Document Management and Cloud Files Converging?

In one of our predictions last year, we'd mentioned:

"...Document Management vendors will try to build (or acquire) file-sharing services, and file-sharing vendors will continue to build more sophisticated content services..."

Indeed, these segments are increasingly overlapping, as Cloud-based File Sharing (CFS) vendors build better Document Management (DM) capabilities (such as library services) and DM vendors build (or acquire) cloud-based file-sharing, sync, and lightweight collaboration services.

DM vendors actively trying to address this space include Alfresco (via Alfresco Cloud), EMC (they acquired Syncplicity), Microsoft (SkyDrive/Office 365), Nuxeo (Nuxeo Connect) and OpenText (via their Tempo Box offering). Meanwhile, collaboration/social vendors like Jive, Microsoft, and Salesforce have also entered the enterprise file sharing market. Other large platform vendors are not far behind; for example, Citrix acquired ShareFile. Oracle is working on its own offering to be released in near future, and IBM and HP are nibbling around the edges of this marketplace too.

One of the consequences of all this activity is that the two marketplaces -- Cloud File Sharing and Document Management -- are seeing some convergence. Customers invested in DM tools frequently consider deploying their incumbent technology for Cloud File Sharing and Sync scenarios. Similarly, many customers want to extend their usage of CFS platforms for basic Document Management services.

Stand-alone CFS tools make sense for many scenarios. However, for more complex and "enterprisey" use cases, customers will increasingly expect their existing enterprise vendors (DM or Collaboration) to also provide capabilities for advanced file sharing, including cloud and hybrid cloud-based services. Accordingly, we will be merging some of the vendors from our existing CFS report into the next release of our ECM/DM report. Watch this space for more details.

Other ECM & Cloud File Sharing posts

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.