We are now quickly heading towards the end of the year. It’s time to look back before leaping forward. Here are the major Enterprise CMS highlights of 2010.

How did the ECM market evolve this year? In November Gartner (news, site) published its ECM Magic Quadrant for 2010, which hit a cord with many readers and identified market fragmentation as the principal defining characteristic of the ECM market in 2010. By fragmentation Gartner meant the increasing number of new products available from vendors and how those products cover core and specialist functionalities.

In monetary terms, the ECM market grew by 4.8% over the last year despite global economic conditions with global ECM revenues of US$ 3.5 billion in 2009. According to Gartner, between now and 2014, it is expected to grow at a compound rate of 10.1% annually starting this year. In 2014, it is expected to be worth US$ 5.7 billion globally.

1. ECM and BPM

While we like looking back to see how the year went, we also like looking forward. In January, Gartner released its business process management predictions for 2010. Janelle Hill, research vice president at Gartner, said that business process management would be extended to include the management of unstructured work and data.

Gartner also anticipated:

  • Technology Convergence
  • Deployment of Dynamic BPM
  • Composition vs. Code Writing
  • More Multi-Enterprise Integrations
  • Graphic Modeling Growth

Have a look here to see if Gartner hit the money or landed somewhere in the asteroid belt.

2. Oracle and Sun

Here’s one that’s everyone has an opinion about. At the end of January, Oracle (news, site) overcame just about the last hurdle to complete the acquisition of Sun with the EU giving it the thumbs up.

The deal was originally announced last April when Oracle and Sun finalized a financial package worth US$ 7.4 billion. At the time Oracle said the deal would give clients long-term strategic advantages as it would give them effective ownership of Java and Solaris.

Following that acquisition, we felt we just had to take at look at what Oracle+Sun would actually mean for content management. Clearly, a lot of you were interested in this.

3. Autonomy’s Acquisition Plans

You’re probably used to hearing a lot about Autonomy (news, site) as the company teases us with the prospect of a major take-over announcement in the early New Year.

That little nugget has been doing the ECM rounds since April when Autonomy reported first quarter revenues of US $194.2 million, up 50% over the same quarter last year.

However, here we sit in late December and those that have been watching this will know that nothing has been announced. Like other observers, we expect this to make one of the bigger splashes next year.

4. CMIS Makes The Grade

CMIS finally made it as an OASIS standard. OASIS requires a minimum of 15% votes to ratify a spec as an official standard — that amount of votes for CMIS v 1.0 was reached at the end of April. We asked a number of Enterprise CMS vendors for their commentary on the development. Interesting and still worth a look.

Many proprietary and open source ECM vendors already have reference implementations of the spec. The rise of CMIS adoption, as well as open source ECM activity will only continue in the years to come.

5. Oracle's Unified Content Repository

We don’t want to go overboard on any particular vendor, but Oracle has been busy.

In June it announced the release of its Enterprise Content Management Suite 11g, which integrates its content management platform into the Fusion Middleware architecture and is built on a unified content repository.

In what Oracle described as a “strategic release”, the company said that the thinking behind it was ‘taking content management' where you work’.

6. Open Text ECM Suite 2010

Open Text (news, site) has been given a hard time for trying to piece together a number of acquired technologies in the past years.  With the release of ECM Suite 2010 in September we asked if it had been vindicated

There are over 90 modules/products integrated into a shared space, but its still extremely easy to use, Open Text says.

In addition to the core engine rebuild, the user interface has been modified to support the latest Web Standards, faceted search has been implemented and a number of other improvements have been made. It also  - finally – incorporated Vignette.

It is worth mentioning the fact that OTEX has seen some downs on the financials front, despite all the acquisitions that were supposed to bring in additional revenue.

7. Agile Information Management

In September, we spent the month focusing on information management and agility. We started off with an overall view of what exactly it is.

8. IBM Releases Cognos10

One of the releases of the year? For a long time, users had been asking what Big Blue plans on doing with all the acquisitions it made in business intelligence and analytics space. The release of Cognos 10, which combines social networking, collaboration, analytics and targets mobile workers, goes some way to answering that.

In the release, IBM combined the technology of Cognos, a company they acquired in 2007, with Lotus Connections, launched in 2007 at Lotusphere, and is currently in version 2.5. Added to all that is the statistical engine, which IBM bought during the SPSS acquisition in 2009.

9. Alfresco Enters BPM Market

Earlier this year, Alfresco( news, site) entered the Business Process Management fray by hiring Tom Baeyen, taking him away from the jBOSS jBPM project. In May, Activiti's release candidate was made available. In December, the full version was made generally available with all the features they promised way back when.

Activiti is a suite of software products that aims to become the leading open source BPM software. It is now generally available following, as Baeyens labels them in his blog post, "a couple crucial decisions." He says, the combination of the “liberal” Apache license combined with the new BPMN 2.0 “rock” — so we have to assume that’s good.

10. ECM Visionaries

Which leaves us right back where we started and Gartner’s ECM Magic Quadrant. While the quadrant looks at vendors across all spaces, the companies that all into the Visionaries quadrant are those companies that could very well make their way into the Leaders Quadrant next year.

Visionaries are companies that may offer all capabilities needed for a fully functioning ECM suite natively, or partners with other vendors for several core ECM components. Among this year’s Visionaries were Autonomy, SpringCM and Xerox, as well as Adobe and Alfresco.

And that’s about it for this year. We realize that you will have your own pet loves and hates in the ECM space for the year, and they may not be the same as the top 10 moments for us.

If that’s the case, let us know. But for the moment, Happy New Year!