I need to rant a little.
As an analyst at Gartner, I can’t describe how angry I get when I read bloggers spouting as “fact” their opinion that I and my teammates have no integrity. That we can be “bought.”
In my 14+ years at Gartner, I have never, ever allowed a vendor to influence my opinion with anything but facts. Period. They have certainly tried to influence me with non-facts. I can say this definitively – it has never worked.
I don’t think there is a single vendor that I have dealt with who has not been very angry with me at some point. Tough. I’ve been yelled at by many IT executives – including the CEOs of Microsoft and HP, and many other firms. I can’t think of one of those cases when I changed my analysis one bit. I can’t speak for other firms, but at Gartner, getting yelled at by a CEO is a badge of honor. Being proven right as time goes on – priceless.
I certainly spend time helping vendors with their strategies and their marketing messages – and I enjoy doing it. Frankly, the ones who yell at us the most seem to respect our opinion the most. We can spot holes a mile away, and engaged early enough, we can help vendors fill those holes with real product offerings – that not only help the vendors, but help our end user clients. And my primary business is helping end users.
I worked at IBM for 11 years. During the last few years, I was doing some technical evangelizing to analyst firms – and hiring these firms to write white papers. There were plenty available for hire – and still are. There was only one firm that wouldn’t allow us to edit their work – Gartner. Only one. We tried, but they wouldn’t budge. They could not be bought. It was unusual, and I completely respected that. When the opportunity came to join Gartner, I jumped. I wouldn’t have even considered anyone else.
Since I’ve joined the firm, my appreciation for the integrity of the firm and its analysts has only increased. If I felt that the firm’s integrity was bending, first I would fight it with all my might, and then I would be outta there. I’m not gone yet!
So I understand the impression in the marketplace that analyst firms can be bought. But that’s not where I work. My integrity is very important to me. I’m sure we’ll continue to make enemies of vendors, and bloggers who have a vested interest in one thing or another. Badge of honor! But my goal is to provide value to my clients, and to be proven right over time – priceless!
End of rant.
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.