Gartner Magic Quadrant 2021 for Content Services Platforms

Solutions Review editors highlight changes since the last release of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms and provide analysis for the new report.

Analyst house Gartner, Inc. released its 2021 Magic Quadrant for Content Service Platforms. The researcher defines content service platforms (CSPs) as “the fundamental component of an organization for the management and use of content”. CSPs also provide a way for employees to retrieve and work with content seamlessly across devices and organizational boundaries, making them a critical part of digital workplace strategies. Core capabilities of CSPs include content repository; document and content management library services; reports; mobility; Open APIs; business administration; metadata and content collaboration, among others.

The content services market is extremely mature, with several providers having products in this area for over 30 years. As a result, many core features have become core features with minimal differentiation. New vendors have taken a different approach in some of these areas, making critical capabilities a mix of optional and core capabilities. Gartner’s critical capabilities for CSPs include records management; process automation and application development; security and privacy information; content intelligence; productivity intelligence; new work hub connectors; business role hub connectors; federation; content collaboration and PaaS / SaaS deployment.

PaaS and SaaS deployment has seen the strongest growth in recent years. Businesses are looking for modern cloud-based solutions in a market populated primarily by traditionalist technologies. This is changing rapidly, as many users are now focusing on cloud deployments to modern existing implementations. Vendors offering native SaaS solutions are growing rapidly, while long-standing vendors who were previously slow to deliver SaaS / PaaS solution are now doing more development in this area.

Users looking to implement new content services should note that CSPs are rarely deployed as stand-alone solutions. Typically, some existing technologies are also in place. Migration and re-platforming can be an expensive process, and the ecosystem of business applications that the CSP must integrate into can be a significant differentiator. The degree of integration of an application will have a significant impact on adoption.

In this Magic Quadrant, Gartner assessed the strengths and weaknesses of 18 vendors it considers the most important in the market and provides readers with a graph (the Magic Quadrant) representing vendors based on their Execution capacity and their Entire vision. The graph is divided into four quadrants, niche players, challengers, visionaries, and leaders. At Solutions Review, we read the report, available here, and pulled out the main takeaways.

Gartner is adjusting its evaluation and inclusion criteria for the Magic Quadrants as software markets evolve. As a result, Fabasoft, d.veleop, and Intalio were added to this year’s report, while Axway was dropped. Gartner also occasionally lists Honorable Mentions that do not meet the criteria for inclusion but may be of interest to their customers. This year’s honorable mentions are AISHU, Macrowing Software Technology, KnowledgeLake and Siav. Representative vendors for this year’s Magic Quadrant are AODocs, Box, DocuWare, d.velop, Fabasoft, Hyland, IBM, iManage, Intalio, Kyocera Document Solutions, Laserfiche, M-Files, Microsoft, NetDocuments, Newgen, Objective, OpenText and SER Group.

With no challengers named in this year’s report, the 18 vendors are split into the Leader, Niche Player, and Visionary categories. The leader quadrant is the sparsest this year, housing just four sellers. Microsoft is by far the number one vendor in this section of the chart, winning in terms of execution and comprehensive insight. The vendor’s success could be attributed to the continued development and update cycle of Microsoft 365. Also a leader this year, Hyland offers three CSPs, two of which have proven capable of scaling to support billions of documents.

Box is also a leader in this year’s Magic Quadrant. The provider recently announced an expanded relationship with Microsoft and Google Cloud, as well as closer integration with Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. Box also acquired SignRequest this year. To complement the leaders of 2021, OpenText, which has a true global presence and a solid ecosystem of more than 600 international partners to implement and support multinational clients.

The niche player quadrant is the most densely populated this year, with eight vendors. NetDocuments, iManage and IBM are in close competition. NetDocuments prides itself on the strength of email collaboration, which has been extended to enable IT to centrally adopt and distribute ndMail capabilities. iManage differentiates itself by its flexible and powerful mechanism for defining label-based security. In addition, IBM customers can use a full IBM technology stack, including infrastructure, database and content services platforms.

The other niche players are Objective, Fabasoft, AODocs, DocuWare and Kyocera Document Solutions. Objectif’s status as a niche player could be due to its focus on markets where information governance and document management are a priority. As a new vendor, Fabasoft is emphasizing the deployment of low-code, model-based business process content and services, which could have given it the status of a niche player. AODocs’ placement may be due to the fact that its operations are primarily based in Europe and North America. DocuWare boasts a long-standing SaaS platform that features full feature parity with its on-premises solution, so users can deploy either without sacrificing capacity. Finally, Kyocera has a strong presence in the DACH region, primarily with yuuvis, which offers a relatively comprehensive set of CSP capabilities.

The final quadrant, The Visionaries, is home to the last six salespeople. Laserfiche is placed closest to the X axis. The vendor recently continued to deploy its hybrid architecture and SaaS services, while expanding its Microsoft 365, Teams and Outlook integrations. M-Files, located near Laserfiche, focuses its CSP on automating business administration and business operations scenarios. Also visionary this year, the SER Group provides a wide range of enterprise role hub connectors using its Doxis4 SmartBridge service.

The latest visionaries in this year’s Magic Quadrant are Newgen, d.velop and Intalio. Newgen competes closely with SER Group because its advanced features allow users to interact with individuals and third party platforms. d.velop mainly focused on core functionality including collaborative authoring, external file sharing, and electronic signatures for its SaaS platform, which is powered by Elasticsearch and Amazon S3. Finally, Intalio, another new vendor, has successfully integrated AI capabilities into its CSP, offering a rich suite of cognitive services that enable content recognition and classification.

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