SageCircle AR Podcast for October 23, 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.

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

SCP 11: Table of contents. Numbers in parentheses refer to minutes:seconds when the article starts within the podcast.

[00:00] Opening

[01:09] News – Acquisition of TowerGroup by Executive Conference Board

[05:30] How analysts use inquiry

[09:14] ZL Technologies sues Gartner

[15:56] Bill of Rights for Vendor Continue reading

TowerGroup acquired by Corporate Executive Board

Logo - TowerGroup10/13/09 2:25 pm – TowerGroup announces acquisition by Corporate Executive Board

Corporate Executive Board has announced that it will acquire TowerGroup from MasterCard Advisors for an undisclosed price. MasterCard Advisors, a subsidiary of MasterCard International, acquired TowerGroup in February 2004 from Reuters Enterprise. Reuters acquired TowerGroup in 1999.

Many of you might not be familiar with the Corporate Executive Board. The CEB is a research and education firm that delivers data and tools, best practice research, and peer insight to enterprise executives and professional staff. It is a public company (NASDAQ: EXBD) with revenue of $228m and net income of $18m in 1H09.  It has more than 5,100 client companies and 120,000 members. Its business model is primarily built on annual subscriptions with access to published research, inquiries with researchers, and access to peers through networking councils. So CEB sounds like an IT advisory analyst firm like Gartner in many respects. However, CEB does not research technology markets and vendors like a Gartner or IDC, rather it focuses on best practices for managing a corporate function. 

SageCircle has been briefed by TowerGroup. Our analysis is that the TowerGroup acquisition is clearly an expansion of Corporate Executive Board’s services and not a consolidation move to eliminate a competitor. This is similar to Forrester’s Giga acquisition, but different from Gartner’s grab of META which was clearly a strategic move to keep META out of Yankee Group and kill a competitor. Regardless of motivation, it is still possible that Continue reading

SageCircle AR Podcast for July 21, 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 5: Table of contents. Numbers in parentheses refer to minutes:seconds when the article starts within the podcast.

(00:00)  Introduction

(00:00)  Opening

(01:09)  News – TowerGroup layoffs

Tom Ryan, Analyst Strategy Group

Tom Ryan, Analyst Strategy Group

(04:50)  Measurement – Mentions as a key metric

(06:12)  Measurement – Question from Coffee Talk on Performance Metrics – special guest Tom Ryan of Analyst Strategy Group (ASG) answers “How can we measure success when we do not have any historical data?” See below for ASG contact information.

(12:34)  Social media – The role of AR team handles for Twitter

(16:34)  Change management as a key component for initiatives like social media and AR management application deployment

(20:46)  Upcoming events

(20:58)  End credits

Analyst Strategy GroupAnalyst Strategy Group  www.go2asg.com  Contact: Rob Kolokousis, 408-737-2320, “rob [at] analyststrategy [dot] com”

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.

TowerGroup is rightsizing for a changed landscape

Logo - TowerGroupThe fact that the financial services industry is changing is on the front pages of news sites and newspapers every day. Banks being closed down by regulators or acquired by other banks are shrinking the market. Other financial institutions are slamming their checkbooks shut as they try to conserve capital. This turmoil is obviously impacting technology vendors that sell software, hardware, and outsourcing to banks, insurance companies, and other financial firms. In addition to the tech vendors, this changed landscape also impacts analyst firms, especially those that focus on the financial services vertical.

A case in point is illustrated by our post TowerGroup experiences layoffs. TowerGroup specializes in the financial services vertical market so it is not surprising the market turmoil would impact it. To get the details behind the job action, SageCircle was briefed on July 14th by Bob Egan, TowerGroup’s Global Head of Research & Chief Analyst (Twitter, bio). 

TowerGroup invested heavily in the mid-2000’s to support the rapidly growing financial services market and the tech vendors that sell into that market. This worked out well with 30% annual growth in 2006 and 2007. Even when growth tapered off in 2008 and 2009, TowerGroup was doing “ok.” However, Egan said that the anticipation of an extended recovery and a shrunken set of companies meant that TowerGroup needed to proactively rightsize its operations to reflect the changing realities of the market rather than hang onto the existing strategy too long and be forced to make more drastic cuts later.

The July layoffs were based on what research services were the most relevant to Continue reading

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