2012, The Year that Wasn’t


Photo by laffy4k of FlikrI don’t know if this was a result of leaving the consulting world or a side effect of not having made any predictions for 2012, but this year appeared to be a very non-newsworthy year in Content Management. Oh, things happened, but nothing big.

I didn’t realize it until Ron Miller asked me what I thought the biggest story was this year. I couldn’t think of a story that was “big”. I could wade through a bunch of small stories and pick the “biggest”, but that wasn’t what he was looking to learn.

The Not So Big Stories

Without looking at anyone’s thoughts as to what the biggest story was, here are my guesses.

  • SharePoint 2013: Released, complete with new features. We’ve known it was coming. No news here.
  • Chatterbox: Salesforce released a Content Management offering called Chatterbox. Aside from the unoriginal name, not really big news. If they are twice as successful as they have been with Chatter, this is a non-starter.
  • Microsoft Acquires Yammer: Remembered this one as Microsoft really looks to improve Office 365 with much improved Social Business tools. This is what I would call the biggest news but it won’t shake-up the Content Management space unless it makes Office 365 that much better in 2013.

Those are my guesses. Now imagine waiting a day to read a few articles…

The Next Day

…and Ron Miller has just published his compilation of The Top Content Management Stories of 2012. It is a good read but I quickly noticed something.

It is full of 2012 trends. Content Marketing, Open Standards, Content Experience, and Mobile are all important, but they just trended upward and existed in 2011.

There were a couple of stories in there but most contributors focused on those trends. I’ve met most of them and they are pretty bright people. They must not have seen major stories out there either.

Let’s look at the stories:

  • HP/Autonomy Acquisition Debacle: Picked by both John Newton and Tony Byrne, this was a big story. While the deal occurred in 2011, the financial unveiling took place this year. What does it mean for Content Management? Likely more deliberate acquisitions. The Content Management offerings of HP/Autonomy will get close scrutiny by customers. Neither vendor are/were considered leaders in the space and this makes it that much harder for that to change. HUGE financial news, minor Content Management news.
  • US Government Publishes Roadmap for a Digital Government: Picked by Geoff Bock, this was fairly big news in the US Government sector. It fails the test as a large story. It doesn’t focus on Content Management and unfunded mandates have a tendency to not change the world. I would have said that the Records Management Directive from August was bigger, but that was just a continuation of efforts by the White House.

Of those two, the HP/Autonomy story was the bigger story. While big, the impact to the Content Management market is limited. When the acquisition took place, there were a lot of questions and concerns. Those questions still exist.

In the end, it was a year of little big news. It was a year when the Content Management market seemed to shift in order to prepare for big changes in 2013.

Stay tuned…

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