The ECM Magic Quadrant

[Updated 11/10/2008 in order to make Gartner, Inc. happier, or at least less angry.]

[Edit: See the newer The Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management, 2008 write-up.]

The latest version [This is the now old 2007 version] came out a couple weeks ago. There has been, and will continue to be, some criticism of the Gartner, Inc. methodology. For now, let’s set it aside and look focus on what the report says. While it may not cover all the vendors, and may not define “leader” in the same manner as others, the information inside can still prove useful.

A Quick Indictment

Before getting into the details, the leaders are called out:

Three of the market leaders — EMC, IBM and Oracle — are all going to market with similar messages around archiving, e-discovery and compliance. They are more reactive than proactive. As market leaders, they can, and should, be driving change in the market and forcing others to react. Content management is about more than just repositories. Organizations building overall content infrastructures or architectures need to address an expanding variety of content types across a continuum and must also deal with collaborative processes.

Sounds like they are trying to challenge the big guys to drive change. While EMC is starting to market more as infrastructure, they haven’t quite put all the pieces into place yet. I can’t speak in detail to the others, but the point carries. They have the ability to lead and they should do so. Now.

The Quadrant

So, what is all the fuss about?  Check the report to check out the graphic.

[Removed Graphic on 11/11/2008 at “request” of Gartner, Inc.]

  • The only pure-play left in the Leaders Quadrant is Open Text. As such, they should us the lack of an outside agenda to take a truly leadership role in the ECM marketplace. However, they have lots of similar products through acquisitions over the years, Hummingbird being the latest. This overlap shows a market-share that is spread across competing products. Fixing this problem is probably a first step before being able to take a leadership position as a thought leader.
  • IBM has the “best” spot an admirable location in the report. However, many of their products are loosely coupled. They also have two repositories in FileNet and the DB2 Content Manager. They seem to understand how SOA is important, and they have everything that they need. Can they put it all together?
  • EMC has none of the concerns listed above. Their problems stem from either components lagging the marketplace in features (WCM) or not gaining mind-share in the market (BPM). The other concern is how the ownership of the Documentum product by EMC, a hardware vendor, is impacting the focus. I’ve expressed concern in the past with talking with others, but recent developments have had me lean back to hopeful.
  • Oracle is still absorbing Stellent. They bear watching. Stellent has always seemed to lead the technical advance, but can it maintain that advance while it becomes stronger with Oracle’s backbone. Is applying that backbone the right approach?
  • Microsoft is listed because, well, they are Microsoft. However, SharePoint appears to have been docked on their “ability to execute” (lack of comparable scalability and features). Even when you read the Cautions, you wonder why they are included when they don’t seem to have all the ECM components. Next year, if we don’t start seeing some of the more established and successful open-source vendors, I’m crying foul.

4 thoughts on “The ECM Magic Quadrant

  1. davo says:

    Why wait until next year to cry foul? Alfresco seem to be innovating whereas traditional leaders like EMC are playing catch up.



  2. Why wait until next year? Well, others are carrying that flag now. In one year, saying that the none of the open-source vendors are mature enough to be included will be indefensible.

    Not saying that I am pleased this year though.


  3. Freddie says:

    Did anyone (probably non US) had a look at ISIS Papyrus?
    Not only already for years a clear leader in DOM (structured, interactive and on-demand) but also in Complex Capturing (of course the easy structured capturing of invoices everyone can do). But with their Repository they out perform anyone closing the loop between inbound and outbound, delivering fully integrated version management, release management, security and re-use ensuring enterprise wide consistency.
    I see them only not so strong on managing unstructured information e.g. minutes (they are the best in transforming unstructured contracts into sturctured content) for that Documentem, Filenet or so are still better.

    Would love to see some comments on these


  4. Mayank says:

    true Oracle is on the roll after its aquisition of Stellent with a strong ECM offering in its pocket



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