This year, Web content management (WCM) was promoted to the Magic Quadrant level in Gartner-land. Previously, only Enterprise CMS vendors were MQ-eligible. The firm says the MarketScope approach was no longer suited for "dynamic, evolutionary trends'" happening in the Web CMS space.

Gartner (news, site) hopes that the report will help those with a CMS short-list in hand to make the right decision. While it may not answer all the questions on your WCM mind, it's one way of looking at the market and the players.

The Making of the Magic Quadrant

As before, Gartner looks at vendors with their corresponding strengths and cautions in four parts of the quadrant: Leaders, Challengers, Niche Players and Visionaries.

When positioning a Web CMS vendor in any of the boxes, Gartner looks at the vendors' current products, overall strategies, future initiatives and product road maps. Another factor being considered is how the vendor is adapting to the changing market, or driving that change. A host of other evaluation criteria is also taken into account.

Not to mention that Gartner includes (or excludes) vendors based on revenue, geo reach and presence, customer referencibility and a certain set of required functionality. That is the reason why products like Acquia Drupal, Adobe Contribute, Alfresco, CrownPeak, Jahia, eZ Publish and others are not considered in this Magic Quadrant, although monitored by Gartner.

Note that Nstein Technologies, the text-mining and digital publishing makers, made it to the Magic Quadrant for the first time ever.

Others, like Ektron, Day, Vignette, Alterian and SDL Tridion, received nods from Gartner in the past in either the MarketScope or the ECM Magic Quadrant editions.

The WCM market in 2009, according to Gartner, is driven by dynamism, which “is likely to continue to drive its growth and evolution.” Some of the examples of dynamism include recent acquisitions of Interwoven by Autonomy and of Vignette by Open Text.

Being a subset of the Enterprise CMS market, WCM brought US$ 860 million in worldwide total software revenue in 2008, resulting in one of the fastest-growing areas of ECM with a share of more than 25% of the ECM software market, says Gartner.

Key Trends for WCM

As far as the main trends for WCM 2009, the report highlights the following:

Who is Who in the Magic Quadrant

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. So here it goes: [Editor's Note: Graphic removed per Gartner's request, check the source for the pretty picture.]
 

Source: Gartner (August 2009)

Subject to interpretation, Magic Quadrant gives a view of what is happening in the WCM market. Should it be the only guide in your CMS vendor selection process? Probably not.

Will the two bullet points (in true analyst fashion) on vendor’s Strengths and Weaknesses help you create that short-list? Maybe not. But it could be a good starting point. You can read the full report here.