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February 15, 2007

EMC dominates global enterprise content management space

Enterprise content management is expected to be a prime focus for many firms across all verticals. However, at present, EMC has the strongest technology offering, and is likely to remain a dominant provider of content management platforms for the high end of the market, with direct competition from IBM and, to a lesser extent, Open Text.

By CBR Staff Writer

Enterprise content management (ECM) technologies are typically capable of managing structured and unstructured content, email, images, raw print data, and other digital assets that are dispersed across a number of different repositories in the enterprise.

With most businesses having online channels such as media and retail, there’s already heavy investment in web content management. In addition, enterprises need to meet increasing regulatory requirements. In verticals such as healthcare, financial markets, professional services and government, for example, regulatory compliance is proving an important driver for the uptake of records management and email archiving.

A new Datamonitor report, Decision Matrix: Selecting an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Vendor, reveals the top-performing ECM vendors based on a quantitative assessment of their capabilities, end-user sentiment, as well as the technology features that they offer. Conclusions are based on a survey of around 550 IT managers and CIOs globally and rigorous technology assessments by Butler Group. In addition, end-user sentiment is taken into account in order to provide guidance for enterprises looking to deploy ECM solutions and ECM vendors they should shortlist, consider or explore.

Key findings reveal:

EMC has the strongest technology offering, combined with leading positions in both market impact and sentiment

EMC has the overall lead as it had the strongest technology assessment, as well as very positive end-user sentiment and high market impact. Its technology leadership is most important in an enterprise context, but it has a well-balanced revenue profile with high levels of penetration across verticals and geographies. EMC is likely to remain a dominant provider of content management platforms for the high end of the market, with direct competition from IBM and, to a lesser extent, Open Text.

IBM leads in sentiment and has a very strong technology platform

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Although user sentiment ratings are highly clustered, IBM is rated highest in this area, which indicates that it has succeeded in satisfying customer needs and maintaining good customer relationships. This is undoubtedly influenced by its services and consulting prowess, which facilitates the integration of its content management solutions in the enterprise.

IBM recently entered into an agreement to acquire FileNet, which is also well positioned in the market with a good user sentiment rating, technology leadership and relatively high market impact. The two vendors are fairly well matched, as some of their technologies complement each other, and FileNet is expected to enhance IBM’s position in the ECM space.

Open Text has leading technology, a strong vertical focus and a high market impact

Open Text is also a market leader and has a strong combination of technology and impact, but with average sentiment. Open Text’s acquisition of Hummingbird will allow it to strengthen its presence in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and enhance its sales in certain verticals where Hummingbird has traditionally been stronger, such as government and professional services (primarily legal). The merger provides an opportunity for Open Text to compete more effectively in a rapidly consolidating market and to achieve operational efficiencies further down the line.

With high impact as well as good sentiment, Microsoft has a clear strategy and focus

Despite being relatively new to the sector, Microsoft has already had a strong impact on the ECM market. However, its technology lags significantly behind other vendors’ and is not suitable for enterprise deployments. Although, at this time, Sharepoint is not scalable and robust enough to serve as an enterprise solution, the upcoming release of Sharepoint 2007 should deal with many of these issues, making it a more viable option for some enterprises.

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