September 22nd, 2009 — Content management, eDiscovery
This Thursday I’ll host a short webinar to discuss some of the findings from our recently-published report on the emerging Information Governance market. This report looks at how archiving, records management and e-discovery technologies are coming together to help organizations get a better handle on internal data for litigation readiness and compliance purposes.
The webinar is free and open to anyone, so please feel free to join if you’re interested in this topic.
During the webinar, I’ll outline some of the trends we uncovered while doing our research for this report, look at the vendor landscape and M&A activity in this area, and briefly discuss some of the technologies that we think will be important in this sector moving forward.
Here’s the info and registration link:
The Rise of Information Governance webinar
Thursday, September 24, 2009
12:00 – 1:00 PM EDT
Recorded versions of our webcasts are available on our site a short while after the events are over.
August 5th, 2009 — Archiving, Content management, eDiscovery
Our lengthy report that shares a title with this blog post hit the wire yesterday (a high-level exec overview is available here for all). I’ve blogged before about our efforts on this. It has been quite a project, with several months of listening, reading and talking with lots IT managers, attorneys, integrators, consultants and vendors. Oh and writing — the final doc weighs in at 57 pages…
I noted before that I wasn’t sure “information governance” was a specific or real enough sector to warrant this kind of market analysis. Aren’t we really just talking about archiving? Or e-discovery? Or ECM? In the end, I found we’re talking about all these things, but what is different is that we’re talking about them all together. How do we ensure consistent retention policy across different stores? How do we safely pursue more aggressive disposition? How do we include all that “in-the-wild” content in centrally managed policies?
Is “information governance” really the right tag for this? I don’t know, but I never came across anything better (I did toy with “information retention management” for awhile). We might be calling it something else in a couple of years, but the underlying issues are very real.
From the report intro:
What is information governance? There’s no single answer to that question. At a high level, information governance encompasses the policies and technologies meant to dictate and manage what corporate information is retained, where and for how long, and also how it is retained (e.g., protected, replicated and secured). Information governance spans retention, security and lifecycle management issues. For the purposes of this report, we’re focusing specifically on unstructured (or semi-structured,
like email) information and governance as it relates primarily to litigation readiness.
In the report, we look at why organizations are investigating more holistic information governance practices:
- to be better prepared for litigation
- to ensure compliance
- to reduce risks and costs of unmanaged or inconsistently managed information
Then we go into the market with analysis of:
- the rise of email (and broader) archiving for litigation readiness
- the relationship of the ECM and records management market
- Autonomy and other vendors advocating “in-place” approaches to governance
There are also sections on adoption issues, market consolidation and areas for technology innovation. And profiles of 15 vendors (each with a SWOT analysis) active in this market.
Expect lots more on this topic moving forward.
June 25th, 2009 — 2.0
Another event, another post-event wind down. I had limited time at the Enterprise 2.0 conference this year so only got a limited view of what was happening. Some general takeaways anyway:
The SharePoint Factor. This was the title of a session I attended – a good one – put on by Amy Vickers, VP, Global Enterprise Solutions at Razorfish. The session abstract asks the big question, “How does the SharePoint competition stand a chance?” She asked at the beginning of the session how many in the audience were either using or planning to use SharePoint. I think I was one of about 5 people who didn’t raise a hand. Obviously a it was a session on SharePoint, but still.
In another session, there was a question about integration standards and whether audience members would like to see social software vendors support the JSR portal standards or OpenSocial or what. Silence. Then one attendee raised his hand to say he didn’t care about the standards but as he walked around the show floor looking at all the independent players, all he wants to see is – how does it integrate with SharePoint? The SharePoint factor indeed.
Are portals back? A related and surprisingly lively and interesting topic, especially for me as I spent years covering the portal market and working as a product manager on an enterprise portal product. I’ve heard repeatedly that portals were “dead.” Not so apparently. It’s been obvious for awhile that social software products are starting to look like portals, with UIs turning into somewhat configurable, personalized dashboards with data coming from different underlying tools (e.g., tag cloud, forum posts, wiki activity etc.). But it seems things are going one step further with products from MindTouch, Telligent and Atlassian all heading more towards portal-like features even if they’re not calling them that (most stick with “platform”). Others, like Bluenog, are pushing the portal idea more explicitly. In any case, this mostly includes the ability to aggregate and/or integrate data or functions from tools / apps outside of the purview of the social software vendor.
There was even a portal session with panelists Larry Bowden from IBM and Vince Casarez of Oracle. Here the point being made was that the raison d’etre of portals hasn’t changed — customers are still looking to aggregate services and info for different audience groups in a way that is secure and roles-based (if not actually personalized). And that this can be a perfect delivery vehicle for newer social features via an environment users are already familiar with. Not sure portals in many cases have had the adoption to make that last statement as true as the portal vendors might like it to be. But there is something to their argument that these newer products don’t necessarily need to reinvent the aggregation, security and delivery mechanisms already found in portals. In any event, interesting to see a breath of new life in the portal market. And let’s not forget there’s a portal component in SharePoint…
Use cases not tools. This was another recurring theme I heard across meetings and sessions. We’re thankfully moving beyond the discussion of blogs, wikis and so on, to discuss customer support, sales team effectiveness, innovation management, brand development and the like. This shows some much needed maturity in the market, but also makes it perhaps even more difficult for vendors to differentiate; anyone can sell (or at least try to sell) a use case. There were still a lot of vendors on the show floor this year, though I’d bet fewer than last year (but I don’t have that data), and lots more discussion of profitability, viability and risk.
What will it look like next year? It seems to me part of the growing maturity is the realization that a lot of this social functionality needs to seep into other apps and business processes (that’s part of the portal discussion certainly). I think that makes it harder for dicussions or events specifically on “E2.0″ as it is really so many different things depending on what exactly you’re trying to do and why. There will undoubtedly be a show next year, but I wonder for how many years after that? We should remember that this used to be called the Collaborative Technologies Conference and still so many of the ideas discussed remind me of knowledge management conferences ten years ago. We’ll keep talking about these things, but I’m not sure how much longer under the “2.0″ umbrella.
June 22nd, 2009 — 2.0, Content management
I want to revisit a few of the relevant questions that came via the webinar I did last week with Bryan House from Acquia on open source social publishing. We got to some of these on the call, but not all, and some of the more market-level questions seem worthy of sharing.
The webinar focused on both the coming together of social software and WCM, and on open source content management; these questions do too.
Q: Why is open source a disruptive force in the social web CMS space?
I started out my part of the preso talking a little bit about The 451 Group and our focus on disruption and innovation in IT. I mentioned this includes disruptive technologies, business models or larger market changes. Open source certainly fits into the disruptive business model category (though, I know, open source is not a business model). Open source can impact how technology in a particular sector is developed, distributed, procured, priced and supported. This isn’t new in content management; open source projects like Drupal have been around for quite some time.
But as more vendors are making a go of businesses tied to open source code in content management, the dynamic is changing. Open source is becoming more of a viable option in content management for even the largest of organizations and that is something that is only going to get more pronounced. And some of the open source projects (like Drupal and WordPress) seem to do a particularly noteworthy job of tying CMS and social software capabilities (of varying types) together. An interesting fact, I think, as it shows that when a community drives software development in this area, it combines these two areas together, an indication of what the larger market may want.
Q: Tools like Interwoven or Vignette are often described as more “enterprise-ready” than open source alternatives? How big is the delta? How should I evaluate whether particular differences are important?
In general, Interwoven, Vignette et al. have had more of a focus on online marketing capabilities the last couple of years and so have more in the way of content targeting, analytics, multivariate testing and so forth to offer. But I don’t think this is what people usually mean when they say a CMS is “enterprise ready” — I think that’s more to do with things like LDAP/AD support, migration and upgrade tools, platform/commercial database support and so on. The reality is that a lot of commercial open source content management vendors do offer these capabilities but often only in an “enterprise” edition of the code that may only be available under a commercial license. The key is just to ensure that a particular distribution meets your requirements under a license that works for your project.
Q: What questions should I ask a vendor to understand how tightly integrated their social software and web content management capabilities are?
There are several models here. Some vendors have built some social capabilities directly into their WCM products, basically with the idea that most of this as it relates to content sites isn’t too much more than defining a content type (e.g., blog, comment, profile) and its attributes. Some mostly support plugging in third-party blogs, forums etc. Others have separate social software modules. In some cases these have come via acquisitions and others have been built from scratch and so integration levels vary. Some share a content repository and some don’t. So there’s quite a bit of variety and, as usual, it’s mostly just important to make sure however a vendor has done it works for your project. If you just want to add support for comments to an existing content-heavy site, using the integrated features from a WCM vendor probably works fine. If it’s a full-blown, forum-heavy customer support site, more of a stand-alone product (whether from a WCM or social software vendor) might work best.
Q: How will the recent transactions (Vignette & Interwoven) impact this market?
The consolidation at the high end of the market has a number of vendors scrambling to get some advantage. Competitor FatWire Software has a formal “rescue” program and others are certainly having similar discussions with customers. Customers looking to migrate or to evaluate a wider field of WCM options may well look at open source, as the broader availability of products from commercial vendors makes this a more viable option.
June 11th, 2009 — 2.0, Content management
In the midst of a busy month, working through some really intriguing stuff as part of our upcoming Special Report on Information Governance, but I’ll also be part of some interesting upcoming events.
On June 17th, I’ll be in NYC taking part in an event being put on by open source CMS provider Squiz, as part of its US launch. I’ll be presenting on trends in the WCM market with a specific focus on the growth of commercial open source content management. This ties in somewhat with a report I did earlier in the year (for 451 Group clients), “Open source content management: It’s coming to America.“ This looked mostly at the trend of European open source CMS providers moving to the US market. Squiz started out in lovely Sydney, Australia but is part of the same trend nonetheless.
Also in the open source realm, on June 18th, I’ll be taking part in a webinar hosted by Acquia, the commercial entity looking to put a commercial support and services for Drupal on the map. Here we’ll be discussing open source surely but also the increasing overlap between WCM and social software. This will reprise to some degree the talk I gave on this topic at the AIIM event in Philly earlier this year.
Then of course there is the Enterprise 2.0 show here in Boston, June 23-25. I have limited time at the conference this year unfortunately (my information governance work beckons), but if you’ll be there drop me a line.
May 19th, 2009 — 2.0
We don’t generally comment on executive changes specifically, unless there is something particulalry newsworthy about them. We save such info for our overall company and business updates that go out as part of our Market Insight Service.
But two such announcements in the social software realm in one day seems noteworthy, particularly as they come from direct competitors.
Telligent Systems has a new CEO, Patrick Brandt, who replaces co-founder Rob Howard in the role. Howard will continue as CTO. Brandt was previously CEO of document output vendor Skywire Software, which was acquired by Oracle a year ago.
Jive Software has a new CMO, Ben Kiker, who has been CMO at Interwoven for the last several years and prior to that held roles at Siebel and Onyx. The colorful Sam Lawrence, Jive’s previous CMO, left the company in March as part of what CEO Dave Hersh described as the company’s transition from a ‘big small company’ to a ‘small big company.’
Besides being announced on the same day, what else do these appointments have in common?
- Both execs were recently part of M&A events, since Autonomy acquired Interwoven in January.
- Both companies took sizable amounts of VC money — Telligent got a $20m investment from Intel Capital in September 2008 and Jive took $15m from Sequoia Capital in August 2007. How much did that have to do with bringing in these more seasoned execs? Often, it does quite a lot. Much of Jive’s exec team has been replaced in the past year, many with ex-Mercury Interactive folks, after Tony Zingale, former President and CEO of Mercury Interactive, joined Jive’s board in February 2007.
- Telligent and Jive are among the most promising of the independents at work in enterprise social software. Bringing in more experienced enterprise software execs is hardly surprising and makes sense.
May 13th, 2009 — Archiving, Content management
As something of a follow-up to the special report we did last fall on the market for eDiscovery tools and technologies, we’ve begun work on a similar report meant to look more deeply at that first process phase in the EDRM — Information Management.
Information management sounds like a nice manageable topic, doesn’t it?
We’re looking specifically at the market for technologies meant to help organizations manage unstructured info (often ad-hoc, like email and unmanaged docs) more effectively so that eDiscovery won’t be such a firedrill if and when it occurs.
eDiscovery isn’t the only reason to get a better handle on this ad-hoc, unstructured info — there are compliance-related reasons in some cases and the costs and risks associated with storing lots of stuff for long periods of time when it should have been culled or deleted. Conversely, not retaining information or at least having a documented retention and disposition plan is also risky.
As we’ve noted before, some are calling this “information governance.” So is this a report on the information governance market? Is there such a thing?
Here are some of the things we’re learning so far with our research:
- There’s no question that governance is a hot issue with many organizations. Getting a better handle on email is the biggest pain point. Check out this recent AIIM survey for some interesting data on this.
- Better preparedness for eDiscovery is the biggest driver, followed by the complexity of compliance, the need to reduce costs, and security concerns (security-related governance is really a separate market and not one we’re looking at here).
- One of the fundamental questions seems to come down to whether organizations want to take an archive-based approach to governance or one that is tied to an ECM platform.
- Since email is the big problem, email archives are a big part of the solution for many companies.
- Email archives are expanding to handle more diverse content types with more sophisticated retention, classification, legal holds and eDisco tools.
- The disconnect with this approach seems to be when emails or other content actually are records and need to be managed as such. How data moves from one system (e.g., archive to records management system) or is managed in-place in an archive by an RM system seems to be mostly an unexplored issue for most organizatins at this point.
- Because of this, ECM vendors paint archive-only vendors as “point tools.” ECM vendors see governance as an ECM problem and come at with platforms that generally include both archiving and records management. But the archives from ECM vendors are generally newer or not traditionally as competitive in pure archiving scenarios.
All of the above makes for quite an interesting, if difficult to label, market. We’re not really writing a report on the ECM market, since the archives are so critical to handling email especially, the major problem area, and most of the leading email archiving vendors are not full ECM vendors. But there is definitely an ECM and records management component to this so we’re not just profiling the email archiving market. In fact, we’re trying to only profile those vendors that can manage multiple content types and, ideally, do so across repositories.
Which I think leaves us talking about the information governance market. This concerns me a little bit, as I worry that “information governance” is a vague tag and not really an identifiable sector. But I see no other easy way to describe the intersection of vendors and technologies we see coming at this problem from different areas of strength.
I’d love any comments on what others think about this – is information governance a market?
May 6th, 2009 — Content management
Open Text discussed its acquisition of Vignette on its earnings call this afternoon. The stated rationale is:
- Add last remaining major ECM play to Open Text’s portfolio.
- Access to Vignette’s customer base, improve service and support (i.e., try to stabilize maintenance revenue).
- Cross-sell opportunities.
- None of the above is particularly compelling.
- Open Text loves a bargain and apparently this one was too good to pass up. Backing Vignette’s cash and short-term investments out of the deal, Open Text only paid 1x Vignette’s trailing twelve-month revenue.
- Open Text will maintain Vignette much as it has Hummingbird – keep the products mostly separate, try to hold onto the maintenance stream, cut Vignette’s costs.
- I don’t buy into product or technology-based reasons for Open Text wanting to own Vignette. There’s tons of overlap.
- There will undoubtedly be some Vignette vs. RedDot struggles at Open Text over which is the WCM line of choice. Interesting since WCM is only a sideline for Open Text in the big ECM picture anyway.
- A bargain can still bring headaches and there will be WCM competitors lining up to benefit from uncertainty (not that many WCM players seem to spend much competitive energies worrying about Vignette these days).
Our full deal analysis is available for 451 clients.
April 29th, 2009 — 2.0, Content management
This economy is tough stuff for lots of small software vendors, but perhaps particularly those that are selling “improved productivity” or “enhanced collaboration” in the face of frozen IT budgets. All is not doom and gloom however. For example, Jive Software announced today that Q1 was its best quarter ever with 100% year-over-year revenue growth and its second quarter of being cash-flow positive.
Jive seems to be more the exception than the rule though as far as social software goes. We know Mzinga has had two rounds of layoffs and a CEO change in recent months as it works towards profitability. Similarly, Socialtext also had a small layoff and took additional funding — taking Socialtext’s total funding to about $18m.
What’s the difference between these vendors? Some of it is technology certainly, but also a clarity of message. I think Jive was early to market with what it is now calling “social business software” — in other words, a product that combines functions from multiple point tools (e.g., forums, wikis, social networking). And Jive is playing in the big leagues versus large vendors selling enterprise deals for collaboration. Selling deals for external, customer community sites also helps, as some of the external initiatives funded from marketing budgets are holding up better than large internal collab deals.
And from my perspective as an analyst in the content management realm, I also see a lot of WCM vendors coming out with more legit social software products – Day Software and EPiServer are two recent ones that come to mind. How will these products fare as part of broader WCM suites? Will they be the de facto choice for customers that use WCM products from these vendors? Or has the market gone a different direction? This is something I’ve blogged about before, but the social products from WCM vendors are getting stronger so the issue is becoming more real.
The noise in the enterprise social software market has certainly begun to die down and that is a good thing. Looking forward to Enterprise 2.0 this year and the chance to hear more about what’s working and what’s not.
April 15th, 2009 — Archiving, eDiscovery
Microsoft has begun to share information on what it calls the “waves” of Office 14 products set to hit the market this year and next. Most of the information at this point is on Microsoft Exchange 2010, which has entered public beta. General availability is expected in the second half of this year.
There’s also some info for SharePoint, though little detail. Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 will go into technical preview in Q3 2009 and be generally available in the first half of 2010. Beyond that, we still don’t know what will and won’t be in SharePoint.next (though we don’t have to call it that anymore).
The part of the Exchange 2010 announcement that caught my attention is the reference to an integrated e-mail archive. Did Microsoft just enter the email archiving market? That would certainly be noteworthy, given that much of the hot email archiving market involves archiving Exchange email. Since Microsoft hasn’t had a horse in this race, this has been the realm of third-party providers like Symantec and Mimosa Systems to date.
On the analyst telebriefing held today by Microsoft on this announcement, I asked about this and the role for Microsoft’s email archiving partners going forward. Michael Atalla, Group Product Manager for Exchange at Microft told me that Microsoft is out to meet the needs of the 80% of its customers that don’t yet have any email archiving technology and that existing email archiving products serve a “niche” of the market at the high end for customers that have to meet regulatory requirements for email archiving.
While I agree there is still a lot of opportunity in the email archiving space, describing existing adoption as limited to those in regulated industries isn’t exactly accurate.
I’ve tried to dig deeper into what this integrated archive includes. Not easy, as there is no mention of archiving at all in the TechNet docs on Exchange 2010 (though there’s quite a bit of interesting detail on records and retention management).
Best I can tell, Exchange 2010 lets you create individual or “personal archives.” This page from Microsoft explains that a personal archive is:
an additional mailbox associated with a user’s primary mailbox. It appears alongside the primary mailbox folders in Outlook. In this way, the user has direct access to e-mail within the archive just as they would their primary mailbox. Users can drag and drop PST files into the Personal Archive, for easier online access – and more efficient discovery by the organization. Mail items from the primary archive can also be offloaded to the Personal Archive automatically, using Retention Polices…
So it moves the PST file from the desktop to the server, which makes it more available for online searching and discovery purposes. But is that really email archiving? I can see how that would be attractive to end users that want an easier way to access archived emails, but it seems like it would increase the load on the mail server and not handle things like de-duping, which archiving is generally meant to address.
I’m not an expert on email archiving though. I’d love to hear from anyone who has comments.