According to the comments on this blog post, Ab Initio has been throwing analysts out of their trade show booths and being otherwise rude for at least two years, and probably a long longer. That goes beyond marketing strategy or quirkiness. It means Ab Initio has some secrets it desperately doesn’t want to have found out, or at least that it wants to conceal unless there are Ab Initio salespeople present to spin the prospects’ response to the news.
Probably, these are just failings or limitations of the product. Wilder speculation includes intellectual property violations and the like, but in most cases the reason that people don’t want to be evaluated is simply that they think an evaluation would wind up including negative aspects.
Or maybe it’s ownership and funding. When a company doesn’t even reveal management’s names, you know they’re taking secrecy to extremes. Again, I refer to the example of Thunderstone, an outfit that once had very good search technology and an impressive customer base, but now barely shows up in the market’s awareness.