Merv’s Bio

Hi – thanks for coming. I’m the founder and principal analyst at IT Market Strategy, which I founded in 2009 after three decades in the IT industry. At that time, I had just left Forrester Research after 6 years as Senior Vice President. I had helped restructure the research organization after it acquired Giga Information Group, where I had been an analyst and research manager, executive editor of the monthly Research Digest and weekly GigaFlash, and chair of  the GigaWorld conference (later Forrester IT Forum.) At Forrester, I ran technology research for several years and returned to the analyst ranks to cover the software industry and launch Forrester’s practice in Analyst Relations. I spent two years after leaving Forrester following the software markets as an independent analyst, specializing in the emerging ADBMS, BI, data integration, and other data management disciplines.

Merv at IBM's IoD

In 2011, I was recruited to Gartner and spent the next 12+ years there as a Research Vice President on the DBMS team, where I was one of the authors of Magic Quadrants and Critical Capabilities research in the space. I was Vendor Lead for Microsoft for three years – the first three years of Satya Nadella’s tenure as CEO. I spoke at numerous Gartner and external industry events, advised hundreds of user and vendor clients, participated in Gartner’s primary research via surveys and case studies, delivered webinars, and haunted social computing channels.

A sizable part of my practice was working with Gartner’s clients in the investment community, where my own experience working on Wall Street early in my career helped me communicate effectively.

Transparency is a frequent topic in the independent analyst circles I travel in. I hope my readers find this useful:  I own no stock in any technology firms. Vendors will be identified as clients whenever I mention them in a post here. Under no circumstances does my blog writing depend on these relationships – this blog is not, and never will be, written for pay. For more details, see my Disclosure Policy page.

Before becoming an industry analyst, I worked in Strategic Marketing, data warehouse marketing, and analyst relations at Sybase, where I helped launch Sybase IQ, and before that at Information Builders, where I also founded and edited a technical journal and a marketing quarterly.  In the 1980s I was a programmer, building systems as an independent consultant, and with Shearson Lehman Brothers. Prior to that, I was a statistical analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Mike (standing), Randy and Merv (guitars) in Marbella
 Mike Gilpin (standing), Randy Heffner and Merv (guitars) in Marbella

Some folks also know me for musical pursuits, including the Giga/Forrester jam band, where I was a founding member along with Mike Gilpin and Randy Heffner. Our sessions were a popular feature at our conferences and one of the elements I remember most fondly – you never look at a client the same way after you belt out Walkin’ in Memphis with them at midnight after a few beers. Playing is a big part of who I am, but I’ve never made it the career I dreamed of back in the fabulous 60s. You can connect to that part of my output on my music page.

I was around for the introduction of the PC and edited the NYPC User Group newsletter in the days when billg, Peter Norton, and similar luminaries came in person. I wrote articles in those days for PC Magazine, ComputerWorld, and the late lamented Information Center magazine (that’s where we did BI in those days, kids.) During my daily commutes from the Jersey shore to NYC, I wrote a book, The Workstation Data Link, about the emerging micro-to-mainframe space. Back then we put boards into our PCs to connect up to the glass house, and it wasn’t easy!

It’s been a lot of fun to ride the information technology train, and it keeps getting more interesting all the time. If I can offer you any assistance, please let me know.

You can reach me directly at these coordinates: