Monday, December 11, 2006
Chosing vendors for the ECM Report
I threw a little stone in the pond on Friday (see CMS Watch Blog) regarding the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for ECM. I guess it was late in the day………
Anyhow, I now feel that I really ought to be as open as possible about how I am writing the forthcoming ECM Report, in particular how I am deciding who to include and not to include. Most important for me and CMS Watch is that the process is transparent.
First up – coming up with a workable list is much harder than it might seem, and the one that is currently on my desk probably bears no resemblance to the one I sent Tony Byrne last week! But nevertheless there is in effect more than one lists.
The first is those that without whom the ECM Report would make little or no sense. Therefore the major ECM vendors such as EMC, OpenText, Interwoven etc etc constitute the logical top tier, and will be covered in depth. After this I will cover those who are currently disrupting the market and importantly getting the ear of ECM buyers (the buyers are after all who I am writing this report for). The key disruptive vendors currently include Alfresco and Oracle (particularly with the pending Stellent acquisition) – and then I have a third tier, those that are solid established and high value players but tend to play in a particular geographic or industry niche, included here might be Formtek for Cimage – they may not be as well known as the tier one and two vendors, but in the right circumstances should be considered for the short list.
My hope is that the report will meet the needs of 90% of ECM product buyers ( I can never make everyone happy) and that third tier group will likely grow as new versions of the report are issued over time. Likewise the tier 2 (disruptive) vendors may also change as some will prove to have little longevity, and others come into play.
In the CMS Watch, ECM Report that we hope to publish in Spring 07, we also want to be sure that we are sensitive to geographic variations (EVER in France and Spain, NewGen in India and Objective in Australia for example), and though we cannot hope to capture everyone (nor would I try) it is in this last group of Geographic and Vertical Industry specific that the biggest gaps will inevitably be (and of course it is complicated as even regional players often play outside their regions!).
In other words there is really no rocket science to this – and I am always open to comments and suggestions as to how to improve things. The key thing though with the ECM Report (and the other CMS Watch Reports) is that they are written solely with the needs and requirements of potential technology buyers in mind, their/your needs are the beginning and end of the inclusion and product evaluation criteria. And its also worth stating loudly that CMS Watch does not receive any revenue at all from software vendors, no consulting to them, not even flights and hotels for an event!
And if anyone at Gartner wants to slug me one, then I can’t really blame them – but that magic quadrant was really begging for it too you know ;-)