April 2nd, 2009 — 2.0, Content management
Is there anything new under the ECM sun? I heard lots of folks commenting this week at the annual AIIMExpo that there doesn’t appear to be. I found some interesting nuggets though; here’s a sampling:
– Open source – maybe I seek these ones out but I think the presence of open source at these content management shows is obviously growing – I’ve commented on this before. I met with Alfresco, KnowledgeTree and Nuxeo (briefly).
– I expected to hear a good deal of talk about information governance. I didn’t really, though there were certainly lots of sessions on the agenda in this vein that I missed. Instead I seemed to hear more about “nuts-and-bolts” ECM – customers, this year in particular, seem to be looking to solve specific process problems with specific apps and are less interested in talking about the “E” in content management. Not sure what that means as far as information governance goes, other than there’s an obvious need to tie governance strategies directly to content apps.
– SaaS – I met with SpringCM, which has added more partners building apps on its SaaS ECM platform. Hyland Software also notes decent growth for its OnBase OnLine product.
– The ECM heavyweights continue to duke it out. No major changes on this front, though Oracle appears to be more of a disruptive force than it was a year ago, as it ties UCM more aggressively (both technically and from a licensing perspective) to its various apps. I met with some Oracle folks that claim a “triple-digit” growth rate for Oracle’s UCM group in Oracle’s FY08 over the revenue previously generated separately by Stellent and Oracle’s ContentDB product.
– SharePoint, SharePoint, SharePoint – this pervasiveness is not news really. I didn’t go to any sessions specifically intended to be about SharePoint but still I heard about technologies to ensure disposition policies on SharePoint content, manage enterprise meta data structures tied to SharePoint, extend SharePoint’s ECM functions and so on. I also met with several vendors that basically compete with SharePoint from various angles and such discussions aren’t complete without analysis those competitive strategies.
In general, AIIM seemed quiet to me this year and those manning booths also commented that foot traffic seemed light. Some of that is no doubt simply because travel is being restricted all around, but like others, I wonder a bit about the relevancy of AIIMExpo going forward. I don’t necessarily think that folks are going to stop going to tradeshows, but perhaps they want events that are more tailored to a particular vertical and/or technology. AIIMExpo is a bit hard to pin down, covering content technologies at such a high level as it does. There’s a strong focus on apps that include capture and imaging to be sure, but other than that, it’s a bit of a mish-mash. FatWire Software was the only major independent WCM vendor I saw, despite a full WCM track. And I didn’t see any social software vendors, even though Tony Byrne gave what I heard was a lively session on the topic.
As for my session on WCM + social software, it was somewhat lightly attended, though it was pitted against 9 other sessions (!), so that’s not exactly surprising. But the audience was engaged and we had some good discussion about adding social components to an existing site versus building a community site that sits as something of a separate arm off the main site.
There were lots of heads nodding when I talked about a move to consolidate social tools – for those orgs that have put up a WordPress blog over here and a wiki over there or maybe a discussion forum for customer support, and now wondering how to pull these together for better profile management, content re-use and overall consistency. This could bode well for WCM vendors already running the main .com site for such a customer, but most WCM vendors still have a ways to go on the social software front. Something for discussion at the next content management show, I’m sure…
March 24th, 2009 — Content management
Katey Wood and I will be in Philadelphia next week for the annual AIIM Expo.
I’m presenting on Tuesday in a session billed: The Next Wave of WCM: Social Web Content Management. Here I’ll be looking at something I’ve blogged about before, that is the potential overlap between the nascent social software efforts from WCM vendors and pure social software products for customer-facing sites.
The preso will provide a snapshot of what is happening in both WCM and social software, as far as customer sites go, and try to outline some pros and cons of taking different approaches in terms of vendor selection. I also have a few quick case studies of customers that have a) gone with an independent provider of community/social software b) utilized the social features of an existing WCM provider or c) worked with open source that kind of straddles the line between the two.
Katey and I will also be using AIIM as an opportunity to talk with vendors, IT folks and business users more about content management and archiving for compliance and eDiscovery purposes. We’re in the early stages of a report on the emergence of “information governance” as a sector within ECM.
The schedule is getting tight but don’t hesitate to contact me if you’ll be there.
March 24th, 2008 — 2.0, Content management
I had a strategic counsel call last week with a large vendor thinking about expanding its product portfolio in the direction of ECM. We discussed whether this investment should be in the area of records management and archiving or full-boat document management with BPM.
Well, according to AIIM’s recent “State of the ECM Industry” survey, 2008 spending plans are focused on the records, documents, and processes, so it seems either bet could be a smart one. John Mancini elaborates:
At the top of the list of spending plans for the next 12-18 months are workflow/BPM (45% planning a spending increase), document management (45%), and records management (43%).
The whole AIIM survey is available and is interesting reading if you follow ECM.
Another thing I noted in these survey results is that only 5% of respondents plan to spend “much more” than last year on “Enterprise 2.0.” This is the same amount that plans to spend “much more” on knowledge management. And 24% of respondents plan to spend “slightly more” this year on “knowledge management,” compared to only 20% on “Enterprise 2.0.”
I wonder what they put in the knowledge management bucket that’s separate from “Enterprise 2.0?” I would certainly argue that social networking and related technologies are the latest-and-greatest type of knowledge management, especially when you’re talking about internal deployments. We even went so far as to delete ‘knowledge management’ from our taxonomy...
March 10th, 2008 — Content management
Just catching up on feed reading (impossible) after being out at AIIM so much last week and saw Dennis Byron’s post at Seeking Alpha about enterprise content management investment opportunities. He looked at the AIIM show floor through the lens of the public markets and found few investment vehicles, at least at present. He missed one or two – consolidation in 2006 did take Stellent and FileNet off the public market, but Open Text, Vignette and Interwoven remain (these last two were absent from the AIIM show floor).
Byron also identifies the right prospects for a year or two out. Alfresco (open source) and SpringCM (SaaS) both had big booths at AIIM and are two of the most interesting companies to watch in ECM at the moment. Alfresco may be a bit further along — John Powell, Alfresco’s CEO, is on record saying 2009 is a target for an IPO. But the two are comparably sized with 70ish employees and probably something like $10m for a bookings run rates (both have annual subscription models).
This is of course peanuts to the Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and EMC crowd that dominates ECM these days but may point to the future nonetheless — or at least a future. We consistently hear from traditional ECM players that open source and SaaS don’t come up much competitively, which I think is an indication that change will be slow in coming. It’s also a reminder though that “ECM” is a fractured market with many sub-sectors and room for many players (SpringCM and Alfresco don’t really compete, for example, even with business models aside). Success of new vendors and models doesn’t necessarily displace established ones particularly in ECM, which means many things.
March 6th, 2008 — 2.0, Collaboration
No surprise really that social software, social publishing and other types of socializing were hot topics this week at the AIIM show here in Boston. I started out the week at Drupalcon (co-located at AIIM this year), the community event for the open source Web publishing tool Drupal. This was my first time at Drupalcon, or really at any open source user event of this size. A couple things struck me. First and most superficially, I stuck out a bit both due to my rather corporate-looking business attire (sorry guys) and because of my gender — a comment was made at the start of the event that the attendees were 93% male.
But much more interesting was the level of engagement. Cheers and audience participation during the keynote by project lead Dries Buytaert were plentiful. The event was packed (there were 800 attendees and they had expected 500) and there appeared to be a high level of engagement among folks in the sessions and the hallways. (And I wasn’t the only one sticking out for looking a little corporate – I think the guys from Acquia, the new Drupal start-up were in the same boat. 451 Group clients can read our write-up on Acquia here (log-in required)).
AIIM didn’t have the same level of excitement but there was still a common thread between the two events. Part of Drupal’s popularity is due to its community features and the availability of modules to add capabilities like feed management, voting and so forth. Other vendors that fall into a broadly defined content management market are busy adding similar capabilities either to WCM tools that will ultimately deliver community features to site visitors or to content contributor UIs within apps themselves. I met with folks from Day Software, Alfresco, IBM, Salesforce.com and Oracle and support for communities, collaboration and user-generated content are hot topics. Interestingly, it was not a focus during a meeting with Google — no social features appear particularly imminent for Google’s Search Appliances.
I also attended an interesting session held by Tony Byrne of CMS Watch. Tony looked at CMS architectures and how those companies wishing to implement external communities or to support user-generated content on external sites may end up with best-of-breed tools for architectural reasons, even though WCM vendors are adding support for these features themselves. Interesting stuff.
There was no sense of irrational exuberance at AIIM though, not like last year’s Enterprise 2.0 conference that had a jammed showcase floor and overflowing sessions. AIIM is a massive show though and as it is co-located with the On Demand show, it’s an odd mix of photocopiers, printing machines and enterprise software. Several ECM vendors I met with including SpringCM, Xythos (which I found out was acquired by Blackboard last year in a deal that has been kept totally quiet), Hyland Software and Tower Software are much more focused on more traditional ECM problems, from process management to archiving, which are alive and well.
March 3rd, 2008 — Collaboration, Content management, Search
Welcome to the new 451 Group blog about information management. What’s information management, you may ask?
It’s the confluence of a variety of strategies organization employ to get their arms and exploit the myriad sources of data and information at their disposal. Specifically this means 451’s coverage of the following areas:
- Content management
- Text analysis
- Databases (relational & otherwise)
- Business intelligence
- Master & metadata management
It is written mainly by Kathleen Reidy and myself, and both of us will be at the AIIM Expo this week in Boston where we will be taking the temperature of the content management market & talking with a bunch of vendors and end users.
More on that and Drupalcon this week.