Just a few things ranging from an observation on a survey, an event you should go to, to whassup with my next few months and blog posts, so that you can either meet up with me if you want to - I'd LOVE you to - or help me, guide me, direct me on the blog posts before I write them.
SAP LinkedIn Poll Corroborates (More or Less) the findings of ZDNet Poll
SAP just completed an informal MyVenturePad sponsored poll on LinkedIn entitled Who Do You Trust Most When Making a Business Software Decision? This, as you might know, resembles (slightly) the poll that I did a few months ago on ZDNet where I asked the question "Which Enterprise Analyst Firm Do You Trust the Most? What they found somewhat surprisingly and somewhat not is that the most trusted "sources" for making business software decisions are the technology evaluation sites - I think they mean the ones that have algorithms as opposed to review sites and a very close second independent analysts and bloggers etc. - e.g. folks like me, Brent Leary, Denis Pombriant, Michael Krigsman, Esteban Kolsky, Jesus Hoyos in LATAM, etc. Back in the pack were the analyst firms who lagged by a good 10 percent from the other two categories. I'm not sure that proves anything all in all that scientific, but it is at least an interesting indicator on how trust has shifted. My poll found somewhat similarly though "I don't trust any of 'em" was number two in the poll. Ventana Research was the winner of the poll though from what I can gather from a bit of a probe there was encouragement from the Ventana team to their customers to participate. To their credit, despite the slight gaming of the system, their customers felt committed enough to respond in enough volume for Ventana to win - which says a lot about how they treat their customers. So I don't entirely discount what they did because clearly their customers responded and I didn't see anyone else's respond that way.
Another thing that the SAP poll points to is that if you follow through on the idea that independent analysts are trusted more than the large firms, what you also realize is that individual analysts at the large firms are trusted more than the companies themselves. For example, the trust in Bill Band, Natalie Petouhoff and Ray Wang at Forrester is non-pareil - and rightfully so. They are amazingly good -and they do what's right for the customer plus great research. Similarly for the always astonishing and brilliant Michael Maoz, and Ed Thompson and Scott Nelson at Gartner and Mike Fauscette at IDC. There are many others who I didn't name who can be and are individually trusted at each firm and at other firms. But there is a declining trust in the way that the larger analyst firms handle their relationships with their customers. They are saved by the individuals who work for them, not by corporate practices - which is a problem. No names. Just an observation - one with lots of anecdotal evidence and some survey corroboration. But this fits into the results of the SAP poll. It shows the nature of how trust has changed. Trust is now with peers, with individuals more and corporations less. Which creates a serious conundrum for those individual companies.
An Event You Should Make Point of Attending
There is one that I have both self-aggrandizing and good reason to recommend that you spend some of your recession-damaged dollars and attend:
August 24-26, 2009 - New York - Marquis Marriott - CRM Evolution 2009 - As always, this one is perhaps the major CRM conference of the year sponsored and run by Infotoday which is the parent of the highly respected, iconoclastic, award-winning magazine CRM Magazine. My self-aggrandizing reason for this one is that I'm both chairing it and keynoting it (along with a joint session of the simultaneous Infotoday-run SpeechTek conference). But more than me, there is a surplus of heavy hitting presentations at this one. Its almost ideal with the combination of major league analysts like Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary, Ray Wang, Natalie Petouhoff, Bill Band, Mike Fauscette and a myriad of others. It has world-class, award winning business leaders like Bruce Culbert speaking. Government mavens like Casey Coleman, the CIO of the GSA, and Bob Greenberg who leads the 2.0 move in the world of homeland security through the Virtual USA program, and is my brother too! We've got social CRM practitioner rock stars like Frank Eliason of Comcast and....welll actually the list keeps going. It some 30 plus speakers. If you show up as a paid attendee you get a Blackberry of your choice for free. Storm, Bold, whatever. You pick it. Also, I'm giving away a free week of consulting (40 hours) to someone who will be drawn from the audience. So if you can stand me, come on over.
PG Meetups - The Rest of the Calendar
This is the rest of my calendar so far. If you happen to be at the event or in the area, feel free to get ahold of me via this blog or via Twitter at @pgreenbe or email at email@example.com or even, gasp, via my cell - 703-338-0232 - you can call or text me. We can hook up.
August 24-26 - CRM Evolution 2009, Marriott Marquis Hotel, NY (see above for details)
September 9-11 Sword Ciboodle Customer Forum, Union League Club, Chicago (moderator, speaker)
September 12 - The Social Software Strategy and Interaction Design Conference (S3xD) - Washington D.C. (speaker/trainer)
September 14-16 - Gartner CRM Summit, Westin Kierland Resort, Scottsdale AZ at Sage Hospitality Suite for 2 hours night of 9/15 and wandering around the conference - find me through Sage folks - and cell etc. (speaker, kibbitzer)
October 6-10 - Millionaire's Club Top of the Table event - Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, Kauai Hawaii (not sure we could do a meetup unless you happen to be Kauai that time) (speaker)
October 11-14 - Oracle OpenWorld, Moscone Center, San Francisco (speaker, analyst)
November 4-7 - CRM Summit led by Rafael Rodriguez, Bogota Colombia (speaker, no details yet)
November 10-14 - CRM Association Benelux Nations, Amsterdam, Netherlands (speaker, no details yet)
November 17-20 - Dreamforce 09, Moscone Center, San Francisco (analyst, journalist)
I think that's it for the next few months that I can think of. If someone I'm supposed to be hooking up with or speaking with out of DC isn't on this list, let me know. I'm prone to senior moments every now and then so I might be having one. In any case, if you're in any of these locations, let me know and we'll take try to have a drink...or two....or....something.
Concepts To Watch For
Here's a list of some of what I'm going to be writing about on PGreenblog, not ZDNet. Feel free to weigh in on any of them even prior to me writing about them. Or suggest other topics. I'm hungry.
- Competing against yourself - How expectations power customer behavior (THIS ONE COMING VERY SOON!)
- The Margin of Utility - When practicality trumps look and feel
- What makes an expert or consultant less skilled than a practitioner? Damned if I know. A rant.
- The transformation from the public-private partnership to the cooperative community in the public sector
- Music and Entertainment - Pop Culture and how it impacts the customer experience - the role of coolness and stylin'.
- Emotional verticals - what they mean for Social CRM
Okay, I'm done for now. I'm already writing the Competing Against Yourself posting. Can't wait to get your feedback on this one. It is just so f-ing interesting out there right now!!!
See ya later.