Analyst moves: Merv Goes to Gartner!

In what is probably going to be one of the most commented moves in the industry, Merv Adrian (blog, LinkedIn, @merv) is going back to a large analyst firm, the largest actually. Indeed, after leaving Forrester to create IT Market Strategy, a boutique firm selling advisory services mainly to IT vendors, Merv announced he was joining Gatner as VP of Research –apparently in the RAS team along Don Feinberg and Mark Beyer (I know it’s no longer called RAS and Dataquest, but the new names don’t sound nearly as good).

See the interview here on SageCircle.

One of the reasons invoked is that although very successful at creating a personal brand, with “several thousand twitter followers and 80,000 blog views“ in the last two years, delivering “a number of well-regarded papers, keynoted events, conducted webinars and interviews“, Merv is looking forward to “work[ing] with a huge primary research organization“ as well as getting “back to working with users of technology again.” With the vendor-facing independent analyst firm being a crowded market segment, and thus money could also be a contributing factor -but that’s pure personal speculation.

This comes about at the same time when Ray Wang (blog, @rwang0, LinkedIn) left Altimeter to form Constellation (check this post by Jonny Bentwood for more), also there moving from consulting (albeit end-user) to selling syndicated research. MWD also launched syndicated research services not long ago.

My personal conclusions are:

  • That consulting doesn’t easily scale, but syndicated research services do
  • That the demise of research firms has yet to happen, even though we’re seeing a polarising of the IT Research market –the gap is increasing the large ones and the independents
  • That selling to end user remains challenging, with few houses having cracked a direct model -the true barrier to entry being the ability to build a successful sales force

And you, what do you think?

Also: read some previous IIAR blog post mentioning Merv.

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3 Responses

  1. Have a heap of respect for Merv, and it’s good for Gartner to have a tweeting, social-savvy enterprise irregular in there to help shift mindsets.

    At HfS Research, we’re finding significant growth ops on the user side – many are seeking us out through our social network. While you need a savvy sales force to penetrate user accounts, having close linkages to the user community through smart social networking is equally powerful. You also need analysts who can “consult on tap”, as opposed to serving up esoteric fluff. Users don’t need fluff – they need actionable help in an easy-to-digest on-tap model… that doesn’t cost the earth.

    PF

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  2. Just spoke to Merv today and he mentionned that his move wasn’t for the money.

    Which means that he had built a very successful business with IT Market Strategy, selling to IT vendors.
    And Phil’s commment means that independents can crack the the end-user market (Phil told me that before but it was in a private conversation, so I did not blog this).

    The bottom line is that it’s nice to see some independents doing well.

    Finally, all the best to Merv -he starts officially in January.

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  3. No particular take on this move as I don’t know Merv personally. But my current take on the AR industry is my recent post:

    http://marcduke.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/the-two-faces-of-ar/

    Like

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