Forrester buys Springboard–implications


Extract from blog by Marc Nemec, Managing Director, Forrester Research

It is with significant pleasure and great excitement that Forrester today announced the acquisition of Springboard Research.

By acquiring Springboard, we further our commitment to serving Technology Industry leaders — especially those in the Vendor Strategy role — with rich data and in-depth analysis of key emerging markets, particularly those in Asia Pacific. Springboard builds upon our Vendor Strategy team’s mission to help our clients predict and quantify tech industry growth and disruption.

As an established brand and well-respected firm with primary offices in Singapore, New Delhi, and Beijing, Springboard’s experienced team of professionals brings valuable insight, a rich body of IP, and a culture of innovation. We are thrilled to be bringing Dane Anderson, Springboard’s CEO; Chris Perrine, Springboard’s COO; and the rest of the team into the fold. Combining Forrester and Springboard will enable us to:

  • Expand our global coverage.
  • Strengthen our presence in the region.
  • Improve our ability to support our TI clients with successfully planning, marketing, and selling globally.

Forrester’s Tech Industry clients are making decisions on when — and how — to tackle Asia Pacific and other emerging markets. The acquisition of Springboard allows us to speak with much greater depth, authority, and intimacy regarding these decisions. In keeping with our vision of “Every Leader, Every Decision,” we are now able to provide greater client value in a wider range of regions: North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

With every acquisition, the AR pro needs to answer the simple question – “so what?”

There are three aspects to this which I find significant:

  1. Vendor love – Ever since Forrester went ‘role-based’, vendors were given a tough time. Even though there is a good argument for this position, vendors inevitably faced the issue of who do they now speak with now that their normal analysts are matched to them as clearly. Springboard are known for their good vendor approach – my only question is whether this ‘positive’ aspect will be sucked out of them if they need to adhere to Forrester workings.
  2. Asia love – Its great that Forrester are expanding their reach into Asia. I would have preferred it to have seen their growth in this region not to be at the expense of removing one of the competitors but by smart hiring. Nevertheless a move away from the traditional western Europe and North America strongholds is smart and a mirror of following the money.
  3. Europe snub – I am biased here but what about Europe? Forrester has some amazing analysts in Europe but the number of them are tiny compared to what is needed. Please Forrester, if you are going to invest, look a bit closer to this region.

3 Responses to “Forrester buys Springboard–implications”

  1. Hello Jonny,

    There are interesting thoughts and certainly fair points expressed here. The acquisition of Springboard shows Forrester’s commitment to a global perspective with regional presence and expertise. As you mention Springboard is a well established leader in Asia-Pac IT research, data and advisory.

    Regarding “Vendor Love”, Forrester has a well earned reputation for being accessible and considerate to all vendors. This latest addition is a further demonstration of those attributes. No client segment clamored for this capability more than the tech community and no role more than AR. Also Forrester has a long track record of successfully integrating companies (i.e. Giga, Jupiter) while maintaining their unique qualities and incorporating their best practices (i.e. Forrester adopted Giga’s much preferred inquiry process).

    while some AR professionals have found the role structure a challenge, for others it has aligned with their corporate strategy and proven to make Forrester more relevant to them and their colleagues. I would point out Forrester still makes available a list of all analysts by topic and our planned research agenda is also on the website.

    On the topic of “Asia Love” we are in total agreement. This clearly gives Forrester incredible research and data and an established local presence overnight.

    Finally as to “Europe snub”, this is an understandable even if admittedly biased opinion. At the same time, it feels a bit rough to talk about a snub of Europe on the heels of Forrester making a notable investment outside of North America. AR professionals around the world uniformly called for Forrester to increase our presence in BRIC countries. An investment in Asia-Pac in no way precludes investment elsewhere.

    We are very excited about Springboard joining the Forrester family and have already been very impressed with the caliber and character of our new teammates. As leader of the AR practice at Forrester I am working closely with the integration team to make sure ARs needs are considered and met and am confident this will prove to be good for Forrester and AR. I welcome additional feedback and suggestions about Forrester and Springboard now and as more details regarding the integration come to light.

    Eric Lobel, VP-Practice Leader, AR
    Forrester Research

  2. Thanks Eric

    I am the first to admit I am biased when it comes to Europe. I am delighted that you are responding to demand and investing in Asia – my only hope is that you *also* invest in Europe.

    With regard to the vendor discussion, Forrester has moved a long way since the initial foray into role-based research (which I still think is smart) but even with your progress I still hear that vendors are confused. Maybe its simply a case of communication and perception

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