Adobe maintained its multi-year reign at the top of the Forrester Wave for Web Content Management (WCM) today.

The San Jose, Calif. provider, which offers the Adobe Experience Manager WCM suite, was ranked highest in the Forrester Wave for Web Content Management for Digital Experiences for the first quarter of this year. "Adobe is a standout with its integrated portfolio," Forrester stated.

Adobe topped Forrester's only other leader, Copenhagen-based Sitecore, for its current offering and strategy in the Wave released today. Sitecore, a "strong performer" for Forrester last time around, "has a strong product and high growth."

Same 10, Except Microsoft

The Wave was Forrester Research's first for WCM since 2013. And not much has changed at a high level.

Nine of the 10 vendors it included in this year's Wave also made the cut. The only one that didn't -- Microsoft -- was replaced this time around by EPiServer, which just made big news merging with another Forrester key WCM player, Ektron. 

Forrester assessed 10 vendors in WCM in this year's Wave: Acquia, Adobe, Ektron, EPiServer, HP, IBM, OpenText, Oracle, SDL and Sitecore

"After evaluating 10 products, viewing 10 product demos, listening to 10 vendor briefings, and interviewing 37 reference customers, we found an amazingly consistent market positioning and vision for growth as every vendor is focused on marketing scenarios, mobile device support, and increasingly their cloud deployment story," wrote Ted Schadler, Forrester vice president and principal analyst serving application development and delivery professionals.

"Criteria such as cloud, mobile, and marketing and commerce integration differentiate Adobe and Sitecore. But the field is strong with vendors that we would recommend to clients depending on their specific requirements"

Learning Opportunities

Acquia, OpenText, SDL, HP, IBM and Oracle were cited by Forrester as "strong performers." Of those, Acquia, based in Burlington, Mass., and known for its Drupal offering, had the best ranking in terms of strategy. In fact, only Adobe beat Acquia in terms of strategy, with Sitecore ever so slightly behind Acquia there.

For IBM and Acquia, the citation as "strong performers" is a bump from 2013 when they were cited as "contenders."

In this year's Wave, Ektron and EPiServer were the lone "contenders." Ektron beat EPiServer for its current offering, but Forrester researchers saw EPiServer as having a stronger strategy. 

Essential Technology

Forrester noted that one billion websites blanket the world — and every one of them has or should have a WCM. "Web content management is a backbone of digital experience delivery,"Schadler noted. "Along every step of the customer journey, from discovery to engagement, companies use some specialized product — marketing software suites, commerce suites, customer service systems, social networks, community sites, and so on. Each one of these is linked to or built on a web content management backbone."