Hyland Acquires Alfresco ECM, Content Services


Updated on October 23, 2020

Hyland Software, a content management and enterprise services company with deep roots in regulated industries, has completed the acquisition of Alfresco, a competing content management vendor that started out as open source.

Cleveland-based Hyland has been on a flurry of acquisitions: It bought German robotic process automation provider Another Monday last month, as well as Streamline Health’s enterprise content management (ECM) business. and blockchain-based digital credential provider Learning Machine last February.

Alfresco ECM technology has advanced rapidly over the past two years, adding artificial intelligence tools, SAP integration tools, and compliance tools to help customers align with emerging technologies. consumer data protection laws.

The acquisition could be seen partly as a market consolidation move and partly as a tech play to modernize Hyland’s cloud offerings in ways it cannot on its own, said Cheryl McKinnon, an analyst at Forrester Research, with a focus on the modernization part. Reviewing Hyland’s acquisitions, she said she sees a concerted effort by the company to respond to customer cloud needs faster than in recent years.

“I’ve been a bit impressed with Hyland over the last year, the way he’s redesigned his acquisitions,” McKinnon said. “I see [the Alfresco acquisition] as the next bold step in the accumulation of this innovation. You traditionally think of Hyland as this good, solid Midwestern workhorse in the ECM market, but he’s really shown an interesting ability to move into adjacent spaces over the last year.”

Alfresco’s cloud strengths are complementary

Many Hyland customers, especially those in regulated industries such as banking and healthcare, still store their content on-premises or in Hyland’s private cloud. But most of them aspire or have planned to migrate to public clouds such as AWS and Microsoft Azure. Alfresco ECM customers can make this leap faster.

Alfresco’s open-source ECM technology has already contributed significantly to this transition to the cloud with an open architecture. It also offers an optimized instance for AWS Virtual Private Cloud with connectors to AWS services such as AI and analytics.

We know that many tech budgets have been cut or frozen, but the ones that are moving full steam ahead are usually the ones that keep remote workers moving.

Cheryl McKinnonAnalyst, Forrester Research

McKinnon added that COVID-19 likely accelerated secure cloud content migrations for many large Hyland customers who had clung to on-premises content workflows until social distancing gave way to remote working. .. While these migrations may have been ongoing for the long term, the pandemic has shortened this cycle. Hyland’s acquisition of Alfresco will allow Hyland to better meet these needs.

“We know that many technology budgets have been cut or frozen, but the ones that are moving full steam ahead are usually the ones that are helping remote workers keep moving,” McKinnon said. “Communication, collaboration and content…these are always sound investments, even in times of budget cuts or freezes.”

Hyland completed the acquisition of Alfresco on October 22. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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Jenny T. Curlee