The ECM Magic Quadrant, The 2010 Edition

imageSo Gartner released the new Magic Quadrant last week.

Um…..

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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ECM Industry Goals: Move the ECM Industry Forward

I started this on Monday discussing the importance of goals in general, using the setting of goals for yourself as a starting point.  The same logic applies to a company, and its industry, as well.

Think about it, why is a company in business?  Yes, to make money, but that goal will only get you so far, just ask the gnomes.  You have to have something to offer and the ability to convince your customers that you can deliver and still be around in the future.

So in order to inspire your employees and your customers, you create a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG).  For example, maybe you want to create the market leading ECM solution.  Ten years ago, that was a challenge.  No one company had all the capabilities in house and the leadership of the market was in flux.  Now, to hit the same goal, you just take aim at the big boys and go forward.

But what does that really get you?  Are you leading or just following the trail already blazed?

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The AIIM iECM CMIS Demo, 2010 Remix

Last year, AIIM‘s iECM Committee put together a demonstration of the proposed CMIS 1.0 standard for the AIIM Conference in Philly.  Well, we are at it again for a bigger and better demo.

How is it going to be better?  I am glad you asked.  Here is what we are aiming for this year:

  • More vendorsLast year we had three vendors (Alfresco, EMC, and Nuxeo) participating.  This year we already have four vendor commitments and we haven’t started groveling for more participants yet!
  • More CMIS scenarios:  Last year we only showed CMIS in the Federation scenario.  This year we are going to be showing TWO Federation scenarios AND, as a bonus, an Application to Repository scenario.  That’s right, we are going to be switching our front-end application between the different repositories ON THE FLY!
  • Real-world use cases: Okay, maybe not “real” world, but we are going to be using the Health Care Industry as a basis for this year’s demonstration.  Our meta-data model and use cases will focus on the management of content of a patients health care record.  Things will be simplified, this is a CMIS demo after-all, but you will be able to see a real-world application for CMIS that doesn’t involve a generic ECM interface.
  • CMIS Version 1.0: This is really just for me.  Last year everything was draft this and beta that.  I’m expecting a much more streamlined development process this year.

You want more?  How about this…there is going to be a session on the demo at the AIIM Conference this year presented by myself and Thomas Pole, the iECM Committee Chair talking about the demo and a whitepaper that will be developed in conjunction.

In the next few days, you will see a more detailed description of this year’s demonstration and a whitepaper that Thomas and I have written about the status of the standard, the story of last year’s demo, and what we are planning for this year.

Exciting times people, exciting times.

Nuxeo Comes Courting

This year, Nuxeo has been working pretty hard to increase awareness of their offering in the ECM marketplace.  They have taken a prominent role in the Apache Chemistry implementation for CMIS and were one of three vendors, Alfresco and EMC being the other two, that were able to get a CMIS-ready repository up in time to support the AIIM CMIS demo for the conference this year.

Then came September when they hired Cheryl McKinnon to be their Chief Marketing Officer. Cheryl and I had both come from the world of PC DOCS and had worked for the same boss back in 1999 (she was in training and I was a consultant).  Cheryl, knowing my love for all things ECM, offered to give my team and I a briefing on Nuxeo, complete with a demo by CEO Eric Barroca.  I accepted the offer and was glad that I did…

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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 Source Code from the AIIM iECM CMIS Demo

I’ve been promising this for a while, but it is finally available.  I had all these plans, but I decided to just get the code out for everyone as I seem to keep getting busy.  You can tell that the code was written to work and not to be supported.  All you critics can relax, I know already.

Before I go any further, I want to thank Craig Randall for his sample application that helped me get started. That application is also available on the EDN as well. Read his write-up, Consuming CMIS WSDL in Visual Studio and then go to the EDN for his code.

I also want to thank Thomas Pole for helping to write the User Interface, design the object model,  and leading AIIM’s efforts around iECM and CMIS in general.  Some of the code you will see is his.

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My Day at AIIM Expo 2009 with CMIS

Okay, let’s be clear.  I didn’t travel around with CMIS all day. On the other hand, CMIS got me to the AIIM Expo this year, opened a few doors, and started many a conversation. It is amazing what standing on a soapbox for a year and a half can accomplish. It was an interesting day that was well spent and I wish I had two days at the conference.  I was always rushing trying to get to see everyone and talk to everyone, and I failed. I did accomplish my primary objective, and that was a success.

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Update on the AIIM CMIS Demo

At the end of January, I talked about the proposed effort being undertaken by the iECM committee to create a CMIS demonstration for the AIIM Expo. Things are going well and I am working with others to build the demonstration. I wanted to share a few details with you.

  • We are implementing the Web Service binding for CMIS. While REST would be better for what we are doing, it was felt that the Web Services binding would be easier for the development team to churn out.
  • As a result of that, the participating vendors are Alfresco, EMC, IBM, and Nuxeo. Microsoft wanted to participate was not sure that their Web Services binding would be complete in time.
  • Each vendor will have a two issues worth of articles from AIIM’s bi-monthly publication, Infonomics.  In addition, each vendor is welcome to add their own white papers and collateral to the system.
  • Users will search on metadata and/or full text. All searches will be round-robin sorted so that each repository has multiple hits on the first page, assuming that they have any content that meets the criteria.
  • The system is being developed in .NET because we were able to identify a free hosting server that could support the effort.
  • We, including myself, are going to be at the Expo on April 2nd to talk about it. I’ll share the exact time when I have it.

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CMIS and SharePoint

This is a critical subject.  As I said when the CMIS standard was released, the key to its success will be vendor adoption.  This means more than just signing off on the standard.  The vendors have to incorporate it into their message and start to show clients, partners, and analysts how they plan to support and implement CMIS.  Based on how the ECM marketplace has begun to revolve around SharePoint, I consider Microsoft’s support a major component for success.  CMIS can succeed without them at first, but it will be a much steeper hill to climb without Microsoft.

Well, Microsoft appears to be doing things right so far.  In addition to showing a desire to participate in the AIIM effort (along with EMC, Alfresco, IBM, and Nuxeo), they hosted the first OASIS CMIS Technical Committee meeting out in Redmond, WA.  More important than either of those actions is the implications of this MSDN article, Integrating External Document Repositories with SharePoint Server 2007.

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