Friday, April 27, 2007

IKON numbers, etc.

IKON just posted some impressive second-quarter numbers. From my standpoint, the most impressive statement is that their Professional Services revenue grew 28%, which indicates impressive gains in the ECM/complex document management system front. It's been a long time coming for IKON, but they really appear to be making (slowly, but, they're a big company and big things move slowly, but powerfully) from a copier dealer to a VAR.

Captaris appears to be picking off a competitor/further cementing its status as the market leader in the fax server world.

Here's something about Microsoft's Longhorn Server. I can't make hide nor hair of it, but originally I thought Longhorn as to be the DM market killer.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

SharePoint WCM

At AIIM, we heard SharePoint get dogged for its RM capabilities. In this press release (see below as there wasn't a like just text), CMS Watch slams its WCM capabilties. I guess there was bound to be some backlash after everyone was touting these wonderful ECM capabilties in SharePoint 2007. For the record, we still think it is going to be a force in the market, much moreso than SharePoint 2003, but it is not the be all and end all for ECM companies as we know them, as many feared.

CMS WATCH FINDS SHAREPOINT ILL-SUITED FOR
TRADITIONAL WEB PUBLISHING SCENARIOS

11th Edition of "The Web CMS Report" Critically Evaluates
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server
Silver Spring, MD, USA -- The latest semi-annual release of "The Web CMS Report" takes a close look at Microsoft Office SharePoint Server ("MOSS") 2007 and finds that, whatever its strengths in collaborative document management, the platform remains ill-suited for managing many traditional websites.
The Report was published by CMS Watch (www.cmswatch.com), an independent analyst firm that evaluates content technologies and strategies for prospective solutions buyers.
MOSS 2007 is the successor to SharePoint Portal Server 2003 as well as Microsoft Content Management Server, Redmond's former Web Content Management product, which has since been sunset by Microsoft.
"SharePoint has always been a good platform for managing Office documents and the new version is even better at that," said CMS Watch founder Tony Byrne, "but managing web content represents a very different challenge, and here, Microsoft has not hit the mark."
Research findings include:
- Like most portal software, MOSS natively generates non-standard HTML code with extraneous JavaScript and table-based layouts, which is problematic for enterprises wanting to employ standards-based design and code conventions. Licensees must pro-actively strip this extra code from their own websites.
- By default, MOSS 2007 employs a folder-based navigation structure that must be re-coded or replaced by optional controls for more traditional website navigation schemes.
- MOSS lacks strong native support for translation workflows, limiting its effectiveness out of the box for multinational web publishing efforts.
- For public-facing websites, the product lists for USD 41,000 per server, making it one of the most expensive licenses in its mid-market class.
- On the plus side, MOSS 2007 can be heavily customized and extended using traditional .NET approaches.
"MOSS 2007 might make sense for certain document-heavy Intranets," Byrne added, "but prospective customers should not assume that its ease of deployment for simple file sharing will equate to ease of implementation for managing complex web publishing operations -- for Web Content Management, MOSS is really more of a development platform."
Based on hundreds of interviews with web content management system (CMS) customers worldwide, the 11th Edition of the Web CMS Report includes detailed comparisons of 30 vendors across 18 key feature categories, as well as evaluations of individual product suitability for 12 universal CMS scenarios.
Vendors covered in the Web CMS Report include Microsoft, EMCDocumentum, Interwoven, Vignette, Oracle / Stellent, IBM, Open Text / RedDot, WebSideStory, Day, Mediasurface, Serena, Tridion, CoreMedia, Percussion, FatWire, PaperThin, Ektron, CrownPeak, Alfresco, Typo3, Drupal, and Plone. The Report is available for purchase online from CMS Watch (http://www.cmswatch.com).
The Report is designed to help enterprises make faster and better buying decisions. Like all CMS Watch offerings, The CMS Report does not rank "best" vendors, but instead details the strengths and weaknesses of the various suppliers, identifies their suitability for different use cases, and isolates vendor tendencies that may influence longterm product roadmaps.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Millennium Group

The subject of these patent trolls came up the other day, so I decided to do a Google search on them. Here's what I found. Apparently, their activities aren't restricted to the document imaging/forms processing industry. Although, I'm not sure what they mean by latches and fasteners - is that supposed to be forms processing?

Monday, April 23, 2007

ACS Sale

More on this private equity investment stuff. Somewhat related to this, I get a lot of question asking how big the image outsourcing market is. Does anyone have any idea. My best guess is $4-5 billion annually.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Alfresco Blog

Someone hipped me to this pretty cool post by Alfresco co-founder John Newton, pertaining to Dave DeWalt's departure from EMC. Newton is a former Documentum developer -based in the U.K., who founded Alfresco a couple years ago. Alfresco is an open source ECM entrent.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Xerox Global Imaging

Xerox has become the latest digital copier vendor to make an acquisiton to beef up its direct sales efforts. Yesterday, Xerox announced plans to acquire Global Imaging Systems for $1 billion. Global Imaging is a dealer roll-up founded in the 1990s by former Danka and Alco executive Thomas Johnson. It reportedly has a current run rate of around $1.5 billion. Curiously, it does not currently carry Xerox products. You might say Xerox is buying some serious market share with this acquisition.

Xerox competititors like Toshiba and Sharp have also been rolling up dealerships recently, and Ricoh recently announced a major re-org of its sales channels. It's our theory that as copier vendors are forced into solutions sales, they realize they need more control over their salespeople and buying dealers are one way to do this.

Oh yes, and we had a recent exchange on the blog about "the Great American Copier company," in which I proposed Global Imaging as a candidate and someone else suggested Xerox could make a comeback. Seems like this deal could create the best of both worlds - perhaps.

Ralph