Ovum ups the ante in campaign to recruit AMR analysts and sales representatives

Tip o’ the hat to the tipsters who sent in information about this Ovum news

Updated 12/16/09 1:32 pm PT – Added photo of truck outside Gartner’s HQ

Here is the Ovum truck making the rounds around Gartner main offices on Top Gallant Road in Stamford, CT (click on the picture to enlarge). Carter’s office use to be on the second floor nearest Top Gallant Road. Carter says that this truck would be quite visible from any of the window offices.

Please read the comments below. A Guerilla Billboards staffer mentions that a member of Gartner’s legal team came out and told the driver to get lost. Interesting.

As SageCircle reported in Special offers for AMR Research’s clients, sales professionals and analysts Ovum is one of the firms that is making a play for AMR’s sales and analyst staff. This is a common tactic by competing firms immediately after the announcement of a sizeable acquisition. However, offers like these do not necessarily result in the pickup of key staff because there is little effort put into the campaign. Usually there is just an announcement on the poaching firms’ websites and maybe a few phone calls to staff at the targeted firm.

Ovum has demonstrated that it is willing to increase the stakes by actually investing in getting the attention of the staff at the targeted firm. SageCircle has received reports about the rolling billboard that Ovum put on the streets of Boston to circle the Gartner and AMR Research offices (see picture). While this technique is likely a modest expense it does demonstrate that Ovum is serious about expanding its presence in the US market where it has a relatively small presence. In addition, it is a nifty publicity stunt sure to get some notice.

This development could work to the advantage of enterprises and vendors looking to wrap up contracts before Continue reading

Questions from the SageCircle webinar on Gartner’s acquisition of AMR Research

There were many excellent questions asked at SageCircle’s webinar where we analyzed Gartner’s acquisition of AMR (click here for our original blog post). Here are a few of the questions and our answers:

 Question: Do you think that there will be an examination of this M&A event based on anti-trust considerations?

 Answer: SageCircle strategists are not lawyers so we cannot discuss the legal aspects of this particular event. It is true that Gartner is without a doubt the dominate enterprise advisory analyst firm so even the acquisition of a relatively tiny competitor – AMR is about 3% the size of Gartner – does raise questions about competition in the marketplace, pricing power, and so on.  However, even though this is a big deal in the analyst ecosystem, overall it is very small and not likely to get the attention of regulators, either in the US or Europe. Of course, some large company or coalition of companies could hire some high-powered law firm to “encourage” the anti-trust regulators to examine the deal, which has happened in other anti-trust cases in the technology marketplace. But who would lead and fund such an effort? Forrester? Unlikely as even CEO George Colony describes his firm’s relationship with Gartner as a duopoly which confers significant advantages to both firms. Maybe a firm like Datamonitor-Ovum might be interested in doing so. A vendor? Most vendors would not want to take up this task for fear of reprisal. Maybe Oracle would because Larry Ellison has gone after Gartner and specific analysts in the press in the past. So while it is not impossible for this M&A event to get the attention of regulators, we do not give it high probability that it will.

Question: Do you believe there will be healthy collaboration between Gartner and AMR analysts? Given that Gartner plans to keep the two teams separate, do you anticipate more of the silo approach as currently exists within Gartner?

Answer: It is very unlikely that there will be collaboration between the various analyst teams at Gartner and AMR. Gartner does not have a history or culture of collaboration, nor has it invested in a knowledge management and collaboration infrastructure. In addition, Gartner analysts are scattered all around the globe with many working out of their homes.  This limits the chances for “water cooler” discussions. Finally, there is the point Continue reading

For IT managers – It’s “Praise Your Vendor” Inquiry Day

icon-phone-headset.jpgNow for something completely different… offering the analysts a vendor compliment in lieu of a complaint. Advisory analysts at the largest firms (e.g., Forrester and Gartner) build their opinions based more on client feedback than on research evaluations. They generally do not do lab analysis or specific competitive research.  That means that the perceptions they have of the products may be more highly colored by negative customer comments heard during client phone-based inquiries than reality would suggest. 

SageCircle Technique:  Our suggestion to IT managers is that you Continue reading

LinkedIn forum moderated by AMR analyst

Photo - Phil FershtAMR analyst and outsourcing expert extraordinaire Phil Fersht (Twitter, bio, blog) is an effective user of social media as a research and publishing tool. It turns out that Phil is also using LinkedIn as well having created the The BPO and Offshoring Best Practices Forum to build the BPO community. Here is Phil’s invitation from his Horses for Sources blog:

“Yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch… Horses For Sources’ official LinkedIn Group, the aptly-named “The BPO and Offshoring Best Practices Forum” now has 5,700 members. This is a forum for leading sourcing practitioners to share their experiences, views, opinions, best practices and lessons learned in the worlds of IT outsourcing, Business Process Outsourcing, Shared Services and Offshoring. You also get a free subscription to the Horses Digest. And it’s FREE FREE FREE. Am I the most charitable person you know?”

This is yet another example of how savvy analysts are Continue reading

People on the Move in Analyst Relations – Ryan Mahoney

ryan mahoneyRyan Mahoney  (Twitter) has joined i2 Technologies, Inc. as Analyst Relations Manager.

Ryan joins i2 from AMR Research where he was a client research analyst. This will be an interesting transition for Ryan as having been an analyst at one of – if not the – leading analyst firms when it comes to supply chain coverage will provide him with useful insights. However, if Carter’s experience of going from being a Gartner Research Fellow to AR is any indicator, Ryan will find a few interesting surprises along the way.

Please join us in congratulating Ryan and wishing him great success in his new position. 

 Logo - i2

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Are you or someone you know on the move? Please let us know and we’ll Continue reading

Role of social media in uncovering the Gartner and AMR analyst layoffs

icon-social-media-blue.jpgThe last few days have been interesting regarding the layoffs at Gartner and AMR. Laying off workers (about 1% of analysts for Gartner so far), canceling unprofitable events (such as Spring Symposium), and so on are so typical for any company in this economic environment. In fact, more layoffs or other services cancelations would not be atypical. 

However, what makes this situation more interesting is the role social media played in bringing the layoffs to the attention of stakeholders in the analyst ecosystem. In the past the analyst firms were able to get away with keeping layoffs under the radar screen because any one client, end user or vendor, would only discover “missing” analysts that they personally interacted with on a regular basis. This process of discovering missing analysts would also occur over days or weeks because few clients have frequent contacts with multiple analysts. When layoffs occurred under the radar nobody got the big picture about all the departures and put the pieces together.

Well, that approach ended on Friday. SageCircle became the hub for information about reports of layoffs and then fed that back to the AR community via Twitter, Facebook and our blog. Our raising the issue then got us more data points via Twitter and email. Very quickly we were able to ascertain that the departures were not just the usual turnover in the employee base, but job actions by AMR and Gartner affecting a number of analysts.

Certainly, Twitter and other social media have been used in other breaking news instances, including natural disasters or terrorist related. However, most members in the analyst ecosystem have been laggards when it comes to adopting social media. This might be the first case of Twitter, Facebook and an AR blog being used to Continue reading

AMR retrenches to focus on core, lays off reported 10%

logo-amr-research.gifMore information to follow. Check back frequently for updates.

  • Update 1 – 1/9/09 6:40 am PT -Initial list of analysts
  • Update 2 – 1/9/09 7:19 am PT – Added name to list
  • Update 3 – 1/9/09 8:24 am PT – Initial analysis added
  • Update 4 – 1/9/09 11:19 am PT – Statement from AMR CEO added
  • Update 5 – 1/12/08 5:36 am PT – Added name to list
  • Update 6 – 1/12/08 2:24 pm PT – Added three names to list

Statement from Tony Friscia, CEO, AMR Research

Via email — “It is true that we eliminated some positions (about 10%) across each department in the company due to the economy. While this includes several research positions, we are not eliminating any coverage areas. This also does not impact client services. We are eager to see the economy turn around soon.”

Analysis

This appears to be a case of a firm retrenching to its core coverage and market. In late 2007 AMR started expanding on its enterprise applications and supply chain base to address more horizontal topics (e.g.,see Interview with AMR CEO Tony Friscia and VP Jonathan Yarmis on AMR’s new “emerging and disruptive technologies” service). Expansions like this require not just analyst horsepower, but also the ability to get the sales force to understand the new selling propositions and prospect base for the new research. This retrenchment could be an acknowledgement that this type of expansion in this economic client is not something that AMR could afford.

One interesting data point is the Continue reading

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