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.
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.
February 17th, 2010 — Content management, M&A
There is news that EMC has a new partnership with FatWire Software for WCM. There are a few components to this deal, as we understand it:
- EMC will resell FatWire Content Server in a new package called EMC Web Experience Management by FatWire.
- EMC will have rights to resell the whole FatWire portfolio.
- EMC has made an undisclosed equity investment in FatWire.
- FatWire will resell the EMC DAM product.
- FatWire will develop apps on Documentum xCP.
It’s a substantial partnership and an admission that EMC’s own efforts in WCM weren’t cutting it with customers. Still, it falls short of the rumored acquisition. Why? The two vendors claim a partnership gives EMC access to high-end WCM technology while letting FatWire remain nimble enough to develop products quickly and be more responsive to market needs — the equity investment is meant to help FatWire along these lines. This makes some sense as acquired WCM often gets lost in a larger ECM vendor. But with the market consolidation that has already occurred in this sector, EMC is taking on some risk relying on a third-party for its WCM rather than owning it outright.
Apparently it’s a risk EMC is willing to take, which we take to mean that WCM isn’t seen as strategic enough to EMC to do the acquisition. That’s not all that surprising really. WCM is as much (if not more) a part of marketing automation these days as it is part of the sorts of ECM apps EMC is invested in. Buying WCM at this point would mean making some commitment to continued innovation in areas of online marketing (e.g., multivariate testing, web analytics etc.) that don’t relate much to other areas of EMC’s business. EMC is focusing on its core transactional document management apps and information governance opportunities that tie records management to archiving and e-discovery. WCM doesn’t really have much to do with any of that.
FatWire’s products will essentially replace EMC’s WCM assets (though EMC hasn’t yet announced specific products or timelines for end-of-life, but that will come) and so this is potentially a boon to FatWire’s sales, insomuch as EMC can sell FatWire’s software. If this partnership does have a material impact on FatWire’s sales, it could impact its ability to be acquired by another vendor, at least at a valuation it might want. So this could be a big deal for FatWire, one way or another.
December 4th, 2009 — Collaboration, Content management
Such a busy three days at Gilbane Boston this year, I hardly had time to even follow the tweet stream from the event. I was involved in four sessions and best I can do at this point is to recap a few of the key highlights from each.
The open source session I presented with Seth Gottlieb got some good response and was apt I think given the much larger presence of open source at the show overall this year. Someone told me (but I didn’t confirm) that last year there were two open source booths on the show floor and this year there were six (dotCMS, Hippo, Nuxeo, Magnolia and Plone were the ones I counted – who am I missing?). Alfresco and Acquia were notably absent I thought, though were both were represented on a couple of panels.
Open source also came up in the panel I moderated on portals, as we had Chris Stavros from LEVEL Studios there and Chris has done a lot of work with the Liferay portal. We also had Glenn Mannke, Director of Intranet Development at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, talking with us about how they use Oracle Portal and how embedded this is in their overall infrastructure. Russ Edelman lent his SharePoint perspective as did John Petersen from Sutro Software who has worked with the Vignette (now Open Text) portal for a number of years. I’ll sum up the key takeaways from this panel as:
- Portals never went away, even though the marketing died down. They were victims of the hype earlier in the decade. Glenn in particular emphasized how portals are only becoming more important in his organization as the number of tools and apps they manage proliferate.
- John and Chris likened portals to a new Web OS that delivers application and infrastructure services.
- We spent some time talking about what those services are exactly and the panelists agreed that identity management and SSO are crucial.
- There was also some interesting discussion about client-side vs. server-side portals. Is an app that can aggregate little windows on a screen a portal? The panelists gave a resounding “no” to this question, given the lack of infrastructure services noted above.
- And portal standards (e.g., JSR 286) weren’t noted as being particularly important.
I thought portals might also come up on the panel I hosted on social publishing. This brought WCM vendors together with pure social software plays for a discussion about where these two market sectors are headed. It was perhaps not quite as heated as I’d hoped, but there was a bit of controversy. David Carter, CTO from Awareness and Adam Mertz, Product Marketer at Jive, admitted that their systems don’t do WCM and that many customers still need that function (I think particularly for external sites), but that social is important enough to warrant its own layer in the stack. They argued that WCM systems aren’t architected to support the dynamic nature of social media. Lars Trieloff from Day Software and Dmitri Tcherevik of FatWire definitely didn’t agree. Bryan House of Acquia (Drupal) argued that open source does the best job blending the two.
In general though, I think the panelists agreed that social is becoming part of so many other things (there was some discussion of CRM + social as well). That still leaves me scratching my head as to the future of the pure social software vendors (I asked if Jive might also get into WCM, but, not surprisingly, didn’t get a direct answer).
SharePoint came up in all of these sessions, as it also did on the analyst panel, not surprisingly as SharePoint has an impact in social, portals, WCM and just about every other aspect of ECM. Microsoft had a big presence at Gilbane this year, a little surprising to me since Gilbane is generally a pretty WCM-focused show. I had the chance to sit down for about an hour with Ryan Duguid, a Microsoft product manager for ECM in the SharePoint group. He insisted SharePoint plays in .com-type WCM scenarios and pointed me to this list, which I have seen before. It’s just doesn’t seem to come up much though in talking with clients and vendors about WCM. And I don’t see too much in the 2010 release that looks to change that. Am I missing something?
Overall, a good lively show. I heard attendance was up and the exhibit hall was full of vendors – there never seems to be a lull in the influx of new vendors to this space. Lots of interesting conversations about social, open source and online marketing, which all bodes well for a continued vibrant market in 2010.
November 19th, 2009 — Content management
The annual Gilbane content management event is two weeks away, slated for December 1-3 here in Boston. I’ve got a full dance card this year and am busily prepping for several sessions:
The Rise of Open Source in Content Management
Open source guru Seth Gottleib and I will present this session on what’s happening with open source content management. I’m going to take a very market-focused look, updating some of the work I did in a report (sorry, 451 login required) earlier this year on the group of European (or otherwise international) open source players entering the US market. I’ll also incorporate some preliminary data being gathered and analyzed now by 451’s CAOS (Commercial Adoption of Open Source) team on open source adoption drivers and benefits generally. Seth will look at how open source affects both software procurement and selling processes and offer lots of good advice for those contemplating or already working with open source content management software.
Are Enterprise Portals Back?
This panel will no doubt take me back to the days (I hate to say 10 years ago) when I was an analyst dedicated wholly to the enterprise portal market. Is there even any such thing anymore? The users and consultants on this panel will discuss that, along with the role of portal (and other) standards, SharePoint and open source. I’m keen to discuss whether or not portal adoption has ever really waned, even though all the marketing buzz around portals surely died down. Are the drivers today any different than they were ten years ago? Or does the rise of social software in fact make portals more useful than ever, as an aggregation technology for social content and functions? Even if present-day social software vendors steer far clear of the portal lingo…
Social Publishing and WCM
On this panel, some senior folks from Acquia, Awareness, Day Software, FatWire Software and Jive Software will debate the intersection, overlap and potential convergence of social software and WCM. As it features WCM vendors with a social software play, pure social software vendors and Acquia (Drupal probably comes closest to sitting somewhere in between), it is likely to be a lively discussion. I hope to get the panelists talking about the difference between community sites and community features and how this distinction can affect product selection, particularly for different use cases. Is there an ongoing play for social software products that can’t address content management needs? Or is WCM likely to be overtaken by social alternatives (likely a hard sell to this content management audience)? Is it really about integration? Will the markets consolidate? And where does SharePoint fit in all of this?
And finally, I’ll sit in on the annual analyst panel as well. It will be a busy couple of days but please do drop me a note if you’ll be there.
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.
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 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.