Forrester speaks at the IIAR

18May07

ForresterGreat meeting yesterday at the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) where Forrester came to share with us their ‘strategy and value proposition, products and positioning, and plans for 2007‘ – and they did all this in just over an hour!

I was interested to hear what they had to say because in the couple of years since they acquired Giga, vendors have said to me that Forrester have fallen off the radar in Europe. Competition is a great thing and we need companies like Forrester, IDC and Informa/Datamonitor/Ovum to step up and provide a sound alternative to Gartner.

David Metcalfe (Senior VP) explained two key changes at Forrester:

  1. New tag – ‘Making leaders successful every day’
    I like this – by making this statement they recognise that their job is to make their client look good. But it’s only a tag – so we shouldn’t get too carried away.
  2. Change in structure to ‘role-based research’.
    This again has good thinking behind it but it is not entirely revolutionary. The concept of aligning IT with business rather than the other way round should be standard practice – it is great that Forrester have created global teams and changed their structure to accommodate this but I don’t believe that this is sufficient in itself to make them more compelling.

An analyst firm’s greatest asset is not it’s methodology but it’s people. Forrester need to aggressively hire and offer competitive rates to get and retain the best analysts in the market.

Forrester have had a great year though (20% up on ’05) and I am looking forward to seeing what the next year brings.

On a final note, the regular IIAR meetings are a fantastic forum for AR professionals to learn and share best practice. If you want to know more, contact me or Hannah Kirkman who will help you out.

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