Today’s news: AMR Research has agreed to be acquired by Gartner. The news is up in a note on AMR’s and Gartner’s websites, and thanks to Sage Circle and Lighthouse for blogging it fast!
AMR (and Gartner) clients: your action list is further down! Contact InformationSpan for insight in your own specific case. Attend our webinar, now on Monday 14th December: see following post for details.
There will be plenty of comment in the coming days but as someone who’s worked with both providers in the past, and understands the user’s point of view, I offer some immediate reactions.
Most importantly and most clearly, Gartner have decided they needed to acquire expertise in supply chain research where AMR are an acknowledged leader. This doesn’t look like a deal to buy up the competition, as the META Group acquisition was late in 2005.
None the less, the META acquisition may offer guidelines to how Gartner will handle this (interesting, this, since Dale Kutnick of META is now a Gartner SVP). Gartner will, presumably, merge AMR’s mainstream work into its own ERP and Supply Chain Management portfolio where there are around 20 existing analysis such as Andy Kyte, Jim Holincheck and Thomas Otter.
I haven’t carefully analysed AMR’s published staff list, but it’s about 60 strong and divided between the analyst side and custom research/consulting business. So clearly there will be some analyst shakeout, initially with analysts who choose to leave AMR rather than move, and then later with those who don’t accommodate well to Gartner’s way of working. AMR’s distinctive podcast style will presumably disappear into Gartner Voice, and the Supply Chain Top 25 awards may or may not continue …
But the delivery models of Gartner and AMR are somewhat different. Gartner’s focus is on the individual IT manager or executive, and Gartner for IT Leaders doesn’t have a Supply Chain role. Will they use the AMR acquisition as the nucleus of one?
The press release says that the services will operate as a unity from 1st Jan 2010. But that’s a very short timescale and I’d expect some issues to be unresolved for at least another quarter.
So if you are an AMR client, here are some must-do actions. Quick reactions are needed, because AMR expect the deal to close this month – that is, by year end. AMR themselves offer “business as usual”:
If you’re an AMR Research client or prospect, your research, client services, and sales contacts will remain the same. All are being retained by Gartner. There will be no changes to our research agenda or announced roster of webcasts, podcasts, and customer visits.
But there must be a limit to this before things get aligned to Gartner’s business models, sales processes and delivery mechanisms. Think about what happened with META Group’s excellent and almost self-contained Architecture Strategies service.
1 – seek an urgent meeting with your account representative. Ask what the future is for your AMR seats in the new Gartner world, both for the duration of your current AMR subscription and, more importantly, beyond it. How does pricing compare? How long will you continue to have access to AMR’s delivery model? Will Gartner suggest that you move your users to GITL seats? Will you get access to Gartner for the unexpired portion of your AMR subscription?
2 – also, ask what your representative’s own future is. Will they continue as your Gartner representative? If so, where will they be based and what will their reporting line be? If not, who will take over – and how soon can they arrange a meeting to introduce you, before the change happens over your head?
3 – Of course, if you have existing relationships to particular AMR analysts, you want to know if they intend to stay or move on. Ask them!
4 – Start to get to know the Gartner analysts in this space. If you’re not a Gartner client, use the blogs – the InformationSpan Analyst Blogs index, with its topic index and our specialised Gartner Blog search, will help
5 – If you’re a Gartner ERP/SC client, some of the same questions apply. Ask what the impact will be of the AMR acquisition. Will there be new delivery elements, particularly a new focussed GITL service? Will your existing Gartner account manager continue on the job?
6 – if you have contracts with both organisations, ask for a refund once the integration takes effect.
7 – take note of Gartner’s and SageCircle’s webinars on 3rd December; these are directed more towards the vendors’ Analyst Relations teams than enterprise users
and 8 – watch out for supply chain start-up insight services, resulting from the shake-out of the two analyst teams. On past experience (think Giga-Forrester or META-Gartner) there will be some AMR analysts who prefer to go independent than migrate into Gartner’s style, processes and organisation. As Lighthouse comments, there will still be a market for second and third opinions – and, I might add, for global specialists in the AMR mould.
Both firms also have consultancy and custom research teams; if you have a current project, there may be an impact here too. Check!
• Gartner To Acquire AMR Research, AMR Research news release, 1 Dec 2009
• Gartner Buys AMR Research for $64M in Cash, AMR Research, 1 Dec 2009 (longer article by Bruce Richardson)
• Gartner enters into Agreement to Acquire AMR Research, Inc., Gartner Press Release, 1 Dec 2009 (interestingly, I had to search for this news release. It’s not on the homepage)
• Gartner & AMR, but in the end its still organic growth vs. the Analyst Cycle, Analyst Equity (Lighthouse Analyst Relations), 1 Dec 2009
• Gartner hosting special AR Webinar on AMR Research acquisition, Tekrati, 1 Dec 2009 (swith registration link for 3 Dec)
• Gartner Acquiries AMR Research for $64m, SageCircle 1 Dec 2009, with registration link for 3 Dec webinar
• Gartner Acquisition History, Gartner website