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Meet Andrew Bartolini of Ardent Partners in Waltham

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Bartolini.

Andrew, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Almost twenty years ago (and after a post-MBA career that started in consulting and investment banking), I was bitten by the technology bug and started working in the B2B software industry. After many years as a road warrior selling and deploying software to and for large enterprises, I was looking to get off the road and was hired by a local industry analyst firm to cover the same segment of technology.

I began to attain a big following and notoriety when my firm was sold to a buyer who wanted to take the firm in a very different direction. I had always wanted to own and run my own business so I used that acquisition as an opportunity to leave and found Ardent Partners in 2010.

Ardent Partners is a boutique research and advisory firm focused on procurement and supply management. After a very successful first year, I was able to start building out the firm by hiring a team of talented analysts that enabled us to grow fast while also maintaining our high standards of quality.

We continue to grow and scale our research operations and have established a global community of business practitioners that use our research to make smart decisions related to industry best practices and technology investment.

Today, millions of procurement, accounts payable and supply management professionals visit our sites, attend our events, and use our research. It’s a very exciting time in our industry and we’re excited to play a role in its growth and development.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As an established analyst in our industry, Ardent Partners has been successful from the start. We compete against two much larger firms (Gartner & Forrester) and a few specialist firms and were able to establish our niche in the market and then build on that foundation.

As the founder, the first few years were extremely demanding, requiring me to have a big hand in almost every aspect of the firm, while consistently working sixty to seventy hours each week. It was an exciting, exhilarating, and rewarding time but also exhausting, particularly during our clients’ “event season.” I enjoyed the challenge of performing different duties for the firm in its early years but finding a work/life balance was a constant challenge until very recently.

As we’ve grown and been able to scale our business and operations, I’m now able to focus on servicing our major clients, finding new talent, and looking for the next areas of growth for the firm. We are always looking for new and innovative ways and platforms to present our research and ideas and I enjoy the ability to control and lead the direction of the firm.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Ardent Partners is a research and advisory firm focused on defining and advancing the B2B technology strategies, processes, and technologies that drive business value and accelerate organizational transformation within the enterprise. Ardent Partners actively covers the B2B marketplace and produces research to help business decision-makers understand (1) industry best practices and how to improve performance & (2) the technology landscape and how to identify the best-fit solution(s) for their specific budget and requirements.

We are known for delivering high-quality advisory support to software companies and large enterprises and for delivering primary research that is informative, readable and highly-accessible.

We specialize in a segment called supply management and strongly believe that the depth of our analyst team’s expertise and the consistently high-quality of our research distinguish us in our market. These differentiators have allowed us to continue to grow at a very fast pace each year while also impacting the decisions, operations, and results of tens of thousands of businesses each year.

Each fall, we host what has become an exclusive industry event in Boston – The CPO Rising Summit – that brings together a select group of Chief Procurement Officers and other business leaders for an interactive two-day conference.

I’m very proud to have established an industry brand and to host a significant industry event, but above all, I am proud of the time and effort I have invested in developing an elite analyst team.

What were you like growing up?
I grew up in Baltimore City, a gritty town in the 1970s and 80s. I was always a leader in the classroom and outside of it. I did well in school and was always confident, outgoing, and comfortable in my own skin and in sharing my opinions. Most of my childhood friends would say I had a great sense of humor and a sharp wit.

At a young age, I became a small entrepreneur, starting a pet bird importing business with my best friend. Things went great until one shipment of cockatiels caught a flu and died on arrival. I always liked the idea of making money. I have always been a saver and not a spender.

I played sports and was into music, movies and other media and often regret not pursuing a career in those industries. I am very jealous of the technology that my kids use today and their ability to call up almost anything they want to see or hear in seconds.

I knew at an early age that I wanted to be in control of my future and own a business. I have always been a risk taker and pretty bold in my career choices as a result. I liked tackling new challenges and could bore when things become stagnant or repetitive.

I began my post-college career as a full-time volunteer in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps running a homeless family shelter in Los Angeles. The work was very rewarding and one of my career highlights. After fours years there, I did a 180 and pursued an MBA in Finance and pivoted into the private sector.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ardent Partners

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