Forrester Makes Gartner Look Inclusive


A couple months ago, Gartner released their annual ECM Magic Quadrant (which I looked at).  Sure enough, being an odd year, Forrester released their ECM Wave.  I see the pros of waiting two years as the larger vendors take that long, or longer, for a significant release.  On the other hand, you have longer to wait for new members to show up.

Well not in Forrester’s world.  Only one new vendor (HP) was added and a few were cut, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The 2009 Wave

Thanks to Oracle (again), you can look at the Q4 2009Forrester Wave for ECM Suites in detail. For those with less patience, here is a copy of the wave…

New Picture

Before we talk about the individual vendors, let’s talk about the low number of vendors.  If you look at the 2007 report, many vendors are gone. A couple were acquired (Interwoven and Vignette) and some aren’t what I would call ECM (SAP and Xerox) vendors anyway.

The question is, where is Autonomy?  They bought Interwoven and weren’t new to the content space.  They aren’t mentioned anywhere.  Nuxeo got a mention as one of the two open-source vendors in the “reduced footprint” category.  The SaaS focused SpringCM (under “reduced footprint”) and emerging Laserfiche (under “process-focused” and “SMB”) both got a nod as well.

All of those got placed on the Quadrant, as did SAP and Xerox.  I wouldn’t be upset, except I like how Forrester structures the wave more than Gartner’s MQ.  I want to see more vendors in here.

Breaking it Down

Let’s look at some of the vendors…

  • Alfresco: Forrester thinks they are losing ground.  They didn’t say as much, but last time they were on the verge of making the Strong Contender  classification.  Now they are just strongly a Contender.  I understand raising the bar as the market evolves, but Alfresco hasn’t been sitting on its laurels.  They lost a lot ground in Strategy according to Forrester. As for the Current Offering, looks like the increased focus on integration in this Wave hurt Alfresco.
  • HP: Welcome to the Wave.  Still the only major vendor that I haven’t heard connected to CMIS in any way.  I’ve even heard that Hyland is working on it.  Forrester has noticed and made note.
  • Microsoft: Love the realism.  There are gaps, but less this time around than two years ago.  Microsoft  has a vision.  When 2010 comes out, they should push their way into the Leaders.
  • Open Text: Getting hit on their Strategy.  Constant acquisition of the competition can do that.  Getting things integrated, as always, remains their biggest hurdle.
  • EMC: Not much to say, except they got dinged for their poor WCM.  This is a growing trend.
  • IBM/Oracle: Feel the love, especially with IBM.

To be honest, nothing surprising, just reinforcing.  I like how Forrester has the Leaders spread a little and how getting closer to the upper-right corner is rewarded.  You need a strong Strategy and solid Offering to get rated well.  Market Presence is measured by the size of the dot.  It just makes a lot more sense to me.

You know what is missing this year?  The score weighting.  Smart move as I trashed it last year and it gives people something extra when they pay for the full details.

Overall, the scoring had nothing massively off, though I’m not sure why Alfresco took so many hits.  The next couple of years is going to be critical for Alfresco as they start to hit middle-age and strive to be more.

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