Magic Quadrant or Magic Numbers? A Judge Will Decide.

October 21, 2009

Gartner Group is known in the technology industry as a heavyweight analyst group that influences a lot of purchasing decisions. Big companies all turn to Gartner’s reports to help them on emerging trends and technologies. Software vendors like to boast when they are placed in a specific position on Gartner’s famous Magic Quadrant report. The Magic Quadrant (MQ) report has been around for years and is used to showcase key players in a certain industry, comparing them and ranking them against a set of criteria.

Gartner's Magic Quadrant is now on trial

Gartner's Magic Quadrant is now on trial

The problem? Gartner’s MQs have long been seen with suspicion by industry veterans and no matter what industry is showcased, it has always raised questions about why certain vendors were not included and why their view of the market is so different (like here about the DataWarehouse MQ,  here about the WCM MQ, and here when it tackled Cloud Computing just to name a few). Gartner analysts try as they might to correct what they see as misunderstandings again and again are facing an uphill battle.

That’s why I was not surprised when I read on Dave Kellogg’s blog that ZL Technologies is suing Gartner over the MQ. Is an interesting lawsuit because it brings up the question of whether these vendor reports can really help or hinder a company’s ability to grow. And it will help stir some debate about the usefulness of such reports to consumers in general and how relevant the reports are. From what some vendors say, depending on your space the analyst report won’t help you at all. Stay tuned!


The Networker’s Dream

October 14, 2009

Ever been in a situation where you are trying to get a hold of someone or get introduced to another person but just can’t figure out how? This is the reality for most salespeople. How do you get pass that low level gatekeeper and get an introduction to the real decision maker at the company?

Give your network a boost with PeopleMaps

Give your network a boost with PeopleMaps

The answer is in PeopleMaps.

This really cool tool I read about on Laura Ramos’ blog, shows the path between you and your desired target. By gathering information from your LinkedIn, Facebook, Yahoo, Gmail (not Hotmail, mind you), and other social media sites you belong, it maps out your connections and the connections of your connections.

There is a free version that is worth trying out just so you see the power of undcovering a strong connection between you and another person you may want to befriend. Is like LinkedIn on steroids, because not only you can see who’s connected to whom, but also HOW they are connected.

And here is where some caution is necessary. I saw that in some cases it showed me a path to a person via a friend of mine just because they both worked at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. And PWC is a company with thousands of people from all over the world, so although the fact that they worked for the same company is good, it doesn’t really ensure they know each other. A call to this friend could solve the mystery, though, and is better than no clue at all.

Sales reps should look into this tool as a potential route for getting in direct contact with those hard-to-reach contacts, and also to expand their networks. And if you are looking for a job, this may be a great way to find a way to get a personal introduction to the hiring manager on that company you want to interview for.

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