We just signed up to be clients for both these analyst firms in January. It’s the first semester and the experience couldn’t be more different. Granted, we’ve just begun relationships with both firms, so things are bound to change.
Before we became clients
- Recognized our space via Magic Quadrant last October. That said, it was filled everything under the sun. Apple, oranges, fruit cake.
- A cool analyst in their Media division proactively called us to learn more. It would have been nice if someone from the “High Performance Workplace” (the collaboration-focused group) had done that.
- We were hounded by their sales rep to become clients.
- A number of analysts contacted us to learn more (Josh Bernoff, Charlene Li, Rob Koplowitz)
- Kept assuming we were clients and it didn’t seem to matter to much to them that we weren’t. Ultimately, I had to ask them to become one.
- Analysts freely shared insight across the blogosophere. Specifically, Charlene Li (though she seems to have stopped), Jeremiah Owyang, and Josh Bernoff.
- Forrester hadn’t done a “Wave” (equivalent to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant) on our space. They had, however, produced many visible reports and contribution to both the Online Community and Enterprise Collaboration spaces.
After we became clients
- Jive folks haven’t requested many Gartner reports. I can only assume that means there’s not much specific relevance yet.
- Our account manager has disappeared. We’ve been trying to schedule briefings since January. We’ve emailed a ton and filled out online forms to no avail.
- My longest discussion with them was an hour orientation on how to use their website (which actually needs an hour orientation.)
- I invited the analysts to a customer advisory board meeting. That’s a meeting with VPs at our top Fortune 100 clients who share exactly how they’re using our software, what works and what doesn’t. They told me they could come but it would cost me tens of thousands of dollars.
- They haven’t posted a blog in over a year
- Value so far: Unclear.
- High demand from Jivers for their reports. They’re relevant and topical.
- Their account manager proactively sends me reports they think we’d like.
- I invited them to the same customer advisory board meeting. Rob and Jeremiah made it. That said, they stayed for their 45 min presentation but didn’t seem curious to attend more to hear what our customers had to say. It’s too bad, our customers had unbelievably cool and insightful things to share.
- Where’s the Forrester Wave on our market?
- Value so far: The online community reports have been valuable. The Analyst availability has been good (Rob Koplowitz made himself available for a video), Jeremiah is a content and reference animal. The man is constantly in the conversation online.
The smaller guys
Probably not too dissimilar from us, the smaller pure-play firms are more engaged and accessible. Analysts who really do seem to want to learn and produce great stuff:
- Why, when presented with the opportunity to listen to huge companies actually using social software, would analysts not fall over themselves to listen to them?
- Has anyone else experienced a report card like this?
- Do enterprise companies still really use these reports to make buying decisions?
- Will insightful and credible people from Blogosphere make analysts irrelevant?