It always excites me when an analyst firm expands its commitment to covering a sector that I live and breathe. But in the past year, about the only good news for Spend Management analyst coverage was Aberdeen’s practice expansion. Aberdeen added a number of senior analysts to complement Tim Minahan's already excellent coverage of the sector.
Now, I remain very excited about where Aberdeen is taking its Spend Management coverage in 2005 and beyond. But last week, I learned that AMR Research would be ramping up their coverage of Spend Management and supply chain management. What's the news? AMR has extended an offer to a senior analyst (with significant vendor and analyst experience) to cover the intersection of the two sectors. It looks like he'll be starting in August. Rumor has it AMR is also talking to other strong candidates who might come on board as well.
I've always been a fan of Lora Cecere’s coverage. But whle I sometimes disagree with her points, she always publishes a quality product. However, a single shining analyst does not make a firm -- or their coverage of the sector -- especially when she's tasked with covering many other areas as well. The news of this new addition is indeed great, and I expect significant more quality coverage coming out of AMR as a result.
Where are Forrester and Gartner in all of this? I'd argue they’re becoming more irrelevant everyday in the Spend Management arena, and I caution my friends at various vendors to allocate their resources according to who matters and who is covering the sector aggressively -- and how influential they are with Spend Management technology and services buyers.
In my book, it's a darn shame that senior analysts like Andrew Bartels and Andy Kyte don’t have the support to build a team to cover the sector. But change must come from within, and vendors and buyers alike need to vote with their dollars which research and advice they value the most to effect change within the industry analyst market.