Oracle ECM: Rated a "Leader" In Gartner Magic Quadrant

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.

Strengths

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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...

Cautions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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...

comments

Thanks

Frankly I'm a little surprise to see MS in the spot they are. I think several parts of the MS strategy break down under larger deploymets. According to the graph they have a better completeness of vision, which I just can't see, especially with the WCM and URM offerings from Oracle.

Either way, interesting stuff. I haven't looked at the past quadrants, but it feels like theirs more names on the diagram, which is interesting considering the constant discussion about market consolidation. I'll have to snoop aroud on that.

Don't laugh at me

You have one of the hardest CAPTCHA's I've ever been put up against. If you check the logs, you'll see probably 10 failures on my part. :)

Re: Thanks

Microsoft is in their position mainly because they own the desktop, and they are slowly replacing desktop collaboration with SharePoint. You are correct that large scale deployments fall apart, and there are a lot of negatives to SharePoint... but they do have a very complete business model for making it grow into something. It's not there yet -- and who knows if it will ever be there -- but for some cases it's good enough.

Yes... my CAPTCHA is pretty tough... I switched it up again so it's easier, since the last one was still getting comments SPAM.

Gartner Identifying Interesting ECM Trends

Thanks for the post Bex.
Gartner has also identified some interesting and conflicting(?) trends in ECM.
Trend 1 - The ECM as Infrastructure trend seems to point to a greater consolidation focus. IBM, MSFT and Oracle seem to me to be the stronger players here.
Trend 2 - Federation of CM systems - has tension with trend 1 but CMIS and other Standards may make this an option where consolidation is not practical.
Trend 3 - Web Channel, Alternative Delivery Models and User Simplicity - I don't think this is as much an emerging trend as an ECM necessity. The need to secure adoption is vital before any kind of efficiency or ROI can be gained. Simplified Sophistication is the key. "Boring is Beautiful" anyone?
Trend 4 - Application Specificity and the power of MidMarket buyers - I think this is huge. It's not as much about CEVAs as it is about composite, content-aware user experiences. The push for solution and application templates for either quick rollout (turnkey-light) or development springboards is a major shift. It positions the bigger platform vendors and their partners very well while leaving the niche vendors in a scramble. It seems that simple integration adapters aren't enough to deliver the value. Solution templates built on top of the integration adapters are needed. The more of these that the vendors and their partners can bring together in a catalog the better methinks.
Trend 5 - The Rising Importance of Metadata - This, I think, is the truly evolutionary trend in this space. As metadata is leveraged beyond search and retrieval, as taxonomy gives way or makes room for auto-classification, tagging, folksonomy, as analytics are applied to unstructured information a huge resurgence of ECM-at-the-Core solutions will appear. Some of these will have familiar names like Knowledge Management. Others will have new concepts like predictive persuasive delivery, next best action analysis (with supporting content) and real-time or just-in-time answer delivery. This is the space where the niche or visionary players have the most opportunity I think since the bigger players will generally take a conservative approach and then buy leadership in this space rather than develop or earn it.

But that's just my opinion and I'm nobody.

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