Verdantix: the only climate change business research firm in your or any other town

We met with David Metcalfe, one of the founders and a Director at Verdantix this week. David will be familiar to you from his Forrester Research analyst and vice-president roles over the past 8  years.

Verdantix is a traditional analyst research company in its business model, but it is far from that when it comes to its research and reach. Verdantix’ aim is to help business and technology leaders (although it is not primarily focused on IT)  in all industry sectors make the best decisions on climate change, carbon markets and corporate responsibility. David’s view is that the role of IT and the role of technology providers in  “climate change” is probably very small since the concentration of most current solutions is on reducing energy usage rather than on the more substantial impacts of regulatory and economic issues. You would not think he was right given the explosion of products and services on green IT by vendors and the volume of research by analyst houses – it seems like this is a solution searching for a problem rather that the other way around. But if you are an AR organisation leading analyst outreach around your company’s green IT solutions maybe you should be finding out why this is so much bigger a business issue and then you might just be able to help your company break out from the pack. The premise that Verdantix sets out is that real solutions on climate change mean helping organizations take steps towards enterprise transformation to enable them to survive and grow in the changed global climate. A climate in which potentially everything changes: from how people-based businesses rethink moving their executives around the world to how global and regional energy policies affect all businesses and economies to the major change impending the energy and transport-based industries. His research company has some other innovations too. Like not being slow to evaluate vendors and evaluating them (for the most part) as immature, like giving away for free the evaluation “green quadrant” and only charging for the research paper supporting it, like recruiting end users to form panels for surveying and more critically being the key external market rater of vendors (Verdantix refutes the value of interviewing vendors one or two “best” client references). Being based in Europe, Verdantix believes it is starting in the right place, the US is at least 2/3 years behind Europe in addressing climate change. In Europe there are already 11,000 industrial sites affected by relevant EU legislation and in 2009, 5,000 UK organizations like universities, hotel chains, retail banks and government departments will be legally obliged to measure, manage and report on their emissions. On discussing the future growth potential for his business, David was enthusiastic but cautious, noting that it is not until we approach 2011, when legislation starts aggressively “biting”, that the majority will start taking climate change impacts seriously enough at the top. However, so long as CO2 concentrations keep on increasing, then this business’ own “Moores Law” engine of growth means that over the next 5 years Verdantix should expand significantly and you will likely see their success driving others to move to take a piece of the market. We wish David and Verdantix well, we like their strategy, we like their research and we like their ambition. You should all contact Verdantix and form your own view

IBM and HP lead new Lighthouse System Integration and Consulting Index

This week we are launching the latest addition to the Lighthouse Index family – The Lighthouse Systems Integration and Consulting Index. The topic was discussed briefly last month when we announced our plans to launch new indexes.

System Integration and Consulting - August 2008The graphic to the right provides a list of the firms that are monitored in this particular index and their ranking in this first Index. As in with the Outsourcing Index the top 3 positions are occupied by IBM, HP and Accenture. Fujitsu is ranked 4th while the French headquartered consulting giant Capgemini is at the 5th spot. The index, much like the Outsourcing index published last month, has the major Indian firms tailing the major global players with Infosys ranked the highest at 8th spot.

Included for the first time in Lighthouse Indexes are the “pure play” strategy consulting houses McKinsey, Bain, Booz & Company and Booz Allen Hamilton and the major other “Big Four” accounting and auditing firms PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young and KPMG who have to differing degrees re-entered the business and technology consulting markets. The fourth “Big Four” firm, Deloitte, never separated its consulting arm and so has been included in the Lighthouse Services Index from the beginning. It is interesting to note that in analyst terms Booz Allen Hamilton which focuses on US government consulting work, has received slightly higher analyst coverage than its former partner Booz & Company which retains a global cross-industry consulting organisation excluding US government work of course.  As this is the first of a new Index there is no graphic this month, September will see the first Consulting and Systems Integration Index graphic. Feel free to contact us if you feel we have missed out any important firm and provide feedback on how we could improve on our set of indexes.

Are you improving your AR results faster than your competitors?

As readers of this blog will know, analysts’ awareness of solution providers is a powerful predictor of how likely you are to be recommended by them (since awareness comes before favourability). One key aspect of this important question is how your awareness with analyst firms is changing over time and how your firm rates against selected competitors.

Lighthouse’s Analyst Mindshare Benchmark (AMB) which measures exactly this also contains more than 5 years historical data. Over last year we have improved our analytical facilities and so our relaunched AMB service is now available inexpensively. The AMB measures awareness through looking at share of voice in research published by a wide range of analyst firms globally (over 375 firms’ research is currently indexed). We can also make custom additions for those who want to add in other sources to the Benchmark.

Lighthouse is giving readers the opportunity to see a sample of results from the AMB via a short interactive webinar with Martin Tilling or Duncan Chapple. If you are interested, contact us to arrange a time to show you the Benchmark. Or let us know via email if you are interested in hearing more.

PAC – expanding repertoire, expanding client base – coming of age?

Now 30 years since its foundation, Pierre Audoin Consultants has come a very long way forward and reached around the globe with their proposition of local and global research and consulting on a wide range of IS markets.

PAC has had a very strong track record of growth in recent years (c. 15% CAGR) and demonstrates great confidence. PAC now appears determined to take the organisation to the next level and are striving for awareness and penetration across boardrooms (not just IT and marketing departments) of both IS vendors and end-user organisations.

To do this PAC need to serve end-users. PAC tells us that it is working for some of the largest national organisations in their “home” countries (i.e. France and Germany) as well as one or two companies in other regions. This is a very positive move. We wait to see how more PAC will move in this direction.

We believe that user work will take PAC deeper into vendor-comparison work, rating research and potentially vendor selection work. Furthermore, we believe that it is also exactly those things which will further help to raise the profile of PAC in the boardroom. This is an area which PAC has staunchly stayed away from in the past, so we wait to see its moves in this space.

Then PAC could finally come of age and take its strived for place at the top table. It has the necessary elements to become a first-tier analyst firm (although scale remains a key factor). European and global firms have been waiting a long time for an analyst firm with truly very strong local roots and global reach….. properties that seem to becoming PAC’s forte.

HCL gains ground in the Lighthouse Outsourcing Index

Lighthouse Outsourcing Index - August 2008HCL is the biggest month on month gainer this month in the new Lighthouse Outsourcing Index. The firm has benefited from analyst focus on its announcement to buy Liberata and has gained 5 positions this month. HCL is now ranked at the 14th spot. The other notable gainer this month is ACS, which incidentally also got a mention in our regular Services Index this month, is the second biggest mover this month with a gain of 2 positions. In the top 5 firms, continuing analyst focus on the impact of HP’s acquisition of EDS has helped EDS to move to the 3rd place.

Atos Origin has shown the biggest drop this month. The firm has dropped 3 positions and is now ranked at the 16th spot. Accenture is the firm that lost the 3rd position to EDS. Its now now ranked at the 4th spot.