Would Yankee Group be a better owner of Ovum than Datamonitor? That’s one of the questions kicked around in last week’s Advisor Spotlight, our monthly discussion about leading analyst firms.
It’s an interesting question. Datamonitor had strong grounds for buying Ovum last year, and it was a smart buy. It made Ovum part of a business that was growing its way up the value chain.
However, the purchase of Datamonitor by Informa is a little different. Informa is more like Datamonitor than Ovum is. Informa also extends over many more industries than just telecoms and tech. As we discussed in May, they have to work hard to generate cash from the deal. Our feeling is that Datamonitor was attractive to Informa almost despite Ovum — Datamonitor’s other businesses make a much better fit with Informa’s structured and data-driven information products than does the Ovum advisory approach, which requires more domain expertise.
But if the Informa deal changes things, so does Ovum’s evolution. The firm is seen by many as now poorly positioned in software and services, and thus more like a firm focused on global communications.
And that leads us to Yankee, which is also a firm focused on global communications in the broadest meaning of connectivity, but without a global base. If four-fifths of Yankee’s revenue is from the US, then they have the opportunity to fit well with Ovum. And a sale of Ovum would certainly give Informa back some of what it paid for Datamonitor.
Of course, this is – perhaps – a worst case scenario for managers at Datamonitor. They have a cunning plan to take both Ovum and Datamonitor forward together. I can’t discuss it for the next few weeks, but next month Datamonitor’s strategy and execution will be the focus for our ‘Advisor Spotlight’ call.
Please join me on Thursday November 15 for the discussion: later this week you’ll be able to book your seat at www.acteva.com/go/ar/ and subscribers to the AR Intranet get automatic seats. The call, as always, is at 11 am Eastern, 4 pm UK time.