Over at Sourcing Innovation Michael Lamoureux has the scoop that Sudy Bharadwaj has left Aberdeen. He ponders that Vance will now assume the leadership position of the group (which is a logical conclusion one might draw). But despite Vance's lower sounding "Director" title, he was in fact running the group when Sudy was there. So rather than step up into a larger role, Vance has to worry about filling a critical one. While I have no doubt that Vance could continue on his own and crank out some excellent research and uncover some juicy tidbits to share with clients -- I've seen him in action beating up vendors as a good analyst should -- I'm sure he'll want to find a good lieutenant so that Aberdeen can continue to publish at the rate they have, lest other aspiring firms in the sector (e.g., ARC) start eating the scraps of their lunch (which could add up and make for a good meal).
One piece of advice I can offer to Vance is for his group to author more frequent, shorter Market Alerts with opinion and analysis not to mention including additional subjective commentary based on deep expertise in the longer sponsored reports (which they are certainly capable of, but might go against the grain of the "fact based" research approach they claim as a differentiator). Still, just like McKinsey does in their Quarterly, I would argue that it's possible to combine objective analysis with expert opinion. Aberdeen might not have figured out a revenue model for these types of briefs yet, but I can certainly say the good will that writing more will bring them in the market will more than compensate for the time required to do it. Just look at how AMR now publishes their pithy news takes on the newswire itself. Talk about good marketing!