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:
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 that Gartner has said that the AMR analysts will be kept as a discrete team. The one possibility is that an individual analyst or manager will drive a grassroots effort at sharing and collaboration. This has happened in the past, but ceased when the analyst driving the effort left Gartner or ran out of bandwidth.
If you would like to watch the webinar, please email “info [at] sagecircle [dot] com” and include your name, company, and job title and we’ll send you a link for the streaming version of the session.
Question: Gloom and doom…what are the positives?
Answer: Oh dear, we did not want to come across as totally negative about the M&A event. It is very positive for Gartner, the equity owners of AMR who wanted an exit strategy, and Forrester Research because it faces one less discounting competitor. It could be a positive for Datamonitor-Ovum as its status as an alternative to the “Big Two” becomes even more clear. This could be a positive for enterprise clients if Gartner retains the analysts, invests in expanding the analyst team, and provides more platforms such as Symposium for end users to interact with AMR-style analysts. This could be positive for vendors if Gartner… hmmm… well, if Gartner does… hmmm… We’ll have to get back to you about positives for the vendor community if we think of any.
- Research consumers that are clients of AMR should start seeking out alternative sources of advice
- Vendors AR teams should plan on always briefing Gartner and AMR analysts separately as there is little likelihood of information sharing information between the two teams
Bottom Line: M&A is a common tactic in the analyst ecosystem so enterprise research contract managers and vendors should have standard plans in place to deal with the acquisition of relevant analyst firms
Question: Vendors – What do you think are the positives for you of Gartner acquiring AMR?
Replay of the webinar “SageCircle Analysis of Gartner’s acquisition of AMR Research” is now available. To receive a link and password to watch a streaming version of the webinar please email “info [at] sagecircle [dot] com”. Please include your job title and company name. Agenda:
- Basics of the deal
- SageCircle Analysis of AMR’s and Gartner’s Motivation
- Highlights from Gartner AR Community Call
- Commentary on Points from Gartner AR Community Call
- Recommendations for Research Clients
- Recommendations for Vendor AR Teams