What's happening with ECM?
Enterprise Content Management 'sitrep' from CYA
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Techworld: Is open source a real contributor to this market?
Wayne Crandall: The market seems to be moving cautiously here, but companies like Day Software and Alfresco—headed up by a co-founder of Documentum and the COO of Business Objects—are gaining some market mindshare and may be a force to reckon within the coming years, although it is still too early to tell.
Complex, mission critical applications may be wary of open source ECM given possible exposures from multiple development sources and the highly customized environments required. Time will tell where open source applications such as ECM will prosper, but for any open source application, it may need deeper pockets to penetrate the market.
Techworld: What is happening with HP in ECM?
Wayne Crandall: The market’s ripe for consolidation, and HP could be looking at acquiring some of the few remaining independent ECM vendors such as Open Text or Vignette. HP is a big player in the storage space, and archiving and information lifecycle management (ILM) are going to be important ECM growth areas for them this year, and will help them maintain their position in the storage market.
HP could look to better integrate its ILM and storage portfolios with ECM applications. Either way, ECM is most likely on HP’s radar screen in 2008. But as I said, keep your eyes on Oracle as well.
Techworld: How is all this consolidation talk going to affect ECM customers?
Wayne Crandall: After the dust settles around whatever acquisitions and mergers 2008 has in store, the industry will remain very competitive. Price points will continue to drop, and integration with other business processes will be eventually become easier.
The challenge will be to integrate the various technologies and migrate existing install bases without impacting users. Customer satisfaction and retention will continue to be a strong theme even as new demands are placed on ECM systems.