Gartner Analyst and Investor Day

logo-gartner.gifTake aways for communications and IT vendors:

  • Gartner has achieved stable double digit growth in research contract value over last four years due to increasing the sales force and expanding the end-user client base. This translates into increased influence on vendor sales.
  • Gartner is tuning Events to deliver more IT professional attendees. Events will be retired as well as added. More emphasis is going to be on Symposia and Summits. Vendor lead generation teams need to do a zero-based revaluation of all Gartner Events indispensable-custom-advice-client-example.jpgto determine where to increase or decrease investment in sponsorships.
  • As always, a big selling point is helping end users save money on  vendor contracts. Vendors should ensure that their sales teams understand the role of analyst in the sales cycles and are prepared to leverage positive commentary and mitigate negative commentary. See the example to the right where the client question was “the best way to negotiate an enterprise wide agreement with Technology Provider Y”

Research consumers (end users or vendors):

  • Gartner has rolled out and will be rolling out new products and new ways to get more value from existing services. Research consumers should invest a few minutes talking with Gartner account executives to ensure they are exploiting all the new tools, such as portal personalization.
  • Gartner is intent on cross-selling and up-selling throughout existing clients. Companies that do not have centralized analyst contract managers should consider consider adding this function to ensure that growth in spending is managed and reasonable.

Read more of this post to see the live blogging.  All times US Pacific Standard Time

9:23 am – Wrap up

9:21 am – Q-Consulting utilization? A-Discussed numbers.

9:20 a – Q-Business on financial segment and impact of credit problems? A-Gartner is very diversified and not concentrated in any one industry. That said, have not seen impact on business.

9:18 am – Q-Consolidation? A-Have a business development group and always looking for opportunities. However, growth is not contrainted organically so not as critical.

9:16 am – Q-Competition and consolidation? A-Lots of sources of competition from searching on the Web to other analysts. Gartner is differentiated due to 650 analysts. No downward pricing pressures due to competition.

9:14 am – Q – Silverlake Partners ownership position? A-Transitioning down, we’re managing that so that it does not hurt other shareholders.

9:12 am – Q-Year 1 and Year 2 reps and how they are ramping up vs past? A-Detailed analysis at 3 mths, 6 mths, etc. Analyze CV levels and what is needed to be productive.

9:08 am – Q&A. Gene Hall returns.  1st Q – Why decelerating growth in sales force? A-Macro economic uncertainty. But can increase/decrease based on actuals.

9:01 am – Bulk of emphasis is on growth of research. Review of investment thesis.

8:57 am- Productivity – retention, new business, pricing. Wallet retention (penetration of existing clients) over 100% all of 2007. First time.

8:48 am — Chris Lafond, CFO. Numbers. Research contract value growth directly tracks to increase in sales force. It takes up to 4 years for a new sales rep to get up to average CV.

8:47 am — Untapped opportunity. Grow capacity, optimize territories, improve sales productivity, accelerate growth. Pretty much standard comments by any company, but has implications for vendors because more effective sales execution increases Gartner’s influence.

8:42 am – Increasing sales effectiveness and marketing lead generation. Reduced number of accounts per territory by 27%.

8:37 am — Growth of sales force. NCVI (net contract value increase) four most important letters in the alphabet. Improving sales rep NCVI productivity year over year. Lots of opportunities inside an existing client as well as green field opportunities. All represent a possibility to increase influence over vendor sales.

8:33 am — Tim Noble, Sales. Hmm, I use to do sales calls with Tim when he was a bag carrying sales rep in the UK. 804 sales reps. 52% Americas, 36% EMEA, 12% APAC

8:30 am – 2008 — Divested Vision Events because did not leverage analysts. Refocus on Symposium & Summits. Launching and retiring events. Stronger sales execution on expos

8:24 am — Attendee stats – 3k more attendees in 07 over 06, record number of orgs sent repeat attendees, more orgs sent teams instead of individuals

8:18 am – Value from a vendor and exhibitor points of view. Video of vendor Compliance & Risk conference attendees.

8:15 am –Alister Christopher, Events. 44,000 attendees at 62 events. Competitive advantage based on the unreasonable due to leveraging analysts. Example 26th year of Data Center Conference, which is still growing. Lists why IT professionals attend. Had a video of attendees of Compliance & Risk Management conference which was this week talking about why they attended even in this economic climent.

8:12 am — So far no breakdown between numbers of end user and vendor clients. States focus is on the end-user market. Cross-sell Benchmark and Contract Optimization solutions. Potential for increased influence?

7:58 am – Per Anders Waern, new head of consulting. What happened to Bob Patton? Emphasis on saving money for clients. Examples of benchmaring, sourcing (claims helped enterprise save $26m out of $81m IT spend by better sourcing),

7:37 am — 15 minute break

7:32 am — Vendor market opportunity. Less than 3% of opportunities. Offering personalization — are you exploiting personalization.

7:28 am – Discussing Gartner Invest for Wall Street. Example here is ALVR research note in advance of a steep decrease in stock price drop.

7:23 am — Ken Davis on vendor clients. Discusses roles inside vendors. Under penetrated. 200 pieces of discret research. Client example, claims that Gartner analysts helped a vendor identify opportunity that lead to $300m increase in sales.

7:23 am — Leadership development and delegates and deputies

7:22 am — Gives CIO clients in transition access to Gartner while job searching. CIO alum program in development.

7:20 am — On boarding session develops action plan. 

7:18 am – Average $1bn company spends $25m to $50 on IT. What is the relationship to the $400m Robin mentioned?

7:12 am — Discuss CIO budget survey launched 2.5 weeks ago, already 600+ responses. Provided breakdown of up, same, cuts. This might be useful to vendors. Discussion since has been high level.

7:07 am — Average CIO budget (of Gartner client ??) $400m. CIO is really becoming a Chief Investment Officer of million dollar decisions. Gartner helps mitigate the risk. Aspiration of G to have CEO ask the CIO “Have you validated your plans with Gartner?”

7:04 – Dale Kutnick on the CIO client segment. What Dale is a passionate about. Thought leadership in a dynamic situation. IT is expanding into all aspects of life and business.

7:02 am — 60,000 end-user seat holders.

6:55 am — Back to market opportunity. More numbers. Nice. Into how they identified opportunities within enterprises. Inside and outside central IT. Each role.

6:51 am – Example of client — publishing company in Northeast, perhaps Gartner? Discssed how an analyst helped an IT exec not to go to Vista. Virtualization example.

6:44 am – Robin Kranich on the end-user client base. Discussed eight functional job roles. Challenges faced by IT.

6:43 am — Really pushing the value of Research client.

6:39 am — Discussed how new topics hit the radar screen.

6:37 am – Interesting discussion of the secret sauce of 30-minute inquiry: scale, intimacy, and ?? (add later)

6:35 am –~240k inquiries. Discussion of value of research to clients.

6:33 am — Reduced the amount of time to schedule to a client inquiry.

6:28 am — Peter Sondergaard discussing Research success. Big name IT trends indentified by Gartner. Big name government user. Big name vendor users. Gartner analysts quoted in the press and other media. Note — many vendor executives do not get the breadth of Gartner influence.

6:24 am — Discussion of price increases and elimination of discounts. Consistent with past statements. 

6:21 am — Slides not yet posted to IR website 

6:15 am — Untapped market opportunities. Same discussion as previous investor days and earnings calls. However, more numbers on enterprises with recently assigned sales reps – 1,851 enterprises over $1bn in revenues. This on top of ~1,150 (confirm number) $1bn enterprises already clients.  Then there are 39,000+ enterprises $100m to $1bn. 

6:08 am — Basic introduction to Gartner’s business model.

6:03 am — Have not been able to access the webcast yet