So I wrote the piece below over the weekend of the 10th September with the intention to publish it on the 12th September. However during the day of the 12th the announcement came through that OpenText had acquired EMC's ECD division. Whilst this just adds to the disruption in the market it does put a couple of the points below in to a different context. But here goes anyway!!

Its fair to say that the Enterprise Content Management market is going through a period of real change, you just have to look at some of the developments in the past few months to see that the vendors are either pushing change through themselves or being subject to change:

The Dell acquisition of EMC and where this leaves Documentum

Further evolution of the Box platform

OpenText announce Project Bandaroo and Magellan

Microsoft announced their data centres in the UK which will provide Office 365 hosted in the UK

EMC progressing their LEAP platform

There are a number of trends within these changes worth highlighting:

Cloud – yes everyone has been talking about Cloud for a while but it is now starting to take hold of the ECM market. Box and SharePoint have been leading the charge but Cloud is also at the heart of things like EMC Leap.

Analytics – OpenText announced Magellan and clearly see the long term value in providing a platform which not only captures, manages and processes content but will also tap into the value I can give organisations. More and more people will move their analytical focus on to their huge swathes of unstructured information

Simplification – Its fair to say that traditional ECM implementations have been long, complex and prone to failure. A lot of time was spent on understanding the technical aspects of the solution and getting the products to fit with the business demand. This is changing, with Cloud there is a reduction in the thinking required around technical complexity, and with the rise in solutions such as Box there is less to consider around getting the product fit and more about how the business and product work together.

I’m not saying there is a removal of complexity but there is a reduction for more and more use cases; there will still be a need for integrations to be built and information architecture remains a key aspect of an ECM implementation.

User Experience – In the past the document has been the heart of an ECM implementation, more and more we are seeing the user as the heart….how do users want to do their work and where does the access to content sit? Be that to gain insight from the content or even to create as part of their work.

This subtle change is not really that subtle and places a different perspective on things. ECM is going to become more and more of a commodity solution for businesses and they can free up their energy to working on how they use this service to gain value.

I’m going to dig into some of the changes in more detail and look at the opportunities they present for our customers but this is an exciting time to be working in ECM and an interesting time for organisations who are looking to improve how they manage their information.

(About the author: Lee Smith is the head of enterprise content management at Capgemini. This post originally appeared on his Capgemini blog, which can be viewed here)

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