IDC Attivio Report Spotted by a Librarian

July 1, 2014

Who gets the $3,500?

News and an unwelcome surprise for me a few days ago. I am now an Amazon author. I had no idea I had attained that status.

An MLS—a law librarian, no less—spotted a report with my name and that of an IDC professional on the Amazon Web site. I took a look this morning (July 1, 2014, 7 am Eastern) and sure enough, an IDC report using my proprietary information is for sale. The price? Only $3,500. Seems fair if one is uninformed I suppose.

amazon attivio

Here’s the url to the report authored by an IDC “professional” named Dave Schubmehl, a former OpenText employee. If you want to buy a $3,500 copy of the IDC version of my work, carrying the IDC professional’s name, and the IDC copyright, go now to I suppose someone at IDC will do the “oh, my goodness” thing and the report will disappear / go away like some listings in the Google index for European individuals uncomfortable with what’s online about them.

A thought: Odd. I don’t recall signing a contract with IDC for my work. But as a person within a whisker of 70 years old, I am pretty sure that the IDC have a massaged explanation. I assume that the sale of my information on Amazon is one of those actions that big companies sometimes take without operative internal checks and balances. The need for revenue has interesting effects I think.

Flashback: Pat McGovern, founder of IDC, once spoke with me about joining IDC. I elected to pass on his rather unexpected and generous offer. I was nervous about Mr. McGovern for no specific reason, his publications’ editorial approach, and his consulting operation. That was 25 years ago, maybe more.

With the dust up between Amazon and certain “real” publishers like Hachette, maybe Amazon is on the right track to cut out the traditional publishing intermediaries. So far as I know, Amazon has not intentionally violated my rights. I wonder who or what action caused a report with my name to appear in the digital WalMart.

Is Amazon comfortable with the sale of my work without my permission? Is IDC? Am I? Good questions. When one purchases information from a consulting firm,  it may be a good idea to ask these questions:

  • Who did the research?
  • Who wrote the report?
  • Who gets paid?
  • Are contracts in place?
  • Is the information filtered for advertising purposes?
  • Do consulting clients get to speak with the people who did the research and analysis?

If I were still working at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, I would be darned sure that I had my ducks in a row before selling another person’s work with a Booz, Allen logo and employee’s name on the document.

!idc header

The IDC report title page showing my colleagues’ and my work as Dave Schubmehl’s. Note the IDC logo and title. Believe it or not, IDC sent me this document even though I had no contract or guarantee of remuneration. I am trying to convince myself that IDC just forgot about a contract, payment, and my rights and those of my researchers.

Dr. William P. Sommers, my boss at Booz, Allen would probably invite the person recycling another’s work without following procedures to find his or her future elsewhere. (Translation: Get fired immediately.) That may be one small difference between certain consulting firms and pay to play companies that sell consulting services?

A New Era: Ah, times have changed. Misinformation, disinformation, and reformation seem to be more and more prevalent. But what I can do is ask questions; for example, Is IDC’s Dave Schubmehl an “expert” doing his own work? Is the Amazon listing a fluke? Is a big magazine and consulting company chasing revenues using interesting methods?

If you want free Arnold reports, just navigate to You can even look for brief profiles without charge in Beyond Search.

And if you believe you have a legitimate reason to want information about Attivio (a company awash in venture funding with its open source, proprietary code, business intelligence model), you may write me at seaky2000 at yahoo dot com.

I will — on a case by case basis — evaluate each request. If your email stating your need for an unfiltered Attivio profile makes sense to me, for free I will provide a rough draft of an ArnoldIT in-depth Attivio report. Also, if you want free search and content processing profiles, you can check out write ups like the AeroText story and 11,000 other search- and content related stories in Beyond Search or peruse the list of free profiles at

Stephen E Arnold, July 1, 2014


7 Responses to “IDC Attivio Report Spotted by a Librarian”

  1. Greg Buckles on July 3rd, 2014 11:53 am


    The traditional ‘Analyst Firm’ model is breaking down rapidly. We formed eDJ Group around an ‘Analyst 2.0’ concept to cover our niche market with independent research and perspective. In part, we did so out of dissatisfaction with the ‘pay for play’ model that other firms seemed to be based on.

    I am not surprised to see your work ‘republished’ or just plain hijacked. It would not surprise me if part or all of your historical work product was ‘licensed’ without your knowledge or consent. At least your report retains the integrity of the content and even if others take undue credit, it has not been ‘productized’ into marketing content. That is the larger danger that I see for consumers needing real insight. The marketing pitch clothed as a real independent report or academic paper.

    We stepped back from the analyst role rather than sell out and I am happy to return to full time consulting. Please keep up the good fight.

    Greg Buckles

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  3. Swimming in a Hadoop Data Lake : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search on July 8th, 2014 5:23 am

    […] The interview subject is Mike Lang, the CEO of Revelytix. (I am not familiar with Revelytix, and I don’t know how to pronounce the company’s name.) The interviewer is one of those tag teams that high end consulting firms deploy to generate “real” information. Big time consulting firms publish magazines, emulating the McKinsey Quarterly. The idea is that Big Ideas need to be explained so that MBAs can convert information into anxiety among prospects. The purpose of these bespoke business magazines is to close deals and highlight technologies that may be recommended to a consulting firm’s customers. Some quasi consulting firms borrow other people’s work. For an example of this short cut approach, see the IDC Schubmehl write up. […]

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  7. IDC Tweets, IBM, and Content Marketing : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search on September 29th, 2014 5:11 am

    […] the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back, a librarian told me that IDC was selling a report with my name and Mr. Schubmehl’s on Amazon. Wow, Amazon, […]

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