At EMC World a long time friend and Documentum system integrator asked me an interesting question. He wanted to know how much the content management partner participation had changed since the last Momentum (New Orleans 2003) to this past EMC World (Las Vegas 2008). As I have some spare time these days, I took on his challenge and started my research. The results were surprising.
The task should have been simple, unfortunately it wasn’t. For those who have read my comments before, one of my major criticisms of the new format is that it’s hard to tell who’s storage and who’s content management. So 2008 meant I had to look at ever single one of the vendors to figure out who’s who and what they do which took a lot of time. The other part was getting the information from 2003 but once I got a copy of an old program guide it was easy.
I decided to go at this in a very basic way. My goal was to see how many software and system integration vendors exhibited in 2003 and then 2008. How many from 2003 no longer exist on their own. And how many were new. Here’s what I found out.
Documentum Software Partners
The software market around Documentum has gone through a lot of changes. There were 35 vendors at the Momentum 2003 Solutions Expo. In this group there have been 13 acquisitions since 2003. Three partners were acquired by Oracle and two each by Thomson, SDL, and EMC.
Of this smaller post-acquisition group of 29 vendors from 2003, 10 returned to EMC World 2008, if you include EMC. But surprisingly there were 23 new vendors that had not exhibited in 2003 that were exhibiting in 2008. The only significant new groupings were imaging and eDiscovery partners.
Documentum Services Partners
In contrast the services partners were stable. There were twenty services partner at the Momentum 2003 Solutions Expo. From this group there were five acquisitions. One acquired by a larger SI and two were acquired by larger players not already partners of Documentum. While EMC acquired a distributor and Crown Partners acquired another similar sized vendor. And no one went out of business.
The one “in group” acquisition brings the comparison count to 18 for 2003 exhibitors, of which 10 had booths at EMC World 2008, again including EMC. I do know of at least 3 partners exhibiting in 2003 were in attendance in 2008, just not having a booth, but those don’t count. Also exhibiting at EMC World were 10 partners that had not done so in 2003, making the change neutral.
Based on the data, it seems that vendor participation from the content management community at EMC World has actually grown. Most significant was the change in new software partners outnumbering the old partners two to one while in services we so a lot more stability with 2 of every 3 vendors being previous exhibitors. But in both cases, there were a significant number of old exhibitors that did not return.
But what about this opinion that many of us attending had that the content management community was getting smaller? It’s obvious that this is not the case. But I believe that when you look at who’s been attending and who has had this opinion, it’s really comes down to visibility. These comments come from those of us that have been attending for years and many of us are seeing the old vendors we known disappear. Without an easy mechanism to introduce ourselves to the new vendors it’s no wonder things look smaller. While some may see it as EMC’s jobs to assist us in learning about vendors at EMC, we really can’t rely on them. (Like commenting with facts to those So just before EMC World next year I plan to publish a list of new content management vendors to EMC 2009.