Big vendors dominate the ECM and Document Management Market

This past week I have been working to update our ECM and Document Management market analysis.  The full analysis will be released to our subscribers in the near future, and I will be talking on the topic at AIIM Expo/Info 360 in Philadelphia on the 20th April.

I find market analysis fascinating and always enjoy looking at past years' analysis to see what we got right and wrong.  One thing though never seems to change: the dominance of a handful of vendors in most markets we cover.

When you extract away marketing presence and get down to hard, license-based numbers in the ECM/DM marketplace, the split between the household names and the rest of the pack becomes quite dramatic.

ECM and Document Management Market Makers

The image above is for illustrative purposes only; it includes our estimates of revenues deriving solely from ECM/DM licenses. My intent is to illustrate how the big names in this sector, those comfortable with the term ECM, are differentiated in terms of sheer scale. 

Of course, and a small company making <$30 million a year may in fact be more stable and profitable than a firm making >$300 million a year.  And just because you make hundreds of millions a year, does not mean your product, support, or services are very good. It usually just means that you have thousands of people in your global sales and marketing operation.  

As you can see, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Open Text, EMC, and Autonomy are divided from the bulk of the market by an order of magnitude or more in terms of license revenue. Even though this market has a very long tail with literally hundreds of small vendors, the top half dozen players account for approximately 80% of the revenues, and 100% of the very large deals.

Our customers say...

"The analysis of the current technology vendors and products is very comprehensive and it provides an excellent guide for potential purchasers to frame their functional, architectural and usability benchmarks."

Len Asprey, Director, Practical Information Management Solutions, and, Author, <i>Integrative Document and Content Management</i>

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ECM Standards in Perspective

In real life I don't see ECM standards proving particularly meaningful, and you should see them as a relative benefit rather than absolute must-have.