Gartner Analyst Relations Newsletter
   October 2007 Vol. 1 No. 1 

The Gartner Analyst Relations Newsletter is a free e-mail newsletter published on a quarterly basis. It is a tool designed to provide analyst relations professionals with insight and best practices on how to best engage with Gartner for your success.

In This Issue

Mark your calendar:

Nancy Erskine
Group Vice President, Office of the Ombudsman

How to Engage the Gartner Ombudsman

Gartner methodology is designed to be independent, unbiased and fair. But when you as an AR professional are faced with the rare case where you don't fully understand your position in a Magic Quadrant or your Vendor Rating, for example, there are some actions you can take. "There is a defined process that a vendor can follow if they take issue with anything Gartner has published or recommended in a consulting engagement or anywhere else where they are impacted by Gartner opinion-even sales calls, presentations or media quotes," says Gartner Ombudsman Nancy Erskine. "AR professionals should first contact the Gartner analyst or consultant who authored the research or recommendation, but it's in your best interest to be well-prepared. Do your homework and have your facts together, and your case will be addressed quickly and thoroughly."

For research-related issues, the second point of escalation is the analyst's team manager, who will verify that all methodologies and processes were followed and that all Gartner positions have been appropriately supported. AR professionals should request the team manager's name from the analyst.

The final point of escalation is the ombudsman. When an issue reaches the ombudsman's office, one of its four Gartner associates speaks with the person who brought the issue forward to ensure that they understand all of the relevant information.

The ombudsman will then work with the relevant people, systems and documents, internal and external to Gartner, to resolve the issue. Sometimes it's just a matter of bringing the parties together to work the issue through on an even playing field. Other times it requires changes to published documents or even policies, or simply reinforcing existing guidelines and policies.

Once issues are resolved, all appropriate parties are informed of the outcome and that "the case is closed." In all cases, the process is thoroughly documented so patterns of occurrence can be tracked and reduced or eliminated.

One exception to this process is when Gartner has published a factual error that is potentially highly damaging to the vendor. Erskine says, "In these cases, the document can be rapidly removed from circulation and then, when the error is fixed, everyone who read the report in question can be informed that the correction was made and why. The good news is that this doesn't happen often."

Erskine recalls a situation when the process worked well: "There were multiple issues in one case that was particularly complex and included published research, consulting engagement findings, events and even analyst newspaper quotes. The vendor's side of the story, and their supporting arguments, were well laid out and straightforward to investigate and substantiate. In the end, we were able to resolve each issue satisfactorily and update the findings that warranted change."

"We are all about making this process transparent," said Erskine, "and that's why it is fully defined on the Ombudsman page of"

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