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Ovum is an independent analyst and consultancy firm headquartered in London, specializing in global coverage of IT, and telecommunications industries. It began operations in 1985 and by 2005 claimed to be the largest technology analyst firm that was headquartered outside of the United States. Ovum also has offices in Paris, New York, Boston, Dubai, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Seoul, Hyderabad, Hong Kong and Tokyo amongst others. Its main competitors are Gartner, Forrester, IDC and Analysys Mason.
Ovum was first created in 1970 by Tim Johnson, technology journalist at the Sunday Times in London, working from home. However, in the mid-1970s, Johnson joined Logica, one of the first independent software companies in the UK. In 1982, Johnson restarted Ovum, and was joined in 1985 by four ex-colleagues from Logica (Ron Sasson, David Lewin, Richard Kee and Jules Hewett) and moved into its first office in central London. From this point, Ovum grew rapidly in the telecom and software sectors, enjoying 16 years of uninterrupted growth, and opening several offices around the world. Jules Hewett was Ovum’s longest serving Chief Executive, from 1988 to 1990 and from 1994 to 2001. In 2000, Ovum achieved revenues of £19million, and made its first acquisition, Richard Holway Limited.
Chris Dines, previously Finance Director, took over as Chief Executive in 2001. Ovum suffered during the tech crash of the early 2000s, but had recovered by the mid-2000s and was able to float on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM in March 2006 but was acquired by Datamonitor in December 2006 for £42million in cash. Datamonitor was itself acquired by Informa in 2007. Despite the company having been acquired, the brand has been maintained. In 2011 Ovum has separated from Datamonitor to allow the company to focus on strengthening its core technology and telecoms offerings and growing its presence in key markets. Currently Ovum operates as a standalone company, but remains a part of the Informa Group and has been aligned with Informa Telecoms & Media (ITM).
In 2012, Ovum was jointly named Global Analyst Firm of the Year by the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR). Ovum was ranked higher than global players Gartner, IDC, Forrester and Frost & Sullivan across 8 out of 15 criteria, including objectivity of research and advice, ease and quality of consulting engagement, ease of finding and using research and value for money.
Ovum and Informa Telecoms & Media research (ITM) announced on 7 April 2014 the completion of the merger of the two companies under the Ovum brand. The merger creates the leading analyst firm for telecoms research and fourth largest technology research firm globally, providing the most comprehensive research view across the converging worlds of IT, telecoms, and media. Since the announcement of the merger plan on 7 April 2014, the two companies have brought together all the analysts and consulting teams and combined all the content from both companies onto a new mobile-optimized, online delivery platform, delivering 34 research channels and 36 data tools.
The new company has also launched new research products: Digital Media, Music, Telecoms IT, Enterprise Technology, Enterprise Mobility, and Customer Engagement.
Steve Hotham, previously Managing Director of Ovum, is now CEO of the combined company and is supported by a new management team, consisting of senior directors from both ITM Research and Ovum. The newly merged company will be an important part of Informa’s Business Intelligence division which has also just announced a re-structuring and will see Patrick Martell, formerly of St Ives Group, take over as CEO.
Ovum operates a series of events for the IT sector, placing the Ovum research agenda into a live setting. They are specifically designed to keep CIOs and senior IT management apprised of the latest developments in the world of technology, through a mix of conferences, dinner debates, after-eight contests, webinars and the annual Ovum Industry Congress.
Top Level Organisation
- Steve Hotham, CEO
- Martin Hill, Managing Director – Telecoms, Media & Entertainment Research
- Ian Charlesworth, Managing Director – IT Research
- Mark Newman, Chief Research Officer, Telecoms, Media & Entertainment
- Tim Jennings, Chief Research Officer, IT
- Carolyn Dawson, Events Director
- Ovum's Independence charter, http://ovum.com/about-ovum/independence-charter/
- "The leading European headquartered authority", Independent survey conducted on Jan 2004, cited on a corporate brochure: .
- Palmer, Maija and Rafferty, Eammon "Ovum to raise £7.5m for acquisitions" FT, 13 February 2006
- "Ovum named Global Analyst Firm of the Year 2012". IIAR AR professionals survey 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- Digital Music Revenues Projected To Reach $20 Billion By 2015 http://blogs.forbes.com/ericsavitz/2011/03/07/digital-music-revenues-projected-to-reach-20-billion-by-2015/
- Asia-Pacific smartphone use seen doubling by 2016 http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/asiapacific-smartphone-use-seen-doubling-by-2016-2251869.html