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Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Web CMS: Diving into Vendor Strengths & Cautions

What's the best part of Gartner's Magic Quadrant for web content management? It's that you can see quickly the strengths are each vendor and what you need to know before you move forward (also known as cautions).

It's all the talk now, Gartner's newest Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management is out the wild and everyone wants to know who's one it and why. For a quick summary you can check out what I covered already — the basics.

Today it's time to dive into a bit more detail. Why are the leaders (Adobe, SDL, OpenText, Oracle, HP, Sitecore) still the leaders? What tipped Ektron into the leaders quadrant? How did Acquia get on the list? All good questions, all in time.

Before we dive in, I'm not going to spend time going through Gartner's evaluation process. It's a fairly standard process for them and most of you know it by now. Maybe the only things you need to keep in mind are that vendors must apply to be considered and there is a revenue threshold they must meet. So it's possible there are other great WCM platforms out there, but these are the heavy hitters.

WCM Leaders

For the record, there isn't one vendor in the leader quadrant of the MQ that I haven't talked to at some time or another. The platforms are nothing short of impressive and each one does bring a unique point of view to the table.

Adobe

When we talk Adobe for WCM we are, of course, talking Day Software — although at some point we have to stop saying that and get on with things. The WCM platform is now called Adobe CQ and is Adobe's web experience platform tying into its Digital Marketing Suite.

Strengths include ease of use for non-techies and strong analytics. And let's not forget the Digital Marketing Suite. Gartner states that operations are not as cohesive as they could be and that Adobe's focus on digital marketing lends itself to a smaller market (both size-wise and horizontally). This is interesting to hear considering Adobe is clearly enterprise focused and large enterprises at that.

Ektron

If you pay attention to the WCM market at all, you likely been watching what is happening at Ektron. It's a vendor that has grown significantly in terms of both functionality and customer base the last few years — inclusion in the leaders quadrant should be proof of that. Ektron recently released version 8 of its Web CMS and also has its Digital Experience Hub.

A strong partner ecosystem, a management team that is experienced and the DEH are listed as strengths. There is a caution that Ektron may be not paying as much attention to its mid-sized customer base now that it's taken hold at the enterprise level. But the most important caution to consider is its multilingual capabilities as it tries to take its business global.

HP

HP makes the list because it acquired Autonomy, and we've all heard of Autonomy. In a way, it's strange to see it in the leaders quadrant when the news about its performance hasn't been exactly great. However, I think that more likely means it's all relevant and what's poor performance to one company isn't really that bad at all in the greater scheme of things. Autonomy has taken its WCM platform and integrated analytics and search, enabling it to be a strong contender in the CXM space.

Gartner see Autonomy IDOL as a real strength and says it has a strong brand across a number of industries as well as very loyal customers. A lack of clarity around its vision and strategy for CXM are listed as cautions. A perception of being expensive and complex is also noted.

OpenText

OpenText continues to sell two separate solutions based on acquisitions: Web Site Management (WSM) and Web Experience Management (WEM).

For organizations looking for a broad enterprise strategy, Gartner says OpenText integrates its WCM platforms very well into the broader platform. It also has a great partner ecosystem and has been working hard on its CXM Strategy.

Apparently, however, the dual product strategy is confusing to some. Gartner also says the WEM solution is not as intuitive as other offerings,although it is easy to use.

Oracle

Oracle has been in the news much recently talking about its CXM vision and strategy. Part of the CXM family is WebCenter Sites, joined by products such as Siebel, Endeca, ATG Web Commerce (check the news on the Commerce platform) and Real Time Decisions (RTD). It also recently picked up a social media management platform, Vitrue.

Along with this broad set of capabilities, Gartner says Oracle's inclusion of other non-CXM capabilities such as document management, records and retention and archiving are nice complements. In addition, Oracle RTD enables Oracle customers to personalize and contextualize content.

Overlapping products, compelling integrations and a stronger presence in the internal collaboration environment are all listed as cautions for Oracle.

SDL

SDL Tridion leads SDL's presence in the CXM market, and its abilities in terms of managing content on a global and local basis is a key selling point. The addition of Alterian for social media capabilities and campaign management has been a plus. SDL is moving quickly into the North American market (it's a UK-based WCM vendor).

Complex implementations is noted as a caution as is the need for a clearer strategic direction. And although as a .NET platform it will play nicely with SharePoint, SDL is not selling this point very strongly.

Sitecore

Sitecore wraps up the leader quadrant. Along with its Web CMS, Sitecore offers a Digital Marketing System (another .NET vendor). There is a wide range of products in the CXM line up including an Email Campaign Manager, engagement analytics and a commerce engine thanks to an OEM partnership with Insite Software.

Sitecore strengths include its SharePoint story, and its multilingual and multichannel capabilities. Adaptive Print Studio is also mentioned as it supports both the online and offline experience.

Sitecore needs to work on its partner ecosystem and it needs to move faster executing its vision says Gartner. The fact that it's a .NET platform is also considered a potential drawback for customers who want the Java or LAMP stack.

WCM Challengers

IBM

IBM retains its position in the Challengers quadrant with Web Content Manager (version 8 was recently released). The Web Content Manager can be acquired as part of IBM's more inclusive Customer Experience Suite or it can standalone.

An already large customer base and ecosystem is a plus, but also very important is IBM's focus on Suites (there's an Internet one and an Intranet one), and its Portal platform. All the analytics acquisitions also clearly demonstrate the importance of analytics in IBM's solutions and platforms. Web Content Manager may be tied a little to closely to WebSphere Portal for some people accordingly Gartner — that's one caution. Another is that although the latest version is much better, the platform can be complex to implement.

Microsoft

Here we are talking SharePoint and although SharePoint 2013 is out in beta with some much improved web content management capabilities, it's not what keeps it in the Challengers quadrant. What keeps it here right now is SharePoint 2010.

 

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