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2012 – Predictions Scorecard & Year in Review

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Since we have averted the Mayan apocalypse I am collecting my 2013 predictions for the ECM market, Before that a few words about my scorecard for last year’s predictions. On average I have had better years. Still there was one or two predictions I can feel good about from last year’s post.

 Base Hits

  • Good news first – Dropbox did indeed go shopping picking up both a photo aggregation site Snapjoy and music streaming service Audiogalaxy. Earlier smaller acquisitions were mainly about the talent but these were more about the technology. This is interesting because it runs a bit contrary to the apparent enterprise focus of their Teams product. Or possibly because Teams has made less of a splash than expected and they now tack back toward the consumer business that got them where they are in the first place.
  • Social Platform Consolidation – Based on the Jive IPO and the general feeling that the contenders were reaching a critical mass in feature sets and customer acquisition I had predicted a run on social platforms. Yammer was indeed swallowed by Microsoft  but other than that there was not much noteworthy movement. Possibly with Jive post-IPO, Socialcast already part of VMWare and  Yammer suddenly part of the Redmond juggernaut it didn’t seem like a good idea to throw more money that way. Broadvision with their Clearvale product I thought was a good buy. Their stock price went on a tear (from $8 to $56 by March) but fell back to 2011 levels by July and has floundered there ever since.

Swing and a Miss

Totally blew these calls but it proves I am only human.

  • OpenText market cap has not passed RIM but it has came close earlier this year
  • Cloud Data Loss Litigation – didn’t see the high profile case I expected but it is coming. And when it does the backlash will slow (but not stop) the march to the cloud. Interesting in this space though was the eminent domain land grab attempt by Instagram. Terms of Service do have business implications beyond indemnification from data loss that far too many people ignore.
  • I admit my prediction of App market collapse was a bit grandiose but search for a decent app in a category is stil horrific and showed no signs of improvement in 2012.

 Highlights from 2012

This year did see a number of significant events from the home office (EMC) including the largest Documentum related product release in history led by xCP2.0. This is a tremendous step forward in application development for content driven process applications. D2 4.0 release in May has that client coming into its own and setting a higher standard in document management configurability. In terms of changing the way IIG approaches the overall market, the acquisition of Syncplicity is the most transformational. This additions pushes IIG headlong into the pure subscription cloud services market.

Cloud ECM continues to gain legitimacy due in no small part to the extensive amount of VC funded marketing from Box. As mentioned Dropbox incrementally improved their Team offering but seem to be having difficulty gaining mindshare. SkyDrive , GoogleDrive et.al. are siphoning off some amount of commoditized storage but Box remains the consistent marketing voice from a feature perspective. The mainline ECM players all have similar approaches to this either with cloud hybrids, managed services of traditional stacks (e.g. EMC OnDemand) or strategic acquisitions in tangential areas to be integrated with core offerings.(e.g. sync and share) MUCH MUCH more to come from the mainline players in 2013.

Lastly, this year’s most interesting Content Management story wasn’t about technology at all. It was about accounting. The HP/Autonomy deal has all the makings of a soap opera. Huge egos, bad decisions and billions of dollars. This story could just fade away with the tax filings but I think that we have many more attempts to salvage reputations to suffer through before the final write off is done.

The world didn’t end. ECM is not dead but will be alive and growing in 2013 so in my next post I’ll offer my annual predictions for the products and players that shape what comes next.

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Categorised in: Acquisitions, Content Management, Documentum, Dropbox, EMC, Enterprise Content Management, Open Text

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