: Interview"> EWEEK: That sounds more like what Accenture and companies like that might do. Amoroso: The Accentures of the world do this, but a lot of these organizations have developed very deep vendor partnerships and they tend to build a core competence in these [vendor] packages. And they have invested in the people with this expertise.Meta started principally in research and analysis. But in recent years we developed a consulting practice to give customers more hands-on attention and more support. Its a great growth opportunity for us. EWEEK: Will this help bring you back to profitability soon? Amoroso: We just released our second-quarter earnings. While the general downturn has affected everyone, weve done better than others in our space, in terms of revenue declines and profitability. We are still losing money, and I wont say when well be profitable. However, we took action early and had our downsizing in April of 2001. EWEEK: Was founder Dale Kutnick asked to step aside? Amoroso: In any companys development, people ask themselves what they like to do and what they dont like to do. Dale started the company in 1989 and has had a very successful reign. What Dale really likes to do is research. He works with the research team on the methodology and he works with customers. When you get to be a $100 million company, the CEO is going to spend most of his time running the business. Dale discussed with the board what he wanted to do and collectively they worked on it. Dale is staying as chairman of the board. EWEEK: Research firms sometimes are suspected of conflicts of interest when they work for vendors as well as customers. What is METAs reponse to such questions? Amoroso: What our customers are looking for among the research and consulting companies is objectivity and independence. If they felt we would be more favorable to companies we had a larger relationship with, then what value would we have? At META, no single analyst publishes without other analysts participation, and we do not compensate our analysts for the depth of a vendor relationship because we want them to be objective. There are some vendors that have asked us to help them in their strategies. We do that, but its 35 percent of our business, and we do that with a different group of analysts.
Were not getting into the implementation services work. However, our independence puts us in a better position to advise customers without regard to alliances.