Gartner MQ for Web Content Management 2013: Adobe, SDL, Sitecore Lead + Market Overview

Enterprise businesses find themselves leaning more and more heavily on their Web content management systems, and as the definition of what that means changes, so to must the most powerful systems adapt to the shifting market as the Gartner MQ for WCM 2013 clearly shows.


Realities of Online Channel Optimization

Web content management is a US$ 1.2 billion industry, analysts at Gartner reported, and it is growing in importance as companies try to execute their online channel optimization plans. In order to reach customers and grow their businesses, companies are increasingly turning to WCM for things like ecommerce, customer experience management, digital marketing, multichannel marketing and website consolidation, the repot found.

As such, WCM has moved well past simply creating and publishing content. It's become nearly as important a part of an enterprise as IT departments themselves. Because of the importance placed on WCM systems, vendors are including more and more functionality that is beginning to overlap with other categories, the Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management report found. 

Customers are increasingly looking to systems that can act as both a WCM and as a horizontal portal, for example, and that is leading to some vendors offering a single system for both. Gartner referred to this as the user experience platform, perhaps the next evolution of achieving online channel optimization.

Furthermore, Gartners cites consumerization as a driving force for usability and social features that drive user engagement in a WCM system. Leading WCM systems are more focused than ever on building tools that have user appeal, and that include digital experience and user centered design.

Who's In, Who's Out

A look at who is leading in this MQ; Adobe, SDL, Sitecore, Oracle, HP and OpenText would not make one take notice of much change year over year, but in the niche category, there is yearly change, and not always for the assumed reasons.

There are many criteria for inclusion in Gartner's highly sought after reports, and even they change slightly. To be included, vendors are graded on things like revenue, geographic presence, vertical and horizontal capabilities, market interest and references.

Additionally, there are a host of WCM capabilities that are considered baseline for inclusion as well. Examples include a content repository with basic library services, user authentication and content authoring via browser templates or through conversion through a word processing application. There's about 13 of these baseline functions all together, and if vendors meet the criteria and have all the needed capabilities, into the MQ they go.

Once included, they are scored on their ability to execute and their completeness of vision. Within each of these metrics are about seven or eight sub categories, weighted accordingly, that determine the final MQ positioning. 

And the Winners Are...

Making into this MQ is important for the most competitive vendors because customers often use it as a defining piece of their selection process. It's also a bit of a status symbol for those at the top, of course, and we've already mentioned them. Scoring highest, and clumped at the top of this MQ were:

  • Adobe
  • SDL
  • Sitecore

Close to them in the Leaders quadrant were Oracle, HP and OpenText. Leaders are defined as those that are driving market transformation, and they have the highest combined score for completeness of vision and ability to execute. They also have strong channel partners, are in multiple regions, perform consistently finance wise and have good customer support. Leaders can demonstrate enterprise deployments, offer integration with other business applications and content repositories and provide a vertical-process or horizontal solution focus

Learning Opportunities

In the Challengers quadrant, those who ranked high on ability to execute, but a bit lower on completeness of vision (at least compared to the Leaders) were:

  • IBM
  • Microsoft

Challengers are mostly separated from the Leaders in how they see the future. They often have strong products, but don't keep up with market trends like the increasing importance of user context, multichannel output and interoperability with other systems such as CRM, DAM and multichannel campaign management.

Next is the Visionaries quadrant, those who ranked high on completeness of vision, but a bit lower on ability to execute (compared to the Leaders). These companies are defined by their forward thinking technology such as unique multilingual capability, for example. What they lack is some core feature, and they may also need to improve financial strength, service and support or sales and distribution channels to make it into the Leaders category. They were:

  • Ektron
  • EpiServer
  • GX Software
  • Acquia
  • CoreMedia

All of these vendors were in more or less the same position as in 2012. It is in the niche players where the action is. Automattic is the new entrant this year, and Atex, Dynamicweb Software and Limelight Networks were all dropped from niche player status. The rest of the Niche Players included:

  • eZ Systems
  • Squiz
  • e-Spirit

We noted the reasons some companies get added or dropped, and Automattic won inclusion simply because it actually met all the criteria. All of the vendors that were dropped were for the same reason; they couldn't prove they met the revenue threshold. A closer examination of their finances might shed some light on why that is, but for this year at least, they are out of the MQ.

Niche Players tend to focus on a particular market segment, as the name implies, and that can affect their ability to outperform or innovate, Gartner found.

As always, this is an in depth report, and next time, we'll get more into each vendor's strength's and weaknesses. This is where we can parse each quadrant to separate the more closely arranged vendors, but there's also a huge list of other vendors Gartner supplies for customers in very specific areas. Tell us in the comments if the market overview or any other news in this report was of particular interest.