META Group, Inc. announced the availability of its newest METAspectrum analysis, covering the enterprise portal framework market. Portal frameworks provide a pre-integrated set of services that are used to build portal interfaces. Identity management, personalization, page assembly, style sheets, search, taxonomy, content management, usage tracking, application integration, single sign-on and collaboration all play important roles in portal frameworks, which may either provide or help integrate these technologies. As portals become more ingrained in customer and employee business processes, the percentage of organizations that treat portals as core (non-discretionary) systems is expected to increase from less than 10 percent currently to 15 percent by 2004, ultimately reaching 35 percent by 2007.

"The portal market has garnered a great deal of attention, yet is only 40% penetrated at this point," said Craig Roth, vice president with META Group's Technology Research Services, and lead author of the report. "By year-end 2004, 85 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have selected an enterprise portal framework. As a result, we expect over 150 percent revenue growth for the portal market in 2004."

The field of leading players contracted by 26 percent since last year – from 19 to 14 players – due to vendors either being acquired or retreating to defensible positions outside the standalone portal market. Over the next year, another 20 percent of the players will exit the portal market. This market maturity has proven a boon for purchasers of enterprise portals, since highly viable vendors now offer products that are technologically competitive with smaller standalone vendors.

The Enterprise Portal Frameworks METAspectrum evaluates 14 vendors in this market, and is based on products as they stood in June 2003. Portal vendors are now expected to offer advanced collaboration capabilities, a non- programmatic portlet development environment, customer-facing as well as employee portal capabilities, and a long-term vision that ensures continuing commitment to the portal market, followed by an impressive list of references. The analysis found:

  • All three portal segments are represented in the leader category – IBM representing platform players, SAP representing enterprise application vendors and Plumtree representing standalone vendors. This shows all three approaches can yield a superior product.
  • Leaders have proven their capabilities with very good technology in every area, a distinct vision of the marketplace and fair pricing.
  • The exit of five vendors has thinned the challenger field. Vignette made the greatest improvements and is now poised to become a leader. CA also made great strides with impressive technology, low pricing and good financials.
  • Sybase slipped into the follower territory as expectations for technology and market presence have increased.

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