Content Management Dream Teams for the Digital Workplace

Can you buy a digital workplace? If you did, what would it do? This five-part series analyzes Gartner Magic Quadrants to envision an architectural landscape for an integrated digital workplace to enable communications, content management, and mobile self-service. The goal is to bring ideas to the table for stakeholder discussions that strike a balance between enterprise integration and best-of-breed capabilities, to guide emerging strategies for digital workplace platforms and workforce enablement.

Part III: Content Management

This section takes a deep dive into Magic Quadrants that enable content management:

  • Enterprise file sync and share (EFSS)
  • Enterprise content management (ECM)
  • Web content management (WCM)
  • Enterprise Search
  • Content Leaders Summary

Content management for the digital workplace must be mobile, and must span the entire content management lifecycle from lightweight file sharing to centralized ECM and WCM repositories. Search and discovery are paramount here, as is integration with email and social sharing. Personalization and predictive analytics are differentiators. Finally, a digital workplace CMS must provide robust storage and sharing for rich media, especially video, which also needs to be mobile and searchable. Specialized scenarios like ideation and e-learning should be embedded in the user experience for content creation, curation, and search.

This is a highly competitive and disruptive space. Social collaboration is becoming infrastructure that take conversations from mobile app to desktop client to web browser. Web content management needs to deliver e-commerce with responsive design. Everyone’s on information overload, and everyone thinks search is broken.

No single vendor appears in more than one of the top three spots across the four capabilities of EFSS, ECM, WCM, and search. A broad range of capability requirements make it highly unlikely that a single vendor could meet the needs of most midsize to large enterprises, even under significant cost pressure to rationalize and consolidate. Integration connectors and strong identity management from IT, and business requirements for cross-platform user experience, will be the key opportunities for success in digital workplace content management.

Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS)

Four vendors dominate the Leaders quadrant: for now. Syncplicity leads in completeness of vision and Citrix in ability to execute, while Box and Accelion make strong showings. Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox are key Challengers in EFSS, and their platform integration with social software, web content management and enterprise search capabilities make these vendors compelling for organizations seeking a turnkey user experience for the digital workplace. Visionaries Egnite and WatchDox by Blackberry don’t quite match the Leaders’ completeness of vision. A string of niche players includes Huddle, Airwatch by VMWare, Intralinks, Acronis, Ctera, Varonis, and Thru.

Gartner warns that “by 2018, less than 10% of today’s stand-alone EFSS offerings will exist.” EFSS, like social collaboration, is destined to become an infrastructure feature of the digital workplace.

Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

The Leaders field has a close-running pack led by IBM and OpenText for ability to execute, with EMC (Documentum), Lexmark, Hyland, Microsoft, and Oracle ranked by completeness of vision. There are no Challengers in the ECM space, but Xerox, Alfresco, and Newgen are closely matched Visionaries. ECM has a long tail of Niche players led by Lasersoft, Fabasoft, Everteam, and N-Files, SER Group, Upland, Systemware, Objective, Software Innovation, and Siav.

Enterprises with heavy ECM investment in IBM, OpenText, and Documentum may want to evaluate these deployments to see whether their centralized function as SORs may be evolving into more lightweight and agile collaboration, which could suggest hybrid ECM scenarios with Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint. EMC offers a Documentum connector for SharePoint, as does IBM for IBM Connections, and there are also a full suite of options for OpenText integration with SharePoint. The landscape for hybrid cloud/on-premise deployments is rapidly evolving, and an integrated multivendor strategy may be effective for intranet teams with a heavy investment in non-Microsoft systems for centralized ECM.

Web Content Management (WCM)

Web content management is emerging as a differentiator in enterprise content management, especially for digital business in customer experience for the web and mobile. This GMQ has a strong Leaders quadrant led by Sitecore and Adobe running neck and neck. Acquia (Drupal) and Oracle are next in line, followed closely by HP, OpenText, IBM, and SDL, with EPIServer squeaking into the Leaders quadrant on completeness of vision but the lowest ability to execute. There are no Challengersat all in this GMQ, and the three Visionaries Automatic, CrownPeak, and CoreMedia suffer from lower scores in ability to execute. Microsoft is still considered aNiche player in WCM, though the closest to a Challenger in this area. Other Niche players include Progress, Hippo, e-Spirit, Squiz, GX Software, and eZ Systems. Gartner cautions that “any dedicated, focused WCM effort is disappearing as Microsoft pushes customers toward the cloud and Office 365.”

This may suggest a multivendor approach to customer-facing intranet vs. employee intranets, for example building the public website on Sitecore or Adobe while moving toward Microsoft for an integrated digital workplace. Sitecore was Microsoft’s Alliance ISV Partner of the Year for 2013 and 2014, so there is a strong business case for a two-vendor partnership there. However, IBM intranet teams may want to consider sunk costs and the cost of replatforming carefully, as Gartner advises that “IBM Web Content Manager has a nearly exclusive appeal for fully devoted IBM shops.”

Enterprise Search

Enterprise search is a highly disruptive market, as a highly consumerized user experience shifts from explicit queries to personalization, digital assistants, and discovery driven by machine learning and predictive analytics.

In this content, Microsoft’s complete absence from this GMQ is surprising, especially in a Leaders quadrant driven by Coveo, Sinequa, HP, Lexmark, and Attivio. LucidWorks and Mindbreeze lead the ability to execute among Challengersthat also include Google and Dassault Systems. IHS, IBM, and BA Insight areVisionaries in the enterprise search space, while Niche players Squiz, Expert Systems, and Recommind trail the field significantly.

Perhaps the most compelling insights from this GMQ are the predictions made in the strategic planning assumptions. “By the end of 2017, 25% of workers will engage with search technology in business applications via natural expression at least five times a day. By the end of 2017, the best result for more than 50% of searches at leading global companies will not be a textual document. By the end of 2019, more than 10% of internal search results will not originate from explicit queries.”

Integrating a more personalized document search with line of business data and video results would seem to be the key business driver here, and Microsoft’s Office Graph and SharePoint/O365 hybrid search are worth serious consideration for intranet teams, even though the vendor did not make the  GMQ for search. Coveo and Sinequa offer Microsoft connectors including SharePoint on-premise and online, Exchange, OneDrive, and Yammer, so an integrated best-of-breed search experience is possible for enterprises with an investment in these market leaders.

Content Leaders Summary

Who are the content leaders in the digital workplace? Content management is the most challenging space for competing best-of-breed vendors. In the early days of a focused content vision to unify the digital workplace, a multivendor strategy may be not only politic but necessary.

In the absence of a business sponsor for content management, Microsoft often winds up being a “good enough” vendor for IT teams who prefer single-vendor platforms. Microsoft is a Leader in ECM and a Challenger in EFSS, and emerging capabilities like Delve and the Office Graph give it a compelling story in search, especially where lots of content is stored in SharePoint.

Organizations where content management is widely decentralized may need to form a business ECM steering committee outside of IT for internal discussion before a clear content strategy presents itself.  Here are some strategy tips to consider.

  • Different vendor platforms for public internet sites and intranet/extranet sites may be most effective
  • Best-of-breed ECM requirements may create change resistance to more agile collaboration
  • Do some process mapping across email, file sharing, teamsites, and web portals to find out where content travels during its lifecycle
  • Expect EFSS to emerge as the first content workload for a digital workplace beyond the intranet, and expect it to be owned by IT until a business sponsor steps up to own it
  • Bring mobile productivity apps onto the radar as an example of the digital workplace for content management
  • Intranet teams can and should partner with IT for governance of EFSS and mobile UX
  • Become a champion of enterprise search and metadata management for the intranet
  • Be patient with IT when it comes to content strategy, as communications infrastructure and ERP self-service may take priority on enterprise cloud roadmaps
  • Expect ECM disruption as document-centric business processes move to the cloud and/or to lightweight collaborative file sharing
  • Sponsor productivity apps as a grassroots way to move forward while corporate intranets may find themselves in a holding platform waiting for hybrid cloud implementations

Part IV in this series will cover the Magic Quadrants for mobile self-service: enterprise mobile device management, BI and analytics, sales force automation, ERP systems, and HR talent management.

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