Yankee Group

views updated


A subsidiary of Reuters Enterprise, which is a unit of Reuters PLC, Yankee Group is a leading market researcher focused on Internet-related industries such as e-commerce, telecommunications, and wireless. Employees total roughly 200. The Boston, Massachusetts-based firm offers more than 30 different analysis and consulting services covering areas such as

  • application infrastructure and software platforms
  • Australasian market strategies
  • billing and payment application strategies
  • Brazilian and Canadian market strategies
  • business-to-business (B2B) commerce and applications
  • carrier convergence infrastructure
  • communications services for the new economy
  • consumer market convergence
  • convergent communications
  • wireless and mobile markets
  • Internet strategies in Asia, Europe, and Latin America
  • customer relationship management strategies
  • e-networks and broadband access
  • e-sourcing strategies
  • global regulatory strategies
  • Internet market strategies
  • media and entertainment strategies
  • mobile commerce strategies
  • security solutions and services
  • small and medium business communications
  • telecom e-business
  • wholesale communications services
  • and wireless and mobile technologies and services.

The firm's more than 500 clients receive a combination of research reports, research notes, strategy sessions with Yankee Group analysts, audio conferences, and access to Yankee Group industry forums.

Harvard Business School graduate Howard Anderson founded Yankee Group in 1970 to provide market analysis to companies operating in the rapidly changing communications industry. The new company was the industry's first research and advisory services firm. Eventually, Yankee Group's focus shifted to networking technology, particularly enterprise applications and datacom networks. In 1986, Yankee Group began using the Technologically Advanced Family Survey to query U.S. households with regard to their use and perception of new technology products and services. Four years later, the firm launched its Mobile User Survey, seeking data regarding mobile technology use across North America.

Annual growth during the early 1990s exceeded 20 percent. During that time, the firm expanded into Canada, establishing a research and consulting unit named Canadian Market Strategies in Ontario. The Global Network Strategies Survey was first utilized in 1992 to gather information from corporate network administrators regarding network usage. In August of 1996, Primark Corp. acquired Yankee Group from Anderson for $34 million in cash and additional performance-based payments worth up to another $31 million. Anderson remained at the helm of the firm as the number of employees reached 60, and sales neared the $8 million mark.

Yankee Group expanded its international reach into Brazil by opening an office in Sao Paulo in 1999. The number of World Wide Web users there, estimated to be 3.5 million, was expected to nearly double over the next two years. This growth had prompted firms like MCI Communications Corp., Sprint Corp., and Bell Canada to move into the country, and Yankee Group believed a market for its services would exist there as well. As a result, the firm also launched its Internet Strategies Latin America Planning Service, which analyzed the regional Internet service provider (ISP) strategies, broadband Internet access development, business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce initiatives, and Web hosting services among Latin American businesses.

In November, long-time Yankee Group employee Berge Ayvazian succeeded Anderson as president and CEO, although Anderson remained chairman. It was at roughly the same time that the firm began to reinvent itself as an Internet industry expert. Not only did the Internet become a key focus of Yankee Group's researchalong with the wireless and communications industriesbut the firm also began working to offer its Internet industry analysis on a global scale, reaching Europe, the Pacific Rim, and Latin America. Also that year, YankeeTek was created to invest in small dot-com startups. The venture would receive strategic planning services from Yankee Group, and have access to the firm's body of research.

Yankee Group overhauled its Web site in early 2000. Rather than complete the redesign work in-house, the company hired InterNoded, an independent Web site designer. InterNoded's improvements included enhancing search capabilities and allowing clients to customize the site via the "My Yankee" feature. The new site also included breaking technology news, which made use of content push technology, and a restricted area for members of the press. In May, Yankee Group launched two new programs: Online Financial Strategies (OFS) Planning Service and Online Retail Strategies (ORS) Planning Service. The OFS service analyzed the Internet's influence on the financial services industry in terms of consumer behavior, new products, marketplace requirements, and business issues. The ORS service analyzed the behavior and attitudes of online shoppers, the business models used by online retailers, online shopping services, and fulfillment. Yankee Group also assisted clients within either industry to develop appropriate business strategies.

Primark planned to take Yankee Group public in 2000. However, it instead decided to divest the technological market research arm and focus on its core financial and economic information services operations. Reuters PLC, one of the world's leading information firms with $35 billion in market capitalization, paid $72.5 million for Yankee Group in June. Yankee Group remained an autonomous entity, operating out of its parent's newly created global information business arm, known as Reuters Enterprise. Ayvazian, who remained CEO and president after the takeover by Reuters, commented on the acquisition in the June 2000 issue of PR Newswire, stating: "The Reuters purchase acts as a springboard to the Yankee Group's re-branding efforts. These efforts include key sales channel expansion, Web innovation, global expansion, and the 'e-volution' of our research planning services."

In January of 2001 Yankee Group opened an office in Miami, Florida, to better serve the growing Latin American telecommunications and Internet markets there. Two months later the firm released its "Yankee Group Stars" list of the best online retailers, which was based on seven factors evaluated by Yankee Group. The firm also placed its international operations under the name Convergent Communications. Consequently, EuroScope Communications was renamed Convergent Communications Europe, and Latin American and Asian operations were renamed Convergent Communications Latin America and Convergent Communications Asia-Pacific, respectively. A new Global Regulatory Strategies service was created in July, which focused on the regulatory issues surrounding international e-business.


Greene, Tim. "Yankee Group to Focus on e-Business." Network World. November 15, 1999.

Hall, Mark. "Yankee Group to Go Public Soon; Parent Company Floats IPO for IT Services Firm." Computerworld. November 15, 1999.

McGee, Marianne K. "The Specialists: Finding Their Own Niche." Information Week. November 15, 1999.

"Reuters to Acquire the Yankee Group for $723.5 Million." Information Today. June 2000.

Tanzillo, Kevin. "Howard Anderson's Forward Thinking." Communications News. December 1996.

"The Yankee GroupNew Look, Enhanced Strategy." PR Newswire. June 12, 2000.

SEE ALSO: E-commerce Consultants; Internet Service Providers (ISPs)