Friday, January 6, 2006

Making Sense of the ECM Market

Alan Pelz-Sharp has a nice article on CMS Watch about trends in the ECM market. In this article, Alan (I think rightly) points out that ultimately the large infrastructure plays (Microsoft, EMC, IBM) are going to gobble up the space "managing unstructured data just the same as they currently manage structured data." The article goes on to say that acquisition may not be a bad thing because it may lead to more investment into the platform and better support. That is a likely scenario unless one of these giants acquires multiple platforms and lets all but their favorite wither away (for a while this is what was happening at divine when it had both Content Server and Participant Server).

One of the most insightful observations in the article is that the impending roll-up may lead the large ECM players, in anticipation of being acquired one day, to ignore the small and medium enterprise because these clients will not mean anything to the potential acquirers. Rather than risk being underserved by the large ECM vendors, Pelz-Sharp suggests Small and Medium Enterprises to consider Best of Breed products, including Open Source, that can "solve pressing problems in a simpler fashion."

Good point. I hadn't thought of that.