Industry Insights

Gartner Announces the 2016 Cool Vendors in CMS

Venus Tamturk

By Venus Tamturk

May 20, 2016

Gartner has recently published its 2016 Cool Vendors Content Management report. The three content management vendors who were recognized for their innovative approaches to search and insight capabilities in the report were: Kaleo Software, Bloomfire, and AeroFS

Each year, Gartner identifies new “Cool Vendors” in key technology areas and publishes a series of research reports recognizing pioneering vendors and their products and services. The annual report highlights emerging vendors that are breaking new ground with innovative new technologies warranting attention from prospective customers. Gartner stated: “In this report, our three Cool Vendors provide new approaches for sharing, delivering and searching for content in a timely manner.”

The report was prepared by analysts Joe Mariano, Gavin Tay, Karen A. Hobert, and Monica Basso. Assessing the current state of content management, the Gartner report mentions common scenarios that pose a risk for enterprises, associated with not having the right information at the right time. According to the Gartner report: “Vendors are starting to break down the barriers for stronger collaboration and to fulfill the ‘need it now’ mentality that consumer technology has created.”

The report predicts, “By 2020, 40% of content management solutions will provide insight engines that allow for search functions such as proactive search, personas, and natural language.”

A Closer Look at the “Cool” Fellows


Palo Alto, California-based Air Computing, Inc. develops AeroFS software which automatically syncs between users’ devices and enabling IT to maintain control over company data while end users enjoy a seamless and intuitive user experience. It offers private syncing and unlimited storage solutions that let users sync data on devices. The company also offers software development kits which help speed the integration of the secure data management capabilities of AeroFS with a range of local and cloud-based applications and workflows. It’s like Dropbox, but behind your firewall and without the added monthly expense.  

What’s cool about AeroFS

  • AeroFS enables users to expand their storage without paying additional fees while gaining access to all the enterprise features. 

  • AeroFS has a free version with most of the features included up to 30 users; $15 per user per month thereafter, so users can try it without any obligation. 

  • It allows modern file collaboration through a combination of peer-to-peer technology, a central virtual appliance acting as a management layer, and an optional central storage repository.

  • Files are synchronized directly between users' machines, without the need to upload them to an intermediate public cloud repository due to AeroFS’ flexible on-premises architecture which is in contrast to the majority of the products in the market. 

  • File sharing can be done internally or externally, via email or through protected URL links.

  • It enables users to have a strong control of the files and collaborate without sacrificing data protection.

  • Files are not routed to an external cloud service, so users don't have to switch between the machines and a server when they are used on-premises which creates an efficient internal collaboration.

  • AeroFS can be deployed in two different ways. One option is to deploy an AeroFS Team Server, where a centralized copy of the data lives on a dedicated server as if it is a traditional file server but with modern file sync capabilities. The other option is a decentralized approach, where there is no centralized copy of data, each copy is synced with peers when changes are made. 

  • Some users find it very beneficial to manage public links with expiration limits and have the option to protect links by setting a password.

  • Supported platforms are OVA – vSphere & VirtualBox, QCow2 - OpenStack, EC2, and VHD – Hyper-V.

  • Windows/OSX and Apple/Google apps are available.

  • They have a preview that can be downloaded to run AeroFS on CoreOS and Docker.

  • The AeroFS Attachment Manager for Microsoft Exchange boosts the effortless internal and external sharing capabilities of AeroFS by significantly reducing the IT burden while also eliminating attachment size limits and enhancing enterprise security. This email optimization feature intercepts attachments at the server side for inbound emails, strips them out, and saves them to predefined internal repositories. For outbound emails, attachments are substituted with an AeroFS link. 

What’s uncool about AeroFS: 

  • The Enterprise file sync-and-share market has many other players that offer hybrid architectures and can be deployed on-premises. 

  • The peer-to-peer approach that AeroFS offers is not unique as many similar vendors such as BitTorrent offer similar capabilities.  

  • In addition to peer-to-peer technology, there is some resistance as it is often associated with consumer-oriented uses or even piracy.

  • Although the attachment management side is one of the strongest features of the product, there are similar offerings available in the market. 

  • Mobile app functionalities could be improved in regards to file sharing/syncing software.

  • Although the installation of its virtual appliance is straightforward, setting up DNS, internally and externally, has been found challenging by some users. 

AeroFS is a top pick for security-conscious IT admins that do not allow cloud services like Dropbox or Box for security reasons. Also, since email attachments still represent a large proportion of email volume and storage, the product is ideal for companies in an effort to optimize overall file collaboration and management within the organization. Overall, users who want to take advantage of a low cost, as well as secure an alternative to Dropbox could be interested.

Yuri Sagalov, CEO and Co-founder of AeroFS commented on the recognition by Gartner: 

“We are honored by Gartner’s recognition for our solutions that we believe make enterprise file syncing and sharing (EFSS) easy and secure while also offering much higher performance, greater IT control, and significantly reduced the cost of ownership,” said Sagalov. “Our solution has achieved traction with world-class customers in health care, finance, automotive, telecom and other industries who are seeking to harness the benefits of workgroup productivity without sacrificing security. We are continuing to expand our suite of offerings to provide even more robust tools that will streamline the way teams and enterprises collaborate.”


Kaleo Software was founded in 2012 to activate knowledge and expertise-sharing in the workplace, as well as to improve upon traditional knowledge management solutions which currently have low adoption and usage. Organizations, including Dell, Randstad, Lennar, Toyota Financial Services, Ventura Foods and Viacom, use Kaleo to ensure consistent workforce knowledge and scale expertise across the enterprise.

What’s cool about Kaleo: 

  • The cloud-based knowledge sharing application connects employees with bite-sized, contextual subject matter expertises from their organization's internal experts within technology platforms anytime, anywhere. 

  • It creates consistent workforce knowledge and enables employees to efficiently contribute their best, most accurate work. 

  • Users can interact with eachother through their current working environment without switching to a separate query interface as the platform integrates with common business apps.  The application is able to pull from information already stored across multiple repositories.

  • The platform enables enterprises to build a dynamic knowledge base in real time and deliver timely and relevant analytics to people based on context, user, and behavior by taking advantage of machine learning technology. 

  • According to Gartner, the urgency of finding answers from within the context of the user's current work and the proactive nature of the Kaleo Q&A system makes them a Cool Vendor for 2016.

  • Kaleo allows the knowledge-base to constantly evolve, becoming richer and more accurate as more users ask and answer questions. 

  • Kaleo's reporting functionality helps customers identify larger training needs to fill their knowledge gaps. 

  • System performance, user engagement, and identification of knowledge gaps can be monitored through administrator dashboards. 

  • The Kaleo system is able to send emails that offer not only answers to a user's initial query but also include answers to other questions commonly asked in conjunction with the query topic.

  • The platform also can push messages to users with common questions and answers asked by users who have similar profiles or who performed similar queries.

  • Kaleo's machine learning can detect potentially outdated material and proactively remind users to update their answers.

  • Kaleo gives users simple and direct answers without requiring specialized query skills, intimate knowledge of a corporate taxonomy or the platform.

What’s uncool about Kaleo: 

  • There are so many big players such as Jive, Microsoft SharePoint and Delve, Google Drive, and Kana which also provide knowledge bases on different functionality levels. 

  • Kaleo needs to clearly articulate its value and why it is worth the extra cost beyond good-enough social and knowledge systems.

Companies which are aiming to achieve alignment between sales, business operations, and IT teams would be prime candidates.

Phil Hui-Bon-Hua, CEO, Kaleo Software commented on the company’s success: 

“Kaleo is proud of our inclusion in Gartner’s ‘Cool Vendor’ report. We see it as a validation of our mission to help companies embrace change and increase adoption through Predictive Knowledge Sharing. Our application is the first on the market to help employees connect with internal experts and existing resources. Kaleo can help people in any part of an organization become more efficient and do their job better.


Bloomfire is an enterprise knowledge and collaboration platform that taps the collective wisdom of employees or customers. Bloomfire works by capturing, archiving, and growing the knowledge that already exists within organizations. Bloomfire offers three pricing plans: Essentials for $9 per user/month billed annually, Premium for $12 per user/month billed annually, and Enterprise for $17 per user/month billed annually.

What’s cool about Bloomfire: 

  • According to Gartner, information is further streamlined with content moderation, discoverable groups, video transcription, analytics with Google, automatic tag recommendations with IBM Watson, and integration with Google Apps and Salesforce, making Bloomfire a cool social content management platform.

  • The platform assists in connecting knowledge and training among employees.

  • Users can contribute to content through file synchronizing sharing tools.

  • The use of the platform is not intimating due to its well-organized, user-friendly interface which is easy for new users to contribute, but also powerful enough for advanced content creators. For instance, those who are not so tech-savvy can easily add their own financial knowledge to the Bloomfire server.

  • Their support department is customer-focused and highly responsive to users’ queries.  

  • Sophisticated mobile apps (Android, iPhone) are one of its differentiators from competitors. 

  • The platform is highly customizable.

What’s uncool about Bloomfire 

  • The solution is at risk of being gnawed away by the consumerization of IT.

  • Enterprise-sanctioned plans are often rejected as its free tools often supply more than enough capabilities for many business consumers. 

  • Bloomfire should continue to offer "pluggable" compatibility (rather than APIs) with a growing spectrum of content sources.

  • Although it seems like their targets are only specialized projects, moving forward, the company should attain wider vision to expand its audience.

  • It is claimed by some users that the platform becomes more complicated than the Enterprise version.

  • The ability to edit a screen capture without starting the entire process over again would be a huge plus.

Organizations with an urgent need to create a flattened enterprise resulting in a new culture of transparency will benefit the most as well as those that struggle with having their employees use the same system to collaborate.


Venus Tamturk

Venus Tamturk

Venus is the Media Reporter for CMS-Connected, with one of her tasks to write thorough articles by creating the most up-to-date and engaging content using B2B digital marketing. She enjoys increasing brand equity and conversion through the strategic use of social media channels and integrated media marketing plans.

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