Can you get a great position in an MQ if you are not a Gartner client?

When considering whether to sign a contract with Gartner, most companies are perfectly well aware of the two hats that Gartner wears when engaging with them – and of the potential conflicts of interest this could create. In one of these roles, Gartner helps its clients as their “strategic adviser”. But when it is wearing its other hat, it acts as the “formal assessor”. In an ideal world, decisions about whether to […]

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Briefings That Have Impact Webinar

Our most common activity is helping clients to put together analyst briefings that get the analysts’ attention and lead to improved understanding of, and appreciation for, our clients’ products and services. Do it right, and the analyst is engaged, looking forward to your next interaction. Do it wrong and see how difficult getting your next briefing opportunity will be. This is clearly a high risk/high reward opportunity. At first glance it seems […]

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The ‘Why?’ Axis


Earlier this month, Gartner analyst Merv Adrian tweeted, and a number of analysts retweeted, a really important comment. “When I ask your strategy and you name some standards, some partners and some products, I wonder if you have one. ‘Why?’ Is the question” he wrote. Our social media guru, Jonathan Yarmis, spotted this interesting note straight away, though I confess I was slower to pick up on it. I should have been […]

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‘That Magic Quadrant is Plain Wrong’

Angry Man

What happens when a firm feels it simply cannot accept Gartner’s opinion of its products and performance? Sometimes, people get angry. The most extreme case, of course, was ZL Technologies attempt, five years ago, to sue Gartner for $1.7bn. But the most recent example involves Nuix. Nuix is a reputable, well-established Australian company in the e-discovery software field, with a good-looking international customer base. But when Nuix managers saw the latest e-discovery […]

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More MQs, better MQs?


To most people these days, the name Gartner is immediately associated with one particular form of research – the Magic Quadrant, or MQ. That familiar two-by-two matrix has become synonymous with the company’s brand. So it’s no great surprise that the latest news from Gartner is that it is going to do more of them, with 30 new MQs already added to the roster for 2014. The Magic Quadrant is set to […]

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Déjà vu, all over again (again)

How level was my playing field?

In all my many years as a Gartner analyst, I could put my hand on my heart and honestly swear that the Magic Quadrant assessment process was wholly impartial. Every vendor, client or not, had the same chance of being accurately – or, for that matter, inaccurately – depicted. I’m not sure I could say the same today. Readers of this blog will know there have been a couple of occasions in […]

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If I drink poison, will the Gartner analyst die?


Every week or two, we hear the same complaint from at least one company. “The analyst we deal with is an idiot,” the CMO will tell us. “He simply doesn’t understand this market and we’re thinking our best approach is to ignore him.” In the UK, there is a weekly national lottery, with a top prize of several million pounds. The chance of actually winning this prize is 1 in 14 million, […]

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A Magic Quadrant Tale of Three Acquisitions


One question we often hear is “Is there a real impact to inclusion in a Gartner Magic Quadrant?” Frankly, the answer is obvious, but the evidence is often hard to pin down. For many of the smaller, more ambitious growth companies we meet, there is also another question that is particularly important. Is a better assessment going to boost the company’s valuation and help management find the right exit path? Interestingly, we […]

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Lifting the Lid on the Black Box


“The genius of our product is inside this Black Box.” Innovative ideas are precious and rare. For many firms, there is just one technology or technique that forms that vital market differentiator. If this key idea escapes from the box, competitors may pounce and a market advantage may be lost. But there’s a dilemma here. The analyst who is assessing your offering and your business will not give you any credit for […]

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Tips for Gartner Symposium Survival


I was at Gartner for 19 years, latterly group vice-president for the software research group and head of analyst associate development. Having attended (and survived) Symposium as an associate, I wanted to share some inside tips that could make your Symposium experience more valuable.  Have a plan: select the sessions you want to attend and the Gartner people you want to meet with. The list of people should go beyond analysts. For […]

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