Gartner and Burton Group: webinar report available

The report from the InformationSpan/Lighthouse AR webinar, discussing Gartner’s acquisition of Burton Group, is now available through Please click the link below for a free download.

This report discusses the reasons for the move; its impact on the marketplace; and action points for clients of both Gartner and Burton Group. We are very grateful to Ashley Bassett, an experienced sales executive with wide and relevant experience, for joining us on the call and contributing significantly to the report.

We’ve also had an email from Enterprise Management Associates, who are offering clients with verifiable current Burton subscriptions a special deal for a limited time. Their coverage overlaps many of the areas of the legacy Burton service.

Incidentally, Burton analysts are still blogging. AMR seems to have gone quiet in this department.

Final (important) note: either InformationSpan or Lighthouse will be delighted to help clients work out in more detail the implications in their own particular situations.

• InformationSpan Reports (for link to download this report)
• Lighthouse Analyst Relations
• Enterprise Management Associates (Burton clients wanting information about the offer should email
There is a roundup of early links related to the acquisition on Newstin

Can Web 2.0 run your Business?

No, this isn’t another posting about the iPad. I’ll wait and see on that one. But a lightweight, accessible device with Apple’s great connectivity and bigger screen capabilities than the iPhone (and its competitors) might well facilitate what this note is actually about!

I presented a session recently at the British Computer Society’s group of independent consultants, with the same title as this post. Everyone knows there are a wide range of Internet-based services out there, from hardware (think Amazon’s EC2 or S3) to presentation platforms like Dimdim to sophisticated business software like Most of it’s available inexpensively or for free.

And the same’s true of information sources. You don’t have to rely on news services which often just relay the press release. There’s accessible content from the major insight firms like Gartner and Forrester, and many others, which you don’t have to pay for (think blogs and podcasts, but also some of their significant reports).

InformationSpan specialises in these two areas, and the aim of the session was twofold. First, to get people thinking about the way that web services can help small players like us to match capabilities with the enterprises that we would like to be our clients. But secondly, to think about things you have to look out for – the small print of the terms and conditions which, in the web world, are take-it-or-leave-it, the mix of services you may end up with, and so on.

Take a look at the presentation, which is now available on the InformationSpan website and includes links to all the services mentioned. The conversation at the session will also feed into a more formal report; watch this space.

Oh, and by the way. Euan Semple, who’s been mentioned in this column more than once, is launching a series of three training seminars in February and March targetted at enterprises trying to figure out the same questions. If you’re in that space, well worth the money I’m sure. This is an unsolicited plug!

• Can Web 2.0 run my business, InformationSpan presentation, BCS Consultancy Group, 12 Jan 2010
• Training Workshops 2010, Online Information and Euan Semple (this is at the top of the page as posted now, but in due course you might need to page down)
• BCS Consultancy Specialist Group (CONSIG)

Guest post: To Gartner, Burton is better off dead

Dan Mahoney was the North American GM for Dataquest when Gartner bought them. When I first met Dan he was the SVP of Research, under Gideon Gartner, for Giga Information Group: a post he held for a number of years before Forrester bought them. He was then responsible for integrating those two companies, ending up as the Chief Research Officer for Forrester. Like Burton in this deal, Giga were the technical people in the integration with Forrester.

Dan participated in our webinar yesterday on the Gartner/Burton deal, and sent us these comments.

To Gartner, Burton is just better off dead. Not as much from the research that Burton published than from the “enterprise-wide” model. That is a real impact on the way that Gartner, and a lot of others, do business. Gideon revolutionized things when he implemented that type of pricing at Giga, and I have had a number of conversations with other CEOs since then that they were really hurt by it. Some of them saying that “he almost killed the industry with that”.

Here are my thoughts:

  • Burton is going to lose analysts simply based on the Gartner model of having multiple analysts covering one area. The Burton analysts are used to being the Big Dog in their area and now they will have competition. The top ones may well be able to negotiate a good deal to stay on but, over the next year, some key people will leave.
  • Gartner will be gaining some key coverage areas. That’s a key to the purchase. They also will be gaining salespeople who have good relations with certain clients who Gartner has not been able to penetrate. Those sales people will be safe, but the others, where there is overlap, will be at risk over 2010.
  • Gartner needs to say that it is “business as usual” because there are Burton clients who have bought annual contracts. That will all change by September. Forrester had said that it would keep the Giga product lines and analyst groups separate through the year, and ended up merging everything by September [ITasITis note: Gartner did the same with META Group’s valued Enterprise Architecture service when they bought META in 2005]
  • The cultural impact on the Burton people will be big and may very well be too high a hurdle for some key people. Gartner is the purchaser and is much more set in its ways than Burton. The Burton team, by the end of 2010 will be integrated into the Gartner methodologies.
  • I really don’t believe that Gartner will go “enterprise-wide” with their contracts. What they are now acquiring are additional clients within existing customers of theirs, or potentially addition customer accounts that they can sell their additional value into. “Enterprise-wide” (where one payment gives everyone in an organisation access to the firm’s research) is a dilution of their entire financial model. Gideon Gartner tried to do that with Giga and was successful there, but financially it doesn’t make sense for Gartner to change any of their financial models right now.
  • I think that the “second opinion” right now may fall on the “Google” syndrome – or social networks, rather than another analyst firm.
  • I too am disappointed that Forrester has not jumped sooner on some other firms, although their focus for growth seems now to be much more the marketing professional, and so you may see some acquisitions in that area rather than the IT area, and may be why we’re not hearing much about it.

Your clients should:

  • get very close to their favorite Burton analysts and watch what they are doing and where they are going. If they leave, then follow them. In many cases, it is the analyst that people put their trust in and good analysts will land somewhere where they can get the support to do their jobs well.
  • Heed your advice about contracts and lock in as much as they can right now. Things will change over 2010 and be totally different in 2011.

This post is also available at Analyst Equity

We will shortly publish a report of the call: unfortunately a recording is not available

Gartner update on Burton and AMR

Gartner’s AR Community call, with an update on both the Burton and AMR acquisitions, has just closed.

From the point of view of an enterprise user client: the position is still maintained that AMR and Burton will operate as separate brands within the Gartner umbrella. You will need separate subscriptions. And from the point of view of integration, the two acquisitions are at much the same stage since the AMR deal was pre-announced; both deals completed in the last couple of weeks of the old year.

But crossover has started:

  • the head of the Burton research team, within Gartner and reporting to Peter Sondegaard (SVP Research), will be a Gartner person (the AMR team will be headed by Kevin O’Marah of AMR) [correction: I misunderstood; but there will be a “senior Gartner research manager” moved across to the Burton management team. See the comments below]
  • two Gartner analysts, Dwight Klappich and Tim Payne, will “move” from Gartner’s ERP/Supply Chain team into the AMR team. They will, though, continue to publish through the Gartner side as well as through AMR
  • AMR’s (small) Enterprise Applications team will move into the Gartner Enterprise Applications group but will still publish to the AMR side
  • users should expect to see “some co-authoring” between the legacy Gartner and the acquired teams
  • Gartner’s research community meetings will expand to include both acquired teams with a view to “managing the research positions”
  • part of the “welcome meeting” happening next week for AMR will be to “align agendas”, despite Gartner’s earlier insistence that the AMR agenda for 2010 is already decided and will be delivered as-is
  • some “small moves” between the analyst groups will also happen to encourage alignment; the Klappich/Payne transfer is the first

What’s not said, but logically must be a consequence of all these moves, is that content will converge. Burton is clearly going to be more strongly “Gartnerised” than AMR initially, but the internal moves of two senior analysts mean that AMR’s offering will converge too. Therefore the “second opinion” functions of these teams must dilute over time.

Gartner identify significant commonality between the Burton and Gartner client bases, and both are IT-oriented. This differs, in Gartner’s view, from the situation with AMR which is said to target “a different buying community”. Where there are two (or, potentially, three) account executives then the impression given is that, over the next few months, one of these will be designated as “lead”; it sounded as if Gartner will trump Burton but may not trump AMR. For smaller accounts, Gartner will consolidate the relationship onto one individual. They have committed to consult with clients about changes: hold them to this!

The teams will move towards common back-office support and delivery platforms, and a new unified web presence should emerge “within months”.

A key point, though, is that Gartner are looking to expand the reach of Burton outside North America. Burton have always had a presence here (and have one analyst based in Ireland), their Catalyst conference used to take place in Europe as well as the US, and there’s Europe-oriented coverage. But the presence has been limited although Burton have been endeavouring to raise their profile. Gartner’s sales teams are already in place and with the integration completed prior to announcement they will be able to sell Burton products as soon as they’re trained.

So the shape of the deals is becoming clearer; but don’t drop your guard just yet!

Join our Gartner-Burton webinar [UPDATED]

Lighthouse Analyst Relations and InformationSpan are once again scheduling a free webcast to explore the implications of Gartner’s acquisition of Burton Group. There will be actions for enterprise IT users who either (a) are Burton clients, and need to work out what’s going to happen to their service; or (b) are Gartner clients and may find some new options opening up.

DATE: Wednesday 13 January
TIME: 16.00 UK time (that’s 17.00 Europe, 11 a.m. EST, 8 a.m. PST)
Click here to register

Leading the call will be Duncan Chapple, of Lighthouse, and myself, and we hope to be joined by an ex Burton Group account executive. This webinar will have the edge!

Date and time: Wednesday 13th January at 16.00 UK time, 11 a.m US East Coast, 17:00 European time, 8 a.m US Pacific. Registration and connection details to follow; watch this space.