Business Performance Management
Previously I spoke about the group of analysts that I view as “generalists” and of the approach we take when working with them as part of our overall marketing strategy. In this installment, I will take a similar look at another group of analysts, those that I view as falling into the category of “specialists”. We see both generalists and specialists as being essential to our strategy, with each bringing different capabilities and strengths to the table, and each requiring a subtly different approach to maximize the benefits from the relationship.
Generalists are typically large organizations that cover a broad range of topics, whereas the specialists tend to be smaller but with a particular focus and/or expertise. Within our sector of CPM there are several analysts whose background and analysis of our area is extensive and unique. Similarly, there are other analysts whose specialty relates more to the type of research and reporting they do and/or the specific geography or audience they focus in on. Examples of the former would include Dresner and BPM while examples of the latter would be Nucleus, Blue Hill, and BARC.
Here are some of our observations related to working with the first of these specialist analyst organizations:
Dresner Advisory Services
Specialty: Dresner provides “an alternative perspective on the Business Intelligence and Performance Management” and as key differentiators point to their experience, objectivity, and inclusion, all of which I have found to be the case.
Key research: For the past couple of years Dresner has published their Advisory Services Wisdom of Crowds® Enterprise Planning Market Study. This has similarities to the Gartner Magic Quadrant in that it provides a visual mapping of the vendor landscape, but also provides additional insight based on it’s analysis via a “Customer Experience Model” i.e. a model that considers the real-world experience of customers working with CPM products on a daily basis, and a “Vendor Credibility Model i.e. a model that considers how customers “feel” about a vendor.
Contribution to plan: Howard Dresner spent many years as a key analyst at Gartner and also held a leadership position at one of the major CPM/EPM vendors. This provides him with a unique, expert perspective of our sector, something that is exceedingly valuable both as a source of credible vendor comparisons and as counsel on trends relating to the buyers needs and the market as a whole.
Specialty: BPM is positioned as the “Business Performance Management Authority” and have built a particular niche around their knowledge of this space. In addition to their market analysis and reporting they also provide needs assessments, implementation consulting and tuning for end-user customers.
Key research: BPM’s primary study is their BPM Pulse 2016 for Performance Management. Whereas similar vendor comparisons by other analysts (i.e. Gartner, Forrester, Dresner) provide a visual overview of the market and vendor landscape BPM’s Pulse focuses on a detailed analysis and numeric ranking of vendors providing budgeting, planning, forecasting, consolidation, reporting and analytics. The areas analyzed include ease-of-use ratings for each, the best new product features of the past year, and a resulting shortlist to help identify the best vendors for specific requirements – in other words, information relevant to the deploying end-user customer rather than the vendors alone.
Contribution to plan: The unique benefit I find from working with BPM is their reputation as having a focused specialty in BPM/CPM. The result is that BPM, and their key Craig Schiff in particular, become involved in providing advice to customers with deals and opportunities related directly to our solution. Also, this expertise is leveraged into a program of win/loss analysis, something that generates valuable insights on our go-to-market activities.
You might also want to read the first part of the blog series here: Analyst Relations and Inbound Marketing (part 1)
In the next edition of this blog, I will talk in more detail about the second set of specialist analysts we have worked with, namely BARC, Nucleus and Blue Hill.