Research firm carves out niche with bottoms-up approach
By Michael McCord
Seacoast Sunday, November 3, 2013
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON — A recent report about computer tablets by Technology Business Research Inc. gets to the heart of a significant trend — how tablets "are upsetting the established order" and altering research and development strategies — that could leave some industry vendors struggling.
"The explosive growth of the tablet marketplace, particularly in emerging markets, is compelling vendors to hastily align their device portfolios, rapidly develop new form factors or both to capitalize on demand," the Oct. 8 report said. "Vendors lagging in this product segment are prime examples of companies that have struggled to adapt to the changing marketplace."
Overall, TBRI estimates global tablet revenue increased by 45.8 percent from the first quarter of 2012 to $10.5 billion in the first quarter of 2013 and exceeded smartphone growth by 10 percent.
There is no shortage of business research, but TBRI President Jon Lindy said the firm has carved out a niche that sets it apart because of its intense focus on the nuts and bolts of a wide range of technology companies and understanding the sectors these companies inhabit.
"Our strength comes from the way we view the market," said Lindy, who helped co-found the company in 1996. "Where others focus on markets or technologies or technology implementation, we focus on companies and their business performance, analyzing their strategies and business models.
"We are unique in that we take a bottoms-up approach looking at the performance of a company, collecting and modeling fundamental financial and head-count metrics, building a company view and ultimately a macro view of a market."
Lindy said TBRI works with an exclusive roster of Fortune 100 clients, and its 72 employees (almost all work out of its Hampton headquarters) do intense research and produce a wide range of reports.
"Our focus is on business performance of technology companies, but we segment the larger market into devices, data center, enterprise networking, IT services, management consulting, mobility, telecom operators and telecom vendors," he said.
For example, its Software Business Quarterly highlights 12 major software producers including Oracle, IBM, Dell, Microsoft, Red Hat and SAP. Lindy emphasized the research is created with a definite purpose for their clients.
"We're focused on delivering actionable, factual information that executives can make decisions on," he said. "In short, what we, and our clients, care about are metrics such as profitability, revenue, growth and qualitative information such as go-to-market strategies, product entry/exit strategies, SWOT analyses, expansion plans, acquisitions, mergers and other activities that make a vendor a leader or a laggard.
"On a quarterly basis, we're creating over 170 syndicated or subscription reports, plus we're working with clients on custom projects on a variety of business-focused topics."
While the TBRI is largely unknown to the public at large, its has an established reputation for research expertise and has become a regular source for journalists and other tech industry experts.
TBRI was created by employees who took over a floundering research firm based in Hampton. Of the original co-founders only Lindy and CEO David Mack remain. Lindy said TBRI built on what it did best and began to expand its research repertoire over the years. The company also drew on the growing talent pool from the University of New Hampshire and the New England region.
"When other firms were analyzing markets, we were analyzing companies across markets and focusing on their business performance," Lindy said. "We have the product that the company was founded upon, which are our Business Quarterlies (computer, network, software, professional services, Cloud). However, we've grown beyond those capabilities and expanded into new research areas and products. The technology market is in a constant state of flux, and we're aligning the markets our customers care about to the research we conduct."
"Our strength comes from the way we view the market. Where others focus on markets or technologies or technology implementation, we focus on companies and their business performance, analyzing their strategies and business models."
At a glance
Technology Business Research Inc.
Leadership: President Jon Lindy, CEO David Mack
Address: 11 Merrill Drive, Hampton