2011 Industry Predictions (Part 2)

By Dan Elam posted 01-13-2011 10:50



Last week we talked about some industry predictions for 2011.  This week to expand on that with a few more points.

SharePoint gets Stronger.  Much has been written about the pros and cons of SharePoint.  Without question it is now the single most dominant technology issue in the market today.  SharePoint does have a litany of issues that must be addressed for larger deployments, but the third party ecosystem continues to develop some impressive tools that greatly extend what SharePoint is capable of doing.  As SharePoint continues to be widely deployed, look for these tools to get even stronger and result further extend the capabilities.  More good news?  The cost of SharePoint professionals began to decline in 2010 as more people were trained and experienced with earlier projects.  Look for hourly rates for SharePoint contractors to continue their modest declines in 2011, making SharePoint deployments even more attractive.

Vendors Finally Quit being Nice to Microsoft.  Many species of spiders have the male sacrificing themselves to the females in order to ensure that their genes live on.  For the last several years, many ECRM vendors have acted in a similar fashion by doing almost anything to tout their integration to SharePoint or relationship with Microsoft.  All while Microsoft not-so-quietly gained market share and largely ignored the desperate little software vendors.  Now some vendors are realizing that a happy co-existence with Microsoft is less appealing and are customizing their products and marketing to emphasize their own technology at the expense of Microsoft, especially SharePoint.  Look for more vendors to go their own path of co-existence and competition with Microsoft as they realize their own survival is at risk.

A mid-tier Vendor Gets Acquired.   ECRM vendors in the mid-tier of the market, such as Laserfiche, Hyland, etc., are likely to be attractive takeover-targets for fast growing companies with niche components.  High flying eDiscovery vendors such as Clearwell or Recommind would benefit from ECRM capabilities and the ability to cross-sell to existing customers.  Firms like Adobe and Symantec who have point solutions might also decide it is finally time to buy some of the existing companies and follow a similar strategy.

Pricing Models Get More Flexible.  In the past vendors have often had a “my-way-or-highway” approach to their pricing models.  Such simple approaches are increasingly being beat by smart vendors who know the key is to get every dollar possible and adjust the model to fit the customer.  Look for vendors to begin offering near-custom pricing models that switch from named and concurrent users to customer-specific models based on number of objects, retrieval volumes, ingestion rates, and more.  More than ever, 2011 will be a year for customers to optimize their pricing, but don’t necessarily expect to spend a whole lot less.

Federated Records Management.  Last year I remarked that “Enterprise Content Management is dead” and made the point that organizations were just realizing that a single enterprise-class ECM implementation is just too big and takes too long to implement.  The reality is that departmental solutions and multiple platforms will inevitably still store content, even if a new platform is selected as the enterprise standard.  The problem is that records management becomes inconsistent because the same tools cannot be used exactly the same.  More organizations and vendors are using federated approaches to centralize the records management administration against a variety of federated repositories.  Look for this to expand as consultants and vendors gain experience.

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