Enterprise Content Management: The Suite Perspective

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1 Enterprise Content Management: The Suite Perspective Publication Date: 04 Dec 2015 Product code: IT Sue Clarke

2 Summary Catalyst The Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting an Enterprise Content Management Solution, focused on a solutions-based approach to enterprise content management (ECM) portfolios, to reflect the fact that the large ECM vendors are now becoming much more solutions-based, which favors the buying preferences of many customers. However, recognizing that many enterprises want to see an ECM suite perspective, Ovum has produced this follow-on report from the Ovum Decision Matrix on ECM, to take a view of the technology capabilities across the entire suite offered by the leading vendors in the marketplace. Ovum view The major ECM vendors have spent much of the twenty-first century building large portfolios of products to offer end-to-end information management platforms. Because the suites largely comprised acquired products, they were often only loosely integrated together, resulting in complex implementations; multiple interfaces, with users having to move between applications; and a requirement for extensive training. Large ECM vendors have worked hard to make their suites easier to use with unified interfaces allowing users to seamlessly move between applications, improved security with single sign-on, and a reduced training requirement. Enterprises often do not know what functionality they require to address their pain points and it can therefore be difficult to decide what ECM capabilities they require. In addition to offering suites, the large ECM vendors have also started to break down their portfolios into solutions, which can match and may, through future additions, exceed the capabilities of specialist niche vendors. A solutions approach suits organizations that just require functionality in specific areas of ECM, rather than across the entire suite. For some organizations, a suite approach will always be the option of choice, mainly because they require most of the extended capabilities included in an ECM suite, including customer communications and e-discovery tools, and because they have complex ECM requirements. For these organizations, a suite from a single vendor, with tightly integrated products, and a single point of contact for support will be preferable. The benefits of buying into a suite vendor's solution can also be felt by those with a view beyond near-term requirements; adopting a step-by-step approach to meeting current and emerging needs may well be best served by the integrated capabilities of a suite. Therefore, consider carefully what ECM products are required when deciding whether a solutions-based or suite-based approach is best. Key messages A suite perspective remains relevant to many organizations. Consider a suite perspective for ECM to meet current and future requirements. A suite perspective shows the real strengths of standalone products. ECM adoption should be seen as a long-term strategy. Adopting a suite approach can mitigate the risk and complexity of an ECM deployment. Ovum. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Page 2

3 Future requirements need to be considered when evaluating the scalability of a suite. Ensure that an ECM suite provides seamless integration between products. Recommendations Recommendations for enterprises Consider an ECM suite if most of the technologies within the suite are required, or are on the near-term enterprise roadmap. Technologies that are not available in all ECM portfolios include dedicated capture and scanning, customer communications, and e-discovery tools. All of these can also be run as standalone products. In most cases it will be possible to provision individual products from a suite as they are required. Even if a point-solution approach is adopted, the question needs to be asked whether embedded capabilities in areas such as capture and scanning can provide the range of features required, compared to a standalone, fully featured product. The widespread adoption of Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) means that ECM products can be mixed and matched, allowing a solution from a smaller vendor to be selected to address most of the ECM requirements, with a standalone product from a larger vendor bolted on to provide more heavyweight capabilities in a specific product area, such as capture and scanning or customer communications, that was not sufficiently served by the smaller vendor's capabilities. Therefore, if using a solutions approach or a portfolio from a vendor that specializes in a specific area of ECM, consider bolting on a standalone product if additional capabilities are required. An ECM suite is a significant financial commitment. Most ECM vendors now provide cloud deployment models, so consider moving some operations to the cloud, perhaps for extended ECM capabilities such as customer communications. To date, most ECM deployments have been private cloud, but the success of enterprise file sync and share products means that public clouds are gaining traction for ECM content. If running an entire application in the cloud is too big a step, test the water by moving nonsensitive content to the public cloud, perhaps by providing ad hoc ECM users with a cloud version of the applications they require, or by introducing enterprise file sync and share as a way of sharing and collaborating on content. Recommendations for vendors One of the major criticisms of ECM systems in recent years has been that they have become too big and complex to implement. While breaking the ECM portfolios down into solutions is a strong first step to simplifying ECM, also important is the ability to integrate these solutions with solutions from other ECM vendors. However, some organizations still demand a fully featured suite approach to ECM, so ensure that simplified licensing and support is available to allow the entire ECM portfolio to be easily selected if required. Offer a unified look and feel across the entire portfolio and support features such as single sign-on (SSO) to make it easier for users to move seamlessly between applications in the suite. Ensure that standalone products within the portfolio are compatible with CMIS to enable interoperability with third-party ECM portfolios, allowing organizations to bolt these on as additional products to fill functionality gaps in the portfolios of third-party vendors. Ovum. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Page 3

4 Ovum research undertaken in 2014 shows that more than three-quarters of participants intended to implement some form of ECM in the cloud in the next three years, with more than half declaring that they would implement ECM in a public cloud. This demonstrates that organizations are looking for more cost-effective ways of implementing ECM. They are also becoming much more discerning in defining their requirements and will reject vendor products that do not address their needs, and this includes factors such as the location of data centers. Take into account data sovereignty issues and ensure that data centers are located in areas that coincide with the data sovereignty requirements of customers. A suite perspective remains relevant to many organizations Consider a suite perspective for ECM to meet current and future requirements The Enterprise Content Management Ovum Decision Matrix for examines technologies from a product perspective, scoring each feature to determine the leaders, challengers, and followers. Any feature that is included as part of the product receives the maximum score. Features that are available as part of an add-on product receive a lower score, and if a third-party add-on product is required to gain that feature, it receives the lowest score. The result of this is that in some product areas, the results appear to be skewed because the leading vendors provide heavily featured, standalone products that are treated as add-on products, which would be market leaders in that particular technology area, whereas smaller vendors include less extensive features as part of the core product. In some areas, smaller vendors score more highly than the leading vendors because of this scoring method. The rationale behind scoring in this way is that it reflects the requirement of organizations to license additional products to get the full benefit of the additional products required by using leading products from larger vendors. The above approach works for organizations that want to be able to pick and choose the ECM products and capabilities they require, but for organizations that have complex and extensive ECM requirements, a suite approach will always be advantageous because an ECM suite from a single ECM vendor best addresses the requirements. For the benefit of organizations wishing to implement ECM as a suite, the features and functions in the ECM Ovum Decision Matrix have been rescored, giving equal status to features included in the product and to add-on products from the same vendor. Although it makes little difference to the overall positioning of the vendors as leaders, challengers, or followers in the Ovum Decision Matrix, it makes a considerable difference in the technology category, as it reflects the superior capabilities of the leading vendors in areas where they have ECM capabilities that are also standalone products. Every organization will, of course, have its own specific requirements in this respect, and the Ovum Interactive Decision Matrix for ECM enables organizations to customize this weighting on a feature-by-feature basis, and to generate a bespoke comparison for their particular scenario. Ovum. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Page 4

5 A suite perspective shows the real strengths of standalone products Figure 1 below shows the positioning of the ECM Ovum Decision Matrix technology leaders when equal status is given to native and add-on capabilities. Figure 1: Ovum Decision Matrix: ECM, Market leaders, technology Source: Ovum Giving equal status to native features and add-on capabilities demonstrates the strength of standalone products within ECM portfolios. EMC, HP, IBM, OpenText, and Oracle score considerably higher in the capture and scanning category when their add-on capabilities are treated the same as native features. Similarly, the scores in the customer communications section are considerably different, with the scores for EMC, HP, and OpenText increasing considerably. In the e-discovery category, EMC, HP, IBM, and OpenText all improve their scores by a large margin, because they have dedicated, standalone e-discovery tools that adhere to the electronic discovery reference model (EDRM). Capture and scanning, customer communications, and e-discovery are all technologies that have been added to ECM portfolios. Although some vendors have added capabilities in these areas that are available through embedded features, heavyweight demands will always necessitate the addition of an application that is capable of being used as a standalone product. These technology areas also boast a large number of specialist, single-product vendors. The full list of solutions compared in the Ovum Decision Matrix for Enterprise Content Management is Alfresco One v5.0, EMC Documentum 7.2, HP ECM Suite, OnBase by Hyland v15, IBM ECM Portfolio, Microsoft SharePoint 2013, OpenText Content Suite Platform, and Oracle WebCenter Content, v We would refer readers to the original Ovum Decision Matrix report for a full assessment of each solution's capabilities. Ovum. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Page 5

6 ECM adoption should be seen as a long-term strategy Adopting a suite approach can mitigate the risk and complexity of an ECM deployment Taking a solutions-based approach to ECM makes it easier for organizations to implement the pieces of ECM that they require without having to deploy a high number of features that will never be used, if a single solution is required. However, if solutions are used from a variety of vendors, there may be problems integrating each solution, which may require a high level of services and customization work. In addition, unless one solution can be embedded into another, there will be multiple interfaces and different systems to use, requiring a high level of training. If one of the solutions is updated, custom code created to help with the integration may no longer work. Finally, there will be multiple points of contact for support, with a risk of no vendor taking responsibility for any problems that arise. One of the advantages of a well-designed suite approach is reduced integration. One of the concerns about implementing a suite is the complexity of the implementation process and determining the order in which products within the suite should be implemented. The risk of a failed implementation is greatly reduced if a few steps are followed. It is important to choose the correct implementation partner, either the vendor itself or a partner with expertise in that ECM suite who can help plan the implementation process and is able to support the organization through each phase of the implementation. ECM implementations cannot be rushed and appropriate planning must be put in place. Break the process down into manageable modular stages: address one pain point at a time, looking for quick wins that will deliver a rapid return on investment. Where possible, avoid a big-bang approach. Treat ECM adoption as a long-term strategy, learning from mistakes and less successful actions at each stage to improve and streamline the process for the next phase of the implementation. Consider future as well as present requirements with regards to the pain points that need to be addressed. Find out how easy it is to turn on additional capabilities in the suite that may not be required at present. Ensure that the vendor complies with CMIS to provide interoperability with third-party products. Although ECM suites provide a wide range of technologies and will address many of the needs of an organization, some suites are missing newer features such as information rights management to help secure content, content analytics to help assess the value of content to the organization, and dedicated e-discovery tools where more than one tool may be required to address the entire EDRM. Future requirements need to be considered when considering the scalability of a suite ECM suites are enterprise systems built for scalability and the ability to support very large numbers of users. Take advantage of reference sites with high levels of users to prove scalability and the ability to deliver capability against current and future needs. Most ECM systems will scale to support large numbers of concurrent users, but license costs can be high. The preferred deployment model of organizations is changing and cloud adoption is on the rise in ECM. Ovum. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Page 6

7 Most ECM vendors have now moved much of their ECM portfolios to the cloud. Discover from the vendor how easy it is to move some operations or users to the cloud to reduce the cost of future expansion as requirements grow. One way of reducing the cost of an ECM implementation is to run parts of it in the cloud. Capture and scanning is one area that could be tested in a cloud environment. The leading vendors offer cloud versions of their capture software. Archiving is an area that has a high take-up of cloud deployments and this is well established in the service provider market. If there is a reluctance to use a cloud solution for key knowledge workers, try using ECM in the cloud for ad hoc and occasional users. Vendors moving to a solutions focus will make it easier to deploy cloud services for individual solution areas of ECM, rather than for the entire portfolio. Ensure that an ECM suite provides seamless integration between products ECM suites have largely evolved through acquisition rather than organic growth, resulting in a number of individual products that were sometimes only loosely integrated, creating complex systems that brought integration challenges. However, the vendors have invested a great deal of resource into making these individual products work together more efficiently, which now means that suites, while still complex (as holistic ECM is itself), can be simpler to implement than a number of point solutions from different vendors. A suite is often a better option for enterprises than solutions, for the following reasons: Suite vendors have created unified interfaces and single sign-on to make integration between products more seamless so users are unaware that they are moving between products. Training requirements are reduced with a suite because users do not need to learn how to use products from a variety of vendors. There is a single point for all support, and there are no arguments over which vendor is responsible for a particular issue or problem. Security risks are reduced as vendors move to a single interface that supports single sign-on because users only need to remember a single password and are less likely to need to write it down. Appendix Methodology Vendor events and analyst briefings. Vendor meetings and technology assessments. Interviews with end users. Discussions with service providers. Further reading Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting an Enterprise Content Management Solution, , IT (September 2015) Ovum. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Page 7

8 Ovum Interactive Decision Matrix: Enterprise Content Management, , IT (slated for publication in December 2015) Author Sue Clarke, Senior Analyst, Information Management Ovum Consulting We hope that this analysis will help you make informed and imaginative business decisions. If you have further requirements, Ovum s consulting team may be able to help you. For more information about Ovum s consulting capabilities, please contact us directly at Copyright notice and disclaimer The contents of this product are protected by international copyright laws, database rights and other intellectual property rights. The owner of these rights is Informa Telecoms and Media Limited, our affiliates or other third party licensors. All product and company names and logos contained within or appearing on this product are the trademarks, service marks or trading names of their respective owners, including Informa Telecoms and Media Limited. This product may not be copied, reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of Informa Telecoms and Media Limited. Whilst reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the information and content of this product was correct as at the date of first publication, neither Informa Telecoms and Media Limited nor any person engaged or employed by Informa Telecoms and Media Limited accepts any liability for any errors, omissions or other inaccuracies. Readers should independently verify any facts and figures as no liability can be accepted in this regard readers assume full responsibility and risk accordingly for their use of such information and content. Any views and/or opinions expressed in this product by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Informa Telecoms and Media Limited. Ovum. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Page 8

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