The ECM Magic Quadrant, The 2010 Edition

imageSo Gartner released the new Magic Quadrant last week.


I’m a little torn here.  It is an important piece of research and of value and all that, but…

  • Those in the Leaders quadrant frequently aren’t leading.
  • Too many people look at the report and research the market no further.
  • Enterprise Content Management cannot be bought.  It is a strategy.  I can buy a Content Management platform or suite that supports my ECM strategy, but I cannot buy ECM.

Of course, it is full of useful/interesting facts, so let’s dive into it…[download a copy from Hyland Software.]

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Redefining the Core Tech of ECM

For several months, I’ve been tinkering with an idea in my head.  I’ve watched as EMC and other large ECM vendors fell further behind in the WCM space.  For every advancement that has been made, there were losses to the market.  It is at the point that if you aren’t deploying massive websites to server farms, you wouldn’t even look at the larger vendors.image

And yet, nothing changes.  The large vendors keep taking one step for every two that the market makes.  I think there will be a change, and CMS Watch, in their excellent 2010 Predictions, made a prediction similar to my thought process:

1) Enterprise Content Management and Document Management will go their separate ways

When you read the description, it is clear that they are seeing the same things, but they appear to be throwing the emphasis in the wrong direction.

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What Can We Expect from ECM Analysts?

There has been a lot of talk the last few months about the integrity, and completeness, of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant reports.  While the lawsuit against Gartner from ZL Technologies was dismissed, at least for now, there are a lot of questions being asked about the level of influence upon the market by Gartner, and upon Gartner by the market.

The questions can also be applied to Forrester and other analyst reports in the ECM industry, and other industries for that matter.  I’m confining my discussion today to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant and Forrester’s Wave for ECM as I know them best.

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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.

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The 2009 Magic Quadrant for ECM

[Note that my post on the 2010 Quadrant is now available.]

Thanks to the Documentum voters splitting their time between two topics, discussing the recent Gartner MQ for ECM is today’s topic.  The voting was an interesting little diversion that I’ll revisit later.

I’m going to talk about the report here.  The recent controversy around Gartner is a post for another day.

Staying Out of Trouble

image Last year I was threatened (my word) by Gartner for putting a copy of the MQ here.  I was also chastised for several other nitpicks. So I will only link to Oracle’s courtesy copy of the 2009 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management this year to avoid wrath.

One thing to remember is Gartner really doesn’t want you to compare a vendor’s location in the MQ from year to year. That is both well-advised and unrealistic.  To be fair, as the measurements and industry change, scores change.  Movement isn’t just dependent on vendor action, or inaction.

However, we are human and we like to perform comparisons. I have a copy to perform the comparison for my own interest.  The link I had online to last year’s report is no longer valid, so you’ll have to take my Word on it.

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EMC and Web Content Management

I made a few observations the other week about the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management that came out recently.  I, and others, criticized what it was measuring (though one blogger defended the MQ). I made the following comment in my dissection:

Personally, I think EMC (Documentum) and IBM (FileNet) are Niche Players in the WCM world at best.  Why?  Their WCM products sell into a very specific niche, those companies that already have, or are making, investments in their EMC or IBM platforms. If you know of either product winning a pure WCM bid, let me know.

Well, no comments on them winning a bid.  Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, just means that people that know of such wins didn’t read the post or care to comment. My point still is that EMC’s, and IBM’s, WCM offering is not the “Challenger” as the MQ seems to suggest.

Let’s dig in a little.

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Am I Buying a WCM Solution or Stock?

The Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management came out for the first time this month.  I say the first time because it was always a Market Scope before the 2009 report.  If you look at it, you can learn many things.  The one thing you won’t learn is if any of the products are right for you, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Jon Marks did a good job of comparing Gartner’s and Forrester’s latest rankings and highlights how a “Niche Player” may be worth considering. CMS Watch has stronger words on the topic, talking about some of the differences between their methodology and Gartner’s.

I have a few of my own thoughts to add into the fray…

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The Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management, 2008

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

One thing about writing entries on public transportation, no Internet.  This make is tough to refer to web sites that haven’t been opened and cached.  As a result, today (I’m optimistic, so I’m not saying “this week”) brings you Gartner, Inc.’s 2008 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management review.  Released on September 23, 2008, the biggest surprise was the number of vendors that didn’t hype it.

An important note from Gartner, Inc., Gartner advises readers not to compare the placement of vendors from last year to this year.  With that in mind, since I’m human, here is a link to my post about last year’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management titled, The ECM Magic Quadrant, for reference.

Enter Open Source

Before we get to the chart, there are two big developments to take note of this year.  The biggest is the inclusion of Alfresco.  That’s right, an open source vendor has arrived.  They are listed categorized as a niche player so far in this report.  Considering limited, but growing, adoption and their evolving product, that is understandable.  I think that their vision got dinged because they have been taking a stronger collaboration (read Enterprise 2.0) tack as of late, but that is just conjecture.

I think they may be selling Alfresco short, but marketplace adoption and confidence is a factor in this study.  It will be interesting to see how the perception, and reality, evolves over the next year.

Other open source vendors will be slow in appearing here as Records Management is considered a core requirement to be in the chart report.  I agree with this, but I may set the bar lower for compliance than Gartner, Inc. does as I think basic retention policies are all that is required.

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Where in the World is Pie?

As you may have noticed, I’ve been a little inactive lately.  If you are even more observant, you may have noticed a few references to the fact that I was very busy in August and September.  After all, CMIS was finally released last month and I haven’t even posted an analysis on how it measures up from a technical standpoint.

The answer is a little more complex than too much going on a daily basis.  It boils down to one thing, borderline burnout.  I’ve not only not been doing anything on my commute even remotely work-related, I’ve sometimes been going home and night and not even using a computer!  I think my wife hasn’t said anything because I think she is happy about that behavior, even if it is a warning sign.

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