Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Analyzing the Analysts
We had a conversation regarding my desired merger between ZapThink, RedMonk, Elemental Links, Nemertes and Entiva in that large enterprises tend to stick with large vendors yet the folks who provide the most insight and value tend to not work for them. Many enterprises are in the domain of reducing the amount of vendors they do business with so getting access to the best and brightest sometimes conflicts with other goals. If they could at least appear as one entity from a procurement perspective then I think large enterprises could benefit.
In terms of this discussion, he casually mentioned some characteristics about several of these industry analyst firms that I never really thought about but would be useful to actually document. This hinted at the simple fact that many of the industry analyst firms aren't even on the radar of large enterprises because we may not even know they exist or what services they offer.
So what if these same analyst firms helped me produce the notion of an open source industry analysis guide. Wouldn't it be valuable to not only enterprises but to vendors who spend their dollars in order to influence analysts. The value proposition for vendors providing amplification of this notion is the simple fact that they are paying for research to be created without necessarily knowing if end customers such as myself are actually reading it.
While I haven't thought of what the right taxonomy for producing this guide should be, I do know that it should at least address some of the following thoughts:
- Which analyst firms use the notion of seats vs anyone in the enterprise being able to interact
- How many analysts do they have and what spaces do they cover
- Describe the pricing model and whether it is centered around fees, consulting gigs or something else
- How is research made available such as by subscription, by report or open source
- Do they charge for vendor briefings
- Which vendors include security analysis into their research of non-security oriented products
I wonder if I could get my EA peers such as James Tarbell, Charles Betz, Chris Petrilli, James Robertson and Scott Mark to also contribute? Hopefully an analyst or two would chime in on whether this makes sense to produce across analyst firms. Maybe I could also get folks from Tekrati and Lighthouse to also chime in on the idea...
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