Barbara on February 11th, 2011

I’m pleased to introduce my new directory of analysts, here at analystdirectory.barbarafrench.net.
This is both a new home and a new version of the Tekrati Directory of Analyst Firms. Let me tell you about it.

From 2000 to noon today, the analyst firms directory was part of Tekrati and I was its managing editor. Tekrati was the online guide to the IT and telecommunications industry analysts. It included 3 directories & OPML, 2 news services & a dozen RSS feeds, a strategic consulting business, and my tips, insights and commentary on the analyst business. By 2011, Tekrati had profiled some 650 analyst firms, published over 12,000 news posts, and hosted 150K to 250K unique visitors each year.

As of today, the analyst directory is a personal curation project and part of my personal blog.

It remains a freely available information resource for anyone — technology buyers, analyst relations professionals, marketers, journalists, analysts, recruiters — looking for experts on the tech and telecoms markets.

Gradually, this new directory will include organizations that employ analysts and produce industry research, regardless of whether they are “analyst firms”. Many industry organizations and corporations produce research on a par with the analyst houses. I’ll be adding them to this directory going forward, so that it becomes a better resource for influencer relations and influencer marketing programs.

Another change: As the directory is now part of my WordPress blog, comments are turned on! Feel free to post comments to any firm listing. That includes factual corrections and informed opinions. I will delete comments that are unprofessional or otherwise downright snarky.

As always: There’s no need to register to browse. There’s no charge for listings. There’s no option to upgrade listings. And, all listings are at my discretion.

Popularity: 88%

If you missed today’s fast-paced webinar, here’s the audio replay. However our recorded conversation is just part of the discussion that took place. Check out the real-time reactions and side conversations at Twitter — hashtag #socialanalyst. Thanks to everyone who participated!

As Jeremiah said in his closing comments, we want to continue this conversation. Are you in? Please check back for links to the Twitter transcript. Also, trackback or comment here if you publish on the impact of social technologies on the industry analysts, their advisory clients and their analyst relations communities.

Special gratitude to our pilots at the Hangar – Christine Tan and Julie Viola — and to co-panelists Jeremiah Owyang, Carter Lusher and Jonny Bentwood.

The Impact of Social on the Analyst Industry: A Roundtable w/ Jonny Bentwood, Barbara French, Carter Lusher, and Jeremiah Owyang from Altimeter Group on Vimeo

Related posts:

Popularity: 36%

Social technologies are disrupting traditional business models, and the tech industry analyst business is no exception. Or is it? How is social truly changing the day to day work of the tech watchers? their advisory clients? their relations with tech providers? Tune in tomorrow as I exchange views on this important topic with fellow thought leaders Jeremiah Owyang, Jonny Bentwood and Carter Lusher. You can ask questions and more during the live webinar using the Twitter hashtag #socialanalyst. This virtual event is free. Register now so you can listen and participate tomorrow!

What you need to know:

Special thanks to Jeremiah for organizing and producing this event!

Related posts:

The brainstorm behind this event at Jeremiah’s blog
Personal point of view at Jonny’s blog
More stage-setting at Carter’s blog and here at Sway

Popularity: 17%

Editor’s Note: Republishing this post I wrote today for Tekrati. It ties into several of my themes here, and to my July webinar with Jeremiah Owyang.

GigaOM today celebrates the first anniversary of its GigaOM Pro research division. GigaOM Pro is one of the more interesting of the recent entrants to high tech industry analyst business. Mike Wolf (@michaelwolf), vice president of research, sat down with Tekrati and spoke about the first year: the formative decisions early on, recent progress and a few immediate changes as the venture begins Year 2. Plus, a Cisco subscriber weighed in on her experience with this innovative industry research service.

First, let’s catch up with what’s new as announced yesterday by GigaOM founder Om Malik. GigaOM Pro officially emerges from beta today. The online retail price rises from $79 to $249 per year, with discounting down to $199. That’s a fraction of the cost of comparative services. Since its launch, the service has published more than 500 research items, including in-depth reports on the app economy, e-books and cloud computing and more than 100 company profiles. Plus, subscribers can contact analysts privately or discuss findings openly through the community features of the site.

Further sweetening the deal, the 6,000 beta subscribers can renew at the $99 beta price. According to Wolf, the 2010 renewal rate looks good. The subscriber base is large enough now to create its own momentum in new sales.

The company will now provide research buyers a corporate purchase option in addition to online sales. The new Corporate Edition makes it simple to buy a quantity of seats at a volume discount. Wolf said that the Corporate Edition builds on the innate appeal to GigaOM readership and is garnering interest from a broad base of small to large companies, market research buyers and intel centers. The first corporate clients to sign include Microsoft, Adobe, Rovi, Juniper Networks, Peer1, RRE Ventures, Norwest Ventures, Hill & Knowlton, LewisPR and Accenture.

The 1-year anniversary coincides with GigaOm’s third annual Structure conference, taking place today and tomorrow in San Francisco. Celebratory perks at the sold-out cloud computing event include:

  • Conference attendees receive a comp copy of the in-depth report, ”Defining Internal Cloud Options: From Appistry to VMware” by Derrick Harris
  • Attending GigaOM Pro subscribers (and those who buy a subscription onsite) can enter a drawing to win an iPad (Wi-Fi)
  • Wolf will lead a rapid-fire panel on where cloud computing is headed over the next 3 to 5 years. The questions were submitted by GigaOM Pro subscribers and Twitter fans. The panelists, selected from the virtual GigaOM Pro Analyst Network, are Derrick Harris with GigaOm PRO, Phil Hendrix with immr, and John du Pre Gauntt with Media Dojo.
  • Members of the GigaOM Pro Analyst Network are in attendance throughout the event.

In its first year, GigaOM Pro has proven that it can stand apart from the majority of industry research firms on price, coverage, quality, speed and customer experience. The affordable price is certainly an important part of the equation. However, that would mean nothing without the rest.

Early on, Malik, Wolf and CEO Paul Walborsky made several decisions that set GigaOM Pro on this unique path. “We knew we had to do something different,” said Wolf. “We didn’t want to do a Gartner or a Heavy Reading. We didn’t want to be consultants. We focused on innovating the research business model with price, community and a virtual network of domain expertise.”

Thus, they sidestepped the trappings of traditional research firms: high overhead, exclusionary pricing, long lead times and a finite pool of analyst experts on any given topic.

The GigaOM media network is able to subsidize its research start-up and provide immediate brand recognition. Further, GigaOM editorial standards and cradle-to-grave project support ensure that research coverage leads or closely tracks hot trending topics while adhering to quality standards. The strength of the brand — combined with the management team and editorial support — has enabled the research start-up to recruit close to 40 high caliber experts to its virtual Analyst Network and produce an impressive body of written and rich media research deliverables on 5 emerging tech domains, from green tech to Google and Apple to cloud:

  • Mobile
  • Infrastructure
  • Connected Consumer
  • NewNet
  • Green IT

GigaOM’s grounding in Web 2.0 also translates into differentiation in the customer experience: subscribers can network with each other and the experts, and discuss every piece of research published, no holds barred.

“Our subscribers like the style of service,” said Wolf. “They like the model — access to any research at any time.” He said the rapid turn-around on hot topics and ability to bring in deep-dive contributing experts from the industry at large make GigaOM Pro a great add-on to advisory services from the established analyst houses. “We’re not displacing other services. We’re complementary to traditional firms.”

Lisa Soto, an analyst relations manager with Cisco based in Irvine, Calif., who’s been using the service for about a year, concurs. She works in one of Cisco’s consumer divisions and said, “The PRO service is how we keep our ear to the ground about what is happening in the industry. We can always count on GigaOM PRO to give us an in-depth evaluation and realistic perspective of the impact many new technologies, key announcements have on the industry. As soon as we hear about a trend or a new movement, we know GigaOM PRO will provide a deep and rich perspective of what is happening and the value to the industry and most importantly the consumer.”

Two things she likes most about the service are its responsiveness to the market, and the social aspects of the research delivery. She finds GigaOM Pro is one of the first research resources to provide information on a new trend. “The timing is unbelievably fast.” She also likes the ability to interact with the experts and content — it’s designed from the ground up with community features of a full-fledged social network — and likes the option of being alerted to new research via “the most current social media tools.”

The GigaOM Pro social experience goes beyond written word. A series of “Bunker” events brings together select subscribers by invitation only at a physical location. The rest of the community shares the event via streaming. Looking ahead, these types of events will likely play a larger part in the corporate edition.

Finally, there is one more aspect to the GigaOM Pro social design: an Analyst Relations network within the Pro community. This professional network is open to any analyst relations practitioner actively working with clients — not just those affiliated with Pro subscribers. Members can network with each other and with the virtual GigaOM Pro Analyst Network. Soto said she has taken advantage of the network to expand her division’s relationships with influencers in adjacent markets.

In a busy year of beta — during one of the worst recessions in tech market history — GigaOM Pro succeeded in putting a fresh face on the high tech research business. Prospects for Year 2 look good. Research buyers, analysts and analyst relations teams should take note.

Popularity: 10%

Do you have some opinions on how social media is changing the analyst business? Or how it could be changing the analyst game? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Your points may well end up on my July roundtable, ”The Impact of Social on the Analyst Industry“,  with Jonny Bentwood of Edelman, Carter Lusher of SageCircle, and our roundtable producer and host, Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group. The Twitter hashtag is #socialanalyst.

We’ll be discussing — and debating — the impact of social on analysts and analyst firms, and resulting changes in the analyst experience for IT decision makers, tech providers and their analyst relations representatives.

Some changes are taking place behind the scenes, in business, research and sales operations. Some changes are clearly visible at events and online through blogs, communities, media sites and Twitter. Other changes are being forced on the analyst business by IT decision makers and tech providers, as social media redefines approaches to decision making and influencer relations.

Social is not just another hammer in the tech toolbox. It’s also a set of behaviors. We expect analysts to adopt these new behaviors. So far, some are, some are not.

As with all Altimeter Group webinars, this one is free to attend and space is limited! Register at your earliest if you’d like to participate in the live conversation.

  • What: The Impact of Social on the Analyst Industry: A Roundtable with Jonny Bentwood, Barbara French, Carter Lusher, and Jeremiah Owyang
  • When: Wed, Jul 21, 2010 from 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PDT
  • Info, Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/823666435

Special thanks to Jeremiah for organizing this event!

Editor’s update, June 29th: Post your suggestions on topics & points of view you think we should cover during the roundtable at Jeremiah’s blog.

Popularity: 13%

Barbara on May 11th, 2010

I’m not a fan of the growing schism between Altimeter Group and the rest of the analysts. One of the most visible wedges driving this rift is the idea of “rock star analysts.”

“Rock star analyst” is an old notion with deep roots among financial analysts. Originally, rock star analysts were the ones who made the right call the most often, especially on complex decisions. They made their clients the most money. There was a strong body of proof and formal professional consensus behind the status.

Not so on the tech analyst side of the aisle. What does “rock star analyst” mean to analyst relations people and analysts today? It seems to mean an analyst scores high on RSS readership, Twitter following, social net savvy, citations in the media. In short, celebrity status. Customer satisfaction isn’t a meaningful factor, beyond the PR value of the analyst.

What does celebrity status have to do with accuracy, completeness, timeliness? With giving clients great advice?

Why would a decision maker want to hire a celebrity to help with tech decisions?

It’s time for a reality check. Of the many reasons one might hire an analyst, celebrity status is — at best — just one aspect of the package.

Update, for clarification: I’m criticizing the rising popularity of labeling an analyst a “rock star” due to celebrity status. I see Altimeter Group as an unwitting victim of this craze. Ray Wang and his associates have proven their chops as technology & business experts. Putting them on rockstar pedestals strictly because of their social media popularity is insane. And arguably, it’s a disservice to the entire analyst profession. - BF May 12, 2010.

Popularity: 12%

IDC logoJay Andersen was in touch to remind me that IDC, Hill & Knowlton and the IIAR will host a luncheon meeting for analyst relations professionals at next week’s IDC Directions 2010 in San Jose, Calif.

Advanced registration is required. If you’re involved in analyst relations, at an agency or vendor, you can register for the meeting. Likewise, if you’re between AR-focused jobs, you can register. You’ll also get complimentary access to the full-day IDC conference.

Request your invitation via an email to Peggy O’Neill at peggy.oneill@analystrelations.org. More at IIAR blog.

Big thanks to IDC, the analyst relations practice at H&K, and the IIAR for their generosity in arranging the private luncheon and the free access to the Directions 2010 conference.

Details
Hyatt Regency - attached to Santa Clara Convention Center
Cypress Room
March 10, 2010
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

12:15PM - 12:30 PM
Crawford Del Prete, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Research, IDC, will provide an overview and highlight the details of IDC’s end user IT research strategy. His presentation will include an update on IDC’s Insights organization, IDC’s MarketScape assessment tool, and the ground breaking IDC Insights Community.

12:30 PM - 1:05 PM
Joshua Reynolds, Senior Vice President, Hill & Knowlton’s global tech practice lead, will present key findings from H&K’s 2009 tech decision maker’s study, the latest insights on the impact of AR on IR and corporate valuation, and the evolving role of AR professionals as they take on Influencer Relations roles in the new social media era.

1:05 PM - 1:15 PM
Peggy O’Neill, Board Member IIAR, will provide a brief update of IIAR initiatives and discuss the benefits of IIAR membership.

Popularity: 10%

Barbara on February 5th, 2010

Ok, I’ve been heads down on projects all week. However, here are a few tidbits worth noting from the influencer relations world.

Philippe Winthrop, one of my favorite enterprise mobility analysts leaves Strategy Analytics today. You can continue following his adventures at his Enterprise Mobility blog.

Jon Collins, MD and CEO of Freeform Dynamics, is raising funds for Water Aid by running in the Brighton Marathon. More at his Nothing to Declare blog and at JustGiving.

And, if you sometimes doublecheck links to see whether you’re reading about Jon Collins or Jonathan Collins, well, you’re not alone. Just sayin’.

The 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer has raised all sorts of discussion with its findings like this: Trust in social media and mainstream media has dropped like boat anchors, while trust in CEOs has risen. Tech is the most trusted sector. Trust in financial analysts remains high despite their failure to predict/reveal risks big enough to sink nations. Freely available.

Expect to see this latest Edelman Trust Barometer cited as heavily as usual in analyst relations circles. Once again, it puts industry analyst reports (Gartner et al) and business magazine articles as the top most credible, most trusted source of information about companies.

Social media took another big hit this week with findings from a Pew Internet & American Life study on social media and mobile internet use among teens. Blogging has declined sharply among teens and adults under 30. From the summary, “As the tools and technology embedded in social networking websites change, and use of the sites continues to grow, youth may be exchanging ‘macro-blogging’ for micro-blogging with status updates.” Freely available.

Davos is a crucible of influence and influencer relations. My favorite quote this year is from Larry Summers, U.S. presidential advisor: the U.S. is experiencing “a statistical recovery and a human recession” (hat tip WSJ).

Popularity: 8%

Interested in certification as an analyst relations professional? Looking for an analyst relations training course with benefits, such as a certificate of completion? If so, you have several choices for obtaining credentials. Here’s how four AR cert programs stack up, including who offers them, who can take them, what the programs cover, and how much they cost. Plus, some closing thoughts on ROI and funding.

Certification v. certificate of completion

Analyst relations professionals can obtain two types of credentials. It’s important to understand the difference between a certification and a certificate of completion.

Accreditation as a certified Analyst Relations professional: Certification is intended to provide proof of an individual’s overall AR practitioner knowledge. Currently, it requires passing a written test. This designation is the AR equivalent of PRSA’s Accredited in Public Relations (APR) and IABC’s Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) credentials.

Certificate of completion: A certificate of completion provides documented proof that an individual successfully completed a professional development training course in AR. Currently, it does not require passing a written test. This is the AR equivalent of a certificate of completion for a class at a vocational school or college.

The providers: who offers AR certification, training certificates

One professional association and three AR consulting companies offer AR certs:

The IIAR is the only cert provider that does not require candidates to purchase a training course. Instead, the IIAR tests on knowledge they say is best gained on the job and by staying current with the worldwide industry analyst business.

Another difference with the IIAR is that its certification test reflects input from the other 3 cert providers as well as from experienced practitioner members. One consultancy – KCG – provided its entire certification test to the IIAR as raw input.

Training is mandatory for certs from each of the three AR consultancies – KCG, Lighthouse AR and SageCircle. These programs emphasize professional development first; certs are an important yet secondary aspect of their programs. The certification test is an option with KCG. Participants can take the KCG course without completing the certification test.

Attendees will encounter differences in the proprietary courses taught by KCG, Lighthouse AR and SageCircle. Differences can include AR terminology and some of the advocated best practices, tactics and program measurements.

1. Comparing AR Cert Programs at a Glance

IIAR KCG Lighthouse AR SageCircle
Features
Certification as AR Professional Yes Yes No No
Certificate of Completion No No Yes Yes
Certs Offered 1 lifetime professional certification 1 lifetime professional certification Certificates of completion
in 4 courses
Certificates of completion
in 5 courses
Suggested experience level 2-3 years FT or
3-4 years PT
None needed;
runs from intro to advanced level
Intro,
intermediate & master courses
None needed; starts at intro level
Written Test Required Required No No
Training No Required Required Required
Languages Available English English English, German English
Printed Cert Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cost Per Person Free to IIAR members;
Others: £100
$1,200; group discount $1,250 per course; group discount $495 - $995 per course; group discount
Study Materials Included No Presentations, workbook, copy
of KCG’s book “Influencing the Influencers”
Presentations, workbook, copy of Efrem Mallach’s book “Win Them Over” Presentations, workbook, online library
Add’l Items Bundled in Price 1 re-test, if needed Private inhouse training Private inhouse training; 1-year IIAR membership; Framed large-format certificate of completion Private inhouse training; Framed certificate of completion

  

2. Comparing the Topical Focus of AR Cert Programs

Cert Programs Topics
iiar-logo
  • Detailed knowledge of the industry analyst industry and AR best practices
kcg-logo1
  • Comprehensive understanding of AR professional skills, best practices and processes
lighthousear-logo1
  • Intro to AR
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • Messaging & Influencing Analysts
  • Selling AR Internally
sagecircle-logo
  • AR Social Media Strategy
  • AR Measurement
  • AR-Sales Partnership
  • AR Effectiveness
  • Strategic Issues

  

3. Comparing Options in Testing & Training

IIAR KCG Lighthouse AR SageCircle
Cert Testing
Length of Written Test 120 questions 52 questions - -
Test Format Online, timed Pre-printed, take home, unlimited completion time - -
Test Pass Rate 70% 90% - -
Re-test Option Yes Yes - -
Cert Training
Training Venue - In person, live webcast or online In person or
live webcast
In person or
live webcast
Duration of Each Course - 1 day (8 hours) 5 hours 5 - 8 hours

  

4. Comparing AR Cert Program Activity

IIAR KCG Lighthouse AR SageCircle
Cert Program Started Oct 2009 2004 2006 2008
Content Refreshed As needed or Annually Continuously Annually Quarterly
Total No. of Certs Issued Very few 500+ 40 - 50 Declined to comment

  

Bottomline: What’s the ROI?

None of the providers offers ROI analysis or compelling case studies justifying investments in AR certs. Aside from the IIAR, the providers said that the real value is in the experience of their training courses, rather than in obtaining the actual cert.

In addition, awareness of these certs is very low outside of AR circles. None of the four providers is promoting their certs directly to vendor management or to the high tech marketing industry at large. As a result, making the case to management for the time and money required falls squarely on the AR practitioner.

So what is the value of getting a certificate or being certified as an Analyst Relations professional? The four providers say the value lies in:

  • Increasing individual confidence and respect within the AR community
  • Raising the standards of the AR profession
  • Creating competitive advantage for individual recruitment and promotion
  • Establishing a companywide common denominator in AR knowledge, vernacular, practices and processes
  • Meeting company or association requirements for ongoing professional development
  • Tapping into company funds earmarked for professional development

Please add any other AR certificate or certification programs in the comments. I’ll update the post accordingly.

Popularity: 8%

Barbara on January 18th, 2010

How can industry analysts start relationships with analyst relations professionals? It’s a question posed every day by every analyst wanting to open doors at tech provider firms. Usually, the goal is sales, research or broadening a professional network. Often, analysts want to build rapport with AR pro’s for all 3 reasons. Two posts offer useful pointers on how to succeed:

SageCircle takes an industry insider view on the sales and research front with today’s post, How can small analyst firms get the attention of analyst relations? [Analyst Question] (disclosure: Tekrati is listed as a key resource)

Mashable offers sound advice on the professional networking front with today’s post, 7 Lessons for Better Networking with Social Media

Having influence in some circles does not automatically open doors in others. That applies equally whether you work at Gartner or as a sole proprietor.

Popularity: 6%