Gartner’s 2012 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

Earlier this month, Gartner released the 2012 edition of the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management (ECM).

Garnter defines ‘enterprise content management’ as “both . . . a strategy to deal with all types of enterprise content and . . . a set of software products for managing the entire life cycle of that content.  ECM suites and solutions combine different technologies, and their selection requires a knowledge of market trends, vendors and deployment models.”

The Magic Quadrant for ECM focuses on the technology side of ECM by evaluating the functionality of numerous ECM systems to help organizations “assess which ECM vendors have the functional capabilities and vision to support . . . [their] business requirements, and to determine which would therefore make suitable strategic partners.”

Gartner identifies six core components of an ECM suite and weights them as follows: 1) document management (15%), 2) image-processing applications for capturing, transforming and managing images of paper (18%), 3) workflow/business process management (BPM) (22%), 4) records management for long-term retention of content through automation of policies, ensuring legal, regulatory and industry compliance (13%), 5)  web content management (WCM) (7%), and 6) social content for document sharing, collaboration and knowledge management, and for supporting teams (15%).  Gartner also identifies the extended components of an ECM suite (10%) as including one or more of the following: digital asset management (DAM), document composition, e-forms, search, content and analytics, e-mail and information archiving, e-mail management and packaged application integration.

To be included, a vendor must criteria for revenue, geographic presence, functional capabilities and ‘referenceability’.  Specifically, a vendor must:

  • Have at least $10 million in total annual content management software revenue (licenses, updates and maintenance).  An open-source software vendor must have at least $10 million in annual customer subscriptions.
  • Actively market its products in at least two major regions — for example, North America and EMEA, or Asia/Pacific and Latin America.
  • Have ECM software commercially available, and active references that use its products in production scenarios.
  • Have an integrated content management suite with at least four of the components listed above supplied natively; others may be supplied through partners.

How do vendors compare in the 2012 Magic Quadrant for ECM?

The leaders are (again) EMC, Hyland Software, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and OpenText.  There is one challenger (Perceptive Software – also the only challenger in 2011), two visionaries (Alfresco and Xerox) and a number of niche players such as Laserfiche and Saperion.  In addition to some changes in the vendors’ relative positions within each of the four quadrants, the biggest change vs. the 2011 report was the removal of two visionaries – SpringCM moved to the niche players category and Adobe was dropped (more on Adobe below).

Each year, Garnter reviews and adjusts its inclusion criteria as markets change.  So . . . who’s in and who’s out in the 2012 Magic Quadrant for ECM?

Two additions – Unisys was added because Gartner feels its InfoImage platform has been extended to meet ECM market criteria.  Garnter added M-Files because it is reportedly an emerging midmarket ECM vendor with a strong focus on vertical content-centric applications.

One deletion – Adobe was removed because, with the firm’s reported shift in focus to WCM, customer engagement and digital marketing, Gartner says it has not seen Adobe actively developing, promoting or selling enough of the other components of ECM to warrant consideration in this Magic Quadrant.

The report reviews the strengths and weaknesses (Gartner prefers the term ‘cautions’ to ‘weaknesses’) of each system in each of the four quadrants: leaders, visionaries, challengers, and niche players.  Consequently, the 2012 Magic Quadrant for ECM is essential reading for any organization contemplating an ECM purchase.  But organizations who have already implemented an ECM will also find it a helpful resource for benchmarking their system against the current marketplace.

You can purchase the 26 page report from Gartner for $1,995 (USD) or you can do what I did – download a complimentary copy from the website of a vendor named in the report.

And for additional commentary on the 2012 Magic Quadrant for ECM, check out this post on CMSWire and CMSWire’s commentary on the 2012 leaders.

Note: Products/vendors are mentioned for illustration purposes only.  Their mention in IMpress blog posts do not constitute an endorsement by either the author or by Ergo Information Management Consulting.

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Case in Point

That's A Lot of Records!
Often the requirement for a needs assessment is driven by a specific initiative being considered or an immediate problem to be solved, rather than a general desire to establish a corporate (or organization-wide) IM program. We had a client wanting to improve its management of a specific group of critical records – thousands of member files in paper, microform and digital formats containing hundreds of unique document types.
Assess, Plan and Schedule
Ergo reviewed the organization’s current practices for managing those records, compared those practices to best practices, and identified risks and areas for improvement. From there we developed a strategic plan with a focus on records storage and retention. The plan identified the operational, financial and technological requirements for implementing the recommended changes, improvements and enhancements in the lifecycle management of the member records. Activities in the plan were classified as short term (next 6-12 months), medium term (next 12-24 months) and longer term (next 25+ months).
Step by Step Success
Implementation of the strategic plan enabled this organization to ensure its member records are properly identified, organized, accessible, protected and retained as long as necessary to meet operational and other requirements.
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