Ariba was able to recruit many of the big names to their analyst day. In particular, I was pleasantly surprised to see Pierre Mitchell and Chris Sawchuk of the Hackett Group join the crowd, slumming it in the 'burgh (as a former resident, I can get away with cracking Pittsburgh jokes). While not industry analysts per se, both actively cover the sector and get involved in client recommendations and technology and process advisory work. And besides, what would a vendor analyst day be without Pierre's wicked -- some might say twisted -- sense of sourcing humor? Besides Hackett, AMR also sent two folks to the show, Mickey North Rizza and Mark Hillman. Mickey is AMR's lead analyst covering Ariba and the sector, but Mark’s coverage of supply risk and related areas (e.g., commodity hedging) is a great complement to her work.
Aberdeen sent Andrew Bartolini to the event (it was great to meet him after hearing many good things from the grapevine about him). Unfortunately, Vance Checketts had another commitment, or at least that was the rumor. Personally, I think Vance is just afraid of losing to me in a 10K jog around Pittsburgh @ 6:00 AM in the morning. Rounding out the analyst crowd were Bob Ferrari of Manufacturing Insights (an IDC-backed venture), David Dobrin of B2B Analysts, and Debbie Wilson of Gartner. David was well behaved, I must admit (even though secretly I was hoping for some of his infamous zingers). Overall, it was a great turnout. As I said before, I think it's a shame Forrester did not make it. If they're going to stay in the business reviewing Spend Management technology and they fail to gain a handle on the associated processes and services, I'll be disappointed, given the tight linkage of technology and process in our corner of the enterprise market.