Many thanks to Chris Bucholtz for the work he does selecting, reading and ranking the top CRM blogs of the year. Chris’s list contains 20 top blogs here and here and it includes names of friends like Paul Greenberg, Jesus Hoyos, Esteban Kolsky, Brian Vellmure, and Louis Columbus just for starters. If you want to know what’s going on in CRM you can start with that list.
Tracking 20 blogs to get enough familiarity with them to judge and rank them is a tall order. Bloggers post frequently and even if Chris reads just one post from each blog each week that’s a minimum of a thousand per year. I am sure he reads much more than that too. So hats off to Chris for this valuable service. If you’re wondering I also made the list, which is very gratifying.
This month Beagle Research Group celebrates its tenth birthday. I founded the company on January 3, 2004 and have spent the last ten years doing whatever it is that I do. This isn’t my attempt to draw your attention (ok, maybe a little). But face facts, if you’re reading this you must be a rather hardcore CRM-er and so my real motive for writing about this anniversary at all is simply to say thanks to all of the people and vendors who’ve supported this little experiment in self-employment for over a decade now. To my mind there’s nothing finer than digging into a new business problem with a client and figuring it out.
There’s also a growing community of like-minded people out there starting with Paul Greenberg but also including pals like Brent Leary and Esteban Kolsky, and many others that I will not name to protect the innocent. I see these people at conferences and events; we trade ideas, write reviews of each other’s books, and sometimes collaborate on research together. They make the experience more rewarding and a bit less solitary than working alone can be sometimes.
Let me also shout out the people who work in analyst relations and PR who must have majored in wrangling cats. They make my job much easier by arranging access to key CRM decision-makers, important events, and frequent briefings.
Finally, thanks to all of the editors who seek out my ideas and post my writing. I don’t make a great deal of money from these relationships but the exposure gained by posting my analyses on many subjects helps to keep me in business.
Ok, back to work.
On Beagle’s ninth anniversary.
This is a special time of year for me personally, regardless of everything else going on for the holidays because it’s a professional anniversary too. I started my career as an analyst on January 3, 2000, the first workday of the new millennium, at Aberdeen Group.
My job was to cover SFA in the exploding CRM market and, just for fun, I told my boss, Chris Fletcher when I started, that I thought this idea of hosted applications would be a major inflection point and I wanted to cover it. As luck had it, SFA and hosting went well together and my career bloomed. I wrote about the space for four years at Aberdeen and did pretty well advising clients like Salesnet, UpShot and, of course, Salesforce.com.
At the end of 2003 we were in a recession and Aberdeen looked like it was destined for oblivion. New management came in and rather than dealing with what I felt was a punitive regime, I left, four years to the day after I’d started.
But I really liked being an analyst and it was something I was good at so it was hard to leave just because I didn’t have a job. That’s how Beagle Research got started. The HMS Beagle was Darwin’s research vessel on a five-year voyage around the world for the British Navy. I’d always had an evolutionary orientation, which I have applied to my study of markets with great success, so the whole Beagle Research name made sense for me. I hung out a shingle and the rest just happened.
So as we end 2012, I am celebrating the completion of nine years of success as an independent analyst, researcher and consultant and my beat continues to expand. For instance, social was not an established part of CRM when I started out but it is now, so I keep learning and it’s been fun.
Now’s a good time to say thank you to all of you for sticking with me as friends, clients, associates and fellow analysts. I couldn’t have gotten through the last nine years without people like Paul Greenberg, Esteban Kolsky and Brent Leary or the many outlets that carry my writing — and all of my clients. I am going to stop here because there are really too many people to thank and I will miss some but you know who you are. I see you at shows, sit on panels with you, write for you, do research with you and most importantly trade ideas with you and learn from you. So, thanks for being unwitting partners in this journey and Happy Holidays!
FYI, we’re getting ready to launch a new website which will have a more establishment look. It will be up shortly and will finally consolidate the blog, the neglected website and the common URL. I look forward to continuing our many conversations and to the idea exchange that makes this work so much fun.
Four talented front office analysts join forces in a unique model to deliver market research.
Contact: Denis Pombriant
Denis@BeagleResearch.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Boston) December 13, 2012 – Denis Pombriant, President of Beagle Research announced the creation of The Bullpen Group this morning. The Bullpen Group, a new research and analysis firm in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) market, includes such CRM industry luminaries as Paul Greenberg, Brent Leary, Esteban Kolsky and Mr. Pombriant. The group’s purpose is to provide an ad hoc model for senior analysts collaborating on important market research projects that concentrate on some of the most important trends and topics from front office, CRM, social business, collaboration, to cloud computing and mobile computing.
Pombriant, the managing principal of Bullpen Group said, “In bringing together four of the best analysts in the front office market we plan to leverage both conventional research modalities and social approaches to provide vendors and end users with some of the most in-depth and actionable research in the market.”
According to the group’s business model, the four principals will continue their individual practices while coming together under the aegis of the Bullpen Group to perform research that requires the talents of more than a single researcher at a time. Paul Greenberg, the group’s director of research said, “We know what the trends and practices that need to be investigated are. Our mission is to bring together the right resources to make sure that the research is of the caliber needed.”
Esteban Kolsky, founder of ThinkJar, LLC and co-founder of Bullpen Group, said, “This is the way primary research should be done – aggregated knowledge from experts shared across channels and time. I am very happy to be part of this new endeavor.”
“Things are happening faster than ever before, and it still feels like we’re in the early innings. While individually we are able to dig into a few areas, working together on projects allows us to cover more ground, provide deeper analysis and add more value to the industry,” said Brent Leary also a co-founder of the group.
The Bullpen Group can be reached at Denis@BeagleResearch.com.