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The metamorphosis of Springboard – a chat with Dane Anderson of Forrester

It’s been a little over 12 months since Forrester Research acquired Springboard, the last – only? – independent pan-region Asia/Pacific analyst firm, and it’s been fascinating to watch the metamorphosis. Any company integration is fraught with pitfalls, but it seems that both sides have invested the time and effort necessary to make this one work.

What differentiated Springboard in the past was its almost total focus on APJ, easy engagement with its analysts, and a complete absence of corporate BS. Nothing much has changed on the first two points, and the latter is within tolerable limits. Forrester had limited presence in APJ previously, so building their footprint in this region has obviously been important to their credibility, not only in the high growth markets in this part of the world, but globally.

Last week, I had the opportunity to catch up and talk in detail about the transition with Springboard co-founder and now Forrester VP and AP region manager, Dane Anderson. Dane spent more than an hour speaking with regional AR pros at our regular Institute of Industry Analyst Relations APJ Forum in Sydney (my report of that meeting on the IIAR blog), then agreed to subject himself to my first ever video interview. We then adjourned to the pub to catch up with AR pros and various local analysts – but those conversations remain largely off the record :-)

So this week, rather than write at length about my impressions, I’m going to let Dane do the talking. Brevity is key with video, so it was impossible to include all of the interesting vignettes, but hopefully this will give you some interesting insights into where Forrester is at – and where its going – in APJ.

Disclaimer: I’ve known Dane since the mid-90s, when he was catapulted into Asia as one of several young analysts tasked with building the first IDC quarterly trackers. I’ve always respected him as an analyst and admired his gumption in building Springboard with his sales sidekick, Chris Perrine. We’ve interacted many times over the years on both a professional and non-professional basis (the latter episodes usually involving quantities of beer) and have engaged in some spirited discussions about the realities of the analyst business. It’s fair to say that we haven’t always agreed, but we always respect each other’s opinions.

But enough of me. Here’s what Dane has to say:

I’d be interested in feedback not only on the content, but the format of this post. My goal is to make this blog as interesting and relevant as possible, so if video works for you, I’ll do more of it!! And hopefully the production values will improve too :-)

cheers,

Dave

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