Tag Archives: Forrester

Where is the Yelp for B2B Tech? Gartner Chimes In…

We now live in a world where four billion people – more than half the global population – are connected to the internet, and one of the most intriguing outcomes of this widespread connectivity has been the advent of crowdsourcing. Since you’re one of those four billion people, you’re probably familiar with crowdsourcing, the practice of enlisting the services of a large number of people (typically via the internet) to achieve a common goal. In fact, if you’ve ever contributed to a Wikipedia article or published a Yelp review – or even just answered a question on Quora – you’ve participated in crowdsourcing. It’s a powerful form of collaboration that relies on the “wisdom of the crowd.”

As with most technology advancements, crowdsourcing made its most immediate impact with consumer-facing services (Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.), which helped everyday people decide where to spend their money on products and services they regularly use. And there is now an increasing appetite in the business sector to draw on the wisdom of the crowd for the same effect. Why? The foundational technologies that help a B2B company run – such as servers and storage appliances – can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each, so making the wrong purchase can be costly. This is also true of services in which B2B companies make significant investments, including ongoing subscriptions with leading analyst firms (Gartner, IDC, Forrester, etc.) – which can cost upwards of $60,000 each.

If it’s clear that businesses seek a crowdsourced resource for the comparison of B2B products and services, even for complex, high-cost purchase decisions, what are their options? In parts two and three of this blog post series, we’ll examine the most popular options that are currently available, as well as the lesser-known sites that are emerging. In this post, we’ll take a look at the site that has generated the most amount of buzz in this relatively nascent space (and this buzz isn’t surprising, based on the site’s namesake): Gartner Peer Insights.

Launched in 2015, Gartner Peer Insights, whose tagline is “Choose IT Solutions with Confidence,” presents itself as a site featuring “reviews from your enterprise peers – verified by Gartner.” Its goal is to offer detailed perspectives for every phase of the IT lifecycle, from evaluation and implementation to service and support. That’s ambitious, but one of the biggest advantages Gartner Peer Insights has is something that all crowdsourced projects aim to leverage: tons of contributors. If the true value of crowdsourcing lies in the collective wisdom of the crowd, doesn’t it stand to reason that for accuracy’s sake, you want as large of a crowd as possible? If so, Gartner Peer Insights has that box checked, boasting more than 85,000 reviews of enterprise software across almost 300 product categories.

In addition to volume, the other main advantage Gartner Peer Insights has over competing sites is the trust and credibility associated with the Gartner brand. You’d be hard-pressed to find an IT professional who doesn’t pay attention to where their organization stacks up in its respective Gartner Magic Quadrant. In fact, Gartner is almost too influential: there’s a reason that, when a startup is looking to get its marketing strategy off the ground, one of the first questions it tends to ask is “does a Gartner subscription make sense for us?” Whether it does make sense is a question for another blog post – so watch this space for that…

While the cynic might claim that Gartner Peer Insights is simply a “feeder service” whose real aim is to turn its users into paying Gartner customers – and/or that the crowd are all carefully picked positive customers put forward by its client base – the site is without question one of the best options currently out there for crowdsourced evaluations of B2B tech products and services. In our next blog post in this series, we’ll examine some of the other most popular comparison sites currently available, so you can better understand what each has to offer to maximize your organization’s product and service investments. Until then, may the wisdom of the crowd be your guide!

By Drew Smith

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The Five Things You May Be Missing from your Analyst Program

We talk to marketing executives everyday either bragging or complaining about the results and ROI of their paid analyst engagements.  There are five ‘misses’ we find consistently:

Gartner
Every client or prospect we talk to complains about the ‘tax’ they have to pay to impress Gartner and get inclusion in their reports. The key is to ask how often they are talking to their Gartner analysts. I had one client express his shock to me that his company didn’t move up and to the right in their MQ, while explaining he spoke to the authors only twice in 12 months.  One of my favorite Gartner analysts once told me, “You get out of Gartner what you put into Gartner.”  The Moral of the story is to make sure you are having frequent (monthly) inquiries, briefings, demos, meetings at tradeshows, coffees etc. with your Gartner champion(s).  You can’t expect them to remember every detail of your solution and competitive advantage if you talk to them infrequently.

Leverage Second Tier Analysts for Reports
Not all vendors can afford to pay top tier analyst firms like Gartner and Forrester out of the gate, especially those that are early stage.  Unless your able to take a lot of time for the care and feeding of Gartner analysts (tip above) then we suggest you engage with smaller analyst firms like 451 Group, Ovum or EMA.  These firms have shorter lead times to get briefings and will be willing to write reports on your company, especially if you are a newcomer to the market.  These reports can be licensed for as little as $5,000 and will serve as third-party credibility and content for lead generation campaigns and the sales team.

Dig In: The First Rule of Gartner’s Cool Vendor is Not to Talk About Cool Vendor

One of my favorite Gartner analysts once told me: You get out of Gartner what you put into Gartner Click To Tweet

Social Media
Are you following your analysts on Twitter?  Are you connected on LinkedIn?  Are you reading their posts?  Are you liking their LinkedIn posts and retweeting their tweets?  If you answered no to any of these questions you have made mistake #3.

Share Content with Analysts
Do you feel like you’re talking to your analyst champions regularly?  Do they know the specifics of your last product release, customer wins, global expansion, partnerships or new hires to your executive bench?  It’s important to share press releases with your analysts to keep your brand top of mind. This also keeps them updated on your progress both from the perspective of the ability to innovate and execute.  Creating analyst newsletters that are sent out monthly are another great source of educating analysts on your business momentum.

Analyst Lab Review
There are few media publications that conduct product reviews anymore and some solutions aren’t capable of being tested by low tech media.  With that said, technical reviews are important for the bottom of the funnel leads, especially for technical decision makers. Consider hiring Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) or NSS Labs for technical reviews. You can control the testing environment and criteria and ensure you have credible content for the sales team.  These engagements aren’t cheap (running about $30,000), so plan your budgets accordingly.

Bonus Tip
Depending on the life stage of your company, you will engage in different ways with various analyst firms. For startups, those who are in stealth, or who have yet to take series A funding, analysts can play a pivotal role in validating messaging as well as how and in which category you choose to position your company. It’s not a step you want to short-cut.

Dig InLaunching an IIoT Disruptor – FogHorn Systems

By Angela Griffo

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10Fold- Security Never Sleeps- 171

Computer-Security Firm Says Voter Data Set Left Unprotected Online

“Voting behavior of nearly 200 million unprotected”

A large cache of political participant voting behavior has been left vulnerable online in various spreadsheets and other files according to security firm UpGuard. The information was made public on a server accessible to anyone by Deep Root Analytics.

Hackers attacked 4 Florida school districts, allegedly hoped to hack voting systems

“At least  four districts attacked”

The Miami Herald has reported that several Florida school districts have been penetrated by MoRo, a Moroccan based hacking group. The organization was apparently looking for a way to infiltrate other government systems, including voting systems. The attack was perpetrated by phishing traps that users of the school system fell victim too.

Credit Card Breach at Buckle Stores

“Clothier operating more than 450 stores discloses malware attacks. 

Malicious software targeting customer payment data hit Buckle Inc.stores last week. Late Friday evening the firm released a statement saying that POS systems were indeed attacked by malware and confirmed it was installed on cashiers and probably affected those purchases between October 28th of 2016 and April 14th of 2017. Online stores are said not to be affected.

Forrester: Rapid Cloud Adoption Drives Demand for Security Tools

“Cloud services revenue poised to hit $236 billion by 2020”

Researchers at Forrester have claimed in the Cloud Security Solutions Forecast that demand for products like CASB, CCSM, hypervisor security, and infrastructure-as-a-service will grow rapidly over the next five years.