The 2018 Americas Analyst Firm Awards (AFA) shows big changes, even at the top. Naturally Gartner’s lead is increased by its purchase of CEB. It now creates more analyst value in this category than any other. Around three-tenths of all the value reported by users in the Americas. According to the 2017-18 Analyst Value Survey, IDC has overtaken Forrester to take the second place.
The shake-up, however is in the six following firms. Of them, only HfS Research was in our previous Americas ranking. That ranking was published in 2015. Three years is certainly a long time. The changes reflect the extreme dynamism of the markets, major changes in business development and differences in what users want from analyst firms.
451 Research is the highest climber in the top ten. 451 benefits from an enhancement in the AFA methodology which reflects the most firms that are most relied upon. Because of NYC-headquartered 451’s ties with the investment community, it is one of the hardest firms to substitute. It has a uniquely strong focus on tracking and valuing privately-held technology firms. That has allowed it to feel less pain than expected while recovering from a peak of turnover on both the research and sales sides in 2017.
Ten winners of the 2018 Americas Analyst Firm Awards
- Gartner remains the leader in the US market. Its sales force continues to grow, for example with the opening of a new sales facility in Dallas.
- IDC’s ability to deliver nuanced local coverage helped it to advance in both North America and Latin America.
- Forrester Research’s slow migration into marketing consultancy and cloud gives it a keen eye for trust aspects of technology and for technology’s impact on the customer.
- 451 Research impressed clients, especially with prompt M&A analysis and Latin America coverage.
- CXP Group’s modest user base in the USA rated it very highly, with hard-to-equal insight on Europe including GDPR, vendor analysys and sectors where IoT adoption is ahead of the Americas.
- Ovum, similarly, was valued for spotlighting technologies with major regional regulatory differences like cybersecurity and banking.
- HfS Research’s strengths in digital and IoT allowed it to hold its place well in the middle of the ranking, and notably above the three final firms.
- Frost & Sullivan was highly valued by vendors and some manufacturers for difficult to replace market forecasts
- Business Insider Intelligence looks a little like Gigaom Research from the outside. However, it has won some traction with serious market research on topics like global payments and edge computing.
- ISG held onto its place in the top ten, although not as well as HfS. It made an impact with its Paragon awards. The purchase of Saugtuck and Experton allows it to produce credible research.
Firms to watch
CXP Group, and in particular the Pierre Audoin Consultants unit, has shown the patience that every European brand needs to attempt entry in the US market. As Ovum found in the 1990s, market entry can be like the series of Rocky movies. It’s a rollercoaster of defeats and successes. The next years will be less rocky if CXP Group develops its toehold in the US vendor market.
ISG held its place in the Americas top ten by a fingernail. Enterprise Strategy Group and Info-Tech Research Group were close enough that we considered placing them in a joint tenth place.
This is part of a series of posts about the six 2018 Analyst Firm Award categories. Each post notes the ten firms that came highest in that category, out of the top 60 firms on which the Analyst Value Survey surveys users. Each post will also include slightly extended comments on two of the firms: one at the start, noting a strong performer in the top group, and one at the end of the post to note a firm that did better than its average in that category. In total the series will contain extended comments on all 12 of the firms which collected Analyst Firm Awards.