Ovum buys RHK Research

RHK, the $4.5m analyst house following the global telecom industry, has been bought by Ovum in the last hour. RHK is one of the most global of the US analyst firms, with almost half its revenue coming from outside the US, principally from Western Europe and East Asia.

RHK has lost momentum in 2005 for a number of reasons, but has a strong brand, good analysts, a large base of intellectual property and is highly respected. Seventeen staff are joining Ovum as a result.

RHK would be a great fit for a firm with a similar customer base but a more global sales channel, such as Ovum. The challenge, as always, is how not to ‘kill the goose that lays the golden eggs’. Ovum-RHK carries a lot of goodwill, so a rapid decision to kill the brand would be very dangerous.

P.S. The merged firm will be roughly the same size as AMR Research, and with a customer base divided between buyers (enterprises, public sector and telecoms operators) and suppliers (ICT vendors and those telecom operators). It will be interesting to see what sort of profile this gets Ovum in the US. Part of me thinks it would have been better to rebrand the resulting firm as RHK in order to ease its acceptance in the US market. Despite its recent successes, some US vendors don’t understand that Ovum is a sizable and reputable player – even in the US market.

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