While things have been changing in the world of web content management, it seems the key vendors who led the charge last year, still do according to Gartner's latest magic quadrant for web content management. But there are a few new faces to look at, so let's review.

The Rules of Gartner's Magic Quadrant

Yesterday we talked about the growing market for web content management and how that market is changing to reflect the need to support online channel optimization. Today, we look at the players in that market who, according to Gartner, make the grade.

The rules of this game include the following:

  • Revenues that exceed US$ 10 million.
  • Five years in business with at least one year with a multi-geographic presence and the plans to expand.
  • Active in at least two different industries and more than one application function.
  • Really good enterprise level references.
  • Act as a standalone product, or in a suite and have a number of what we will call "standard" WCM capabilities, including multi-device delivery, web analytics, multi-site, multilingual and more.

So a number of "new" vendors made the list year because they finally met the revenue targets. These include Squiz, e-Spirit, GX Software and eZ Systems. You'll also now see Limelight Networks, which acquired Clickability last year and Adobe, which acquired Day Software. Otherwise, we see the same players in all categories.

The WCM Leaders

Day Software has propelled Adobe into the leaders quadrant this year with its Java-based web content management platform. This, coupled with the integration of its Omniture analytics platform and the strength of its mobile technologies are the driving forces for Adobe's positioning.

Adobe updated its vision recently with its restructuring towards Digital Marketing and Digital Media. It's clear that WCM will play a key position in this new strategy. The restructure will likely relax some of the concerns listed in the report around sales strategy and market differentiation.

Autonomy remains in the leaders quadrant this year, which is no surprise considering the strength of its IDOL platform and the tight integration with its WCM solution. It differentiates itself with technologies like augmented reality capabilities and other OCO technologies like MediaBin for DAM and Optimost for content optimization and testing. The question is, will its acquisition by HP have any effect on where it sits next year or will its pricing -- which Gartner has seen as sometimes between 50 and 100% higher than close competitors -- push it off the scale?

OpenText has a package that can combine both Enterprise content management and web content management. It offers two different WCM solutions: Web Site Management and Web Experience Management, which does sometimes confuse customers, but it has really honed in on the customer experience discussion with a real strategy.

Recently we covered OpenText's Community capabilities, which go a long way towards supporting a strong internal customer experience and its listing with Forrester for online customer experience is further proof its position is strong.

Oracle has come a long way with its WCM strategy, wrapping it into the broader customer experience management portfolio that is WebCenter. It's here you will find FatWire's WEM capabilities integrated with other OCO capabilities like DAM, search and document management. Gartner also mentions Real-Time Decisions as a product that supports personalization and context-awareness, both requirements of any OCO platform.

SDL Tridion, SDL's web content management platform is often known for its usability (and we like the blueprinting technology too). It helps that SDL has partnered with EMC to sell its solution to an even greater enterprise market and let's not forget its SmartTarget product. SDL's OCO story is strong. Gartner says that SDL needs a better SharePoint story, especially considering it is a .NET CMS, and it also mentions potential issues with implementation that might need to be considered.

Finally, we talk a bit about Sitecore, the final leader in this WCM Magic quadrant. In some ways it's interesting to see Sitecore positioned with all these Enterprise Content management players, but it has planted itself firmly in the customer experience management world with a platform that offers a range of capabilities in addition to web content management. The fact that it is a .NET platform seems to come as a caution in this report, but unless you are a Java only organization, that shouldn't really matter.

WCM Challengers

IBM's Web Content Manager 7 sits at the challengers table with Microsoft SharePoint.  Coupled with its Websphere Portal, it makes a great package for a wide range of use cases. We tend to talk more about IBM from an Enterprise CMS perspective, not a WCM one. The report cites usability issues and a too tightly knit relationship with Websphere as challenges for this platform.

Microsoft SharePoint is not as widely known for its WCM deployments as its document management and collaboration capabilities. But it's in almost every organization and offers the potential to combine all these capabilities into a single platform. That and the enormous partner and developer ecosystem put it squarely in the Challenger quadrant. Gartner does acknowledge that its functionality is not on par with most of the other WCM solutions and that its pricing isn't as competitive as might be needed. 

WCM Visionaries

CoreMedia is considered a visionary because it has made strides in its marketing position, which includes a greater foot in North America, and has a nice offering in CoreMedia 6, introduced the beginning of this year. CoreMedia also hit the right notes talking about context-aware computing. But it still needs to clearly define its OCO position.

Ektron is another visionary, playing nicely with SharePoint, integrating best of breed complimentary solutions to provide its OCO platform and it offers some key social capabilities. According to Gartner, there may still be some concerns that lurking beneath the friendly user interface is a much more complex solution, although Ektron 8.5, introduced this year and boasting a new distributed architecture, may resolve any concerns.

EPiServer is a mid-market solution we discussed recently, but it also plays to the enterprise market. It has a friendly user interface and a modular architecture that makes it easier to integrate other OCO applications. Its cloud platform offering also makes it stand out among the others.

When Limelight Networks acquired Clickability, many probably thought this was the end of the SaaS WCM vendor, but it hasn't been. Now called the Dynamic Site Platform, the things that made it a good solution under the Clickability name still continue, it's just now coupled with a video and advertising platform and a CDN. And although we talk a lot about how good SaaS solutions can be, it is also a market perspective challenge that Limelight has to deal with. 

Niche Players in WCM

Alterian continues to be in the picture for web content management, although the recent offer from SDL to acquire it may prove otherwise next year. Right now, Alterian is said to be making major plans to revamp its business, which Gartner indicates is something it needs to do, including working on a better SharePoint integration story.

Atex is not a WCM platform that we hear a lot about. They make the list for a number of reasons, not the least of which includes its new tablet publishing tool for the iPad, something its media and publishing companies probably love.

We have never written about DynamicWeb, so it's not a WCM product I am familiar with at all. Yet it was on Gartner's list last year and again this year. It is a .NET Web CMS that focuses on eCommerce as well as content management.

e-Spirit is new the Gartner MQ, but not to web content management. It recently announced its SharePoint integration, which seems to be a 'must-have' and it has a strong portal integration story. The vendor is still gaining traction in North America and needs to adjust its messaging to be less technical.

eZ Systems is another new entrant to the MQ. It offers a commercial support package on top of its open source eZ Publish Web CMS platform. Last year, it officially split its platform into community and enterprise editions, contributing to its position this year.

GX Software is the third newcomer to the MQ this year with two OCO offerings: WCM and BlueConic for engagement across online channels. Although it's small in size, GX makes up for it in its vision of how OCO should work, and the role WCM plays. Gartner recommends it work on its BlueConic interface and the range of options available to non-technical users.

Percussion has a unique marketing message. It's a WCM product, not a framework or platform, which means it has productized the core web content management functionality that every organization needs. CM1.2 is aimed at the non-technical user, while its CM System is the platform on which it is built. It has a bit of work to do on the functionality side to get it up to speed with other competitors and its limited geographic presence doesn't help.

Finally, we reach the end of this list with Squiz rounding out the Niche players. The Squiz product suite, like eZ, is also built on an open source platform, but doesn't focus on that in its marketing messages. Rather, it speaks to the needs of the client and much needed maintenance services. Its Funnelback search platform, analytics solution built on Google Analytics and cloud-services are also reasons to look at this vendor . Note that its OCO story is a bit weak and its North American presence is small.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot more web content management vendors out there in the market who aren't listed in Gartner's MQ but are good platforms non the less. This is a good report to get a look at what some WCM vendors are doing and what concerns you might need to consider, but don't make it your only list to go by.

There is a lot more information in the Gartner report than I have covered here. Get the full report to read all the details on your favorite Web CMS and its OCO/customer experience strategy.