As this and other blogs noted last week, Bruce Richardson, an icon in the world of industry analysts has joined ERP provider Infor in the role of Chief Strategy Officer.  To state that this announcement is quite significant to the industry analyst world, and to AMR Research and Gartner, would be an understatement.  It is literally the “earthquake that rocked” the industry analyst landscape in 2010.

I have personally known and admired Bruce for many years.  As a veteran in the software and information technology industry, I often looked forward to hearing Bruce’s predictions and summations of industry trends and developments.  His interviews of industry executives always garnered the interest of competitors, and having Bruce write or mention your firm or software application was highly sought after. Bruce’s First Thing Monday was required reading every Monday morning for information technology executives.  AMR’s salespeople could always count on the mention of Bruce as the catalyst to close a research services deal, especially the world of ERP and supply chain technology.

When I joined AMR Research as an industry analyst, I came to enjoy the other side of Bruce, his quirky ability to be the literal rock star of any industry event.  Bruce has many gifts, but the most important in my view was his ability to gain access to all levels of the executive suite, or to literally be able to work any room to garner key information.   Bruce was the essence and fabric of AMR Research, and no AMR or other major vendor conference or event was complete without having his presence. I sincerely wish Bruce all the best in this new chapter of his career. Bruce has already launched into a new View From the Inside Newsletter which is published on the Infor web site.

Now that Bruce has decided to move over to “the dark side”, many technology marketing professionals have asked my opinion on this move. 

Well, here it is. 

Bruce was not going to conform to the culture and mannerisms of a Gartner, and he obviously knew that.  Bruce is a freestyle, he says what he thinks and is often not shy about calling out something for what it is.  Existing AMR Research clients, especially those with supply chain interest, will now have to figure out the implications of this move to their needs in research and advisory services.  Kevin O’Marah seems to be the chosen executive to fill in the void.

Kevin is an able analyst and industry observer. Kevin’s management attention will be torn between insuring a smooth transition as a boutique research arm of Gartner, while trying to fill the void of industry geru and desired speaker.  Just rationalizing and overseeing the AMR Research Top 25 Supply Chains research process is a task unto itself.

Bottom line, AMR Research will not be the same without Bruce Richardson.  Its like the Boston Red Sox losing David Ortiz, “Big Papi“.  Regardless of how he plays or what he does, he fills the seats.

 Bob Ferrari