Analyst departures start at AMR Research

12/10/09 9:35 am PT - Initial post

SageCircle received a credible tip and subsequently confirmed that AMR Research VP Lora Cecere, who managed a team of analysts on how to drive greater value from the supply chain, is leaving AMR. At this point we do not know the circumstances, e.g., whether Lora left voluntarily or was part of a downsizing due to Gartner’s acquisition. SageCircle had received reports that Lora was one of AMR’s top producers. Lora had been at Gartner from 2000-02.

This comes in wake of the Gartner SVP of Research Peter Sondergaard’s announcement that all analysts had been given offer letters to stay with the new AMR. This could be the case of an analyst deciding not to join the new firm or AMR doing some downsizing prior to the official takeover by Gartner to spare the new owners the task of laying off analysts they said they would retain.

If you have tips about analysts who are leaving AMR Research or related research areas at Gartner, please send them to “info [at] sagecircle [dot] com” and we will confirm them before posting them.

Replay of the webinar “SageCircle Analysis of Gartner’s acquisition of AMR Research” is now available. To receive a link Continue reading

Defining “Analyst List Service Level Framework”

An analyst list service level framework defines the amount of resources that are available and the type and amount of each type that will be provided to any group of analysts as defined by ranking and tiering. For example, a service level framework will indicate which analysts receive one-on-one briefings from executives, get highest priority to getting their information requests handled, and are first contacted when major news breaks. Because service level frameworks reflect the amount of resources that the analyst relations (AR) team has available they must evolve as resources change.

Service level frameworks typically align with the tiers (e.g., Tier 1 and Tier 2) established by the analyst list management process.

Defining “Tiering an Analyst List”

Tiering is a process for segmenting an analyst list so that analyst relations (AR) can prioritize its activities. The most common labels are based on numbers (e.g., Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3).  Tiering starts with a ranked list of analysts and then draws lines between analysts to create groups. Tiering is based on AR resources (e.g., AR headcount, executive bandwidth for briefings, budget, et cetera). The fewer the resources the smaller the number of analysts that can be included in the Tier 1 group. 

Tiering is one step in analyst list management and follows ranking and is used to provide structure to the service level framework.

Defining “Ranking an Analyst List”

Ranking is a process for ordering a list of analysts based on formal weighted criteria. The criteria can include points such as research coverage, visibility (e.g., publications, press quotes, social media, speeches, etc), firm affiliation, geography, risk, and others. Criteria and weights are driven by the objectives of the vendor at both the business unit and analyst relations level. Criteria and weights should evolve over time as objectives change. 

While firm affiliation is an important data point, it is not the primary driver for analyst lists. Ranking should focus on individual analysts and not automatically give top placement for analysts employed by the largest analyst firms.

Ranking is one step in analyst list management and precedes tiering.

Defining “Analyst List Management”

Analyst list management is a process for identifying, ranking in priority order, and tiering into segments the analyst community. The purpose is to provide analyst relations with a tool for establishing analyst relevance and analyst relations (AR) team priorities.

TowerGroup experiences layoffs

Logo - TowerGroupSageCircle has received credible intelligence that TowerGroup has  initiated a job action resulting in analyst lay offs. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.

 

  • Update: 7/9/09 9:07 am PT -Initial post. Sent request for confirmation to TowerGroup’s press office
  • Update: 7/9/09 9:28 am PT – Spoke with TowerGroup’s PR agency and they are checking with Tower about the SageCircle request
  • Update: 7/9/09 10:01 am PT – First analyst confirmation. Added to list below.
  • Update: 7/9/09 11:01 am PT – Another analyst added to list
  • Update: 7/9/09 11:32 am PT – Two analysts added to list
  • Update: 7/9/09 12:12 pm PT – One analyst added to list
  • Update: 7/9/09 1:50 pm PT – two analysts added to list
  • Update: 7/13/09 9:37 am PT – one analyst added to list
  • Update:7/13/09 9:46 am PT – report that entire European operation closed, except one analyst
  • Update: 7/13/09 2:27 pm PT – response from Tower about Euro cuts 
  • Of course, layoffs impact real people with families and obligations. Often AR people are genuinely friendly with the analysts they work with and this sort of news can be a shock. Unfortunately for AR professionals, analyst firm layoffs also raise important issues that need to be addressed ASAP no matter how much sympathy they feel for the analysts caught in the layoffs.

    Related reports and obsservations

    9/13/09 2:27 pm PT – from Bob Egan, TowerGroup head of research, via Twitter: “@carterlusher We remain very strong and committed to Europe with 3 in region analysts backed by an experienced team of global analysts.”

    9/13/09 9:54 am PT — How much of this reflects business issues with TowerGroup versus its owner, MasterCard? For instance, the last layoffs at IDC were mandated by across-the-board IDG cuts.

    9/13/09 9:46 am PT – Credible repot that entire European operation, both analysts and sales, were laid off with exception of one analyst left in London.

    TowerGroup Official Statement

    None at this time. Will be added should TowerGroup decide to issue a statement.

    Background

    For background on why some  Continue reading

    Misunderstanding Magic Quadrants, MarketScopes, and More

    Source: Gartner analyst blog by Lydia Leong

    Source: Gartner analyst blog by Lydia Leong

    For years IT and telecommunications vendors have complained about the misuse of Gartner Magic Quadrants by IT buyers.  It appears that three key issues are routinely surfaced: 

    1)     The criteria for placing the dots onto the graphic are not transparent and often the dots appear to be randomly placed by the whim of the analyst

    2)     Magic Quadrants are not always updated in a timely manner and out-of-date MQ’s seem to stay around forever

    3)     Research consumers often look only at the graphic and miss the supporting research note or do not speak directly with the analysts via client inquiry.  This is especially true when free reprints are made available to non-clients by various vendors

    Example Gartner disclaimer about the Magic Quadrant

    Example Gartner disclaimer about the Magic Quadrant

    Part of the problem is that while Gartner has background information about the MQ on its website (click here to read, free registration required) and a perfunctory paragraph to readers in the fine print in the footnote of MQ PDFs (click on graphic on left to enlarge), it does not have a systematically approach to training its clients about how the MQ is to be used. That is one of the reasons why SageCircle wrote IT managers, it’s never, ever only about the upper right dot when it comes to Forrester Waves or Gartner Magic Quadrants. (There is longer, more detailed version of this content in our  SageNote™ “A Consumer’s Guide to using Gartner’s Magic Quadrant”.)

    It was therefore refreshing to see a blog post on the Gartner Blog network by Jim Holincheck entitled Misunderstanding Magic Quadrants, MarketScopes, and More where he talks a bit about criteria transparency and the way these reports should be used.  It makes a good read for both vendor clients and IT buyer clients.  This addresses the number one concern above. Perhaps with more discussion the use of these important tools can be improved.

    However, there is still a disconnect with issue number three.  Jim states “More importantly though, Continue reading

    Gartner analyst restarts his use of Twitter

    photo - Gartner Anthony BradleyGartnerian Anthony Bradley (bio, blog, Twitter) in his blog announced OK, OK, I Hear Ya, I’m Tweeting Again.

    “I used Twitter ages ago and never really got into it (didn’t see the value). But now that Twitter has gained more participants and I’m being asked more and more for my Twitter name, I’m going to give it another shot.”

    icon-social-media-blue.jpgThis is not an uncommon occurrence. Someone signs up for Twitter, plays around with it for awhile and drops it when they don’t see immediate value. Then something gets them back on Twitter and they have an “ah ha!” moment. Moral of the story is that analyst relations (AR) cannot assume that an analyst’s position on Twitter and other social media, no matter how vehemently stated, is permanent. Of course, an analyst that was a heavy user of social media could stop using it as well.

    SageCircle Technique:

    • Check SageCircle’s Analyst Twitter Directory periodically for your top analysts
    • Ask your analysts who are not using Twitter if they have changed their minds. This can be done during briefings, inquiries or Continue reading

    Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) lays off analysts

    Logo - EMASageCircle has received credible intelligence, subsequently confirmed, that EMA has  initiated a job action resulting in analyst lay offs. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.

    • Update: 5/15/09 11:41 am PT – Sent request for confirmation to EMA’s press office
    • Update: 5/15/09 12:11 pm PT – Initial post and first confirmed names added name to analyst list
    • Update: 5/18.09 8:52 am PT – Official statement from EMA

    Of course, layoffs impact real people with families and obligations. Often AR people are genuinely friendly with the analysts they work with and this sort of news can be a shock. Unfortunately for AR professionals, analyst firm layoffs also raise important issues that need to be addressed ASAP no matter how much sympathy they feel for the analysts caught in the layoffs.

    Official Statement from EMA

    Received via email on Sunday, May 17, 2009:

    For several years, EMA™ has achieved strong growth, averaging 30% annually. The company has been proactive in growing the analyst team in anticipation of future demand. This has added significantly to EMA’s technical depth and overall industry outreach (particularly in advising IT organizations). However, the current economic conditions have slowed the firm’s rate of growth. As a result, EMA has taken actions to align its resources with the demand anticipated for 2009. Management came to the difficult decision to reduce the analyst staff by two positions and internal support staff by one position. These minor adjustments will ensure EMA remains financially healthy and positioned for long term growth.

    Rick Sturm, CEO and Founder

    Background

    In addition to the analysts, EMA’s marketing Continue reading

    An analyst can go from skeptic about social media to fan overnight

    icon-social-media-blue.jpghen it comes to social media usage by analysts, nothing is set in stone. For instance, Carter was having a conversation with an analyst from one of the “Big Three” firms who said:

    “I do not have a blog and I refuse to sign up for Twitter.  However, I do read every blog by the vendors that I cover.” 

    At the time that quote was said, it provided some interesting insights into this analyst’s attitude toward social media. However, within months, this analyst who was so adamant that he would not use Twitter or have a blog, was tweeting and had TWO blogs: one for his firm and one under his personal brand. Moral of the story is that analyst relations (AR) cannot assume that an analyst’s position on social media, no matter how vehemently stated, is permanent. Of course, an analyst that was a heavy user of social media could stop using it as well.

    SageCircle Technique:

    • Check SageCircle’s various analyst social media directories periodically for your top analysts
    • Ask your analysts who are not using social media if Continue reading

    Analysts keep adding social media capabilities, something AR needs to emulate

    icon-social-media-blue.jpgWhile updating the various SageCircle social media directories, we were struck about how the industry analysts continue to embrace blogging and Twitter. Here are some statistics from this week:

    Blog Directory - Forrester – four new personal blogs, for a total of 96 entries

    Blog Directory - Gartner – 18 new blogs, for a total of 79 entries

    Twitter Directory - Analyst – 42 new entries, for a total of 534

    We already have 16 new analyst Twitter handles for Monday’s update even though the weekend is when we usually do the research to identify new tweeting analysts. In order to support the Analyst Social Media Traffic Analysis service, we are going to add Gartner analysts’ personal blogs to the Gartner Blog Directory. In addition there are hundreds of other analyst blogs beyond Forrester and Gartner blogs we actively track.

    So, how is AR doing when it comes to adopting social media? Not so well. The Twitter Directory - AR had only 18 new entries for a total of 339. The analysts are typically joining Twitter about 50% more than AR. On the blogging side, we have identified only five AR program blogs.

    Social media is clearly a missed opportunity for most AR programs. Most AR managers and professionals we talk to indicate that time – or lack of it – is a major reason why they are reluctant to start with blogging or Twitter. This is clearly a valid concern.  However, adopting social media does not Continue reading

    Analysts can go around AR using social media

    icon-social-media-blue.jpgWhen Analyst Relations Get Social is a short and interesting post by Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang (bio, Twitter handle) on the fact that analyst relations professionals should not consider themselves gatekeepers, but facilitators. On this, we at SageCircle completely agree. Frankly, the best AR programs have always had the facilitator attitude.

    For those AR programs that still want to be gatekeepers, social media is making it harder and harder to maintain control of every interaction with the analysts. As Jeremiah points out:

     “…For example, I can easily tweet out “anyone in the sharepoint team have have a moment for some questions” and I’d suspect they’d quickly respond in seconds, whether or not the AR person was involved. …”

    SageCircle Technique

    • AR programs that currently look at themselves as gatekeepers should reevaluate this position
    • AR needs to embrace social media then experiment and Continue reading

    Analyze social media traffic of analysts to determine your workload

    icon-social-media-blue.jpgA common issue that AR managers bring up when discussing why they currently don’t follow analysts on blogs and Twitter is that it would be too much work. Hmm, maybe it could be a lot of work, but really the reality is that it does not take much time per day tracking posts and tweets. Why? 

    • There are not many analysts in any particular market who use social media
    • Tools are available (e.g., RSS readers and Twitter Search) that make it easy and fast to track posts and tweets

    Something that AR should do is work from facts and not assumptions so we recommend that AR managers conduct an analysis of their top analysts’ use of social media. This analysis should cover at least the previous three weeks to smooth out changes in usage due to travel, special events like analyst summits, holidays, and so on. Data to be gathered includes the number of blog posts for both firm and personal blogs and the overall number of tweets  

    The analysis concentrates on the average number of social media publications per day. In the tests and beta client engagements of our new SageToolTM Analyst Social Media Traffic Analysis (see graphic) we found that most analyst lists only had a small percentage of analysts that actively used social media and that the volume of traffic was modest. Of course there are Continue reading

    Forrester’s blogs – Observations while building the new SageCircle Forrester Blog Directory

    icon-social-media-blue.jpgToday SageCircle is launching a new directory for tracking the Forrester analysts who blog. You can find it in the left-hand navigation menu section Directories. Look for Blog Directory - Forrester

    The reason why a directory is needed even though Forrester has a blog home page is how they have organized their blogs. Forrester’s analyst blogs are centered on particular “roles,” which is now Forrester’s standard approach to research management. Forrester blogs are typically team written with various analysts contributing posts. That causes a problem for people, end users or vendors, who want to know which analyst posts to which blog. The blog home page lists the blogs, but not the analysts who contribute to them. Therefore SageCircle has done the work of identifying which analysts contribute to which blogs and put that information in our Forrester blog directory.

    But wait! There’s more! Some of the Forrester analysts have personal blogs where they post significant commentary as well. So we are including the personal blogs as well.

    While our research was mainly to find names for the directory, we did gather up some other interesting tid-bits about the blogs as well.

    Contributors – Most of the blogs have Continue reading

    Forrester experiences analyst layoffs

    SageCircle has received credible intelligence that Forrester Research  initiated a job action resulting in analyst lay offs. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.

    • Update – 2/9/09 12:15 pm PT – Initial post. Sent request for confirmation to Forrester’s press office
    • Update – 2/9/09 12:30 pm PT – Context
    • Update – 2/9/09 12:45 pm PT – Details: 111 staff laidoff, 15% of workforce Correction: This number is from the 2001 layoff.
    • Update – 2/9/09 1:10 pm PT – Added analyst to list (see below)
    • Update – 2/9/09 1:52 pm PT — Added analyst to list
    • Update – 2/9/09 1:47 pm PT — Added analyst to list
    • Update – 2/0/09 3:12 pm PT — Added analyst to list
    • Update – 2/9/09 3:45 pm PT — Added Forrester’s official statement
    • Update – 2/9/09 4:02 pm PT — Added two analysts to list
    • Update – 2/9/09 4:31 pm PT — added analyst to list
    • Update – 2/9/09 5:40 pm PT — added two analysts to list
    • Update – 2/9/09 5:55 am PT — Forrester files an SEC form 8-K with the official statement
    • Update – 2/10/10 6:43 am PT — a little perspective on the layoffs
    • Update – 2/10/09 8:40 am PT — Removed an analyst from the list

    On Wednesday, February 11th at 8 am PT, Forrester is having its Q4 and FY08 earnings call (see Forrester Research, Inc. Q4 and FY08 earnings call is scheduled – Acquisitions? Layoffs? Something out the ordinary?). As we mentioned in the post it would not be unusual for Forrester to announce job actions or acquisitions close to the day of the earnings call. Something else to remember that layoffs do not mean that an acquisition is not in the works. Forrester could be trimming costs in order to absorb the costs associated with an acquisition.

    Added 2/10/09 — While the layoffs feel like 100% to the individuals who were directly impacted, within the context of Forrester’s overall research team the percentage was small. In its 2008 10Q, Forrester indicated that it had 410 research related employees. So far, we have identified eight analysts and researchers or 2% of the team. While this layoffs impacts clients who value those analysts’ advice and insights and the vendors who had invested in educating those analysts, these layoffs do not signal a decrease in Forrester’s influence or viability.

    SageCircle has announced a SageCircle Special Webinar: Impact of the Recession on the Analysts and AR – Time for Ruthless Action. In this 90-minute webinar we will look at the last recession in comparison to this recession, the impact of this recession on the analyst ecosystem and what steps analyst relations (AR) programs need to take to ensure that their companies continue to work effectively with the IT and telecommunications analysts.

    Official Statement

    Sent by Karyl Levinson, Vice President, Corporate Communications

    Forrester Announces Workforce Reduction

     Cambridge, Mass., February 9, 2009 . . .

    Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) today announced a reduction in force of approximately 50 jobs, or an estimated five percent of its workforce, across various functions and geographies worldwide. This positions the company to compete better in the current economic climate. The company anticipates that it will incur pre-tax expenses of approximately $2.5 to $3 million dollars in the first quarter of 2009, related principally to cash severance and related benefits costs. The company also is evaluating associated facilities-related costs.

    “We are grateful for the contributions of Continue reading

    In-Stat experiences layoffs

    Logo - In-StatSageCircle has received credible intelligence that In-Stat (digital communications market research) initiated a job action resulting in nine analysts being laid off. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.

    • Update – 2/6/09 6:10 am - Initial post. Sent request for confirmation to In-Stat’s press contact
    • Update – 2/6/09 10:17 am – Official statement from In-Stat

    Official Statement from In-Stat

    Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 10:09 AM
    Subject: RE: Official statement about In-Stat analyst layoffs

    Hi Carter,
    In response to your inquiry, here is our corporate statement :

    On Monday, January 26, 2009, Reed Business Information Continue reading

    iSuppli experiences layoffs

    Logo - iSuppliElectronics supply chain market research firm iSuppli has announced layoffs. This news was first noted on the Analyst Perspectives blog (The Analyst Layoffs Keep Rolling On) and later confirmed by SageCircle. It appears that no analysts have been laid off, though some research assistants and contractors appear to have lost their positions.

    The Volume of Analyst Publishing and Quotes

    In the “Metrics – Written Word Audits” section of the Online SageContentTM Library we recommended that AR establish a multi-faceted program to capture and analyze analyst opinions – in as near real-time as practical. This is easier said than done because the sheer volume of research and quotes being generated is growing as new forms of publishing opinion (e.g., blogs and Twitter) are added to the traditional methods. 

    While browsing some research, it becomes quickly apparent that there is a huge range of research documents, not all of which need to be monitored by AR. Some research is teeming with opinions that could sway technology buyers, while other research merely provides simple product or market descriptions. Length does not correlate to volume of opinions; single page flashes can present more opinions on multiple vendors, multiple products, and markets than a 30-page report.

    Blogs and Twitter add new complexity to Continue reading

    Get onboard the AR social media train

    Why is it that more analyst blogging is better?

    This morning I got an interesting tweet from Forrester analyst John Rymer (bio, Twitter handle): 

                “@carterlusher why is more analysts blogging better?”

    icon-social-media-blue.jpgJohn was responding to my reply to a comment (“Good news, Gartner is allowing analysts to blog @carterlusher will be thrilled”) by Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang (bio, blog, Twitter handle).  This comment pointed out Gartner analyst Gene Phifer’s (bio, blog, Twitter handle) post about how Gartner analysts are now permitted to have a personal-branded blog. I don’t know if I was thrilled, but I did say “Excellent, the more analysts blogging the better.” Thus, John’s question.

    Hmm, that is a good question. My initial thought was “well of course it’s better because blogging is good.” It took me about two seconds to discard that answer as glib and dumb. The real answer is Continue reading

    Participate in Jeremiah Owyang’s poll “What do analysts do?”

    photo-jeremiah-owyang.jpgForrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang is conducting an interesting survey in  What do analysts do?. I encourage everybody to participate. Details:

    “Well of course I have my answer, but I’ve come to realize there’s a lot of misconception out in the market as to what we really do.

    Rather than me tell you, I’d want to first learn what you think, so perhaps we, as an industry can better explain our value -and place in the market.

    So give it a shot, try to first explain what you think our day job is, then explain the business model. I want open and candid responses, but Continue reading

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