Entries from May 2009 ↓
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 18th, 2009 — Search
I started off this year’s Enterprise Search Summit in New York last week with a dinner sponsored by New Idea Engineering and Attivio on Monday night, which was highly enjoyable, despite my jetlag – having to try and stay up the first night in from London. Thanks to those folks for the invite and the conversation.
Katey and I were not allowed to sit in any of the session this year from some strange reason. So I can’t tell you first hand about what was interesting or not or the attendance in the sessions. Go figure. It also wasn’t that conducive to meeting end users, which is a main objective of attending these things.
Katey reckoned attendance overall was slightly down on last year, but not spectacularly so (I was at different conference and so had to miss last year’s).
So away from those two disappointments, we did have a fairly full docket of meetings with vendors, which were generally lively, with good give and take. Where we say ‘451 research to follow,’ it means our clients can expect a research report on the company in the near future.
Some of the highlights:
Attivio – CTO Sid Probstein is always chock-full of ideas and so always good to have a sitdown with him. CEO Ali Riaz is entertaining on a whole different level. The company appears to be going great guns and is at the forefront of the drive to combine structured and unstructured data as we have said before.
BA-Insight – not really a search company or a text analysis company; more of a piece of information management middleware that aims to increase ‘findability’ within SharePoint. As any SharePoint users, especially those in an environment with multiple SharePoint sites – that can only be a good thing. Connectors to other search engines coming. 451 research to follow.
Coveo – the company was out in force at this conference having just launched version 6.0 of its search platform featuring better scalability, connectors and mobile functionality. We covered that product update a short while back.
Endeca – met chief scientist Daniel Tunkelang for the first time. Clearly the owner of an active mind, Daniel presents a different face to the search company. His thoughts on the conference are here.
Google – the typically on-message briefing from Google. It owns the low end and is increasingly taking chunks out of the mid-tier, but still no sign of the management layer enterprises needed to get their arms around the myriad Google search appliances lying around most large organizations. It will probably appear out of the blue at some point though, this year, I’d imagine.
Microsoft – Nate Treolar was a great evangelist for Fast Search & Transfer while a product manager, and so it seems appropriate that he has the term ‘evangelist’ in his title at Microsoft where he’s working not only on the SharePoint search ecosystem but other programs such as ‘conversational’ and ‘actionable’ search; talking and doing, hey, what else is there? 😉
PerfectSearch – we don’t usually see too many companies at this conference that we haven’t spoken to before, but PerfectSearch is one of them. It sells a search appliance and some of the founders have a Novell background, hence its Orem, IT HQ. 451 research to follow.
Vivisimo – from what we’ve heard the company is going well, both in the indirect (OEM) ad direct markets. We’ve noticed how often this company is being bad-mouthed by its competitors (over and above the usual FUD in any tech market) though we’re not sure why. Perhaps because Pittsburgh isn’t as fashionable as Boston or the Valley? Don’t really know, but it seems misplaced based on our experience. It’s making good headway with Lexis-Nexis, which will be important in the eDiscovery market as well with other customers that have demanded confidentiality (pretty common in the eDiscovery market). 451 research to follow.
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.
May 5th, 2009 — Search, Text analysis
We have two ‘summit’s coming up in the next few weeks on the east coast that we’ll be attending.
We’ll be at the Enterprise Search Summit in New York May 12-13 at the Hilton on 6th Avenue. We have a bunch of meetings already but still have room for more, so if you’re attending and would like to meet (end users in particular, but vendors too), please get in touch with myself or Katey.
And just a few weeks later we’ll be in Boston where I’ll be at the 5th annual Text Analytics Summit. I’m doing the Sunday night graveyard slot once again on May 31, laying out my assessment of vendors fo but last year (it’s called “Top Tips on Vendor Choices” in the agenda). I recall it was enjoyable and we ended up taking the conversation to the bar afterward; a tradition I intend to continue this year. I’m also on a panel at the end of Day 1 (June1), right before cocktails (I’m seeing a trend here). Likewise, please get in touch if you want to meet up. I’m staying in Boston June 3 to meet clients, then back to London.