I wanted to say congratulations to David Schatsky and the team at JupiterResearch, as well as the fine folks at Forrester Research, on the news of FORR’s acquisition of JupiterResearch announced this morning. Forrester has acquired a great asset and a great group of analysts, researchers, and operational staff, and it was very encouraging to read David Schatsky’s post on the subject, especially:
“Jupiter’s employees are also going to benefit from the combination with Forrester. Forrester execs have enthusiastically expressed to me their respect for the quality of our staff and are eager for us to become part of the expanded company. Jupiter folks will reap the benefits of being part of a larger organization, with its rich resources, track record of effective execution, and commitment to employee growth and career development.”
Somewhat ironic that FORR has been actively looking for someone to cover web analytics since Megan Burns (who will be at the upcoming X Change conference) has transitioned to cover customer experience more broadly. John Lovett, in my humble opinion, will make a great Forrester analyst and was almost certainly the best candidate for the job … <grin>not that Mr. Colony should have paid a $23M bonus to his current employer.</grin>
While I am excited for all involved, this combination of companies does raise one specific concern within the web analytics sector: Instead of three independent voices in the community providing an objective assessment of the competitive landscape that can be compared and contrasted over time, now there will be only two, Forrester’s view and Gartner’s view.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a tremendous respect for all involved here — otherwise I would never have advocated for inviting Megan, John, and Bill to keynote the upcoming X Change 2008 conference I’m a partner in. But I do have some small concern that the market’s view of the vendor landscape will soon be defined by one fewer data points, especially since Gartner has not done a formal Magic Quadrant on the sector recently (although Bill did publish a market note on web analytics on July 3rd that I assume is available to Gartner clients.)
I suppose my fears may be unfounded, but given the unusual (and perhaps unreasonable) amount of weight vendors, consultants, and companies alike seem to put on these constellations, waves, and magic quadrants, the loss of one-third of the available information may have implications that won’t manifest for quite some time. In the context of the consolidation our industry has gone through in the last 24 months, I think technology buyers are even more likely to look for that “objective” viewpoint and rely on published research.
Wait and see, I guess, but I have a few new questions to ask Megan, John, and Bill in a few weeks at the X Change!
Regardless, I’m excited for the folks at Forrester and JupiterResearch and sincerely hope the acquisition proves fruitful for all involved.