Pretend you're an IT buyer. You have a multimillion dollar budget and a list of priorities. In one hand you have industry analyst reports that conflict with each other and up to your ear is your phone, through which a marketing person is screaming about needing relaxed security policies so his team can join the conversation on Twitter. You need all of this chaos to go away so you can plan your 2010 spend.
What are you going to do?
Bam, in walks Enterprise Advocates, a collective of IT industry heavyweights with a combined more than 100 years of experience consulting with $10 billion in negotiated contracts around enterprise infrastructure. Their critical mission: to fight for the IT buyer. The team is made up of R ‘Ray’ Wang (Altimeter Group), Oliver Marks (Dachis Group), Vinnie Mirchandani (dealarchitect), Frank Scavo (Strativa) and Dennis Howlett (Irregular Enterprise/AccMan).
Yesterday when I heard about this band of enterprise superheroes my first thought was, "Finally!" IT buyers are some of the most targeted on the planet, whether it be by vendors, research firms or other consultants, all clamoring to get their hands on the big dollars. Rarely has there been a "voice" for the IT buyer to help them cut through the muck, and that's what this group is trying to do.
"The idea behind this is a brainstrust of people who are going to provide a broader, objective picture for IT buyers," Marks said. "The whole point of the Advocates is to fend for the buyers who are not well represented out there. Buyers are marketed to and spun to by vendors and sold expensive reports by analysts but few are out there providing trustworthy information."
The primary platform for the Enterprise Advocates is, of course, its blog site where each member will discuss the nitty gritty behind different technologies and trends. Since they are superheroes and not fools, they will also being using this platform to bring some attention to their respective consulting projects, all of which focus on real value for enterprises -- not just spun conversations.
"It's all about objectivity and a much broader, more a seasoned approach to the market versus what is already out there," Marks said.
Specific to social media, I also spoke with Marks about Dachis Group and its unique approach to social business with its own powerhouse of consultants on hand. Earlier this week the firm issued a free white paper on social business design, which is the "intentional creation of dynamic and socially calibrated systems, process, and culture."