. AR and their executives should put pressure on Gartner’s executives – not the analysts or their managers – to change the policy or to enforce timely updates.

Research Methodology News

Research editorial agenda – Gartner plans on expanding the visibility about planned research publications. In addition to the current Magic Quadrants and Marketscopes calendar, special reports and key research notes will be added. It is not possible to list all potential research because “research happens,” i.e., driven by current events and “ah ha’s” based on vendor briefings and end user conversations. Gartner is targeting the end of July as the beginning. End user focused research will be listed by role. For the AR role product, the listings will consolidate the end user research, Dataquest research, and SWATs. Research agendas will be available for clients of Core Research and not just the AR role. However, the AR role will have additional AR-specific navigations.

Research localization – Gartner is piloting a project on localizing the research by regions and countries. This will be more than simply translating the English documents into the local language. What Gartner is aiming to do is to create unique research for a region or country as well as apply global research to a locality. The pilot project is going to be Germany. SageCircle comment: Gartner has attempted to do this several times since the mid-1990s. It is a very difficult task. If this is something that you think is important you should be supportive by providing ideas, feedback and country specific briefings.

Peer review – The peer review policy has been updated and communicated to ensure that all relevant analysts are involved. Parties to a peer review include subject matter experts, vendor lead analysts, regions, and cross-team representatives. SageCircle comment: Peer comments can have a dramatic impact on the tone, structure and content of a research note. Knowing who the most important peer reviewers are and then developing an appropriate relationship can provide AR with another tool in shaping published research.

Organizational changes

Jeff Golterman (jeff.golterman@gartner.com) replaces Aaron Yaverski as the head of Gartner’s Analyst Relations (AR) program. I’ve known Jeff since he joined Gartner and he is a straight shooter. It is highly recommended that you set up an inquiry with Jeff to introduce yourself and establish a relationship.

Michael Yoo (michael.yoo@gartner.com) replaces Ken Davis as the head of the High Technology and Telecommunications Providers sector.

Andy Rosenblatt (andy.rosenblatt@gartner.com) is assuming responsibility for the product management for the Analyst Relations role product.

The research teams for Executive Programs and IT Management Strategies have been merged into an analyst team called CIO Research Group under the management of John Kost. The new team will continue to support Executive Programs and end user CIO/strategy product groups. There will be no analyst layoffs (response to a question). SageCircle comment: It is highly recommended that you schedule an inquiry with John to discuss the role of the CIO Research Group, how your decision makers might leverage its expertise, and how the analysts will want to be briefed by vendors.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Schedule inquiries with relevant theme champions to obtain information on the research agenda, lead analysts, and contributing analysts
  • Schedule inquiries with Jeff Golterman to establish a ongoing relationship
  • Schedule an inquiry with John Kost to learn more about the CIO Research Group and how they would like to interact with vendors
  • Put a recurring To-Do in your calendar to do a weekly check of the editorial calendar

Bottom Line: Gartner AR Calls are important sources of information into what is happening inside Gartner Research. AR professionals should mine the calls for important insights that can be turned into the basis for action.

Question: AR teams – If you do not listen to the AR call, why not?

  

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks, Carter. Nice job. Will you be running a follow up post with Kost?

  2. [...] you were not able to attend the last AR teleconference, click Notes from Gartner’s June 19, 2008 Quarterly AR Call – Themes are royalty, expanded editorial … to read our detailed notes and [...]

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