With only two public companies,* Forrester and Gartner, in the advisory analyst/market research industry it is difficult to obtain details about how analyst firms are doing in this economy. Frankly, most firms will not share publicly their sales and client numbers. As a consequence, SageCircle looks for other data points about what is happening in the analyst market.
AMR Research CEO Tony Friscia and CRO Bruce Richardson made some interesting statements about AMR’s sales in the October 30th “AMR Research’s First Thing Monday” podcast titled “SAP’s Earnings Call” (available on iTunes and AMR’s podcast webpage). While discussing the state of the ERP market, Tony said:
“…Let’s look at this through the lens of our business. I think in many ways our business is a leading indicator. When a recession is looming we see a downturn and how companies work with us. When things are getting better we tend to see ahead of the curve. Are we seeing the end of a cyclical trend? Our business in the last three months has been very, very strong. …”
Because Tony was using this point about AMR sales in the context of a broader discussion about the ups-and-downs of the enterprise software market in a recession, SageCircle interprets it as likely true and not spin to make AMR look better. Certainly AMR had a large layoff in the first week of January. In addition, Tony and Bruce were both ‘gloom gus’es during many podcasts through early and mid-2009. They were so pessimistic about the economic situation that for many episodes of “First Think Monday” they would only worry about the economy and not address either enterprise software or the outsourcing market. This attitude started turning around in the last few months as they stopped obsessing about the economy and started addressing issues more relevant to AMR’s core research. In addition, AMR is now hiring with four sales and three research positions currently posted on its website.
* Informa, owner of Datamonitor and Ovum, is a public company but it does not break out the financials for its analyst business. Because Informa is a large diverse company, details about the analysts firms cannot be teased out of the financial statements.
- Clients and prospects of analyst firms need to dig deep to obtain relevant intelligence about the financial health of firms before they considering signing a contract
- AR teams should incorporate financial strength into their calculations about the relevance and influence of analyst firms. Firms that are cutting sales and research headcount are also cutting the opportunities to influence market perception and sales deals because they will have fewer enterprise clients
Bottom Line: AMR Research’s CEO provided an interesting data point about his firm in an unguarded comment on a podcast. This illustrates how social media can be a source of unfiltered insights from analysts and executives.
Question: Enterprise and vendor clients and prospects of AMR – Have you noticed any changes in attitude from AMR sales representatives, analysts and management in the last few months versus earlier in 2009?