by Eric Goodness | January 28, 2009 | Comments Off on Dimension Data Global Analyst Conference: Best Practice for Providing Quality Dialogue
I recently returned home from South Africa. I traveled there to attend Dimension Data’s global analyst conference.
- Travel time was approximately 45 hours by plane and car to make the meetings and return home
- My luggage was lost by the airline for most of the visit
- Connectivity, to keep up with corporate communications, was dicey
It was the best analyst conference I’ve ever attended.
I offer this post as a best practice consideration for vendors planning their next analyst event. What made the conference so valuable was its focus on 1-on-1 sessions. Sure most conferences today offer 1-on-1s; however, Dimension Data clearly prepped for the conversations with analysts.
Dimension Data is a very decentralized company. In addition to its corporate CEO, each major geography is managed by a separate chief executive that reports in to the corporate CEO. All analysts were able to speak to Dimension Data CEOs – Corporate, Asia-Pac, Australia, Africa-MEA and Europe (unfortunately the Americas chief executive did not make the conference).
The Dimension Data executives distinguished themselves by providing insight into country level, and solution set detail, in terms of market drivers and inhibitors rarely found at other analyst conference or in any other type of engagement…not even in Marketscope or Magic Quadrant conversations.
Too often executives at analysts conferences practice their marketing-arts-of-obfuscation; either to maintain imagined competitive advantage or to mask a lack of knowledge of the market. My advice to vendors scheduling 1-on-1s is: If your executives, and non-executives, can’t provide insight expressed as operations benchmarks, market drivers-and-inhibitors or prevailing trends for contract structure at analyst conferences – don’t bother.
The information provided by Dimension Data was focused and straightforward to help the analysts community understand their operations and business direction. Most impressive of all was the clarity of insight they brought to the table about small and mid size emerging economies.
I regularly attend conferences and briefings by the top 30 outsourcers and I’ve never received information, or vendor opinion, to the level of detail as I did at this conference.
The other attending Gartner analysts and I will likely create an Event note to talk about what we learned and our impressions of Dimension Data looking forward. I offer this post simply as a well deserved ‘atta-boy’ to the Dimension Data team (take note Knowledge Capital, SageCircle et al!).
Many thanks to Connie De Lange, Hillary King, Jeanne Day-Spriesterbach and Barbara Beauchamp who sponsored and managed the event.
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