Friday, December 17, 2010

SaaS-Based ECM

This was one of the hot areas of growth I predicted at the Harvey Spencer Document Capture conference earlier this year. I based this primarily from what I had been hearing from service bureaus, who are certainly moving a lot this way, as well as ISVs like Hyland Software and Digitech, who both seemed to be exceeding ECM industry growth rates with their SaaS businesses.

My views on the emerging strength of this market segment were reinforced by a recent conversation with SpringCM. SpringCM was a small vertically focused SaaS business that a few years ago made a big splash by launching a more general ECM-targeted SaaS business. From what I understand, they took on some venture funding, invested heavily in an improved, true-SaaS, modular architecture, and brought in former iManage/Interwoven executive Dan Carmel to run the whole thing. Carmel is a great promoter and did garner SpringCM a lot of publicity, but after I found out he was no longer with the company, I thought perhaps they had scaled back their efforts.

Does not seem to be the case.The new CEO, Chris Junker (who started this summer), is also a former Interwoven/iManage and Autonomy guy. And SpringCM is reporting a 100% growth in subscription revenue for 2010, and expects to duplicate that in 2011. They gave me some figures from Gartner  - like an estimate that in 2011, 10% of the software market will be cloud-based in 2011 and 40% of all new software purchased will be cloud-based by 2014. I got a lot more interesting stuff from my conversation with VP of marketing Roger Bottum, which I will include in an article in my next premium issue.

I will tell you that we discussed the fact that ECM is a bit more complex than many other software apps, which makes it harder to manage in a SaaS model. However, it seems it can be simplified by being packaged into vertical or horizontal apps, and imaging-based apps like contract management and invoice processing seem to be hot areas for SpringCM right now.

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