Last week I was with posed a question for the nth time – probably the 50th time since launching Greyhound Research 3 years ago – and it prompted me to formally pen down my thoughts. This question is not new for me and I sort of expect it with those who are yet to get acquainted with our ethos:
“Like your peers, why don’t you not have reports that benchmark vendors?”
For nearly 3 years I’ve avoided writing about this topic (for various reasons) but I finally decided to give in. To share with you a background, this time around the question was posed to me by a prospective buy-side client – a well-known CIO of a Fortune 500 company. Clearly someone who is well exposed to the analyst fraternity and the value we bring to the table. So, instead of directly answering his question, I took the liberty of asking him a question:
“Would you base your decisions amounting to millions of dollars’ on the back of such reports alone?”
The answer was neither a Yes, nor a No. It was silence…and a gaze that told me that the man on the other side of the table had been posed with a very pertinent question.
Having served in my role as an analyst for two of the best known brands in the fraternity, I’ve always questioned the rationale for analyst firms to undertake vendor benchmarking exercises. These exercises that are treated much like a religious ritual by both sides, the analyst firm and technology vendor, typically culminate in a diktat from the analyst firm. It’s perceived that this diktat will be treated as a holy grail by IT Decision Makers. Not to say there is no value that comes out of such exercises, but how far they are relevant and useful for specific organisational situations remains unclear.
Whether or not IT Decision Makers, particularly CIOs, accept this diktat as their gospel of truth has been a topic of heated debate in multiple forums. But this ritual does guarantee one sure shot outcome – a resounding acceptance (read spend of marketing budgets to announce results) by technology vendors who are rated highly. Of course, the other vendors who are either rated poorly or not included at all either choose to invest more (time and money) to be accepted by the almighty analyst or totally shun the route and take to vehemently criticising the role and value of analyst firms.
In either of the outcomes, this entire exercise at best serves the purpose of acting as an extension of the technology vendors marketing efforts. It’s only a handful that truly deep-dive in the suggested outcomes of the diktat to gather actionable insights for their purpose. Hence my suggestion that most such exercises act as an extended arm of the technology vendors marketing teams and collaterals.
While founding Greyhound Research, I was firm on my belief of building an organisation that truly stands out for its insights. Unbiased outcomes that act as true insights for IT Decision Makers (and others in the technology ecosystem) and not act as an extended arm of the technology vendor marketing teams. To actualise this belief, we have kept away from co-branded research papers and vendor benchmarking exercises. Instead, we are focusing our energies on independently-authored research notes and benchmarking toolkits that help IT Decision Makers with insights that truly make a difference to their organisation and projects.
Have we been successful at what we do? I would like to believe so – or let me say, the numbers and sufficient anecdotal evidence definitely points me in that direction. Please read on.
With a dedicated focus on Enterprise Technology and IT Decision Makers, late last year we launched our official Enterprise Technology Insights Portal, EnterpriseInsightsPivot.com. Worthy to note that our regular base of global readers on this portal has crossed well past 100,000.
Separately, our efforts to encourage knowledge sharing via our exclusive, invite-only community, Greyhound Golden Gate has been very well received. As of date, the community has enrolled over 1000 CxOs from across the globe who participate in our on-going research studies and closed-door discussions/workshops. In the same spirit, we are championing two key initiatives. The first one is a knowledge sharing series called ONTrigger – as part of this campaign, we interview the movers and shakers of the technology world. Second is a campaign where we share key snippets of insights from some of our latest work – we call this Greyhound Standpoint. You may also search these campaigns on Twitter using hashtags, #ONTrigger and #GreyhoundStandpoint.
Over and beyond, in the previous calendar year we wrote 1000+ pieces of insights (research notes, media enquiries et al) that were read from over 125 countries, answered 5000+ IT Decision Maker enquiries from across the globe, spoke at over 100+ CxO conferences (with an average attendance per conference of 250 IT Decision Makers & Influencers) and conducted over 150+ closed-door discussions/workshops (with an average attendance of 8-10 IT Decision Makers).
On the Consumer Technology front, we’ve been quietly strengthening our research on back of our Consumer Technology Insights Portal, ConsumerInsightsPivot.com. This is an extension of the acquisition we made last year of a company called Internet Of Style. Our Consumer Technology content attracts over 1 million readers (on an annualised basis) across all Greyhound networks.
Overall, our marketing statistics from the past calendar year tell us that across all Greyhound Networks we received over 1 million+ Google impressions and an additional 1 million+ Twitter impressions.
Last but not the least, don’t take our word for it. Read what the technology community has to say about us!
As it’s expected of nonconformists – to be open and honest – we at Greyhound Research are passionately conforming to this rule. Cheers to those who support our efforts to stay independent and work with us for the right reasons! A BIG Thank You! 🙂