We have moved! Please visit us at our new website

SageCircle has launched a new website that has an embedded blog. On the website you will be able to read all the past posts and comments, the latest blog posts, review the Analyst and AR Twitter Directories, signup for SageCircle’s free AR newsletter, listen to available recorded AR Coffee Talks, and more. 

Some items, such as the Twitter Directories, require you to be registered on the site. Registration is free and can be done by clicking on “No Account Yet? Register Here” in the Login box in the upper right column.

To read the latest blog post, please visit www.SageCircle.com and click on blog in the left menu bar under “Main Menu.”

Please let us know what you think about the new website. We appreciate your comments as we work to improve the website and our other services.

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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from SageCircle

Here is wishing all our clients and readers a happy holiday season.

Our next official post will be on Monday, December 28th.

Announcing the SageCircle free webinar on Gartner’s acquisition of AMR Research

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Replay of this webinar is now available. To receive a link and password to watch a streaming version of the webinar please email “info [at] sagecircle [dot] com”. Please include your job title and company name. Agenda:

  • Basics of the deal
  • SageCircle Analysis of AMR’s and Gartner’s Motivation
  • Highlights from Gartner AR Community Call
  • Commentary on Points from Gartner AR Community Call
  • Recommendations for Research Clients
    • Enterprise
    • Vendors
  • Recommendations for Vendor AR Teams

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Gartner’s acquisition of AMR Research is very interesting for a number of reasons, but it also raises a number of critical questions. To complement our blog post (click here) on the acquisition, SageCircle is offering a free webinar to expand our analysis as well as suggestions for how clients of either firm as well as vendor AR teams should respond.  Following our short presentation we will have ample time for questions. 

Our webinar is at 10 am US PT on Thursday, December 3rd (click here to register). Please feel free to forward this invitation to your colleagues.

Not by coincidence, we scheduled our webinar after Gartner’s AR Community Call, which is this Thursday, the 3rd, at 7:30 am US PT. You can register here, which we recommend you do.

This means during our webinar we will also discuss what Gartner said in its AR Community Call and how it might differ from our analysis.

SageCircle Advisory clients are encouraged to Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving

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Here is wishing all our American clients and readers a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving. For our readers outside the US, you no doubt will be enjoying a few days of reduced emails and phone calls! 

Our next official post will be on Monday, November 30th.

Forrester Research Q3 2009 earnings call scheduled

logo-forrester.gifForrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR)  earnings call is 11:00 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday, October 29, 2009 . The earnings call is a webcast that you can find on Forrester’s investor relations webpage. This call is coming the day before Gartner’s earnings call.

SageCircle doesn’t listen to the Gartner and Forrester earnings calls with the same mindset as a financial analyst. What we listen for are clues to how the two publicly traded analyst firms are evolving their business models and research methodologies that might impact their clients, end user or vendor, especially when it comes to contract negotiations. I also listen to gather intelligence about their end-user client bases, which provides input into determining how their influence might be changing, which can be very useful for analyst relations teams. We will publishing summaries and analysis after each call is completed.

Selling the Concept of an AR-Sales Partnership – November AR Coffee Talk

icon-coffee-talks.jpgThe idea of an AR -Sales partnership is very powerful. But, how you do sell your executive sponsors and Sales it is a great idea to invest in? – You already know that working with sales in a coordinated fashion can leverage the value and influence of the industry analysts. But how do you sell this idea to your executive sponsor, the sales management, and perhaps even other team members? In this AR coffee talk we will discuss techniques for educating these groups on how AR and sales working together can drive top line revenue growth.

Join us to chat about approaches to take when discussing this concept , and what proof points to offer your stakeholders.

November 3 at 10 AM Pacific      Free – Click here to register

November 11 at 8 AM Pacific      Free – Click here to register

AR Coffee Talks

Networking and chatting with peers is a great way to expand your knowledgebase. Unfortunately, we do not always have the time to Continue reading

Gartner Statement about the ZL Technologies lawsuit

SageCircle received the following official statement on October 21, 2009 from Gartner about the ZL Technologies lawsuit. Thanks to Andrew Spender, VP Corporation Communications (Twitter), for sending this.

“We are aware of the complaint filed in California by ZL Technologies regarding their location in a Gartner Magic Quadrant. While it’s not our practice to discuss pending litigation, we do consider this complaint to be completely without merit and have moved to dismiss it in the courts. While we regret that ZL Technology is dissatisfied with its location in the Magic Quadrant, we remain committed to providing our clients with independent research and advice about the products that we cover.” -Gartner, Inc.

ZLTI v Gartner in logos

Hone your AR skills by attending AR Measurement Week

AR Metrics & MeasurementMark your calendars for a week (dates are listed below) of intense training on AR measurement topics. Every day for a straight week, SageCircle will be putting on a different webinar on one of the most critical foundational functions for AR: measurement. Each webinar is only $95 and you can find links to the individual webinars on SageCircle.com webinar page. There is a special offer if you register for all five sessions: a $50 discount (see the special link at the bottom of this webpage to sign up with the discount).  Each 90-minute session is packed with practical tips, information, and insights.

Certificate of Completion for Analyst Relations Measurement – SageCircle is starting a new program where we will be sending a signed, hardcopy “Certificate of Completion” to AR professionals who have completed a series of training sessions on a particular topic. The first Certificate to be awarded will go to attendees of all five AR measurement webinars.

 A “Certificate of Completion” will be a useful item to add to your resume as it shows you have invested in upgrading your AR skills and your commitment to the AR profession.

The Certificate of Completion for AR Measurement will be issued for those who have attended all five of the measurement webinars.  This includes the ones you may have taken in the past as well as those in one of the upcoming Measurement Week! series. Future public webinars will also count toward completion of the training for a Certificate. Another way to earn a certificate is to attend a half-day AR Measurement Workshop, either a public version or a privately scheduled session for just your company. 

Two sets of dates: October 19-23 and October 26-30 –“What!” you say “The first week is the same week as US Symposium!” Right, but if you are not going to be in Orlando schmoozing with the Gartnerians that week it would be a great use of your time to get in some training.  Alternatively “Measurement Week Two” will be held the week after Symposium.  You can even mix the sessions across both weeks if that is more Continue reading

Incorporating Social Media Metrics into Your Measurement Program – A SageCircle Webinar

icon-social-media-blue.jpgSome of today’s new challenges for AR teams are how to determine if there is value to monitoring analyst opinions on blogs, Twitter, and social networks like LinkedIn; how to do the monitoring; and how to use the information gathered to create meaningful metrics. To help analyst relations teams be proactive with the emerging measurement requirements for social media, SageCircle is announcing a new public webinar focused on providing the tools and insights needed to efficiently collect, analyze and report social media metrics. 

This webinar is designed to teach you how to measure analyst social media traffic, the various methods for automating your social media monitoring for effective data gathering, and ways to measure both the mentions and the tonality.  We will discuss how to incorporate social media into your balanced scorecard and provide concise reporting to executives.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • How do social media metrics fit into the overall AR measurement and reporting program?
  • What are the social media metrics needed for both performance and operational measurements?
  • What are the best practices for collecting social media metrics?
  • What are the approaches for reporting on social media activities and outcomes, either as standalone reports or as part of a broader reporting structure?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a succinct analysis of Continue reading

Managing Your Gartner and Forrester Expenditures – A SageCircle Webinar

icon-budget-cuts-105w.jpgThe largest analyst contract commitments by enterprises, vendors and PR agencies often go to the Big Two advisory analyst firms: Forrester Research and Gartner. Unfortunately even during this recession, the two firms are not displaying any flexibility in contract negotiations – even though vendor clients are experiencing budget cuts.

To help analyst contract managers (e.g., AR, market research and procurement managers) take a strategic approach to dealing with the need to manage spending with Forrester and Gartner, SageCircle has a public webinar focused on providing the tools and intelligence needed to make the best decisions and deal with the firms’ sales representatives. 

In this SageCircle Webinar we provide insights and actionable advice on how to manage what you spend with Forrester and Gartner to ensure that you have the access you need without spending more than necessary. Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • Is it possible to negotiate discounts with Forrester and Gartner?
  • What are the best practices for identifying expenditures that can be safely cut?
  • What are the repercussions with analysts at the Big Two if contracts are cut or even eliminated?
  • What are the best practices for handling angry and even threatening analyst firm sales representatives?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a succinct analysis of why the Big Two are not being flexible and how vendors need to respond. Participants will come out of the webinar with best practices and tools that will help them manage their expenditures without adversely impacting their ability to Continue reading

Launching the AR-Sales Partnership: It’s Not About Pushing Out Research Reprints

icon-dollar-euro.jpgThe more awareness sales reps have about the role analysts play in enterprise buying decisions, the more leverage they will have in closing deals.  AR can play a pivotal role in this process by providing Sales with the right information and services, in the right amounts, at the right times during the buying cycle.  With this approach, AR can help drive top line growth and transition from a cost center to a strategic profit center. 

It’s Not About Pushing Out Research Reprints

Quite often the success or failure of the sales representative hangs on how well he or she overcomes a hurdle created by analyst recommendations.  Unfortunately, the typical vendor sales team has not been educated about who the analysts are, what they do, and how to overcome negative commentary.  As a consequence, salespeople experience high levels of frustration as deals go to competitors, sales cycles lengthen, and contract negotiations go in favor of the buyer.

In order to exploit positive research or to mitigate negative analyst comments sales executives need to work with AR to prepare tools and train their sales teams on certain basics about the analysts’ role in the IT industry.  What needs to be avoided is the temptation to overwhelm the sales force with too much training, too many tools, and too much raw information.  The goal of the AR-Sales Partnership is to equip the sales force with the minimal tools and knowledge needed to deal with the analysts and how to get help when the situation moves beyond the training.

To help AR executives and teams decide when and how to support sales, SageCircle has a public half-day workshop focused on how to incorporate an AR-Sales Partnership Program into the AR portfolio.

Key Issues to be addressed in this workshop include:

  • What are the characteristics of a great AR-Sales partnership plan that provides the necessary detail without taking too much work?
  • How can AR sell the AR-Sales program to its Continue reading

AR and analyst gathering in the Silicon Valley on Tuesday, September 15th

Analyst Relations Meet Up

We hope that everybody in the analyst ecosystem has a fun and relaxing summer. To kick off Fall, SageCircle is once again hosting an  AR and analyst Happy Hour.

The gathering will be in Cupertino in the heart of the Silicon Valley. It will be on Tuesday, September 15th, starting at 6 pm PT and going to 7:30 pm. So please drop by after work for some booze and schmooze.

Remember…. We won’t be using this as a sales opportunity for SageCircle and there will not be any formal presentations. Nor is this a meeting of SPAR or IIAR. Rather the purpose is to promote the community around the analyst ecosystem.

If you think you might be showing up for this AR and Analyst Happy Hour, please RSVP so that we can ensure we will have enough drink and finger food on hand. Contact us at 503-636-1500 or “info [at] sagecircle [dot] com”.

Please spread the word to AR, analysts and IT managers.

AR Performance Metrics – July AR Coffee Talk

icon-coffee-talks.jpgThere are two types of AR metrics – operational and performance. Operational metrics are useful for the AR team only. Proving the value of AR requires data on the performance of the AR program rather than simple counts of analyst mentions or briefings held.

Join us to chat about what make good performance metrics that demonstrate the strategic value of AR.

August 4 at 8 AM Pacific – Free – Click here to register

August 13 at 10 AM Pacific – Free – Click here to register

AR Coffee Talks

Networking and chatting with peers is a great way to expand your knowledgebase. Unfortunately, we do not always have the time to Continue reading

June’s AR Coffee Talk is on AR’s social media monitoring

icon-coffee-talks.jpgSome of today’s new challenges for AR teams are how to determine if there is value to monitoring analyst opinions on blogs and Twitter, how to do the monitoring and how to use the information gathered. In this Coffee Talk, SageCircle strategists and AR professionals will discuss these issues and potential approaches to measuring and reporting on the analysts’ social media-based commentary.

June 10 at Noon US Pacific            Free – Click here to register

June 23 at 8:30 am US Pacific       Free – Click here to register

AR Coffee Talks

Networking and chatting with peers is a great way to expand your Continue reading

SageCircle Podcast for May 19, 2009 – Big Two 1Q 09 earnings; Survey of the Analysts; Spoken Word Audit

SageCircle AR Podcast ArtworkIt is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of SageCircle’s newest free research deliverable, the SageCircle AR Community Podcast. The AR podcast is a review of the latest news and trends in the analyst ecosystem along with tips and tricks for analyst relations professionals and analyst research consumers. SageCircle strategists Dave Eckert and Carter Lusher co-host this bi-weekly program. You can find all the SageCircle podcasts on our podcast page.

Our goals for the AR Community Podcast are two-fold. The first goal is to provide an additional venue for SageCircle research that complements our existing deliverables, whether free (e.g., SageCircle blog) or client only (e.g., the Online SageContent Library, the largest and premier repository of AR best practices and downloadable tools available in the industry). The second goal is to develop real-world podcasting skills so when our clients are considering their own podcasts we have the experience (and scar tissue) to help them start podcasting without having to re-invent the wheel. 

Click here to listen to the podcast on your computer (corrected broken link 5/26/09 1:45 pm PT) or visit the podcast page to download the MP3 file. At this time the AR podcast is not yet available for subscription on iTunes, but we hope to have the details for this ironed out by next week.

Click here to subscribe to the podcast within iTunes

SCP 1: Table of contents. Numbers in parentheses refer to minutes:seconds when the article starts within the podcast.

(00:00)  Introduction

(00:56)  This week we start with a look at the Q1 09 earnings reports of the only two publicly held analyst firms, Gartner and Forrester. Gartner surprised us by actually growing overall revenue. Forrester did not.

(04:55)  Next we’ll discuss our new survey of the analysts on their Continue reading

SageCircle’s “Introduction to Twitter for AR” webinar

logo-twitter.pngIn the last year, the Analyst Twitter Directory has grown from 58 entries to more than 610 analysts.There has been similar growth in the AR Twitter Directory with over 370 entries. Both directories are being updated weekly with new names. So if some of your top analysts and your peers are on Twitter, shouldn’t you be on Twitter as well?  

icon-phone-headset.jpgIn this SageCircle AR Webinar, we will provide you with succinct and actionable information that will help you get up-to-speed on Twitter as a user, and help you understand the implications for AR. The agenda for the 90-minute session includes:

  1. What is micro-blogging and Twitter
  2. How are analysts and AR professionals using Twitter
  3. Getting started on Twitter
  4. Tips on being an efficient Twitter user
  5. Setting up an Continue reading

Online SageContent Library demonstrations scheduled

An AR encyclopedia at your fingertips

The Online SageContent Library save you time by eliminating the “reinvention of the wheel” syndrome. With examples, checklists, templates and SageToolsTM, the Online SageContentTM Library has what you need to do your job quicker and easier.  For example, why create your own checklists when you can download them from the Online SageContentTM Library?  Click here to learn more.

Benefits: Saves You Time while Improving the Outcome

AR is a profession driven by the need for efficiency and effectiveness. The Online SageContentTM Library assists with both by providing a searchable resource that incorporates our vast knowledgebase of proven AR best practices.  The analyst ecosystem is dynamic, and SageCircle continuously adds new techniques to the AR toolbox. We are using a wiki as the publishing platform so that we can continually refresh the knowledgebase with new insights and new best practices.

Demos

We are conducting a series of short 15-minute webinars to demo the Online Library’s features and functions.   After the formal presentation we will open it up for questions.

 

Register for a session now by clicking a date below:

 

Wed, May 6, 2009 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM PDT

 

Thu, May 7, 2009 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM PDT

 

Thu, May 14, 2009 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM PDT

 

Thu, May 14, 2009 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM PDT

 

Fri, May 22, 2009 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM PDT

 
 

Once registered you will receive an email confirming your registration with the connection information you need to join the Webinar.

Carter interviewed on John Simonds’ AR podcast about the state of AR

icon-microphone-reduced-v-2.jpgIBM AR manager extraordinaire John Simonds (Twitter handle) interviewed Carter for his podcast series about AR that he posts on his  “Delusions of Adequacy” blog.  Topics we discussed were:

  • What is the state of A/R right now?
  • What is a good A/R practice/best practice?
  • What is a bad A/R practice or incident that we can learn from (without names)?
  • What could the A/R industry do to improve?

For the good and bad AR practices questions Carter looked at  both an AR practitioner practice and an AR management practice.

It was a fun and interesting discussion. Please visit  Podcast: An Analyst’s View of Analyst Relations – Carter Lusher of SageCircle to hear the interview.

Announcing “Launching a Social Media Strategy: A SageCircle Workshop”

icon-social-media-blue.jpgSocial media is rapidly transitioning from being a playground for individuals to an important tool for business.  Some tools like blogging have been around for awhile, while others like Twitter are still emerging.  Regardless of the current start of the art, many hundreds of savvy analysts and AR professionals are using these and other tools to improve relationships, generate intelligence, and enhance conversations. 

There are many questions for AR about social media

Unfortunately questions for AR abound: Should AR teams blog and tweet?  Does AR have to track bloggers and Twitterers who are not traditional analysts?  How can you pick up responsibility for blogging and Twittering when resources are already stretched thin?  When and how do you incorporate analyst blogs and Tweets into analyst opinion monitoring programs.  And most important: How to get started?

To help AR professionals and teams take a strategic approach to dealing with the rapidly changing social media usage by members of the analyst ecosystem, SageCircle is announcing a new public half-day workshop focused on how to incorporate social media into AR’s daily routine and toolbox.

Key Issues to be addressed in this workshop include:

  • What are the roles of social media in the analyst ecosystem?
  • How should social media be incorporated into AR’s strategic and tactical plan?
  • What are the policy implications of adopting blogging and Twitter?
  • How do social media get incorporated into AR measurement and reporting programs?

Get Up to Speed Quickly

In this SageCircle AR Workshop, we provide AR professionals with Continue reading

The blog is only the tip of the iceberg

 One of the common questions we get is whether IT managers will continue to purchase industry analyst research when “so much is on the analysts’ blogs.” There are two reasons why this is not likely. The first is that the average Forrester or Gartner analyst’s blog is only a small fraction of what they publish. The formal research behind the firewall is several orders of magnitude more detailed with much more in the way of recommendations. Second is that most IT buyers don’t buy analyst contracts solely for the written research, but mainly to get phone-based inquiry access to analysts so that the analysis, research and recommendations can be tailored to their specific situations. In fact, well written blogs should actually increase business for the analyst firms by increasing their visibility.

Wait a minute! Do readers of the SageCircle blog also have the same impression about us? That the blog contains all the good stuff? Well, do you? >>arched eyebrow<<

sagecircle-blog-is-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-reducedThe reality is that SageCircle has the broadest and deepest library of intellectual property on AR best practices in the industry. The SageCircle blog and SageCircle Digest newsletter are only the tip of the iceberg (click the graphic to enlarge) when it comes to written research. Not only do we have a large base of written research, but we are aggressively adding to it every week with client-only content.  Our advisory clients recently received a SageInsight on how to respond to Gartner’s policy of no questions during briefings as well as an expanded version of the blog post Saving money on contracts with the Forrester / Gartner duopoly is not simple which gave deeper treatment including detailed recommendations.  To provide another example of the differences between the blog and client content is to look at what is available on everybody’s favorite issue: the Magic Quadrant. In the blog, we have a very useful six-part series of posts (each about half page) on the Magic Quadrant. However, clients have access to a much deeper discussion of the MQ with many best practices and tools including preparing the sales force for dealing with the Magic Quadrant. Following is the current index from our online repository on the Magic Quadrant. Each of these line items is a link to an article (each at least a page) with associated downloadable check lists and tools, where applicable.

  • Defining the Magic Quadrant
    • Importance of the MQ
    • History of the MQ
    • MQ Components and Creation
    • Gartner MQ Methodology
    • Facts about the MQ
  • Value of the MQ to IT Purchasers
    • How Buyers Should Use a MQ
    • Common Mistakes Made by Purchasers
    • MQ Best Practices
    • Consumer’s Guide to the Gartner Magic Quadrant
  • Vendor Issues with the MQ

SageCircle is your hotline when analyst ecosystem news breaks

SageCircle is your hotline for breaking analyst news

SageCircle strategists are only a phone-call away when you need to understand the implications of analysts ecosystem news. Click here to learn more about SageCircle’s Advisory Services. To talk with a strategist call 503-636-1500.

Would you like to receive SageCircle’s free AR newsletter?

It is easy to get on the distribution list for SageCircle’s weekly free analyst relations newsletter. Simply send an email to “info [at] sagecircle.com” with Subscribe in the subject box.

SageCircle Special Webinar: Impact of the Recession on the Analysts and AR – Time for Ruthless Action

seminar.jpgThe worldwide economic downturn is impacting analyst firms that only a few months ago thought they would see slowing of their revenues, but not much more. In the last month, eight analyst firms – including Forrester and Gartner – have announced layoffs. More are surely to come.

And it is not just the analysts who are caught up in this recession. Analyst relations (AR) programs often get caught in the downdraft of a recession experiencing budget cuts, headcount freezes or reductions, and less analyst interaction support from executives and domain experts. If AR is to avoid being the target of budget and headcount cuts is it critical to ensure that it is aligned with corporate priorities and is demonstrating positive economic contributions. While this seems obvious, too many AR programs are so caught up in reactive mode or simply doing normal day-to-day tasks that they don’t see the danger forming. As a consequence, these programs have a greater likelihood of getting cut than those AR managers and teams that proactively or preemptively move to change their focus. 

To help AR professionals and teams take a strategic approach to dealing with the rapidly changing environment, SageCircle is announcing a new public webinar focused on the recession’s impact on the analyst ecosystem and the actions AR needs to take.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • How is the analyst ecosystem impacted by recessions?
  • Will the “Big 2″ advisory firms see their influence impacted by the recession?
  • What are the immediate steps that AR should take when analysts are laid off?
  • How will the recession cause AR to work differently and spend differently?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists – who have experienced recessions both Continue reading

Adding more sessions to make it easier for you to attend AR training

Frequently we hear from AR professionals wanting to attend one of our seminars, webinars or Coffee Talks saying they could not attend the scheduled session. In the very next sentence is usually “when will the session be scheduled again or do you have a replay?” To answer the request for additional scheduling options, we are happy to announce that we are greatly expanding the times we schedule webinars and Coffee Talks. Every month we will have two sessions for the Coffee Talk, two sessions for the new webinar and two repeats. In addition, most months will have public seminars scheduled as well.

To help you keep track of all these options, we are launching a new page on the SageCircle blog called, not surprising, Calendar to graphically display all the scheduled training for a number of months (see below for an example). You can find new page in the left-hand navigation menu in the “Pages” section. Currently we have February, March and April posted and will be adding additional months soon. If you to know about an AR training event in the May through July timeframe, please send us an email (info [at] sagecirle.com) and we’ll happily send you the information.

If you are a regular reader of the SageCircle blog, especially for breaking news in the analyst ecosystem ( e.g., news around the six firms that have laid off analysts in the last three weeks), a great way to show your support for this free service is by signing up for one of our events. Thanks.

 We look forward to seeing you at one of our events.

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AR-Sales Partnering
       
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AR-Sales Partnering
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AR Effectiveness
Seattle
Seminar

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Webinar
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How to rank & tier analysts
   
             
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