Independent Analysts and Social Media – a marriage made in heaven

Oracle EPM and BI Merv Adrian - IT Market Strategies for Suppliers

I have been a regular visitor to Merv Adrian’s excellent blog since just after its inception and have got to know Merv virtually via twitter (@merv) and other channels. I recently read his article : Oracle Ups EPM Ante, which covered Oracle’s latest progress in integrating its various in-house and acquired technologies in the Enterprise Performance Management and Business Intelligence arenas.

The article is clearly written and helpful, I recommend you take a look if these areas impinge upon you. One section caught my attention (my emphasis):

Finally, Oracle has long had a sizable base in government, and its new Hyperion Public Sector Planning and Budgeting app suite continues the integration theme, tapping its ERP apps (both Oracle E-Business Suite [EBS] and PeopleSoft ERP) for bidirectional feeds.

My current responsibilities include EPM, BI and the third Oracle ERP product, JD Edwards. I don’t work in the public sector, but was nevertheless interested in the concept of how and whether JDE fitted into the above scenario. I posted a comment and within a few hours Merv replied, having spoken to his senior Oracle contacts. The reply was from a vendor-neutral source, but based on information “straight from the horse’s mouth”. It is illuminating to ponder how I could have got a credible answer to this type of question any quicker.

To recap, my interactions with Merv are via the professional social media Holy Trinity of blogs, and The above is just one small example of how industry experts can leverage social media to get their message across, increase their network of influence and deliver very rapid value. I can only see these types of interactions increasing in the future. Sometimes social media can be over-hyped, but in the world of industry analysis it seems to be a marriage made in heaven.

Analyst and consultant Merv Adrian founded IT Market Strategy after three decades in the IT industry. During his tenure as Senior Vice President at Forrester Research, he was responsible for all of Forrester’s technology research, covered the software industry and launched Forrester’s well-regarded practice in Analyst Relations. Earlier, as Vice President at Giga Information Group, Merv focused on facilitating collaborative research and served as executive editor of the monthly Research Digest and weekly GigaFlash.

Prior to becoming an analyst, Merv was Senior Director, Strategic Marketing at Sybase, where he also held director positions in data warehouse marketing and analyst relations. Prior to Sybase, Merv served as a marketing manager at Information Builders, where he founded and edited a technical journal and a marketing quarterly, subsequently becoming involved in corporate and product marketing and launching a formal AR role.

2 thoughts on “Independent Analysts and Social Media – a marriage made in heaven

  1. Peter, thank you very much for the kind words. I have to make a couple of comments:

    1. I learned about the value of inquiry while working at Giga Information Group. Gideon Gartner and later Dan Mahoney taught analysts there that responsiveness to our clients was one of the most important things analysts did. As a research executive myself, I taught every analyst who ever worked for me at Giga and Forrester the same thing. Some big research firms do the same thing still, and clients ought to expect no less.

    2. For an independent, it’s a little different. Few of the conversations I have are with clients (I keep that list to only a few dozen firms) – but responsiveness is no less important, in my view, even when non-clients communicate, via my blog especially, but also via email, twitter and my business web site. I don’t think it will scale forever, but so far, when people communicate with me, I take it as a serious responsibility to respond. If I don’t know the answer, I attempt to find it, and I try to be honest about whether I will go beyond a brief inquiry of my own without being paid for the services I render.

    3. When the issue is one about the facts of a vendor’s offerings, I rely upon one of the most important and under-appreciated communities in technology: Analyst Relations professionals. In this case, the Oracle time – notably Avi Orenstein, who is an exemplary member of his team – responded immediately, which allowed me to pass the information on. Kudos to him.

    And thanks again for the kind words. I’m a fan of your work too, as you know.

  2. Merv,

    Thank you for the detailed comments.

    Maybe it should be Independent Analysts, AR and social media that form the dream team (I decided not to over-extend the marriage metaphor!).


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