Page Three

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2002-10-09 Print this article Print

: Interview With Michael Fleisher"> EWEEK: What were your impressions of IBM? Fleisher: The guys at IBM have done a phenomenal job of transforming their business. They have an incredibly mature management model and theyll continue to succeed in the marketplace because of that.
EWEEK: There are no celebrities here this year. Why?
Fleisher: Our goal is to highlight our intellectual capital base. We have used Top Brokaw and Linda Ellerbee as moderators, but we found that our top analysts interviewing the top CEOs is of more value to our clients. EWEEK: What is your number one priority in running Gartner? Fleisher: Number one is making the company increasingly client-focused. Our clients, the people who make the technology decisions at the worlds largest companies, are going through a metamorphosis right now. They are having to become business people. They have to make tougher decisions of higher strategic value. Making sure our research is the core intellectual capital is of the greatest value in giving those people the insight and guidance they need. Its not something you can ever let up on. EWEEK: Do you recruit top analysts from outside or try to develop from within? Fleisher: Both. We develop our own folks, but we are pretty aggressive recruiters for talent. And we have gotten tough on culling our talent. EWEEK: Is the top criterion for analysts how much revenue they generate? Fleisher: Our analysts are not measured on revenue performance at all, for pretty obvious reasons. Independence and objectivity is what our entire business is premised on. Weve seen on Wall Street and other places the danger of tying people too tightly to the revenue streams in those businesses. Our people are judged on the intellectual capital they create. They are judged by their peers. And we have increased data on what our clients are using based on And there are client skills. Some clients are great at presenting at conferences like this and others are great at spending time with clients. It is not easy to become a Gartner analysts because of our screening process. Theres written work and group interviews. Im happy I didnt start at Gartner as an analyst because Im not sure I would have made it through the screening. EWEEK: Why did it make sense to sell TechRepublic? Fleisher: The vast majority of our clients receive their information online. We have spent a fortune enhancing that. Clients need to be able to access a huge knowledge base but find whats of value to them. However, TechRepublic is based on an advertising business model and it wasnt the right fit for us, so we decided to sell it. EWEEK: What technologies excite you personally? Fleisher: First, the increasing availability of broadband access everywhere. Our children think that high-speed access, rich media, audio and video are part of the experience of interacting with technology. That will shape how businesses, governments and cultures are built over the next 10 or 20 years. Second, the infrastructure underpinning technologies that make our enterprises work. I tell CEOs to spend time with their kids to learn about new technologies and then spend time with their CIOs and look at the rock-solid technologies that are being implemented to make business more successful.

Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

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