One of the free eZines I like is the AR Insider from KCG. Subscribe here. One of their writers has some tough commentary on the Gartner/META acquisition. Here are some of the highlights. First, they make the fair point that:
“…vendors that tend to get creamed by the analysts in M&A are the ones who make the announcement, but don’t seem to have any real plan for migrating customers, honoring contracts and articulating a go-forward plan and vision.”
On that basis they go on to recommend that companies don’t renew old Meta subscription based services until both Meta and Gartner management can tell you why you should.
Given what has been communicated so far, we feel that the chances of you getting what you want from the transaction and not having at least some of the value of the subscription vanish are very slim.
They go on to give a couple of reasons:
“…Many of Meta’s top analysts will leave as part of the acquisition.
…Lack of Communication or Plan. As of yet, Gartner nor Meta executive leadership has not stepped forward to offer anybody, not even their best clients (nor many of their senior analysts and managers) any indication as to what the new combined entity will look like and most importantly, how current Meta clients will be accommodated.
…Lack of Management Direction Leads to Stupid Sales Rep Tricks. This is where it gets almost unbelievable. The behavior right now of Meta’s sales force is pathetic. I don’t mean evil or even hyper aggressive, I mean pathetic in its dictionary definition – dismal, sad, pitiable, weak or feeble… we have seen the evidence and it isn’t pretty. We have seen over a dozen emails over the last three weeks from Meta sales reps to our clients, where they have tried, in vain to conduct business. We have seen denial “There is a good chance the acquisition won‚t go through”, we have seen obvious misstatement “Meta will not be merged into Gartner anytime in the foreseeable future (let‚s see Gartner management sell that one to Wall Street) and we have seen obvious desperation.” “Just sign now and we’ll figure out the details later”.
…The Bottom Line. So, you have a 50:50 chance that your key analyst (which, of course, for vendors is more important than the firm) will still work there, you have no guidance as to how any business you do with Meta now will translate into similar services with Gartner as the deal consummates and you have rudderless Meta sales reps trying to tell you that business is usual and nothing has changed.”
KCG deserves a huge amount of credit for flagging what is, isn’t or might be going on here. Sign-up for the newsletter.