Monday, August 07, 2006


Outstanding Questions for Industry Analyst Michael Dortch

Still struggling on some aspects of your response to one of my postings...

You stated: I believe there is similarly potential value in what is provided to IT practitioners by analysts -- even if those analysts lack sufficient hands-on experience in enterprise IT to warrant direct comparison to those practitioners. Do you think that if you are in the business of helping users that you should do more to enable direct conversations between end-users instead of always serving as an intermediary? Do you think that industry analysts should mention in their research reports whether they actually installed the products they are comparing or simply gathered the knowledge of users? Do you think analysts at large firms ever actually install the software they cover?

You also stated: we've recently published findings of a survey on enterprise open source database adoption, and are planning a teleconference on the subject. This of course didn't address my actual comment. While I find it noble that coverage of open source in genernal is receiving more coverage the real statement was more about listing open source projects next to commercial proprietary implementations. For example, if you do a report on Enterprise Service Bus and you feature CapeClear and Sonic in leading positions, don't you think that open source approaches such as ServiceMix should also be there? Likewise, if you are doing a research report on Portals, don't just list BEA, Oracle and IBM but also include Liferay.

You are probably aware that the biggest problem with the above is lots of the large analyst firms operate off a model of someone briefing them instead of them actually researching the marketplace. Others have made the conversation all about the vendor with less emphasis on product which is the exact opposite of what enterprise folks need. Do you think us enterprise folk care a lot about the vendor's vision and whether they see dead people or some other feely unquantifiable bullshit or do we care more about which features can satisfy our business requirements?

Anyway, I have five questions (other than what is listed above that I would love to see you take on since you are into helping out users:

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