Thursday’s Thanks: It’s Been A Great 5 Years!

Published on August 6, 2009 by R "Ray" Wang

Yes, it’s true…

It’s been almost 5 years since I first joined Forrester.  I still remember my first day. I even blogged about how it was so cool to be around all those star analysts I had been following.   A few of them have left but I’ve also met a whole cast of new star analysts who have also been great to work and hang out with.   Frankly, I’m still in awe when I think about the people that are here and the clients that we work with on a regular basis.

It’s been very hard to make that decision to leave.  Forrester has given me many opportunities to push the envelope in advocating for the end users and I am grateful for the backing and support of my management team and fellow colleagues who share that entrepreneurial spirit.  Some examples of what we’ve accomplished together as clients, users, the media, and fellow employees in the past 5 years include:

  • Delivering the industry’s first end to end business process solution evaluation on Order Management Hubs;
  • Crafting an Enterprise Software Licensee’s Bill of Rights;
  • Providing inquiry, advisory, and project consulting input to >1000 enterprise software contract negotiations;
  • Pioneering research in Project Based Solutions (PBS);
  • Evangelizing the Master Data Management (MDM) and Customer Data Integration (CDI) market;
  • Creating the solution centric ecosystem model for evaluating the Stack Wars and for analyzing software partnerships;
  • Designing a long term apps strategy framework and 10 part series on helping customers with a framework to get there;
  • Developing a partner solution evaluation framework for end users and partners as the world of ecosystems take off’;
  • Launching Forrester’s Mid-market ERP coverage; and
  • Introducing the industry’s first policy evaluation in the Forrester Wave on Enterprise Software Licensing and Pricing

Innovations in packaged apps coverage and contract negotiations strategy will continue to live on at Forrester.  I know my colleagues will push the envelope and continue to do so with a deep role perspective.

So why now Ray?

But before I say my farewells let me address the issue that’s top of mind – why leave now?   Well in true analyst form, I’ll leave you with 2 bullet points. (Honestly, I couldn’t come up with a third one):

  • Create more personal time. My young and growing family has seen very little of me for the past 5 years.  I’ve had a blast putting in 120 hour weeks chatting with clients and meeting so many people in the industry.  It’s really been a pleasure and a privilege.  But, I owe it to my loved ones to be around a bit more and quite frankly, this is the best time before they become teenagers.  I’ve also got a lot frequent flier miles and hotel points I need to consume before these companies all go bankrupt!
  • Focus on strategy consulting and thought leadership in emerging technologies. I’ve joined the tail end of almost every boom. It started with health care administration, management consulting, SAP implementations, CRM, product management, and e Commerce start ups.  I don’t plan to miss this next wave of emerging technologies that bridge the stodgy and staid world of enterprise apps with the social world of consumer tech and Web 2.0.   This time I hope to be a few years ahead instead of behind.

Thank you for your support and friendship

Now, when you are at a place this long (keep in mind I live in the SF Bay Area), it becomes your family and those relationships take on greater meaning. Forrester is more than the research and sales people you see every day.  There’s a cadre of behind the scenes stars in editing, sales, client resource center, IT, consulting, marketing/PR, SG (HR), and finance that really bring the responsiveness of a start up to a 1000 person firm… which is what I’ll miss most – the relationships.

Let’s stay in touch.  There are many ways to stay social and I will continue to value your feedback, input, and suggestions as I enter my next endeavor. In the meantime, you can follow my adventures on this blog or reach out to me at:

Email Rwang0 at gmail dot com
Linked in

Related posts: [Added 20090817 16:33 PM (GMT – 8:00)]

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.

  • Paul – Thanks for the kind link and mention in your blog. One of the tough part about building a firm and a firm culture is keeping the level of quality high. You hope everyone you bring in lives up to the challenges of being an exceptional analyst. In our world that means driving thought leadership, building a buyer revenue stream, and entrepreneurialship or ownership of the business. Usually, it’s hard to find 2/3 let alone 3/3. To do this at the size of Gartner and Forrester, defies the odds b/c there are probably 100 people in each major sector who can do this on their own and to even think of organizing them together into one firm, that would be quite the challenge! – Ray

  • Ray – Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for providing leadership as an analyst. Also, thanks for your proactive twitter participation and your responsiveness. Enjoy your family and best wishes with your future ventures.

    All the best,

    Tim (truetb)

  • Ray,

    I just learned about your change of lifestyle from your tweet. Yes, your famility deserves you, and it is just right to capitalize on your achievements and get some ROI for yourself. Continue the good work wherever you go, and we’ll sure continue to keep in touch.



  • Enjoy your last day – I will miss seeing you always on, on the messenger, always ready to help!!!

  • Ray,

    Enjoy your last day at Forrester. I am sure you are going through all the normal stuff like signing papers, turning in your laptop, transferring projects, last meetings, etc. And knowing you, answering at least a couple inquiries! Hard to imagine that it has been 4 and a half years since we stepped through that door at 400 Tech Square. You had an impact on that organization. It may not always seem like it, but the indications are clearly there. You helped a lot of people (me included), taught a lot of people, and really demonstrated what the value of a good individual analyst is.

    As for what’s next, Merv’s right – it is a lot different on this side of the wall. I wish I had Merv’s way with words, but I have found that the walls were more of a hindrance than I realized. Out here there is an opportunity to stretch your thinking (and coverage), to explore exciting ideas whether they make good consulting opportunities or not, and to truly make an impact. I am sure that you will be welcomed by many with open arms. I am looking forward to watching what you do next!


  • All the best, Ray. You’ll be badly missed as an analyst! But I trust you, your family will love to spend with you all those miles and hotel points. I look forward to spending some time again with you in the future, even on a golf course! I guess you are now (re)discovering how great real vacations can be! warm regards

  • Ray! Best wishes to you on this next adventure! It’s been fun, inspiring, and oh-so-educational working with you. I’m going to miss your out of office messages detailing your travel dates for several months ahead, and the witty quotes at the end. =)

  • It was a priviledge to work with you for the past few years. All the best to you in your new endeavors. I hope whoever you end up working with cherishes your talents and all your hard work. Enjoy all the time with your family – there’s nothing better.
    PS – I really wish you were going to work with Obama; it would be a great match…although i’m not sure you’d get more time with your family.

  • Ray,
    While I now cut my chops in the legal world, I will always be thankful of the insight, advice, support, direction, and friendship you provided while I was a young researcher at Forrester. Having worked closely with you as we navigated a new employer, I can honestly say that I took a great deal away from working with you, especially your dedication to your field and your inspiring work ethic. I know the future holds many great things. Best of luck in your new endeavors.
    Ian Schuler

  • Ray,

    Sounds like a great step, not many can say they are missed and eagerly anticipated at the same time.
    I look forward for you and from you in your next endeavor.

  • Ray,
    Such a shame you are leaving now when things are just getting exciting!!
    Anyway, all the best for the future.

  • Ray, it’s been great working with you and will miss your good work. Looking forward to getting together again for one of your BBQ – now that you have more time! I’m glad to see you jump back into being an entrepeneur! Cheers, Ken

  • Ray,

    You know how you analysts all like to talk about market drivers and catalysts for change? Well, you’ve been a driver and catalyst within the analyst profession. You’ve made a strong, positive impression on lots of people — about what value an analyst can bring to the table, where the business/personal boundaries do and don’t belong, and how analysts can blog and collaborate inside and outside the glass wall.

    I trust our paths will continue to cross in the future.


  • Thanks so much for the kind words here and on twitter! Just dispelling some rumors that I’ve bought an RV and will be doing a transcon road trip, retiring and moving to Florida, working for Obama, working for Newt, and leaving as a client advocate for enterprise software.

    More in a few weeks. Till then keep it real!

  • Ray,

    Enjoy your family and good luck in your new pursuits. I’ve enjoyed your insights in the year since I discovered you and am certain you will make a giant splash in the world of emerging technologies.

  • Enjoy life without the analyst hustle and bustle, Ray. Best wishes for whatever comes next..

  • Ray, this is the best news I heard all week (and it was a pretty good week). Your collaborative skills, insight and innovation were bound to need a broader playing field, and you are going to rock out now that the restrictions will be lifted. It was a privilege for me to have worked with you in your early Forrester days, and to watch you turn into the best, most effective, efficient and productive analyst I have had the privilege to work with.

    You are going to like it outside the walled garden. Out here, your IP is your calling card, and it’s not jealously guarded and restricted to the private club. You get to talk to people at other firms, and they to you, just like real people do. I know, because that’s what I’ve learned in the past few months. You have always ignored the walls put around you better than anyone I can think of – now you no longer need to make that extra effort. Welcome! I can’t wait to see what’s next.

  • Well done, Ray. You leave with a legacy of excellent research and stories of your legendary work ethic and passion for defending software customers’ interests.

  • Ray, congratulations and best of luck on your next adventure – Hope to talk to you soon as you kick off your new life!

  • Ray,

    All the best to you, and thanks for taking the time to call today. It will be an interesting journey I am sure, I am very curious to see where this paradigm shift in this defining moment will take you…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts