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A Look Back at ECM Trends 2014

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The opinions shared here represent those of the contributor themselves and not those of their employers nor that of Big Men On Content as a whole.

My favorite post of the year to write is the ECM trends but before that a look back on last year’s post. In addition to a rambling diatribe on Big Content, I made a few very short observations on trends in 2014.

  • Everyone is moving to cloud and this no longer trend worthy news

Yes there is a cloud. Yes everyone wants to move there. Most people still have no idea how but that doesn’t make the trend itself worth debating. It is happening whether you like it or not and 2014 didn’t do anything to change the trajectory. More of the same this year.

  • There will be a few acquisitions, especially among the mid-tier players to round out capture, workflow and mobile capabilities.

Most notable example of this to me was Perceptive(Lexmark) acquiring ReadSoft and the minor  bidding war with OpenText. With the backing of its parent Lexmark Perceptive continues to evolve as a more interesting ECM competitor and one to watch. Speaking of OpenText and coming just a week into 2015 is the Canadian firm’s acquisition of Informative Graphics  which also proves the point. This is a bigger story than most people realize since it is the best example of what I see as defensive acquisition to protect enterprise relevance but I digress.

  • IPO’s of a few key players will be frequently discussed but deferred until 2015.

The big story here was the delayed Box IPO after it became apparent their financials were not that great and the overall IPO appetite was suppressed by global conditions. Others that would like to IPO like Alfresco also held out. The longer these go, the more acquisition becomes the likely exit. I have been saying this for months (mostly though in lunchtime debates) but it is interesting to see Dan Lyons agrees in his snark laden 2015 tech predictions.  IPO’s in general are heating up and there will be a few. I will be the contrarian and predict the Box will not be among them. (BTW – calling Dan’s post snarky is intended as a complement)

  • DropBox will relaunch it’s business offering AGAIN. Look for them to make acquisitions of overlapping tools to gain this foothold.

Dropbox made a number of technology acquisitions (7 in all), several of which directly affect their corporate relevance. Their business offering is gaining traction on its own though they clearly think that the new relationship with Microsoft will be what makes them a respectable member of the IT family. While I expected a relaunch of sorts for their business offering time will tell whether or not they are relegated to feature status by Redmond.

UPDATE 1: Box IPO is indeed scheduled for 1/23/2015. OK I was wrong. Proves I don’t have inside information. Still think they get acquired to survive long term. 

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