Monday, March 26, 2007

International ECM

The thick of finishing The ECM Report is probably not the best time to muse over its findings, best to really wait till its out there in peoples hands and in use, but what the heck - here's a thought for now...

One of the (many) things that has really surprised and excited me in doing this work over the past months has been the vibrancy and strength of regional ECM vendors. We are almost brainwashed by journalist and analyst blanket coverage of major US vendors such as EMC Documentum and IBM Filenet, that it can come as a rude awakening to find out that they have serious competition outside of their home market.

And I am not just talking about the Australian vendors Tower and Objective (as Australia is English speaking they tend to get 'token' international status coverage), I am also interested in the vibrancy of the French market (see EVER and Nuxeo), Saperion in Germany, NewGen in India etc

Not to say that these are the best of the local options - there are so many to chose from.....and though I think we have done a good job over covering ECM from a truly international perspective in the report, it's something we certainly want to work on further in future!

There's a big world out there :-)

Friday, March 09, 2007

The ECM Report is official !

Today at CMS Watch Tony B announced the following:-

Announcing a new report


In a little more than a month (April 16th, to be exact), we will publish our ECM technology evaluation research, which has been directed by CMS Watch principal, Alan Pelz-Sharpe. The ECM Suites Report will closely examine 10 major suite vendors (Alfresco, EMC|Documentum, Hyland, IBM/FileNet, Interwoven, Microsoft, Open Text/Hummingbird, Oracle/Stellent, Vignette, and Xerox), plus include shorter profiles of 20 other offering (e.g., CA/MDY, Docubase, Nuxeo, Saperion, TOWER, Xythos, and more). You can pre-order the report at a 10% discount. The results of our customer-driven research almost always surprise me, and this case is no different. As usual we'll make a free sample chapter available. Can't wait to share our findings...

Submitted by Tony Byrne, Analyst

Its been a long time coming and I think it will have been worth the wait - at least I hope so! We have gone into depth on the major players of course, but have also taken a look at regional and open source options, and of course Microsoft. Its a critical report, scathing at times - but written just for buyers and users.

Its the reason this blog has been fairly quiet of late :-)

There is a pretty good discount for pre-orders available - and I will speaking about the findings at AIIM in April, in fact I will be running a half day workshop on how to buy ECM systems...

At the end of this exercise (if there is an end) our hope is that buyers in a confused market will be better informed enabling them to make smarter decisions.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Canada - Outsourcing - Missed Opportunity?

I spent last weekend in Canada visiting with family, and on the drive back got to thinking again about the tragic lost opportunity that is Canada as an Outsourcing destination.
Of course people do outsource to Canada, and the Waterloo/Kitchener triangle, along with some more remote regions such as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have done ok in the past in attracting work. But overall, and particularly in terms of scale, I can't help but believe that Canada has missed out big time on an economy changing opportunity.
Consider the selling points :-

-Geographically its one huge North of the US location
-It covers 4 USA Time Zones
-Canadian have similar accents to midwesterners (sorry but it's true)
-Canadians are highly aware of US cultural norms and activities
-Skilled labor is typically cheaper in Canada than the US
-The Canadian Gov is typically generous with tax breaks and incentives
-Educational standards are high

Need I go on? With so much in its favour why then does proportionatly so little outsourcing business go there? Well I think one of the key reasons is that Canada is trying to do it alone. That they honestly believe (or believed) that they could compete on a global scale and win (look again at the many selling points). But the truth is they lost the battle long ago to India, and in the long term will lose again to China - there are some battles not worth fighting, and there are others that are long over.

Personally I think all the advantages of Canada remain, but that now is the time to partner up....

For what Canada has India does not. In fact the only general areas India (and China for that matter) is have an advantage over are cost and scale. I know from my time at Wipro that some nascent steps are being made to build bridges with Indian outsourcing giants, but surely its time for more?

I think the politicians in Canada still don't fully grasp outsourcing, and that they need to drop the idea that this is in some way eating scraps from rich peoples tables. It is not, it is called the new World Economy - and Canada could still become a strategic winner from this. But it will take serious committment, investment, resources and a sense of urgency to make it happen. Canada can't afford to miss the boat twice.