Edit: Any further anonymous comments to this post will be deleted. Signed comments are permitted as always.
Most of what I get paid for is in some form or other consulting. (The same would be true for many other analysts.) And so I can be a bit stingy with my advice toward non-clients. But my non-clients are a distinguished and powerful group, including in their number Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and most of the BI vendors. So here’s a bit of advice for them too.
Oracle. On the plus side, you guys have been making progress against your reputation for untruthfulness. Oh, I’ve dinged you for some past slip-ups, but on the whole they’ve been no worse than other vendors.’ But recently you pulled a doozy. The analyst reports section of your website fails to distinguish between unsponsored and sponsored work.* That is a horrible ethical stumble. Fix it fast. Then put processes in place to ensure nothing that dishonest happens again for a good long time.
*Merv Adrian’s “report” listed high on that page is actually a sponsored white paper. That Merv himself screwed up by not labeling it clearly as such in no way exonerates Oracle. Besides, I’m sure Merv won’t soon repeat the error — but for Oracle, this represents a whole pattern of behavior.
Oracle. And while I’m at it, outright dishonesty isn’t your only unnecessary credibility problem. You’re also playing too many games in analyst relations.
HP. Neoview will never succeed. Admit it to yourselves. Go buy something that can.
Smaller BI vendors. Analytic DBMS evaluations commonly include BI strategy and tool selection as well. If an analytic DBMS expert tells you he needs to learn more about your product line, don’t blow him off. In fact, you should be particularly embracing anybody who’s shown a fondness for small DBMS vendors; maybe he or his clients will like small BI vendors as well. That means (among others) Jaspersoft, Endeca, and Tableau.
Information Builders. Is there anything about your BI products that is in any way technologically differentiated? If so, you might want to mention some examples to somebody some time.
Kalido. I’ve said this to you before, but it bears repeating — your positioning translates to “I-CASE for analytics,” and that’s not a good thing. If your product is not as cumbersome and entrapping as that sounds, you need to do a much better job of explaining why not.
SenSage. You are what you are. Sell out while the selling is good. You don’t have the corporate personality to make it into the analytic DBMS mainstream on your own.
Ingres. You need to be more engaged with analysts than you are. Ingres navel-gazed too much 25 years ago, and evidently you haven’t outgrown it yet.
TIBCO. You probably have a lot of cool analytic technology, but I don’t know of an influencer who has much relationship with or trust in you. Rethink how you’re approaching influencer relations top to bottom.
Tableau. You had a lot of mindshare, but it’s fading. Do something.
MarkLogic, graph DBMS vendors, etc. You’re clinging too hard to the NoSQL label. Nobody is out there deciding among Cassandra, neo4j, and MarkLogic. They might be deciding between MongoDB and MarkLogic, I guess, but if you admit to yourself that’s all it is you’ll probably change your messaging somewhat.
Objectivity. Get real about marketing. Infinite Graph is a cool opportunity. But I didn’t even ping you for a meeting when I’m in your area next week, because I wouldn’t have known who to reach out to.
Everybody (especially Objectivity). “First X deployed in the cloud” is almost surely an inaccurate claim. Don’t make it. And by the way, even if it were true, it probably wouldn’t be interesting.