Entries Tagged 'Content management' ↓
January 27th, 2012 — Archiving, Collaboration, Content management, Data management, eDiscovery, Search, Text analysis
Every New Year affords us the opportunity to dust down our collective crystal balls and predict what we think will be the key trends and technologies dominating our respective coverage areas over the coming 12 months.
We at 451 Research just published our 2012 Preview report; at almost 100 pages it’s a monster, but offers some great insights across twelve technology subsectors, spanning from managed hosting and the future of cloud to the emergence of software-defined networking and solid state storage; and everything in between. The report is available to both 451Research clients and non-clients (in return for a few details); access the landing page here
. There’s a press release of highlights here
. Also, mark your diaries for a webinar discussing report highlights on Thursday Feb 9 at noon ET, which will be open for clients and non-clients to attend. Registration details to follow soon…
Here are a selection of key takeaways from the first part of the Information Management preview, which focuses on information governance, ediscovery, search, collaboration and file sharing. (Matt Aslett will be posting highlights of part 2, which focuses more on data management and analytics, shortly.)
- One of the most obvious common themes that will continue to influence technology spending decisions in the coming year is the impact of continued explosive data and information growth. This continues to shape new legal frameworks and technology stacks around information governance and e-discovery, as well as to drive a new breed of applications growing up around what we term the ‘Total Data’ landscape.
- Data volumes and distributed data drive the need for more automation and auto-classification capabilities will continue to emerge more successfully in e-discovery, information governance and data protection veins — indeed, we expect to see more intersection between these, as we noted in a recent post.
- The maturing of the cloud model – especially as it relates to file sharing and collaboration, but also from a more structured database perspective – will drive new opportunities and challenges for IT professionals in the coming year. Looks like 2012 may be the year of ‘Dropbox for the enterprise.’
- One of the big emerging issues that rose to the fore in 2011, and is bound to get more attention as the New Year proceeds, is around the dearth of IT and business skills in some of these areas, without which the industry at large will struggle to harness and truly exploit the attendant opportunities.
- The changes in information management in recent years have encouraged (or forced) collaboration between IT departments, as well as between IT and other functions. Although this highlights that many of the issues here are as much about people and processes as they are about technology, the organizations able to leap ahead in 2012 will be those that can most effectively manage the interaction of all three.
- We also see more movement of underlying information management infrastructures into the applications arena. This is true with search-based applications, as well as in the Web-experience management vein, which moves beyond pure Web content management. And while Microsoft SharePoint continues to gain adoption as a base layer of content-management infrastructure, there is also growth in the ISV community that can extend SharePoint into different areas at the application-level.
There is a lot more in the report about proposed changes in the e-discovery arena, advances of the cloud, enterprise search and impact of mobile devices and bring-your-device-to-work on information management.
January 6th, 2012 — Content management, M&A
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.
October 4th, 2011 — Content management, Data management, eDiscovery, Search, Text analysis
As a follow-up to Matt’s post last week showing where he’ll be speaking during Q4, here’s some more updates of other in the information management team speaking at various events this quarter.
First up I’m chairing and speaking at IQPC’s Enterprise Information Management Exchange in London on October 10-11. I’m speaking to a mainly C-level end user audience about information risk management, moderating a panel on how to make the most of your information assets and brushing off my MC-ing skills to keep the whole show moving along.
Next up I’ll be back in NYC at Text Analytics World giving a slightly shorter version of a similar presentation on October 19 (which I’ll be refining and also presenting at Predictive Analytics World in London on November 30).
On October 24 I’m on the opening panel of Enterprise Search Europe, discussing the issues brought up by the keynote presentation by Funnelback’s David Hawking, among other things
On October 27 David Horrigan will be attending Guidance Software’s Federal Summit in Washington, DC where he’ll be moderating a panel called e-Discovery in the cloud. This is an invite-only one being handled by Guidance, so I don’t have a link unfortunately.
Into November and I’ll be attending the e-Discovery and e-Investigations Forum in London on November 10. There I’ll be discussing the choice available to end users in e-Discovery in a session called: A buyers guide to navigating the info management and e-discovery technology marketplace.’
The following week I’ll be in Munich at IQPC’s Information Retention & e-Discovery Exchange where I’m sitting on a couple of panels – one on social media in e-Discovery and another on technology in this area.
Finally this quarter Kathleen Reidy will be attending Gilbane’s annual gathering of enterprise content management mavens where she’s moderating a panel entitled ‘Get Ready for Big Data.’
We hope to see some of you at one or more of these events in Q4.
August 18th, 2011 — Archiving, Content management, eDiscovery, M&A, Search, Text analysis
Just after the HP call about its Q3 numbers and the deal, here’s my initial (very) quick take as it’s late here in London:
- This deal is about getting serious about software under Leo Apotheker. It gives HP a real information management story, greatly boosting its presence in the archiving, e-Discovery and enterprise search businesses.
- However, company cultures are not complementary, the HP way is a long way from the hyper-aggressive sales and marketing culture at Autonomy. Maintaining Autonomy as a separate entity run by Mike Lynch proves this and calls into question how much real synergy can be had from such a structure. I cannot see that being sustained.
- This instantly makes HP a bigger e-Discovery player than IBM or any of the major IT firms.
- Product overlap exists in document and records management but gets HP into the web content management and website optimization markets.
- Autonomy has resisted deals over the years as its market capitalization ballooned as it went on its own acquisition binge. Autonomy couldn’t have waited much longer as it would have grown too big to be swallowed by even the largest predator.
- At least Autonomy customers will now have a services organization to call on after they’ve bought the software. Customer support and after sales service has not been a strength of Autonomy.
- This leaves the FTSE 100 with just one software firm of note.
April 6th, 2011 — Content management, eDiscovery, Storage
Two companies central to our coverage of information management are having their own particular – and distinct – issues with shareholders and equity analysts.
Autonomy has been having its run-ins with London’s equity analysts for some time. Not all of them, but a core and increasingly vocal group of them. Generally they regularly question a few things: how the company calculates organic growth of its core IDOL business; cash conversion; and why it hasn’t bought a company after saying it would do and raising £500m of convertible debt to help it do so, back in February 2010. We’re also weighed in on some of these issues.
Autonomy regularly takes on these doubters on its quarterly calls and also does the same during the quarter on its website, which is at least a refreshing change from companies that stay completely mute on such matters. However the answers are often very simplistic. In a post dated March 30, 2011 entitled, “How should we think about Autonomy’s penetration of its end markets, when we attempt to evaluate the opportunity for growth?” that most of the world’s top software companies OEM IDOL and thus are “building their future products with IDOL deeply embedded and paying Autonomy a royalty.” Are they? Autonomy doesn’t distinguish between its two main OEM product when it announces OEM deals, but there’s a big difference between OEMing IDOL and OEMing its document filters. And as we have discussed before we think a lot of the OEM deals are for the latter, rather than for IDOL itself, although we have no way of proving that, except to say that we speak regularly to these leading software vendors and they don’t appear to be using IDOL as their core search and classification engine nearly as widely as Autonomy claims. Ironically given what Autonomy does for a living, a fair bit of the to and fro on the site is semantic-related, e.g. discussion of what “early spring” or “Winter with snowdrops” scenarios mean in terms of the guidance given by the company to analysts. All will no doubt become clearer when it announces its Q1 results, due Thursday April 28.
Over at Iron Mountain, some dissident shareholders have been putting pressure on the company to take on board its slate of directors and eventually turn itself into a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), mainly for its beneficial tax status. We cover what used to be called the digital business – the back up and recovery, e-Discovery, archiving and other software that’s mostly been added via acquisitions over the past few years. But that doesn’t seem to hold any attraction to hedge fund Elliott Management, which owns just less than 5%. It was the company that put forward the slate of directors and advised the company to turn itself into a REIT and in general to focus on its core – non-digital – business. Elliott and even larger shareholder Davis Advisors (it owns a shade less than 20% of the outstanding shares) were annoyed when the company dropped a poison pill on March 23 to guard against a takeover. This week Elliott laid out its grievances in another letter to the board, urging it to reverse the poison pill and generally sit up and take notice of what it has to say.
It’s hard to tel where this will end, but it has already caused disruption to Iron Mountain’s business at a time when it is trying to get some of its digital units – notably e-Discovery – back in track after a very tough 2010. We’ll know if it’s had an effect on its Q1 performance when it announces its results, most likely int he last week of April. The shares, as is common with these sorts of investor challenges have enjoyed a strong run-up, and are currently at or around a 52-week high. The company’s annual shareholders meeting is coming up soon too. Although the date is not yet known, all shareholders on record as of April 12 will be allowed to vote at it. It could get quite lively.
January 13th, 2011 — Collaboration, Content management
Looking further into the growing ecosystem of vendors that extend and support Microsoft SharePoint, we get to the question of where ISVs fit when SharePoint is in the cloud. The short answer, really, is that they don’t. OK, that’s an oversimplification of course, but there is currently a far more limited role for third parties looking to extend SharePoint if it is run in a shared cloud environment. And this points to some contradictions in Microsoft’s strategy. On the one hand, we see a big push around SharePoint as a platform and this growing ecosystem of third parties. On the other hand, Microsoft is touting SharePoint Online as part of the upcoming Office 365 cloud-based service (to replace the existing Business Productivty Online Suite, aka BPOS), which really has very little support for third parties.
BPOS, which bundles SharePoint Online along with Exchange and a few other services, is currently offered in both Standard and Dedicated versions. In the Standard version, customers have multi-tenant infrastructure that is shared across customers. With the Dedicated version (or BPOS D), they have (obviously) dedicated infrastructure, which pretty much traditional application hosting; with this BPOS D configuration, Microsoft is the hosting provider, though this scenario would really not be much different from having another hosting provider run your SharePoint deployment on dedicated servers. Office 365 will also be made available on either shared or dedicated infrastructure.
There is currently no support for trusted third-party code in the Standard version of BPOS (aka BPOS S), nor will there be in the Office 365 Standard version. Customers that want to extend their SharePoint deployment with, say, workflow tools from Nintex or imaging capabilities from KnowledgeLake (or any of their own custom code), will have to run their SharePoint deployments on prem or in a dedicated environment, hosted by either Microsoft or another hosting provider.
That isn’t to say that integration with BPOS / Office 365 is impossible — web services-based integration that requires no server-side installs on the SharePoint servers isn’t an issue. So, for example, Metavis Technologies has migration tools that can move data to / from BPOS without installing anything on the SharePoint servers and so can work with SharePoint as part of BPOS S (and Office 365 presumably). Similarly, on the Exchange side of BPOS, email archiving to a cloud provider like LiveOffice works via a data export function that doesn’t touch the cloud-based Exchange servers.
Maybe the argument is that orgs don’t want to run more sophisticated content management apps in pure cloud environments. That may be an ok way to segment the market today but it will be limiting in the future. One of the advantages Microsoft has today over an upstart cloud player, like Box.net for example, is the growing ecosystem of extensions that can help fit SharePoint into a broad array of use cases. But these aren’t there in the cloud. If Box (or another player) could grow and support an ecosystem in the cloud (and support custom code and in-house developers), it might get some advantage; this is the strategy SpringCM has been attempting, with some, limited success, with its platform approach to ECM in the cloud. Salesforce has also been more aggressively building its social software offering, Chatter (see recent acquisition of Dimdim as case in point). This doesn’t meet a plethora of content management requirements yet but is potentially competitive to SharePoint as a social software service for internal use.
There are clear limitations to the approach Microsoft is currently taking with the SharePoint ecosystem and BPOS / Office 365 and it seems this will be something that Microsoft will have to ultimately address if it wants to be serious about offering SharePoint as cloud services. This isn’t the only issue that might keep organizations away from the Standard version of Office 365 (i.e., how much SharePoint functionality will it include and how often will it rev?), but it could be a big one.
January 11th, 2011 — Content management
Over the past few quarters, I’ve fielded a number of inquiries from IT, investor and vendor clients about an emerging “SharePoint ecosystem.” Questions range from “We want to extend our SharePoint deployment to support a transactional app. What third-party tools should we look at?” to “What are the gaps in SharePoint where there are opportunities for investment?” In response to some of these queries, I’ve put together a new report for 451 Group clients that shares a title with this blog post.
It’s hardly a secret that SharePoint has had and will continue to have a tremendous impact on the content management market. Organizations really started taking SharePoint seriously as a content management platform after the release of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server in 2007 (affectionately known as MOSS 2007). We’ve seen a few trends since that time that affect this idea of a SharePoint ecosystem:
- With many organizations investing significant amounts of time, money and effort in their SharePoint deployments, there is a good deal of interest in expanding SharePoint’s use beyond some of the more basic content sharing uses and intranet apps where it mostly started.
- Along with that however is a better understanding by many in IT and in business units of where SharePoint works well and where it falls short. This isn’t true across the board, as there is still a great deal of variation in terms of the sophistication of SharePoint deployments (i.e., the more an org uses SharePoint, the more they are likely to see its limitations).
- Microsoft’s own attitude towards SharePoint seems to have shifted to some degree since the 2007 MOSS launch. At that point, Microsoft positioned SharePoint more as the end-all, be-all of content management. That positioning seemed to fade pretty quickly in the face of the realities of content management realized by Microsoft’s field organizations and partners. Today there is more subtlety in how Microsoft defines its own content management capabilities (foundational) vs. the areas it leaves to partners (supplemental). I’m not claiming this new, Microsoft has been positioning SharePoint as a dev’t platform for ISVs for some time, but it is worth highlighting as an ongoing trend as it relates to the ISV ecosystem.
So those three trends taken together and separately can point to significant opportunities for ISVs that are extending SharePoint. There is also really not much in the new SharePoint 2010 release to derail many of these players; there is still lots of room for extension and complementary capabilities.
Some of these are smaller players really dedicating their businesses to SharePoint (e.g., Nintex, KnowledgeLake) and some are much larger businesses that have either invested heavily in SharePoint tools (e.g., Quest Software). Existing large ECM vendors fit into this ecosystem as well, as they have adjusted strategies to both coexist and compete with SharePoint (e.g., Open Text, EMC). We cover most of these vendors in some depth in our regular Market Insight Service and look at them together and at some of the competitive dynamics in the segment in this Spotlight report.
December 20th, 2010 — Archiving, Content management, Data management, eDiscovery, Search, Storage, Text analysis
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.
September 23rd, 2010 — Content management, Search
Document filters. There’s a phrase to conjure up excitement in any technologist eh? No? Didn’t think so. But look more carefully at what is going on and it does get more interesting, trust me.
I was moved to expand in this by Isys Search Software’s recent attempt at guerilla marketing at Oracle Open World which it tweeted about here:
isyssearch: ISYS goes guerrilla; kicked out of Oracle Open World party after projecting our branding on the Metreon http://tinyurl.com/272fync #oow10
Quite apart from what it says about Isys and how much it’s changed in the last two years – a bit like the nerdy guy in the playground trying to act tough – it shows how important some people – including me – think these filters have become.
There are two main companies selling products that enable the opening and viewing of myriad file formats (400 is a common number cited by both the vendors and their customers). So when a search engine comes across a Word 1997 or even something like Wordstar 4 file, how does it open it? Usually using one of two products: Oracle’s OutsideIn or Autonomy’s IDOL KeyView.
Both products came to these companies via acquisitions: Autonomy buying Verity in November 2005 and Oracle buying Stellent in 2007, (and Stellent, as it wasn’t known then, buying Inso in 2000). It’s also interesting to note that Isys still refers to them as Inso in its marketing even though the product has been called something else for years.
Like all OEM technology, these filters aren’t easily ripped out and replaced. And that’s what these two vendors like about them. It gives them a a foot in the door at software companies that they can try to expand upon, and quite often they do. The temptation of course is to use the difficulty to remove them as a point of leverage to crank up prices.
And that’s what we’re hearing Autonomy is doing from a number of vendors. We haven’t heard anything similar regarding Oracle, it should be noted. Autonomy has a reasonably significant OEM technology stream and as we have mentioned previously Autonomy regularly brags about its OEM wins, without specifying whether its KeyView or the full IDOL engine being OEMd. Incidentally after that earlier post Autonomy contacted us to say that KeyView isn’t the result of the acquisition of Verity and all it bought was the name. That’s despite what was said at the time, including its own press release shortly after the acquisition bragging about its features. But then Autonomy’s marketing these days increasingly requires a willing suspension of disbelief.
Isys has had this technology for a while but never sold it separately. But now it is finding quite a bit of success among software vendors nervous about having a key piece of technology owned by Autonomy or Oracle because they’re often search and/or content management companies; two markets in which both companies play. dtSearch, another veteran OEM provider also provides similar filters.
So for the first time in a long time, ISVs have a choice beyond the main two in filters and in their close relatives, connectors, the software to connect search engines to databases, content management systems and other repositories. In the often incestuous world of information management software, where vendors both compete and sell to one another, these have become points of leverage that customers may not notice in terms of functionality, but they certainly do in terms of the price they have to pay for their software.
May 17th, 2010 — Content management
We have a new report entitled, “Open to Disruption: The Impact of Open Source in Content Management.” Our purpose with this report is to look at the commercial implications of open source in content management. That is to say, our focus is on the vendors that have tied their business models to the availability of open source code and the customers that are willing to engage financially with these vendors. The community-run projects (e.g., Drupal, Joomla et al) have a big impact on this market, but they are not the focus here.
I’ve been slogging away on this report for weeks and it has been really interesting to write. I have been covering the vendors making a go with business models tied to open source for several years now, but I never sat down before and tried to look at the market as a whole, to look across the vendors, across the different sectors in content management and across target markets.
Some of the things that struck me and are covered in much more detail in this report are:
- There is growing acceptance of open source in content management and there are more commercial options for organizations that want (or need) to have a commercial license and/or entity behind the code. More than a dozen vendors are profiled in the report.
- That said, we’re still in the early days of commercializing open source in content management. While many of the open source projects in content management are well established, many of the vendors in this report have had fairly significant changes to business models and / or geographic expansion in the last two years. Most are still fairly small (e.g., no more than $10m in revenue and less than 100 employees), though several are growing quite rapidly.
- There is a good deal of variety in terms of platforms, market focus (e.g., SMB vs. enterprise) and sector (WCM vs. ECM), though open source has a much stronger showing (and much more accepted) in WCM than in other areas of ECM.
- Many of the vendors in this sector are moving to or have moved to sales of commercial licenses (even if they don’t call it that) generally of “enterprise” products that extend an open source core. This is the model that Alfresco follows, with some success, and it is being taken up by a number of other vendors here as well.
- This isn’t true across the board though and there is certainly no shortage of controversy about this approach. This report also profiles that are primarily selling support subscriptions for open source code, implementation services or add-on products / extensions.
The report goes into a good deal of depth on what is driving adoption of open source in content management, challenges to adoption that are specific to this sector, the overall vendor landscape and business models the various vendors are applying. The report also profiles Acquia, Alfresco, Concrete CMS, Day Software, dotCMS, DotNetNuke, eZ Systems, Hippo, Jahia, KnowledgeTree, Liferay, Magnolia, Nuxeo, SilverStripe, Squiz and Umbraco.