2016-03-11T18:04:50.522+00:00For various reasons, I've decided it's time to move Analyst Insight away from Blogger.
2014-09-01T14:15:48.765+01:00It's great to hear that Jeremy Green has got himself a new role.
2014-08-29T10:54:39.196+01:00I was really interested to hear that one of the analysts I regularly work with, Charles Brett, (currently at Freeform Dynamics and previously with Forrester and Constellation Research) has written his first novel.I've not had the chance to read it yet but Charles tells me that The HolyPhone Confessional Crisis brings together business, church and technology. It's launching next week, on Wednesday 3rd September.The back cover blurb describes it:“The HolyPhone Confessional Crisis is a technology, crime and church thriller. The Vatican introduces HolyPhones (based on smartphones) into confessionals in Europe and the Americas. These connect those who wish to confess to the Vatican Confessional Call Centre, in part to improve the workload of priests but as much to generate new income for the Church."An alliance - of an American lady whose father runs a southern fundamentalist church, an Israeli pro-Settler technology genius, an ex-banker (and past lover of the American lady) now turned priest and a lady member of Opus Dei - conspire, for their own very different reasons, to cream off part of the HolyPhone’s confessional revenues."The Brazilian cardinal responsible has suspicions and brings in the half Spanish/half English conceiver of the HolyPhone, an Irish policeman and an Australian lady computer crime expert to find out if there is a problem and, if there is, to try to solve it."More than the church’s credibility is at stake.The novel is set in Rome, Israel and Spain.”Perhaps more entertaining is Forrester analyst John Rymer’s Amazon review:“Po Bronson meets Dan Brown ... but with the wit, charm. and international flair that only Charles Brett can bring. This book was a surprise. A very clever plot feeds a fun mystery of financial process, conflicting political and personal agenda, tangled and shifting alliances, and some good Catholic politics and dogma. Toss into the mix a female technology wiz (!), an Israeli villain (or was it that Chicagoian?), an improbable affair (hot!), and the loveable "analyst" we all aspire to be (Davide is just so cool), and this was one fun read. Next time, Mr. Brett, add a murder if you please. Please give us the sequel! Davide must "ride again."”The book is now available on Amazon (paperback and for Kindle), iTunes Store and Google Play: it can be found by searching for ‘HolyPhone’.More information is also available at www.holyphone.net or follow on Twitter at: #HolyPhone [...]
2014-05-19T09:53:21.824+01:00The new CEO at Ovum, Steve Hotham, is hosting a webinar on Thursday this week (22nd May 2014) at 4.00pm UK time.
2014-04-14T09:29:28.738+01:00Last week, Forrester Research filed a statement with the SEC announcing that it's reducing its workforce by approximately 1%. That suggests about 12 or 13 people are affected - and I understand some of these are analysts.
2014-04-08T13:43:11.760+01:00Informa plc announced yesterday that it’s merging Ovum and the Informa Telecoms & Media research business (ITM) to create a new IT, telecoms and media analyst firm.Steve Hotham, currently MD of Ovum, has been appointed as CEO of the new company. He was kind enough to talk me through what’s happening.A new company but an established brand“The first thing is that the new merged company is to retain the Ovum name. We talked it through internally at Ovum and ITMand decided it’s better to use the Ovum name because it’s a stronger and more unique brand in the market than ITM. It also means we’ve avoided any confusion between us and the parent company which might have happened if we’d used the Informa name in the brand,” said SteveAs a result, the ITM research brand is being retired immediately (although Ovum is still part of the Informa Telecoms & Media group within Informa plc). The new Ovum has two divisions: Telecoms & Media and IT. It employs 180 analysts, out of a total staff of 275, and has 23 offices worldwide – in the UK, mainland Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia, the US and Latin America.Among its research and consulting clients, it counts 90% of the top tier telcos, 15 of the top 20 media companies, 25 of the top 30 tech vendors and nine of the top 10 management consultancies. Strength in-depth across IT, telecoms and media Steve said: “The group is investing in us so we can come to market as a brand new company. This isn’t just about adding Ovum to ITM or vice versa. We’ve gone back to basics. We’ve analysed the markets we serve. We’ve improved every single telecoms and media service we sell, as well as many IT services, and we're designing new products to meet market needs.”It’s obvious that Steve and his team see the new company being a much more powerful force in the market than either of the old individual Ovum or ITM businesses.Steve explains: “This merger has been driven by a vision. Combining Ovum and ITM enables us to offer the most comprehensive and in-depth telecoms research service available worldwide.” In fact, with 90 analysts, Ovum now claims to have more people in its telecoms team than any other analyst firm. But it’s not just about telecoms and media. “We have spent a lot of time getting to the bottom of what’s unique about us. It’s that we connect IT, media and telecoms in a way that no-one else can,” says Steve.“We are now one of a handful of analyst companies, if not the only one, that researches all three markets in-depth. We can advise on each market individually but more than this, we are also very well placed to advise companies on the convergence of these three markets.”A telecoms powerhouseRichard Mahony, who was director of telecoms research and analysis at the old Ovum, and is now becoming telecoms research director for the new Ovum joined Steve on the call last week. Both of them wanted to make it clear that the merger of the Ovum and ITM telecoms teams makes good business sense, describing the two as complementary rather than competitive.Richard said: “If you overlaid Ovum’s areas of strength on those of ITM, it was a good fit with very little overlap. “Ovum’s strength was in providing strategic qualitative information while ITM’s specialism was quantitative information. Put them together and it’s a powerful package that only a few other analyst firms can offer.”Richard was also quick to point out “Some companies used research from both companies but they bought different types of services so there’s little risk of sales cannibalisation. In fact, there’s now a strong opportunity for us to cross-sell services between our unique customer sets.”IT is a core Ovum serviceW[...]
2014-04-03T11:58:57.432+01:00Steve Hilton has set up his own analyst firm, MachNation.
2014-03-28T09:24:03.993+00:00Analysys Mason has hired a new analyst to cover the M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) market.
2014-03-25T17:05:56.031+00:00The question of how AR professionals should use social media keeps cropping up. Even though social is a part of our daily lives, I am still asked whether it’s okay to use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to contact analysts – never mind apps like WhatsApp, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat. And I'm not alone.There has been no shortage of social media gurus who happily told us that social media would radically transform the world of AR. Yet my colleagues at the IIAR and I found ourselves continually asking the same thing. Has that transformation actually happened?No-one would dispute that social media has had some impact. Still, has it really changed the fundamental way in which an AR professional needs to be work if they're to be successful and effective?Look at blogging for instance. This changed the analyst world. Suddenly it provided a quick and easy means to publish short research notes and get instant feedback. Some analyst firms, notably Redmonk, used blogging as a foundation to build a new style of analyst firm. Go back 15 years and compare the way analyst firms have to work today. It is significantly different. Blogging was a big driver of those changes.Have Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and the others managed the same thing?We decided that we needed to ask some experts. But, with one exception, we didn't look for social media folk. Instead, we turned to the analysts and a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of chairing a vigorous and lively discussion on how analysts use social media to:Promote their capabilities to the worldBuild relationship with existing customers, andWork with the analyst relations community.Some analysts couldn't make the discussion but contributed thoughts beforehand. On the evening itself, we had James Governor from Redmonk (@monkchips, LinkedIn), Gareth Lodge from Celent (@Gareth_Lodge, LinkedIn) and Clive Longbottom from Quocirca (@clivel_98, LinkedIn). They were joined by Robin Hamman (Twitter, blog, LinkedIn) social business lead from FleischmanHillard to mix things up a bit. (He was remarkably pragmatic).My key takeaways were:Analysts use social media a lot - but they don't use it for AR. They use it to build their own profiles, track market developments, reach their core customers and make connections in their sectorSocial media isn't considered to be a tool for formal communication with AR people. One analyst described it as being P2P (person to person) not B2B. It's a helpful 'nice to have' but not something which AR people should rely on. Social media is a useful way of enhancing a personal relationship but even then it doesn't compare with a quick catch-up call or grabbing a beerStick to phone and email (or corporate AR portals) for official communication. One panellist commented that email is as dead as the mainframe (to avoid any doubt, both are still going strong and will carry on doing so for years to come) Analysts, even those who love it, view social media as a tool, a means to an end and not an end in its own right Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook dominate A couple of basic messages came through time and time again.Get the communication right. That's more important than the channel. A bad pitch is a bad pitch, whether it's done by email or LinkedIn.Know your analyst and what they prefer. Facebook is generally more social. Some analysts are happy to connect to AR people they know but for others, it's strictly "friends and family". LinkedIn is typically more business-oriented. And one analyst pointed out that we shouldn't forget IM. It's a valuable channel for trusted AR contacts And two things to think about in future:Look at using hangouts on Google +Pinterest can be really effective if you've got a large amount of graphica[...]
2014-03-14T09:29:43.179+00:00In June, London is going to see a great gathering of well-known and highly-respected independent telecoms experts.They are coming together for The Great Telco Debate, which is bringing together a unique mixture of industry analysts, financial analysts, consultants, trade associations and bloggers.The debate is the brainchild of Chris Lewis from Lewis Insight and Graham Wilde of BWCS.Chris explained: "We think the Great Telco Debate is unique in two respects. The primary idea behind it is to give senior level people in the industry a chance to participate in a forum with respected independent analysts. Obviously, Gartner and IDC have annual events, but this idea was borne out of the realisation that there's no forum where you can hear from independent thinkers in the industry. So we're not trying to pedal a universal view of the world, because each one of our analysts has their own opinion. And as a group, we're also not tied down with conflicts of interest - we're not evaluating our customers' technology, for example, or dealing in our customers' shares."The second unique element is the format. We thought let's make this a traditional debate - you know, this House believes the telco is dead and buried, or not, as the case may be. The great thing about the debate format is that everyone who attends gets to have their say, and ultimately vote. A debate is a great vehicle for boiling things down to some critical issues and examining the evidence on both sides of the argument, and also for getting some incisive insight from the floor."And this is an important area for telecoms. I heard someone the other day describe telecoms as a 'sunset industry'. The implications of that are quite scary, but is it really true? What are telcos supposed to make of things like WhatsApp, or Salesforce.com or GoToMeeting? Are they supposed to just shut up and carry the bits? There's no consensus but the Great Telco Debate will certainly provide senior execs with more insight and analysis on both sides of the argument."Priming the debate is an intriguing and entertaining list of speakers. As well as Chris and Graham, this includes Richard Kramer (Arete Research), Keith Willetts (TM Forum), Dean Bubley (Disruptive Analysis), Richard Windsor (ex Normua and now blogging at Radio Free Mobile), Benoit Felten (Diffraction Analysis), Caroline Gabriel (Maravedis-Rethink), and Pim Bilderbeek (ex IDC and now with The METISfiles).They will be discussing all the hot topics in the industry including:The view of telecoms and the telcos from the end user perspective. Do CIOs or any users care about connectivity any more apart from when it doesn't work? What will drive consumer margins - sport? What about WiFi? How about convergence? Can telcos transform their organisations, networks and operations to reflect the end user demand of the future? Or are the global OTT players, apps and content providers going to be the kings of the digital future? What is the telcos' core business anyway? And what will it be tomorrow? Do suppliers really have the first clue about the telco business? Who is best placed to help the telcos succeed in the future - the traditional on-network equipment players, the IT crowd, or a new-breed of vendors who are free from legacy thinking and business models? Prepare to be inspired. Or dismayed. Or both. What do telco finances really look like today - warts and all. How might they look tomorrow? Feast or famine? The Great Telco Debate is taking place on 26th June 2014 in central London. Visit the website for more information on the agenda, the speakers and how to get a ticket. Alternatively, watch Chris and Graham go 'head to head' (the Alas Smith & Jones of the telco industry?) in a seri[...]
2014-03-07T08:22:37.390+00:00Joe Dignan, chief public sector analyst with Ovum, has decided it’s time to move on.
2014-02-28T12:03:00.570+00:00CCS Insight looks to have once again set its eyes on expanding into the US market.
2014-02-20T15:29:52.317+00:00ABI has hired Malik Saadi from Informa to become practice director for semiconductor innovation.
2014-02-17T10:20:01.877+00:00Without seeming to attract a great deal of attention, two analyst firms, Heavy Reading and Pyramid Research, have recently got new owners. Both companies - which are telecoms specialists - had been owned by UBM.Heavy Reading is the analyst arm of Light Reading which has been bought back by Stephen Saunders, one of Light Reading's original founders. UBM will retain a significant minority stake in the business. Neither the sale price nor the size of the retained shareholding were disclosed. UBM had owned Light Reading since 2005 when it bought the company for $27m Read this piece from Light Reading to find out more about Stephen’s plans, which include adding new analysts. If you take a look at the full story, you will also find an explanation from Paul Miller, CEO of UBM Tech, about why the company is retaining a share.Also worth checking out is an article in Folio magazine which explains that UBM sold Light Reading because "it did not offer big enough opportunities going forward." The author, Bill Mickey, includes more information he got from UBM as well as Stephen Saunders.Meanwhile, Pyramid Research has been acquired by Progressive Digital Media for $3.3 million in cash. Simon Pyper, chief executive of Progressive, said: "Pyramid has a well regarded brand name, a portfolio of high quality data assets and moreover, an expanding presence in some of the world’s fastest growing markets.”UBM bought Pyramid Research in 2008 for $8 million.. Pyramid is the second established IT analyst firm that Progressive has bought in recent years. In 2012, it bought Kable, the UK public sector ICT specialist. [...]
2014-01-29T14:39:20.887+00:00It was good to hear from Brett Azuma last week. He got in touch to let me know he’s just been appointed to lead the 60-strong analyst team at 451 Research. If you don’t know him already, Brett’s an experienced and well-respected leader. He’s previously held senior positions at Ovum, where he was managing director, and Gartner, where he was group vice president/chief analyst. At 451, (where his official title is senior vice president, research), Brett will be providing leadership, direction and operational management to the company’s analyst team. This includes responsibility for the research agenda and analyst process as he is tasked with ensuring that 451 Research “continues to be insightful, with a focus on innovation; to be objective, reliably thorough and accurate; and most importantly to ensure that 451 delivers value to our clients.”Brett’s very clear that as far as he's concerned, his team is already doing a great job. Brett’s focus will be on helping guide the team successfully into the future, getting it ready for the next wave of growth. He sees opportunities for 451 Research to bring together resources to provide new and differentiated services to customers, for example by coupling 451 Research’s qualitative research and analysis services with the quantitative data resources owned by other divisions of The 451 Group.We can also expect to see more research being written by Brett himself. He acknowledges that he's looking forward to getting out in the field again as an analyst. While it’s early days, he’s also got some new and interesting angles around the impact, opportunities and challenges that the Internet of Things may have on enterprise IT infrastructure. So, congratulations to Brett on the new role and to 451 for a good hire. Over the past few years, 451 has grown steadily in size and influence through organic growth and acquisition. What does the future hold? Well, we’re looking forward to learning more as Brett gets his feet under the table. [...]
LewisInsight open for business today,looking to leverage almost 30 years of telecom and related industry experience!
— Chris Lewis (@Chr1sLew1s) June 6, 2013
2013-06-04T07:06:38.190+01:00Thanks to Claire Booty, I had the opportunity of meeting Steve Hotham, the new Ovum MD at the recent Ovum Industry Congress. He gave a good performance (particularly for someone who’d only been in the job for 15 days at the time) and was ably supported by two of his key lieutenants, Ian Charlesworth, director of IT research and analysis, and Richard Mahony, director of Telecoms research and analysis.Steve cleared up some obvious questions. He’s been brought in to run Ovum. It's business as usual. There will be no merger or integration of Ovum with other Informabusinesses. He also confirmed that Ovum’s Telecoms division and Informa Telecoms & Media will not be merged (although he acknowledged that some back-office administrative functions – not related to research and consulting - are being combined to take advantage of economies of scale). Steve comes across as a mature and experienced business leader. Despite his low-key manner, he is obviously excited about the opportunity to get his teeth into Ovum and make it a success.It's also very apparent he is an Informa man and for Ovum, that's no bad thing. Steve very clearly understands what is expected of him and of Ovum. It’s the kind of clarity that comes when someone has worked for a company at senior levels for a lengthy period of time. There is deep trust and respect on both sides. Having someone like this at the top is likely to pay dividends for Ovum in the longer term. Judging by Richard and Ian's contributions to the conversation, they still have huge passion and commitment for their respective divisions. There is no sense of disappointment at having missed out on the top job. (Nor from Eamonn Kennedy, director of tools & insights, who – in spite of having just flown in from India - was on good form when I bumped into him later). They spoke eloquently and at length about Ovum’s capabilities, the experience of their teams, product innovations, the way analysts work across teams and divisions, and the company’s agility. Very interesting and positive to see was Ovum’s willingness to start sharing information on the scale of its work in the enterprise market (i.e. with technology buyers and users). The company says the IT division now has 15,000 registered individuals, from 650 enterprise customers, on its IT Knowledge Centre (the research portal). In 2012, it was carrying out about one consulting project a week for enterprise clients. There is also a clear strategy to invest in growing the enterprise business. This is focused on key vertical markets including public sector, financial services and communications & media. This is good news for Ovum. Having a substantial and growing enterprise base gives any analyst firm clout. Many analyst companies claim to influence buyers but very few have been successful at persuading technology buyers to actually purchase research and consulting. Those which can prove they act as trusted advisors to technology buyers are much sought after (not least by technology providers who believe some of that insight will rub off and help them sell more products). So with a growing enterprise business, other basics in place and most things apparently working well, what else might we see from Ovum as Steve gets to move forward with the business? Here are a couple of suggestions:Show some more ambitionAlthough Ovum still considers itself as small compared to many of its competitors, it’s not. Based on the nu[...]
2011-09-30T10:07:06.946+01:00I was delighted to host the IIAR (Institute of Industry Analyst Relations) forum yesterday in a very sunny and hot London. It is always great to see how many AR professionals are willing to come along and meet old friends, make new contacts, learn about best practice and share their own experiences.Fionnula Fitzsimons gave an absolutely excellent presentation on AR and sales. It was interesting, insightful and practical. Anyone in AR who needs to get their sales teams on board and demonstrate the value that AR can add to the sales cycle should make sure they get a copy of her presentation (downloadable by IIAR members from Huddle). And then, we had an excellent panel debate on how analysts use social media with Richard Edwards (Ovum), Dale Vile (Freeform Dynamics) and Dean Bubley (Disruptive Analysis). Robert De Souza of IPsoft chaired a lively discussion.This was a social media discussion focused on how these analysts actually use it and why. It was interesting to hear about real-life behaviour and practical benefits rather than tools, processes and best practice. Hopefully, someone at the IIAR is doing a write-up of what was discussed.And I mustn’t forget a plug for IIAR accreditation. If you’re a member, it’s free to take. It’s a tough quiz but if you have got a couple of years of AR experience and know what you’re doing, then passing the exam should be pretty straightforward. I’ve passed - and while it’s nice being in an exclusive club, I’d rather be joined by hundreds of other people! The IIAR has even promised to provide us with a badge and our own Linkedin group. [...]
2010-04-07T09:45:57.068+01:00Andy Buss has joined Freeform Dynamics as a service director, covering end-user client computing and access and infrastructure communications technologies. According to the Freeform website, his current areas of focus are client, datacenter (I note the US spelling), convergence, unification and networking.