Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gartner’s 2012 ECM Magic Quadrant: Quick Analysis

Gartner has recently released much expected ECM Magic Quadrant for 2012. There are quite a few interesting facts to note. In my earlier post Gartner Magic Quadrant for ECM 2012: What to expect? just before the Gartner release, I had predicted IBM to be on the top of chart in terms of ability to execute and Gartner proved me right. But I was wrong in predicting the visionary position for Microsoft, which went to IBM followed by Oracle. Gartner gave credit to IBM's overall business alignment with its ECM offerings, wherein Oracle gained the position due to its acquisitions, mainly FatWire and the ability to better align its acquisitions with overall business strategy.

There is disappointment though for Microsoft and EMC fans in ECM Magic Quadrant 2012
despite EMC IIG CMO Mr. Jeetu Patel making dedicated efforts to improve analysts ratings. Microsoft's SharePoint story seems to be losing steam. Finally customers and analysts have started realizing that Microsoft never focused on making SharePoint a robust ECM solution. Microsoft is known for making solutions with nice user interface (they deserve due credit for giving Windows OS to the world, else DOS would have never helped IT this much) and SharePoint undoubtedly has a user friendly interface.
We can classify SharePoint as a nice collaboration solution and a 'good' DMS solution, but I don't think it can be categorized as a full-fledged ECM solution. The lack of native functionalities in the areas of administration, backup and recovery, workflow, WCM, replication, mobile support and broad usability were the major concerns cited by Gartner (I just wonder why does Gartner even includes SharePoint into ECM MQ after citing all these weaknesses which are core of ECM and how it gained the top spot in 2010 ECM MQ?).

Microsoft's frequent architecture changes are also the major concern for user's annoyance which makes upgrade difficult. Remember SharePoint was a Portal Server in 2003 (SPS 2003), then it became MOSS 2007 and then SharePoint 2010 and now upcoming SharePoint 2013. The evolution is a good thing, but Microsoft should learn from the failure of IBM FileNet wherein many customers migrated to other ECM systems (primarily to SharePoint) due to the complex and expensive upgrade process from Panagon to P8. The trend might reverse if Microsoft doesn't address the challenge in its upcoming release.

I have visited the benefits page on Microsoft SharePoint website and noted that Microsoft is emphasizing only on the collaboration benefits of SharePoint namely (1) Share (2) Organize (3) Discover (4) Build (5) Manage. The new feature in SharePoint 2013 will be the ability to build Apps for SharePoint, but ECM features are virtually missing from the benefits page. Its evident that the decision to focus on Apps is very much driven from the success story of Apple AppStore, which makes sense commercially.

The next to disappoint is EMC (Documentum). Once the market leader and the trendsetter for ECM is slumbering. It has been consistently performing behind IBM, Microsoft and Oracle in visionary block for the last 3 years. But the bigger surprise came this year when Gartner rated it below lesser-known ECM vendor Hyland Software in terms of ability to execute. Gartner cited lack of ECM business alignment within EMC with its core storage business and inconsistent product strategy for Social Content Management as the major cause of concerns.

Not just that Gartner also sees erosion in EMC Documentum business due to high cost, product complexity and weak sales and marketing efforts, which is not a good sign either for its IIG division or for its business partners. It also gives strength to speculations about the future of Documentum with EMC.

EMC is organizing its annual user and partner conference Momentum Europe in Vienna in few days from now and analysts will have a keen eye on the announcements made, which will decide the future of Documentum. And possibly this will be the last chance of EMC IIG President Rick Devenuti to give some confidence to users and partners, if Documentum is here to stay.

Feel free to comment on the story.


  1. Perhaps , your facts are wrong about EMC

  2. I have read the sponsored press release by EMC on Bloomberg. Similar press releases are there from other vendors as well who made it in Leader's block like IBM, Oracle, OpenText and Hyland.

    The difference is that you formed an opinion looking at the sponsored PR of EMC and the above article is based on Gartner's ECM Magic Quadrant 2012 report.

    Please refer to the Cautions section under EMC block on Page 3 of Gartner ECM MQ to corroborate facts about EMC.

  3. If we actually go through the Gartner report it does keep OpenText and EMC below Oracle, IBM and Hyland which actually is not the case with many clients. This might be because of the way the Gartner analysts perceived the info. But all these players are in the Leaders quadrant where EMC is regular from the past decade. I have been in ECM space for many years now and small changes drastically change the position in the Gartner report like EMC is already well ahead in terms of cloud computing.

    1. Anil, Docmentum is undoubtedly is the best ECM solution. But keeping EMC below Hayland is not the case of perception, but sheer number game. If you carefully analyze the revenue statistics of EMC Documentum and the customer satisfaction ratio, EMC started losing on these front, which is why they are unable to perform better in analysts rating, and its only the Documentum's history which is still keeping them in leader's block, else....

  4. I'm not surprised at all with EMC's slumber. The support they give some partners is questionable and it appears that some partners are more equal than others. I quite happy to see IBM shot up. EMC South Africa is horrible.

  5. For us EMC support has always been the driving factor. It is much better atleast to the Oracle (DB and WLS) support. Keeping in mind the $$ we expend on Maintenance and Support for each of these vendors.

  6. The MQ has always had less to do with software capabilities and more to do with the firms that make the software. It's primarily useful for investors looking for firms to bet on, but really provides little to no value on its own for an organization looking to select software. When I help clients select an ECM solution, the only real value of the MQ in my opinion is to help assess vendor/product risk, not determine the technical/functional capabilities of the software under consideration.

    My two cents.


  7. EMC solutions and offer is definitely one of the best in this area of market. Also group of IT engineers and consultants working in and with IIG is is really high class. Then the question is, why Documentum is loosing it's position. For me as an ex EMC IIG, the answer is simple. Core business of EMC, is VMware, plus storage and the rest of acquired solutions are the cherry on top of cake. Not many people knows, that EMC hired many top specialists and sales managers working previously for Filenet. Unfortunately even with their experience and market connections, they have limited possibilities. Keeping such huge animal, like Documentum alive, requires money and dedication. EMC doesn't display to many initiatives in providing it to D. EMC is forcing some specific Documentum upgrading policies, which are not customer friendly. After all the smaller but more aggressive vendors are eroding customer base of D. Plus local problems with partner network, as mentioned in one of the comments. This is my perception of Documentum MQ evaluation.


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