When choosing an enterprise content management (ECM) supplier, big is not necessarily best, according to research organisation Ovum. Enterprises must consider vendors in terms of market share, profitability, and capability to support the deployment and the enterprise’s own business requirements through its lifetime.
In its latest Ovum Decision Matrix, which is focused on the selection of enterprise content management solutions, the global analysts reveal that file sync and share is becoming the next must-have feature as organisations demand secure ways of sharing information outside the firewall and end-users are demanding empowerment through the use of social media in a business context, as well as increased support across various mobile platforms.
In terms of vendor positioning, the market for large enterprises is dominated by EMC, IBM, and OpenText, with Oracle and Autonomy, of late, providing significant challenge.
Providing viable alternatives to the “big boys” are Hyland Software, with strong case management capabilities; Microsoft, with its significant brand awareness for SharePoint; and Alfresco, with a sophisticated open source message.
“Because much of the functionality is now commoditised, and the industry has gone through a period of consolidation, which has reduced the number of platforms available, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the CIO to select the most appropriate solution,” says Sue Clarke, senior analyst at Ovum.
Another key differentiator between vendors, according to Ovum, is the support associated with migration.
“ECM deployments can be difficult and complex and generally require services for all but the simplest of deployments,” says Clarke. “Even migrating from one platform to another or from one version to the next is not without its difficulties.”
The Ovum Decision Matrix report reveals that most vendors offer a toolset to help with the migration, but in most cases additional support may be required. In terms of deployment time, a small deployment with a few users can be achieved quickly, but large complex implementations can take many months, regardless of which vendor’s platform is selected.
“It is imperative that the right implementation partner is selected, whether this is professional services from the vendor itself or from a partner that has expertise in the vertical market of the organisation,” says Clarke.