At its IT Analyst Day, Open Text did a lot of straight talking -- to its credit. Tom Jenkins' first slide said:
- SharePoint has changed the ECM market.
- The "old" ECM market now becomes the ECM applications market.
- The ECM BCS infrastructure market becomes part of the platform.
- All the original vendors will migrate into one or the other slot.
- The main platform players will be IBM, ORCL and MSFT.
I was sitting there thinking, "Whoa," and "Jeez, I couldn't have said it better myself."
The reason this was a "Whoa" moment is that most vendors go into "happy talk" mode when talking to analysts -- minimizing their difficulties and hyping their successes. In contrast, Open Text took the opportunity to admit that the ECM market is changing in fundamental ways, and described how they're reacting to the changes.
This is in contrast to most of their competitors, who are still in various stages of denial about IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle aggressively going after the ECM market. When I was writing my Overview report on Office/SharePoint 2007 in November I talked to a number of the major ECM players to understand how they are adjusting to the next version of SharePoint. A number of them did the, "Oh, yes, we work with SharePoint, but we typically don't compete with Microsoft..." -- acknowledging the new version but dismissing it as well. Based on the number of client calls I currently get about SharePoint, this is a huge mistake. It certainly had me thinking in the back of my mind, "OK, this vendor is either (1) clueless or (2) stonewalling," neither of which is a healthy state.
Open Text is absolutely right: SharePoint has changed the ECM market. It won't happen overnight -- this year will be a year of mental adjustment, as enterprises start to realize just what SharePoint 2007 offers. Many MOSS/WSS 2007 implementations won't take place in 2007, but rather next year and beyond. Nevertheless, the ECM market will start moving away from content management application silos and migrating towards an infrastructure approach. To its credit, Open Text understands the new order.