Sitting in Pittsburgh alongside some of Boston's finest -- the analysts, not the jack-booted state troopers who pull me over on Storrow Drive -- made me ponder the question whether or not I consider myself an analyst. In the past year, many readers have asked if I get involved in the buy-side of Spend Management technology (my test if someone is really an industry analyst rather than an advisor or consultant). The answer up until now is that I've only done it on a limited basis, preferring to work on the sell-side of the Spend Management software and services sector. I certainly talk to practitioners all the time -- and often informally get involved in recommendations -- but I've made it a point of not taking their money.
But next year, I'll be working with at least one consultancy who wants to offer advice to their clients on Spend Management technology usage, adoption, and selection, leveraging my knowledge and network. They'll be bringing me in as an expert, but I'll leave the sales and relationship management to them. That way, I'll be able to continue to focus the majority of my efforts on blogging and working with vendor and services clients on a consulting basis, which is the work that I enjoy the most. And I'll continue to recommend other analysts and consultants to practitioners as well, keeping an open mind as to who is best for specific opportunities.