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.
All year, it seems like, we’ve been running CRM Idol, the contest started by Paul Greenberg to identify hot emerging companies in the greater CRM space. We are now down to voting for finalists and this is where you finally get the chance to make your ideas known. Time to vote.
This year’s crop of contestants, and especially the finalists, was exceptionally strong. These companies are all well deserving of the venture capital that they’ve already raised as well as what will be showered on them after the voting is over. We could tell right away that this year’s crop was a cut above last year’s — and they were pretty special, too. But the companies in this year’s contest really, really get it. They are laser focused on social and its many tentacles into CRM.
But social is not the only thing on the menu. We’ve seen an impressive array of automation that goes from various forms of analysis to clever virtual agents. So, when you vote think about all that and also think about how three of the seven finalists come from parts outside of Norte America. That’s right, this is a global event these days.
So let’s get to it. To vote go to the CRM Idol site here and please, s’il vous plait, por favor, puhleeze! watch the video that each company made to describe to you the business problem they solve, how they do it and what customers think of it. Then read our judges reviews of each company. Figure you need to spend about 30 minutes to do this job right and we need you to be conscientious about it.
Don’t worry if you can’t get it all done in one sitting, we know what it’s like to live in these distracted times. But come back if you need to, make some notes to yourself. Rule some out before making your final selection if it helps (just like taking the SATs).
So, go vote, it will do you some good. It will show you where the market is moving. It will also help some very talented emerging companies to sharpen their ideas and offers. Most importantly, I’ve come to see Idol as the premiere community building activity in the front office. You don’t see ERP vendors doing this, or HCM or any other branch of software (OK, maybe gamers have something equivalent but that’s not business, it’s entertainment). It’s one of those things — like Dreamforce — that makes CRM such a hip and vibrant place to hang your hat. Click here to get going.
Thanks! Gracias! Prego! Much obliged, pardner.
This is a good idea.
A bunch of independent analysts led by ring leader Paul Greenberg have launched a competition of sorts aimed at the front office market. Paulie launched an effort that plays a riff on American Idol, which he calls, appropriately enough, CRM Idol.
The object of the competition like the show is to identify one smoking hot emerging company and to give it the kind of guidance and exposure that you’d have to pay a VC’s ransom to get any other way. Check it out here.
Now, if you are in an emerging company or happen to know one check out the link and see if you want to follow the rules to CRM stardom. And it could really be stardom of a sort but if you crash and burn the whole CRM community will be watching so this is definitely for serious adults who want to take the whole process seriously.
The rules and format are simple but they take a bit of explanation so rather than telling you about them here, you’d be best served to checkout the links.
A couple of things.
Although this sounds like entertainment because it loosely follows the American Idol competition, do not be misled. This is a serious situation. You will be required to pitch your product and you will be critiqued by a panel of industry honchos with serious cred. Then the serious honchos will tell the world what they think of your efforts. This is definitely a bluebook to cram for. The winner gets more or less instant attention in the spotlight, the runners up get some free consulting from the serious honchos with…whatever.
So check it our, polish up your product and your presentation. Keep in mind that you need to be a going concern and CRM Idol is not interested in slideware.
This is an interesting week with three shows on my docket — SAS Users Group in Seattle, SugarCon and NetSuite in San Francisco. Much flying, too many hotels and lots of blog posts.
I like this part of the job, it’s where I get out to see many people of diverse backgrounds and I always come home with new and improved perspectives on our industry. Of course, there are company representatives who hope to impress with announcements of new and improved products and services. But, for my money, the real interesting part is speaking with end users, the people who can answer the difficult and simple question, how does this work for you? Customers are uniformly nice and happy to answer any question I can think up.
There’s another group that’s just as interesting, the independent analysts. Watching them you get a distinct impression that our industry is changing rapidly. Increasingly, I am finding that the established major firms don’t travel in the same circuit with us. Many of them have their own shows and stick to them. Nothing wrong with that but it leaves open the question of how they rub elbows with customers, especially small customers who might not have five or six figures to invest in an analyst relationship.
I’m an independent. I left Aberdeen Group more than six years ago to do what I want and I have never been disappointed and other independents have taken similar paths. There are many others like me too and while the recession has swelled the ranks of the independents, with ex-analysts and out of work marketing people, it’s pretty easy to spot the quality. I’ve been happy to get to know people like Estaban Kolsky, Marshall Larger, Brent Leary, and others by just traveling the circuit. They are uniformly smart and incisive but each brings something different to the party. We’re all disciples, in a way, of the man himself, Paul Greenberg, who seems to have a sixth sense for picking out the analyst gems.
How do you become an independent analyst? Well, a prior career in CRM, technology or business research and journalism or previous work for one of the big firms is the usual route. It takes a long time though. This is one of the most relationship intensive businesses I know and the relationships we have go back many years on the corporate and PR sides. If you were lucky enough to grow up in CRM you’ve got a big following on Twitter or Facebook and an even larger database. People tell us things because they trust us and building that trust takes time.
The analysts I know have solid grounding in business, technology and front office business processes and they’ve been at it a long time. Longevity and experience are tremendously valuable when you need to advise a client on what will likely work and what won’t.
The guys I’m hanging with have all of this and more. We read each other’s work and rarely compete for business, instead we support each other, trading ideas and even when we’re kidding around there’s an element of analysis at work. We were having lunch the other day in Seattle where the city requires restaurants to provide calorie counts for every item on the menu. We were at a Cheesecake Factory, which has a voluminous menu and a separate booklet with all the calorie estimates each of us took turns analyzing what we would have and joking about it. Ultimately we all changed our orders too. You had to be there.
Long story short, if you are into social ideas, and you need to be these days, there’s diversity and decentralization in this crowd of independents and it imparts a certain wisdom to what they do. It’s a pleasure to be part of the group.