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Selecting Content Services Technology

by Michael Woodbridge  |  November 14, 2018  |  Submit a Comment

On the 25th October 2018 Gartner released the Magic Quadrant and Critical Capabilities reports for the content services platform market (CSP). Alongside the corresponding content collaboration platform (CCP) reports, published in July 2018, this completes the 2018 evaluation of employee centric content services technology markets. In this post, I thought it would be useful to supply some additional guidance on how to use this analysis most effectively. Ill be addressing two key points:

  • What types of technology should I be evaluating to address my organization’s content related requirements?
  • How can Gartner research help me in this evaluation?

To address the first point, organizations should consider the primary aim of their content services initiatives. Most organizations are looking to undergo some form of digital transformation, and content services play a fundamental role in this effort. There are typically two broad areas that organizations need to address, and content services technologies provide a key supporting role to both:

  1. The digital workplace: improving the technology landscape that employees engage with on a regular basis. The DW goal is to increase employee engagement, and support new ways of working through greater levels of agility and flexibility. In Gartner speak, to increase “digital dexterity”.
  2.  The digital business: Fundamentally changing business operations by defining new operational models and processes.

From an employee-centric perspective (other platforms such as DXP or WCM address customer-centric use cases), CCP technologies are generally a better fit for digital workplace requirements and CSP a better fit for digital business requirements. This serves as a useful initial guide when evaluating content service technologies; however these are not hard lines. Requirements may span this demarcation and there are technologies that are available in the intersection (Microsoft and Box for example appear in both market assessments).

During the compilation of this research we have found significant overlaps in functionality between products in the CCP and CSP markets. The features themselves are often not the differentiator. Instead, how such features are surfaced for specific business use cases, and how they directly affect adoption, are what distinguish the different product categories and usage.  This simple assessment should be used as a starting point but keep an open mind and be willing to be flexible and challenging in the technologies you assess.

The Gartner documents I referred to above can help with that assessment and this addresses my other point about how to use this research.  In summary, the Magic Quadrant supplies a focus on the vendor, assessing their ability to execute in this market and the completeness of their vision. Many strategic factors are assessed in the MQ scoring including revenue, market share, growth, market understanding, partner eco system, customer evaluations, product completeness, go to market, sales strategies and more. The Critical Capabilities report looks at product functionality Note that some vendors have more than one product that meet the CSP functional criteria (i.e. OpenText and Hyland)

The Magic Quadrant is useful for assessing a vendor’s viability and suitability for specific strategic alignment (e.g. cloud, open source, geography etc.) and on how well the vendor aligns with the organizations vision of the future. A common mistake when using the Magic Quadrant is to only focus the evaluation on vendors in the leaders quadrant. It is important to remember that the Magic Quadrant represents the pinnacle of vendors in the market and depending on requirements, a niche, visionary or challenger vendor may be a better fit for the organization’s aspirations. All vendors represented on the MQ are qualified and viable businesses.

The Critical Capabilities report supplies a different level of evaluation. In these reports we have named the most common use cases in the market and evaluated how the product’s functional capabilities meet or stand out for those use cases. This product centric view supplies a valuable companion to the MQ. Also, don’t overlook the fact that the Critical Capabilities online is also an interactive application that allows for weighting adjustment to create custom use case evaluations.

To recap, make sure to focus on the use cases and select products from markets that are most clearly aligned to your needs and use all available Gartner research to select corresponding technologies. Our research in the form of Magic Quadrants and Critical Capabilities across the CCP and CSP markets supplies excellent starting points to make initial shortlists. Interrogate these reports closely to find products that are a good match. Make liberal use of the online, interactive report tools on for further assistance. Good luck on your content services journey!

The reports:

Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms

Critical Capabilities for Content Services Platforms

Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms

Critical Capabilities for Content Collaboration Platforms

Additional Resources

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Category: content-collaboration-platforms  content-services  content-services-platforms  ecm  enterprise-content-management  

Tags: ccp  content-services  content-services-platforms  csp  

Michael Woodbridge
Research Director
.5 years at Gartner
20 years IT Industry

Mike Woodbridge is a Research Director within the Digital Workplace, Content and Insights group. Mr. Woodbridge has extensive knowledge of enterprise content management (ECM), enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) and collaboration technologies. He draws upon 20+ years in information technology mainly focusing on ECM technology and has worked in senior roles for two Tier 1 consultancies, advising on ECM strategy and designing, building and such operating solutions. He has a deep understanding of the practical challenges involved in the implementation of complex programs and applies this in his advice to clients, offering pragmatic guidance to complex tactical and strategic problems. Read Full Bio

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