Industry Insights

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management Systems

Jade Carter

By Jade Carter

August 22, 2013

Before I dig a little into this years report, let me just say that in my book, anything with the term 'Magic' in its title does little to establish credibility. 

This month we saw the return of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for WCM; the little squares resembling the game 'FourSquare' found on all elementary school playgrounds.

This year the little dots have wiggled around a little more and the graph seems to be much more decipherable that in previous years. 

Gartner Magic Quadrant

Quick Glance at the Leader Board

After getting kicked out of the ECM Quadrant in 2010 (coinciding with their purchase of Day Software), Adobe has established itself as the clear King of the Court. All the other kids in the playground are left wondering if they will ever set foot in that elusive '#1 Square'. That being said, stiff competition from SDL, Sitecore, Oracle, HP and Opentext see them training hard on their ball movement and court positioning. Ektron and IBM also look to be possibly returning to the elite list of contenders.

Heady Team

In order to be selected to the analyst team it appears that you must first achieve a remarkably high level of academic fulfillment. For instance Gartner analyst Mick MacComascaigh has acquired masters degrees in Philosophy, Experimental Physics and Nuclear Fusion! I am starting to rethink my initial bias regarding the report. Jim Murphy, Mark Gilbert and Gavin Tay also display a rich background in study and experience so it's really no surprise that many hold the report in very high regard.

All kidding aside, it's intriguing how much attention those little dots in squares receive in the industry. Who doesn't love seeing their name on something? Especially something MAGIC... Depending on who you speak to it's either taken as the Messiah's own words or a 'Magical' journey into wonderland. :)

Who's Moving; Vendors Added or Dropped

After glancing quickly at the new blue dots, I skip down to the added/dropped list to see who has been able to hit the $13million cover charge (up from $10million in previous reports). Hitting the mark this year was Automattic which as the report states, 'now satisfies all inclusion criteria', stated in a gratuitous robot voce (read: Dalek's from Dr. Who).

In the dropped list we saw Atex, Dynamicweb and Limelight Networks all given the boot, and all for the reason of 'did not provide supporting evidence that it met the revenue threshold'. It should be said that the report does a nice job at listing many high quality CMS vendors who haven't been able to meet the $13million in sales criteria, and who would provide a very high value to any client looking for quality content management. Namely; Kentico, Drupal (solution integrators), Agility, DNN, Telerik, Elcom and Salesforce among others. Look for some of these players to make the cut next year as their value increases. Also it seems a little

All Things Considered

Really though, all things considered with the terrible name and all, there is some invaluable information here taken from a client, business perspective that these vendors should pay very close attention to. The clients pay their wages so 'anything' communicated on their behalf needs to be taken to the bank! For instance, Ektron was sitting in the Promised Land in 2012 and currently finds itself bobbing around outside the line as an 'Visionary'. The feedback from the report establishes that organizational distractions and some lingering customer service issues have relegated them this year.

HP is another casualty from the Leaders quadrant having arrived there solely based on their assimilation of Autonomy, but failed to maintain the momentum that they carried by way of their own absorption of Interwoven. Again, customer feedback is gold in any market and in this case, Gartner makes reference to their lack of development directed to the WCM product and perceived inaction with respect to defecting clients and reassurance to the customer base. For this they received quite a spanking. As the foundation of WCM it would be wise for HP to redirect resources here to fulfill these needs.

There are sure to be a few marketing and sales directors that will feel a little squirmy listening to the report refer to their weakened position having been the result of 'weaknesses in their overall marketing strategy and sales execution'. Quite a few vendors will find this in their critique (cautions). Be aware though, that this feedback is subjective to the analysts interpretation of any collected information.

Country Club for WCM

If you've made it this far you can tell that I'm not necessarily a huge fan of the report and elected to apply some 'tongue in cheek' metaphor which I hope was enough to elicit a smirk or a grin.

Calling this the end all meter for WCM is a tad pretentious. To say that a company such as Kentico or Elcom (I know there are more of you out there) isn't a viable product for SMB is out of touch with reality. Vendors with a strong WCM product, a strategically focused North American partner and sales model who refuse to gouge their client base with over the top licensing fees, are penalized in this report. Understood, that with the volume of WCM products out there, they need to draw the line somewhere. For me this is given far too much weight and attention from the industry which should be looking exclusively at partner, integrator and client feedback for viability and less from global domination and bottom line.

Thanks for reading and be sure to let us know what your opinion is? Are you on the list? Did you make the 'Sidebar Vendor List'? Disqus it below:

Jade Carter

Jade Carter

Jade is a content writer for CMS-Connected, facilitating the needs of the company blog. Bringing 10 years of Search and Digital Marketing to the table, he strives to build informative, relevant and fun editorial posts for the blog feed. Jade is an ultra distance (26.2 miles+) trail runner and lives to run trails in and around his home town of Victoria, BC.

Featured Case Studies