Monday, October 02, 2006
Software Vendors and Analyst Relations...
IT vendors spend a great deal of time and money cultivating relationships with industry analysts. They do this because they believe that analysts exert a high degree of influence on buyers. Indeed the terms ‘analyst’ and ‘influencer’ are often used interchangeably. However, analysts form just one category of influencers, and their importance is declining.
No one seems to be paying attention to folks who are employed by Fortune enterprises and their perspectives on analyst relations which seems like a huge mistake. Analysts’ claims of impartiality are being eroded in our minds on an almost daily basis. The bigger analyst firms stand accused of engaging only with organisations that buy their services, such as not showing open-source projects next to commercial closed-source offerings in terms of ESB, BPM and Portals thus eroding the perception of even-handedness. Meanwhile, “Analysts-For-Hire” can be commissioned to write collateral on behalf of vendor clients.
Of course there is a third category of analyst relations that is neither about the large analyst firms nor paying for collateral material. Firms such as the Burton Group, RedMonk, Nemertes, 451 Group, ZapThink, Elemental Links and others should strongly considered by any vendor who really wants to penetrate large enterprises.
Reality states, that each any every software vendor would also be well-served by not only thinking of analysts as influencers but also us folks from corporate America who also blog. Don't just pay attention to things we blog about, pay even more attention to the things that we are not talking about.
Have you ever considered the fact that for example, that I am not only influential within my own enterprise but possibly have the ability to influence those within my geographical area and industry vertical? Don't just think of us as insiders as blogging, wikis, etc are changing the game for the customer too.
Instead of spending all your money in pursuit of analysts, consider taking a small portion of this money and dedicating time of your CTO to blog and interact with us. We will not only be appreciative but may even let others know about our conversation which only serves to benefit you.
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