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The document management and ECM market in 2011 was a fascinating one to watch with much change and tribulation. Buyers were as confused as ever — understandably — as the industry again tried to reposition itself around anything that seemed new and trendy.
On the one hand, this market sector suffers because it has been around a long time (20+ years); in the IT industry, this renders it from the Jurassic Period. Hence the constant urge to try and reinvent and remain relevant. Conversely, buyers remained focused on the key essentials of managing the growing mountains of information their organizations produce and receive. Despite years of effort, managing information effectively remains as challenging as it has ever been.
In 2011, Autonomy was acquired for almost $11B by hardware giant HP, and this affected the document management and ECM markets as it put the topic of information management back on the agenda and into the public eye (temporarily at least). However, much bigger changes than ownership alone were afoot in 2011; EMC Documentum continued a major overhaul of its core product set with the plan to move everything to the cloud. SharePoint had a shot sent across its lucrative bows from VC-backed upstarts trying to out-simplify SharePoint in its claims to simplify ECM. 2012 appears to be another important year for this sector.