Thomas Otter

Day job.

I’m a Research  Vice President at Gartner, and I cover the Human Capital Management -HR technology space.

I  blog over on the Gartner blog network. You can also view my latest research here.

I’m doing a PhD part-time, ie really slowly at Karlsruhe university here in Germany. I’m focusing on the relationship between enterprise software and law; mixing up stuff like Sarbanes Oxley’s impact on IT spend and Facebook and privacy. I’m married and have three young children. My better half, Charlotte , blogs on life in Germany.
I ride a fancy bicycle extremely slowly.
The comments on this blog are my own individual views, rather than those of my employer. I won’t disclose anything I shouldn’t.

53 thoughts on “Thomas Otter”

  1. Hey Tom,
    Thought I would drop a line. Jason and I were chatting today and he shared your blog with me. Thanks for the kind words on the acquisition.

  2. HI Tom,
    Great meeting with you at Sapphire. Would be good to see you again in Vienna – pity we wont have the cricket world cup as a backdrop. Cheers,

  3. Hi Tom,

    I noticed in your bio above that you are exploring SOX’s impact on IT spend, and I think you, along with your readers might be interested in checking out Audit Trail (– the blog that tracks the latest news, opinion, and trends in governance, risk, and compliance.

    Love the blog & have added it to Audit Trail’s blog roll. Be sure to check it out – I’d be interested in your thoughts on the blog as a resource.

  4. Hi Tom,
    I noticed that you have posted my youtube video on your blog, could you be so kind to let me know what is the connection of my video to agile and oracle deal ? i am simply not getting what you trying to express in your blog ?

  5. Hi Tom

    Are you the Thomas Otter I was at Michaelhouse with, by any chance?
    I too work in the SAP world!

    If it’s you, do drop me a line!



  6. I have so enjoyed your blog and will look forward to your work with Gartner. Jim Holincheck is one of the really good guys in our industry, someone with whom I’ve enjoyed a very long collaboration. Where I can add value to the work that you’re going to be doing, please feel free to contact me. My office number is 239-454-7305. Although I’m based in sunny Florida, my work with HRM software and outsourcing vendors as well as with their larger and more global end-users knows no boundaries. Bon voyage — Naomi

  7. Got here with the Scoble post. Good job of the analysis. He is disagreeing on a philosophical position, you are arguing on specifics. It is bound to remain inconclusive. 🙂

  8. Hi Thomas,
    I came across your blog recently as I was doing some research on ERP. I had
    a few questions and was wondering what would be the best way to get in contact with you to discuss a few of them?


  9. Hi Thomas, long time no speak! Interested to see that you are with Gartner now. I got to Oracle from SAP, via Arinso and then PeopleSoft. Might be interesting to swap impressions?? Janet

  10. Thomas,

    Thanks for your comment on my blog re Gordon Brown and the UK’s Single Equality bill.

    You may a great point regarding Norway and although I still to my existing view (I recognise, particularly given the recent by-election in Henley that this is a minority one!) I really appreciate you commenting with yours.


  11. Mr. Otter:

    I hope you are having a great time in Germany. Im wondering if you were the author of the following paper: “Does Inequality Harm Income Mobility and Growth? An Assessment of the Growth Impact of Income and Education Inequality in Paraguay 1992 – 2002”. My classmates and I were reading it because we are doing our thesis in Inequality and Growth in Mexico (we are about became graduate of an economics major) and we are interested in your article, could you please tell us if you are the author or if this article were published in some journal?

    Best regards,


  12. Dear sir,

    Could you please put the following link on your website:

    This will help us in our fundraising efforts for the conservation of otters all around the world.

    The widget shown there can also be copied and put on your website.

    Thanks in advance for your help! Join as an otter friend too. The campaign has just started today!

    drs ing. A.W.J.J. de Jongh,
    chairing Friends of the Otter,
    director Dutch Otterstation Foundation,
    member of IUCN/SSC Otter Specialist Group

  13. Tom,

    Love your web 2.0 evangelism for HR and especially enjoyed the recruiting video for Xobni. Also wanted to invite you to stop by booth #229 at HR Tech in Chicago to check out Avature’s newest product, Recruiting CRM – a web 2.0 design/UI with significant social network integration for the recruiter in both sourcing and relationship development.

  14. Hi Tom,
    Long time no see. Congratulations on your new move! Hope that it is as exciting and fun as our good times at the SAP Best Practice gatherings! Please let me know how to contact you directly.
    Kind regards,

  15. Hey Thomas,

    I thought the Vendorprisey’s HR-savvy audience might be interested in reading about GoCrossOffice, a game-based teambuilding tool developed this year at Yale University. Google recently used it across their entire office to improve employee communication and morale and got great results.

    You can find out more about the GoCrossOffice program here:

    Please e-mail me if you want to see the Google case study or if you would just like to learn more about this trend.

    Great Blog by the way.

  16. Thanks for your note Thomas. You’re working in an interesting space and I’m looking forward to following your writings.

    All the best!


  17. Dear Sir

    I am a beginner in SAP systems .
    Could you give me some information on how data management is organised , (responsible administrator , other departments involvement , online users ) for one level of the SAP business , let’s say materials order process .
    More specifically , If we have multiple requests , equivalent platforms must be installed on each requesting pc that will allow online access to the ordering software menu for both directions of the system request-response.

    Best Regards

  18. Hi Thomas – I’m the Community Manager for the Enterprise 2.0 Conference this June in Boston. It is the leading conference for businesses and professionals who are using web 2.0 and social tools for enterprise (big or small) advancement.

    We welcome you to join our blog partner program for access to industry insights and speaker connections. If you are interested in joining the blogroll, I’d love to connect and provide you with partner program details.

    ~ Janetti Chon

  19. Hi Tom,

    I would like to send you a particular paper but I can nowhere find your mail. Perhaps you may recall that back in 2007 I have contacted you regarding cooperation in field of privacy research, motivated by your paper “Data protection law: The Cinderella of the
    software industry?” I think you would like to see our paper, if not else because your paper is the first reference therein. I am also interested in your opinions on the approach how to articulate privacy protection approaches as we have done it in the paper.

  20. Mr. Otter,

    I thought you might be interested in reading/ blogging about Information Overload Awareness Day, which is on August 12th. Information overload, as you’re probably aware of, is a serious problem that is very costly for many corporations.


  21. Hi Tom, great blog. I agree, the choir performance of Africa is entertaining. But more curious about the “fancy bicycle” (I am a fellow slow rider… road, mountain, and recumbent).

  22. Dear Mr. Otter,

    You have most probably already forgotten that we ran a shorter conversation over the electronic mail back in March 2007 on the topic of privacy protection in relation to your paper “Data protection law: The Cinderella of the software industry?” of Computer law & security report 23, 2007, pp. 67-72.

    Since then we have accumulated a non-negligible knowledge in privacy protection patterns and have written a comprehensive journal paper on this topic with special emphasis on how such knowledge could be used in defining a less vague and technically more elaborated privacy protection regulation law. If you are interested in the results of our work, please leave me a notice.

  23. Hi Thomas
    Nice to find you again. Are yu still in Germany? Just discovered you in an article of MM.
    Would be nice to meet you again. Send me please you e-mail

  24. Dear Mr. Otter,

    I guest post for India’s #1 Business Blog –
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  25. Hi Tom. Just a note to see if you would be willing to add links to our blog and website to your blogroll. You don’t seem to offer any strictly HR sites.

    Human Resource Executive magazine recently started a blog written by our editorial staff: The Leader Board at

    And on our HREOnline site, we’ve been posting daily news stories, columns by HR experts (such as Bill Kutik, Sue Meisinger and Peter Cappelli, among others), and featured articles from Human Resource Executive magazine. That site is at

    Thanks for your consideration.


  26. Hi Thomas, not sure what I was looking for when I found your blog. Good read. Sad for SAP that you moved on. Regards Andy

  27. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Excellent work!

  28. Thomas,

    With HR Tech coming up next week, I’m writing to see if you may have an interest in a quick meeting with Modern Survey’s CEO and Co-founder, Patrick Riley. Patrick will be at the conference and is looking forward to sharing our new design-forward prototypes that really set the stage for the future of data integration in HR. We’d love to give you a sneak peak at where we’re going and where we think the industry is headed.

    Whether it’s over coffee, drinks, or even a brief ten minute chat, Patrick would love to meet with you and give you the scoop.

    Let me know if you’re interested and I can help schedule a time/location. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


    Nicole Jaeckel
    Associate Marketing Coordinator
    Modern Survey

  29. Dear HR Blogger,
    My colleagues, Wayne Brockbank, Jon Younger, Mike Ulrich and I (authors of HR Transformation, The HR Value Proposition, HR from the Outside-In and others) are delighted to announce the publication of our new book on 2 November 2012. The book, Global HR Competencies leverages data from the most comprehensive, longitudinal study in the history of the HR profession. The book’s global scope and local specificity gives great insight that will have focused impact all over the world. You can learn more about the book here;

    We are selecting the top 40 HR blogs to review the book before its release. We will recognize the 40 winning blogs on The RBL Group’s website and each of the top 40 will receive two free copies of the book, one to review, and one to give away to their readers.

    Here’s how you can be selected as a Top 40 Global HR Book Reviewer: Email a brief description of your blog and a link to Include a description of your blog’s focus and readership. A history of book reviewing is preferable but not necessary.
    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Dave Ulrich

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