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Genuine Research — Accept No Substitutes, especially vendor-written summaries!

by Tom Austin  |  August 7, 2010  |  Comments Off on Genuine Research — Accept No Substitutes, especially vendor-written summaries!

IBM’s Ed Brill decided to do himself a favor by publishing his summary of our recent research note entitiled “Migrating Off Notes/Domino E-Mail May Make Sense in Some Circumstances”.

If you want to understand what we said, read our research note, not (just) Ed’s spin. I say “we” because even though the only name on the author line is mine, the contents were written by hundreds of Gartner clients, filtered through several key Gartner analysts and vetted by a large number of analysts and managers at Gartner.

While you need to be a Gartner client to read the note, the summary we posted is available to everyone, whether clients or not:

Increasing numbers of IBM Lotus Notes e-mail customers seek Gartner’s advice about moving to other e-mail systems. Either staying with Notes e-mail or migrating can be the right choice, depending on each enterprise’s needs and circumstances.

Those of you who are clients should take the complete Research Note — print it out — and take a highlighter to it (or use electronic equivalents) and try to figure out what statements in the research note Ed Brill forgot to mention in his write up. If you run into Ed, ask him. If you run into an IBM account executive brandishing Ed’s summary, ask the account exec.

Then prioritize the omissions for Ed (there’s more than one). And send them to him asking him why those statements were left out.

Don’t really do that, please! Ed doesn’t need to be deluged with more email, in either electronic or paper form. I’m trying to make an important point. You might benefit from seeing the difference between our research and vendor spin (or vendor employee spin).

Consider the sources: Ed is IBM’s chief Notes evangelist (his official title is Director, End-User Messaging and Collaboration) and his focus is maximizing IBM’s success. Would you expect someone in that position to put a spin on his summary of our research, a spin to help him achieve his objectives? (I bet you and I have formulated the same answer in our minds.)

I’ve been where Ed is today. I used to work for a vendor in this very space, among others, Digital Equipment. I know what someone in Ed’s position is supposed to do. And, in my capacity as a Gartner analyst, I know what I have to do too.

If you want to know what we wrote, read our research, not a vendor’s summary or extract or use of selected quotes. Otherwise, you never really know what you’re getting, do you?

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Tom Austin
VP & Gartner Fellow
20 years at Gartner
41 years IT industry

Tom Austin, VP, has been a Gartner Fellow since 1997. He drives Gartner's research content incubator (the Maverick Program) and is leading a new research community creating research on the emerging era of smart machines. Read Full Bio

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