Oracle UCM rated highly in Gartner's latest
mystic grid magic quadrant. They were ranked as leaders, along with IBM/FileNet, EMC, Microsoft, and OpenText. You can see the article for yourself, to compare Oracle versus the rest of the leaders. Here's what they say that's positive:
Oracle has been expanding its ECM market footprint while building content management functionality into its enterprise business applications. Oracle ECM Suite includes document management, WCM, records management, imaging and process management. Though it does have transactional content management functionality — including synergies with its own ERP and CRM applications — Oracle is widely considered to be more of a collaborative and contextual content vendor.
- Oracle Universal Content Management (UCM) is a mature, well-integrated product suite that provides "productized" integrations with Oracle applications. With Oracle Fusion Middleware, it has integration with a broad set of complementary technologies, such as BPM, BI, portals and enterprise search.
- The size and capabilities of Oracle's sales force, product development and support organizations give it significant opportunities to grow its content management business and increase its market share. Sales incentives for performance in these areas appear to be helping to build momentum.
- Customer loyalty is high — Oracle customers often ask first whether Oracle already offers, or will soon deliver, products in any particular ECM component category.
And now for the inevitable negatives...
- Although Oracle has presented a cohesive vision for content as part of infrastructure, it has been less clear in its vision for collaboration and social software offerings (Oracle WebCenter and Beehive, for example) and their ties to UCM. All were developed using Oracle Fusion Middleware, but integration is still needed, and Web 2.0 capabilities across the products need to be rationalized. Oracle's next-generation portal product, WebCenter, is promising but immature, and its collaboration product, Beehive, is a work in progress with no clear ties to content management at a time when most ECM vendors are adding richer collaboration and support for Web 2.0 in their core platforms.
- Other vendors are commonly chosen for invoice automation and ERP integration in preference to Oracle's products. Oracle intends to close this gap, but its delivery of a compelling imaging and process management solution is late.
- Oracle's customers don't consider that it has created the same sense of community around content and collaboration as several other leading ECM vendors have.
The complaint about imaging and process management being late is apt... however, I think that Oracle's IPM solution will dominate Oracle shops soon, especially when combined with Oracle's Business Intelligence solutions. The complaint about community kind of hits me hard, because I know a lot of people who have tried for years to build a solid community... Hopefully this "ding" will ensure these teams have the resources they need to get things done.
Regarding point number one, I'm actually nonplussed. A coherent "collaboration" strategy would be nice... but frankly, I'm hesitant for Oracle to jump on the E 2.0 / Web 2.0 / Collab 2.0 bandwagon and be nothing but a follower. I have yet to see anybody put together a true "collaboration" tool, that doesn't immediately devolve into co-blaberation. At the moment, I'm thinking that Oracle could do something completely different... They could blend together the identity management tools from Sun and Oblix, along with the analytics tools from Siebel, along with the standards (email, ECM, enterprise search, social software) and create something fundamentally different than what anybody else has.
Or at least, so I hope...