2014-17-September-Ruffled-Feathers.jpgAny top ______ list is sure to ruffle a few feathers, and this one is no different. Capterra, an online software review service, published a list of what it identifies as the top 20 document management software solutions.

While many of the names will be familiar to those working in the document management space, a few notable absences are sure to cause debate.

Capterra’s Methodology

According to Capterra, it developed the ranking based on its popularity index, which weighed, ranked and scored a number of variables including the number of customers, number of users and presence on social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus.

We spoke with Rachel Wille, market research analyst at Capterra to get more background on how the study was carried out and to find out how products from companies like OpenText, Microsoft and the cloud-based M-Files didn’t make it on the list.

The first thing to say here is that there is no point in shooting the messenger. The findings are based on a methodology that has produced similar lists for other IT areas. Willie explained:

"Our infographics are based on a weighed and ranked popularity index we developed, which includes number of customers, number of users and metrics of social presence (like Facebook likes, Twitter followers, Klout scores, Capterra reviews, etc.). 

The social media numbers are collected directly from those sites, while the customer/user figures are collected from the vendors themselves."

Asked about the absence of some obvious contenders Wille said,

We reach out to all of the vendors in our directory, but some are unwilling to share the particular metrics we are looking for. We do our best to fill in any major holes by providing our own estimates where we can, but it’s not always possible to do that and still provide relatively accurate information to our buyers. In this scenario, we omitted any vendor we could not provide reasonable estimates for.”

Who Made the List?

Capterra limited the list to comparable products. In this case, it excluded a number of products that focus on areas other than document management, like collaboration.

For this infographic, we decided to limit the definition by taking out any product that seemed to focus more on collaboration than document management (like SharePoint, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.).

However, in order to qualify vendors for the infographic, we made sure they offered document storage/image capture in addition to one or more additional features. The majority in this case included tracking, sharing, or security in addition to storage."

Without further ado, here are this year's top 20 document management vendors, according to Capterra:

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Document Management Trends

We are not going to try and interpret the list, but Wille did point out to a number of trends dominating the market that appeared in its research.

She said that the battle between "freemium" products (such as Dropbox and Google Docs) and more focused Document Management products will determine how the market progresses from here.

Usage of these freemium products is only going to increase, and the products featured on this infographic are going to have to focus more and more on providing higher-end functionality and user experience to keep up.

But, in the end, using freemium products for Document Management is a bit like using Microsoft Excel for your accounting needs: it's certainly a powerful tool, and will get the job done, but won't have a lot of the specified functionality that users will crave."

2014-9-17 capterra's top 20 document management companies breakdown.jpg

With that being said, document management, or enterprise content management systems, are only tools and will only work if their deployment is prepared carefully.

At the Gartner Portals, Content and Collaboration summit at the beginning of the week, Kenneth Chin pointed out that many companies are investing in this kind of software without actually knowing how they are going to use it, or if their workers will use it. In all cases, planning is key.

Title image by Dave Montreuil (Shutterstock)