Gartner surprised by new competitors that steal enterprise clients – Looking ahead to 2010

icon-crystal-ball.jpgThis post is one in a series where SageCircle pulls out the crystal ball and looks ahead to what happens in the analyst ecosystem in 2010. See below for links to all posts in this series.

 Gartner is the dominant player in the analyst market with more than a 40% market share according to information market research firm Outsell, Inc. When it comes to the enterprise technology product and services buyer market (typically IT managers), Gartner extends this dominance to approximately 70% to 75% according to SageCircle estimates. If Gartner continues to execute as it has the last four years it will see its market share grow, even as the total market grows as well.

Gartner has achieved this dominance through both hard work and dumb luck. Hard work as represented by making more than 70 acquisitions since 1994, doubling the sales force since 2004 to nearly 1,000 representatives, and creating mindshare with recurring research deliverables like the Magic Quadrant, Hype Cycle, and Gartner Symposium. The dumb luck comes in the form of competitors that focus on vendors rather than end users, fail to build sales and marketing functions, and/or are complacent to the point of being Gartner’s implicit junior partner even though they have the resources to invest in more effective competition.

While there are no signs that Gartner is going to get lazy or stupid next year, 2010 might see its luck run out when it comes to ineffectual or complacent competition. SageCircle sees firms that bring attitude, business attributes, and wiliness to invest to the game unlike others in the past decade. Some examples include:

  • Altimeter Group – While still tiny, with only four analyst/consultants, Altimeter Group has tremendous enterprise visibility and mindshare due to its principals’ exquisite exploitation of social media, conventional speaking opportunities, press quotes, and client contacts from their Forrester tenures. This market awareness should prove to be a significant lead generator that other more established analyst boutiques can only envy. It has made an important investment by starting to build a sales organization. Its current Achilles’ heel is that it is perceived as mostly a Continue reading

Analyst Ecosystem News

Logo - Altimeter GroupAltimeter Group hires a head of Sales – David Stanley joins Altimeter Group as VP of Business Development and Sales.  David was formerly with ARinsights, Inc., makers of the ARchitect AR management application.  How Altimeter addressed the selling function was one of the “Keys for Success” that SageCircle listed in the [SageFlash] Expanded Altimeter Group is neither revolutionary nor evolutionary, but very interesting because it could build a strong end user base sent to Advisory clients. If Altimeter wants to expanded beyond the vendor community, the primary client market for most analyst boutiques, then it has to invest in sales in order to close enterprise business.

Logo - Henry CorporationHENRY Corporation expands beyond former IDCers – The HENRY Corporation announced that it will be representing Quocirca, the UK-based research and analysis firm.

 

Will there be “Altimeter envy” among some analysts at the largest firms? (What’s coming around the corner)

icon-social-media-blue.jpgEvery year the mid-sized and large analyst firms experience a normal amount of turnover in the analyst ranks. Sometimes it’s a little higher or a little lower, but it always occurs. There are times however when a spike in departures occurs caused by some white-hot trend in the broader technology market.

There was such a spike in the late 1990’s as analysts got “dot com” fever and left the larger firms for boutiques firms focused on ebusiness/ecommerce or start up vendors. There was a little blip in the summer of 2008 when some analysts left Forrester and IDC with “social media” fever (see here, here and here). However, since last summer it has been relatively quiet with only normal turnover and recession triggered layoffs. Is that about to change with a more serious set of departures as analysts try to seek fame and fortune in the social media gold fields?

A potential trigger for a spike in departures is what SageCircle is calling “Altimeter envy.” The buzz around Forrester superstars Jeremiah Owyang and R “Ray” Wang joining Altimeter Group was several orders of magnitude larger than all the departures in the summer of 2008. Plus there is just the general increase in hype and fever around social media. This buzz is bound to percolate into the awareness of even the most heads-down, lost-in-his-work analyst at Gartner, Forrester, IDC, AMR and so on. This may be case even if the analyst does not cover the social media market. After all, Ray Wang covers the unsexy enterprise applications market. There was a lot of hoopla around how Charlene, Ray, Jeremiah and their non-analyst colleague Deb Schultz used social media to build up their personal brands giving them the platform for a potentially lucrative new career path. Also, all the analyst firm layoffs in the last year certainly have some analysts thinking that they need to hedge their Continue reading

SageCircle AR Podcast for September 1, 2009

SageCircle AR Podcast ArtworkThe 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.

Click here to listen to the podcast on your computer or visit the podcast page to download the MP3 file.  Click here to subscribe to the podcast within iTunes

SCP 8: Table of contents. Numbers in parentheses refer to minutes:seconds when the article starts within the podcast.

(00:00) Introduction

(01:01) News – Altimeter Group – Forrester superstars Jeremiah Owyang and R “Ray” Wang join and expand coverage beyond social media

(05:09) If AR does not respond to an analyst

(09:17) Large firms and why they don’t retain superstar analysts

(12:12) Analysts chattering on Twitter and why Continue reading

Superstars Owyang and Wang joining Altimeter Group is not just about social media

Logo - Altimeter GroupOn August 27, 2009, the Altimeter Group announced (click here for press release) that it was expanding with Deborah Schultz and former Forrester analysts R “Ray” Wang and Jeremiah Owyang.  They join Charlene Li, former Forrester social media analyst and co-author of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies . Here are some salient points about the announcement that we picked up from Altimeter’s briefing for SageCircle: 

  • This is a true firm, not a loose collection of individuals operating under a marketing umbrella
  • They are Silicon Valley-based partners which will permit creation of a coherent team and methodology
  • Their coverage emphasis will be on “emerging technologies” not social media
  • The focus will be on thought leadership and practical applications
  • Their business model will incorporate many traditional analyst firm elements (e.g., vendor selection, training, consulting, and speeches) with the addition of a hands-on lab and a community platform
  • Regularly published, client-only research is not part of the model

Because of the partners association with social media – as analysts, corporate practitioners, and personal usage – the coverage of this announcement will likely give too much play on that aspect. While an important part of Altimeter’s marketing and initial research coverage, SageCircle thinks that focusing on social media misses other more interesting implications of this announcement:

  1. Altimeter has the potential to be a contender (see Boutique Analyst Firms: Pretenders and Contenders) with serious visibility and influence
  2. Altimeter has the potential to grow a serious technology buyer client base, maybe over 50%, unlike most single practitioners and analyst boutiques that rely on vendors for revenues
  3. A technology buyer client base when combined with its vendor selection services should increase Altimeter’s relevance to vendor analyst relations (AR) and other influencer programs
  4. Altimeter has the potential to systematically cover Continue reading
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