A few months ago, the Gartner report on ECM came out and I shared a few comments. Well, Forrester put their version out and I thought I comment on it as well. This is the first of two likely posts, focusing on the overall report this time around.
In general, no real news in the rankings as compared to Gartner. No surprise there. Why rock the boat?
There are a few key things to note.
- The basic report gives the scores in each category. This is great. I can look and see how each platform did in an individual category. This allows me to look to see which product may be right for me.
- Alfresco is included and considered a credible contender. For a company as young as Alfresco, that isn’t bad. Heck, they got an analyst to even rank their product. That is noteworthy all by itself.
- Old versions. This isn’t their fault and is just a matter of timing. Next year, someone else will have a major release near the cutoff date and will benefit. If a product wasn’t released by April 2007, it wasn’t evaluated. This helps those with major releases around then, such as Alfresco with its release of 2.0 in February.
- Incorrect versions. Forrester does need to get a clue here. They say Documentum 5.3 was released in March 2007. THERE WAS NO RELEASE IN MARCH 2007! 5.3 SP4 was released in December 2006 and the core 5.3 was released in March 2005. I wonder about the accuracy of the other vendor release data.
- Vignette was the only one without a score of 5 under miscellaneous. They got a 3.68. No details in the copy that I have as to why. I can’t believe that everyone else got a 5. Did the analyst actually try and use all of the documentation and training, or did they just see if it existed? A bigger question is, “Who did Vignette piss off to not get a 5.00?” Maybe they got knocked on internationalization, but I just don’t see it.
- Note the relationship between Microsoft’s Strategy and their actual Offering.
Forrester, Brandy, and Platform Readiness
Forrester defines Platform Readiness as, Is the vendor’s core set of ECM capabilities part of a common platform, or does it consist of different, independent products? After looking at the scores for each vendor, I have to ask myself, What are they smoking? I mean, come on! Most of the major vendors got a 5.00 in this realm. Let’s break down three vendors quickly:
- EMC: Documentum Content Server and eRoom.
- IBM: FileNet, Content Manager, and Lotus Notes.
- OpenText: Livelink and Hummingbird (eDOCS).
I didn’t even break a sweat on that. Now, they evaluated the first product suite listed for each one. SHORT SIGHTED!!! If a vendor doesn’t have one platform for everything, then they should get docked. If they can’t merge the platforms, or don’t plan to do so, dock them on Product Strategy as well.
From what I can tell, Forrester had nice expensive dinners with each of the big vendors. Over brandy they decided to wear blinders when deciding what to evaluate. As far as I am concerned, this calls every score into question. If you are going to evaluate a vendor, then do so. If you are going to evaluate a product, then do that. Don’t do one and call it another.
For the record, I’m not saying that Gartner is any better. I didn’t see any breakdown of their scores, so they were spared this scrutiny.