Earlier today, I participated in a panel entitled "What do messaging analysts do?" at Inbox 2004 East, along with David Ferris from Ferris Research.  When we set up this panel, it had been hoped that other messaging-focused analysts would agree to participate, which would have certainly made the discussion lively.
Still, it was quite interesting.  David covered what his firm's business is about, and I discussed IBM's tri-fold approach to working with analysts: 1) consuming their expertise, research, and data; 2) providing briefings and input on product direction and strategy; and 3) licensing published analyst works or commissioning work for distribution to customers and partners.  Following the prepared remarks, we took questions and comments from the attendees.  The questions ranged from "how do people become analysts?" to "how do I know who to trust?"
e-Pro editor Libby Ingrassia attended the session, and captured some thoughts from her perspective:

One of the best pieces of advice I heard during the session was to 'read the fine print' when you read an analyst report (or what a reporter says about an analyst report).
The panelists agreed that most analysts are trying to give you an honest representation of what they see in the market. Of course, that word - most - leaves the question of whether that's true in all cases, but they also said that even when an analyst is trying to represent the information as honestly as possible, the information itself might still be suspect. In this case, what we mean by 'suspect' is based more on what information they were able to gather, so in some cases it's incomplete or biased by who answered the questions, etc.
Follow that link -- she also makes some recommendations on the best way to consume industry analyst reports.
Tomorrow morning, Libby, Chris Miller, and I will be among the participants in various Inbox 2004 East workshops, including the Lotus Notes/Domino one.  It looks like the attendee mix at this venue is more end-customers, as opposed to San Jose in June, which had a fair number of vendors.

Post a Comment