EMC Plugs Web Content Management (WCM) Holes with Fatwire, Pokes More in Single Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Suite Theory

On February 16th, EMC announced it was acquiring a minority stake in Fatwire, a pure-play web content management (WCM) vendor.

One could legitimately argue that this partnership brings additional value to EMC’s content and archiving  portfolio. At the same time, this announcement also makes it difficult for anyone to make a legitimate argument that any vendor has been providing a single, integrated enterprise content management (ECM) platform that can deliver high-end capabilities across all the major ECM component applications (i.e. document imaging, collaborative document management, workflow/business process management (BPM), records management, digital asset management (DAM) and WCM).

By investing in Fatwire, EMC has finally admitted it doesn’t have a “complete” ECM suite story. There’s nothing wrong with that. No vendor does.

Why does this matter? It matters because a vendor’s ability to include all these component applications in an ECM suite has historically been a major factor in determining leadership status in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for ECM as well the Forrester ECM Suites WAVE. For example, filling the ECM component checkboxes to get into the Leader quadrant was a driving force behind Stellent’s acquisition of Optika (now Oracle UCM and IPM), and Vignette’s (now Open Text) purchase of Tower Technology.

ECM software portfolios and natively integrated ECM software suites are two very different concepts. The analyst community should use EMC’s announcement as an opportunity to leave no doubt as to which concept they are evaluating in their next vendor rankings.

Ken Burns

Ken Burns manages the Analyst and Influencer Relations program globally for Hyland, creator of OnBase. He is responsible for keep leading industry analyst firms informed about Hyland’s company and product strategies. He has worked in the ECM industry for nearly 15 years and is a keen observer of the customer and competitive forces shaping the software segment.

2 Responses

  1. Paul R says:

    Ken, All the ECM vendors have holes, especially the open source ones. But, with 13 years experience on many vendor products, EMC has had the best, if not complete solution. The addition of FatWire just make the suite better. Sounds like you are not an EMC fan, so, what vendor do you support that is incomplete as well?

  2. Ken Burns says:

    Thanks for the reply Paul. That’s a great question and worthy of an extended reply. Look for a new blog post that provides a more expansive view of the points you’ve raised.

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