In our first look at Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management 2012 we saw that mobile, cloud and composite apps are increasingly important in the Enterprise CMS space. Now we will take a look at those vendors that made it into the Leader’s Quadrant.

Gartner’s MQ for ECM: Making the List

We'll begin with just a few words on the Quadrant itself. Every year, as Gartner draws up the research for this quadrant, the criteria change. Vendors get included or dropped according to those criteria.

When vendors are dropped, it doesn't necessarily mean that their offerings are less significant. Other factors can come into play: the market itself may have changed, the company may have been bought out by a larger vendor, or that the vendor’s focus may have changed over the course of the year. The same applies for those that have been added:

  • Added: This year, Unisys extended its functionality to cover the entire range of criteria for inclusion in the Enterprise CMS market, while M-Files, as we have seen over the past few months, has emerged as a mid-market ECM vendor with a strong focus on vertical content-centric applications.
  • Dropped: Adobe has been dropped, as its focus has shifted to WCM, customer engagement and digital marketing and it has not been actively developing or selling enough ECM components to deserve inclusion.

This year, Gartner's criteria for inclusion have shifted slightly, with scoring of functional capabilities as well as a focus on new combinations of technologies. This year’s inclusion criteria include:

  • Revenues from content management licenses or maintenance of a least US$ 10 million, or customer subscriptions of at least US$ 10 million for open-source vendors.
  • Active marketing of its product in two major geographical regions.
  • Have ECM software commercially available, with references to back it up.
  • Have an integrated content management suite with at least four of the components that we listed in our Magic Quadrant ECM overview.

Vendors are rated on how well they sell and support their ECM products and services on a global basis, along with installed base, pricing, customer support and satisfaction, and product migrations from one major release to another.

Gartner also assess the vendor’s vision of the market place. In practical terms, this means an assessment of how well vendors understand changing market needs, as well as their ability to adopt emerging functionality, and integrate with other content repositories.

Gartner’s MQ  ECM Leaders

Leaders in this MQ are those that are doing well, are prepared for the future with a clear vision of how they will progress into the future, have a strong set of channel partners, are present in multiple geographical regions, and are financially strong.

This year there are six Leaders (in alphabetical order): EMC, Hyland, IBM, Microsoft, OpenText and Oracle.

EMC

EMC has developed strategies that are aimed at improving the user experience and its industry solutions and cloud content management. Its acquisition of Syncplicity in May 2012 gave it the ability to share content across mobile devices.

  • Strengths: EMC has refocused on its strengths in the life sciences and utilities space with new industry solutions like Documentum Quality & Manufacturing Solution for Life Sciences and Documentum EPFM. It has put a lot of work into developing cloud content management with EMC OnDemand, which provides cost-effective content management in the cloud, as well as a number of other cloud applications. It has a strong content management stack with a range of products that are highly complementary to each other and which can manage the whole content life cycle better than most of its competitors. It is particularly strong in capture, core repository, process management, archive and records management as well as document composition abilities.
  • Cautions: It is still struggling to realize its full strengths in the storage hardware space to drive content management sales. It continues to see the erosion of its Documentum business because of its high cost and complexities in a market that is increasingly competitive. It also needs to develop its sales channels better. Its changing strategy on social content management has been confusing for customers.

Hyland Software

Hyland has a strong focus on vertical and horizontal solutions and strong history of execution across the midmarket, especially in the US and South America.

  • Strengths: Its OnBase ECM platform has been able to integrate with other enterprise applications and has a proven ability to facilitate human-to-system interaction at an interface level. It provides options for both on-premises and SaaS delivery, giving users more flexibility in their deployments. It is focused on its core abilities of document imaging and workflow and has a strong commitment to customer satisfaction.
  • Cautions: Its Microsoft-focused architecture has hindered its progress in heterogeneous client and server environments. To increase its usefulness, it has provided a Java client for its higher education customers and a cross-browser, cross-platform Web client for IE and Mozilla. Its 200+ modules, however, can be daunting for customers when they need to upgrade core capabilities. It needs to build its international presence.

IBM

IBM is the biggest ECM vendor in terms of market size and revenues. In ECM its focus is primarily on transactional and social content management use cases that tie into its other product portfolios.

  • Strengths: IBM has a long history of scaling its products to meet enterprise needs. Its solutions also incorporate its developments in other areas -- so the solutions come with analytics, social and process management along with content management abilities. All of these tie into its Smarter Cities initiative. By bundling its content repositories (FileNet and CM8) and Connections, IBM has successfully integrated social software into content management. It could also further drive integration with its Web CMS offering, and also develop its DAM for integration.
  • Cautions: Both its product portfolio and its deployments are complex although case management and a common UI could resolve these issues. It is facing challenges to scale-down for the mid-size market and even small enterprises, where there is considerable scope for growth. It also lacks a clear cloud-based content management strategy in a market where Gartner expects to see a lot of future growth.

Also read: IBM Looks To Future With Big Data, Cloud, Mobile Security.

Microsoft

Microsoft’s SharePoint platform is a strong one, that has been widely adopted across enterprises -- with many companies looking to SharePoint to provide them with ECM. However, many enterprises are using third-party products to extend the functionality.

  • Strengths: Because of its strong position in the market with other products, SharePoint has developed a large client base with many third-party vendors adding functionality through extensions. It is currently being used in multiple use case deployments in much larger scenarios than in the previous 2007 release. The result is that it has a strong position in many enterprise environments.
  • Cautions: Users have expressed concerns about the native functionality in areas likes administration, backup and recovery, workflow, mobile support and broad usability, among others. Migration from earlier versions is still a challenge when enterprises decide to upgrade. Gartner says it expected Microsoft to build a stronger application ecosystem around SharePoint than it has already. Users have reported that they would like more applications than are currently available.

OpenText

OpenText continues to growth through technology acquisitions, the most recent of which is EasyLink, a cloud provider of messaging services. Its ECM offers a complete set of content management technologies.

  • Strengths: Has a wide portfolio of functionality as a result of its acquisition strategy with strong capabilities in the cloud content management space. Its reseller agreement with SAP has given it a competitive advantage with SAP customers, especially in the area of imaging, archiving, document management and records management. It is adding more composite content application through the Metastrom and Global 360 acquisitions leveraging its MetaStorm and Global360 BPM products.
  • Cautions: Some OpenText customers continue to express concerns over migration paths and support issues as well as modest product enhancements. Its sales of new software licenses has slowed and many of its customers are starting to adopt SharePoint.

Oracle

Through a mixture of acquisitions and native development, Oracle has brought content management along with its portal, Web and collaboration capabilities into Oracle WebCenter. Its footprint continues to grow in the ECM market.

  • Strengths: Integration of Oracle WebCenter with Oracle's software stack is offering substantial benefits to Oracle customers. The size of its sales force, product, development and support organizations offer it strong possibilities for further growth in the space. Its visibility in the space continues to grow along with a growing presence in the adjacent portal market.
  • Cautions: WebCenter Sites, the web content management technology it gained from the Fatwire acquisition is now quite distinct so that its ECM and Web CMS offers are quite separate. It has a weak focus on interoperability that poses problems for enterprises with ECMs from two different vendors, while its application development strategy is not as developed as some.

And that’s this year’s ECM Magic Quadrant. There is a lot more to this, so if you want to check out the report, you’ll have to register at Gartner’s website.