Each month, Influencer Relations highlights one of the leading analysts in our industry. We ask one of our favorite analysts about their current work, past experiences and how to get the best out of them.
I am a Research Partner with Analysys Mason. I’ve been involved in telecoms for over 20 years, around 15 of which as an analyst. I run Analysys Mason’s business services practice. We look at the services that operators are selling to businesses, covering connectivity, UC, IoT, cloud, security and other IT services.
I started as a journalist covering telecoms back in 1999 – a real boom time for telecoms. The first story I wrote was on Fastweb – at the time it had about 8 employees. I stayed as a journalist until 2002 but I wanted to get a deeper understanding of what was happening and why – the analyst role was an obvious next step. I also worked for a telecoms operator (Telefonica) from 2008-2010 developing new services, but decided to move back to being an analyst. It’s more fun as an analyst than working for a big telco.
My main involvement with AR is to arrange briefings with the companies that I follow.
An analyst needs good balance of different skills – writing, presenting, numerical skills and so. But, more than these skills, good analysts spend a lot of time talking (and listening!) to different people and opinions. You need to hear from vendors, service providers, customers and others involved in the industry, test your ideas on them and gradually evolve your thinking based on these inputs.
Years ago, I went to meet a client expecting a chat on a topic I knew very little about over coffee. Instead, I was given a room full of people, a projector and a 60 minute slot to present on this topic. It didn’t go well.
From an IT perspective, the shift to working from home hasn’t been too hard as we were all set up to work remotely anyhow. Our client base is also very international and so many of our interactions were also remote, though they are now typically done with cameras on (probably an improvement).
The lack of face to face events has been difficult though. We haven’t had the chance to have informal conversations, to chat over coffee. These conversations can be so useful.
WHICH INDUSTRY ANALYSTS SURPRISE YOU?
I probably don’t follow other analysts as closely as I should.
I think Ben Thompson, not an industry analyst as such, but close, is worth reading. He has his own framework for looking at issues, which often gives more perspective than you get elsewhere.
Of other telecoms analysts, I always find Gabriel Brown at Heavy Reading interesting. I also think the team at CCS Insights do a good job.