As content management vendors race with the rapid pace of change in the enterprise workplace, some are pulling ahead.

The front-runners embrace the rising demand for content collaboration, mobile access and better user experiences, but others are showing strength in particular areas.

New research from Nucleus identified eight vendors dominating the market, but noted they aren't the only ones gaining ground.

Nucleus Value Matrix

Eight vendors made it into the Leaders Quadrant of Nucleus’ Value Matrix for ECM with another eight in the other three quadrants -- Expert, Facilitator, and Core Provider.

If this seems similar to Gartner’s classification in its Magic Quadrant for ECM, that’s because it is. But there are two differences. First, Gartner’s Quadrant is based on absolute values, while the Nucleus analysis is presented as relative values -- how vendors compare with the others. Second, the Nucleus quadrant is revised twice a year.

Nucleus also identified three trends that have been emerging for some time, and now appear to be established strategies for ECM vendors:

  • Simplification: Simplifying the end-user experience and making it easier for workers to work has become the priority, as has automating more processes to reduce training times.
  • Integration: There is a move away from standalone solutions toward integration with other applications.
  • Mobility and collaboration: There's greater focus on helping mobile employees to create, access and share content securely.

The Matrix also found that vendors are also being challenged by developments outside their control and in other areas of technology. That's reflected with OpenText, Oracle, IBM, OnBase, EMC, HP Autonomy, Perceptive Software and SpringCM all in the Leaders quadrant. But keep in mind there are three other quadrants. 

Expert Quadrant

The Expert Quadrant includes, in this order, Laserfiche, Alfresco and Systemware. These vendors have invested heavily in functionality that, by its nature, is more complex and requires more training than the products of vendors in the Leaders’ Quadrant.


Laserfiche took an approach that if all departments need to access content stored in siloes, they all need to do it in different ways. The result is an application that offers access that is efficient, flexible and unique to the needs and business practices of an individual department.

It also offers business process management as a core element of its ECM offerings, along with document imaging, document management and records management. It comes with a wide range of functionality out-of-the-box that can be deployed by both small and medium-sized enterprises.

Easily scalable, it provides a cost-effective solution for enterprises looking for BPM and ECM combined. In recent times it has also greatly expanded its mobile capabilities and accommodates the development of Bring-Your-Own strategies (BYOD) in the enterprise. According to Nucleus, Laserfiche will continue to develop its mobile offerings to cover more devices.


We have seen over the year that Alfresco has been rapidly developing its platform under a new US-based CEO. There were discussions about an possible IPO, but they appear to have been put on hold as the company builds out its product portfolio.

That said, Alfresco already possesses a flexible, agile platform on which it continues to build mobile and cloud capabilities to accommodate enterprises moving to, or working in, multiple environments.

As an open source solution, it is easy to customize.  Alfresco promises high adoption rates with low deployment and operational costs along with a broad set of functions. Nucleus said that Alfresco’s mobile offerings are highly secure and will include more functions in coming months.


Systemware describes itself as a boutique vendor that serves the content management storage requirements of big enterprises including Fortune 500 companies. It offers a range capabilities including capture, document and process management, highly specialized archiving and records management.