When SDL finally came to terms with Alterian in December, we were inspired to take a look at this and other recent acquisitions that have been done as part of the broadening of WCM into Web-experience (or customer-experience) management. Alterian brings SDL another WCM product, since Alterian acquired Mediasurface in 2008, but SDL is really after the real-time analytics and campaign management tools that are part of Alterian’s marketing automation portfolio.
It strikes us that these areas are fairly far afield from SDL’s origins in language technology and services. The deal wasn’t surprising though given how far SDL has gone into WCM. It’s not enough today though at least at the high-end of the market to be in WCM without a broader play for online marketing / marketing automation.
While there are some vendor attempts to grow web-experience management organically (Sitecore is probably most notable here), there has been a good deal of M&A inspired by bringing together WCM, web analytics, content targeting/recommendations, social and testing technologies, among others.
We’ve put together a report that reviews many of these past deals and provides some predictive analysis of M&A in this sector — available here for 451 Research subscribers.
Some forward-looking takeaways from this are:
- There are few WCM independents left to be acquired, particularly in the non-.NET camp, though there are several potential acquirers that might still want a stronger WCM component.
- CoreMedia may become a desirable target, as a rare independent with a Java codebase and high-end customers. Both SAP and IBM could pursue, though SAP seems more likely as CoreMedia is a German company and already plays the WCM part in SAP’s Web Channel Experience Management initiative.
- WCM isn’t the only field for potential targets in the name of customer-experience or even more strictly in web-experience management. Content targeting, analytics, and testing/optimization will all likely hold interest in 2012.
- It’s not just the big IT players that have a role in this consolidating landscape, though Adobe, Oracle and IBM are key players to be sure. We’ve also seen smaller players, like Norway’s eZ Systems, making small technology buys to round out their portfolios. eZ bought two companies in 2011 — YOUCHOOSE for its recommendations engine and odoscope for web analytics.
- There are lots of small technology providers in this sector, most are SaaS, and we expect there will more acquisitions like these to come.
Our clients will have seen our preview of 2011 last week. For those that aren’t (yet!) clients and therefore can’t see the whole 3,500-word report, here’s the introduction, followed by the titles of the sections to give you an idea of what we think will shape the information management market in 2011 and beyond. Of course the IT industry, like most others doesn’t rigorously follow the wiles of the Gregorian calendar, so some of these things will happen next year while others may not occur till 2012 and beyond. But happen they will, we believe.
We think information governance will play a more prominent role in 2011 and in the years beyond that. Specifically, we think master data management and data governance applications will appear in 2011 to replace the gaggle of spreadsheets, dashboards and scorecards commonly used today. Beyond that, we think information governance will evolve in the coming years, kick-started by end users who are asking for a more coherent way to manage their data, driven in part by their experience with the reactive and often chaotic nature of e-discovery.
In e-discovery itself, we expect to see a twin-track adoption trend. While cloud-based products have proven popular, at the same time, more enterprises buy e-discovery appliances.
‘Big data’ has become a bit of a catchall term to describe the masses of information being generated, but in 2011 we expect to see a shift to what we term a ‘total data’ approach to data management, as well as the analytics applications and tools that enable users to generate the business intelligence from their big data sets. Deeper down, the tools used in this process will include new BI tools to exploit Hadoop, as well as a push in predictive analytics beyond the statisticians and into finance, marketing and sales departments.
SharePoint 2010 may have come out in the year for which it is named, but its use will become truly widespread in 2011 as the first service pack is release and the ISV community around it completes their updates from SharePoint 2007. However, we don’t think cloud-based SharePoint will grow quite as fast as some people may expect. Finally, in the Web content management (WCM) market – so affected by SharePoint, as well as the open source movement – we expect a stratification between the everyday WCM-type scenario and Web experience management (WEM) for those organization that need to tie WCM, Web analytics, online marketing and commerce features together.
- Governance family reunion: Information governance, meet governance, risk and compliance; meet data governance….
- Master data management, data quality, data integration: the road to data governance
- E-discovery post price war: affordable enough, or still too strategic to risk?
- Data management – big, bigger, biggest
- Putting the BI into big data in Hadoop
- The business of predictive analytics
- SharePoint 2010 gets real in 2011
- WCM, WEM and stratification
And with that we’d like to wish all readers of Too Much Information a happy holiday season and a healthy and successful 2011.