Yeah, I know that the Gartner group publishes magic quadrant reports all around the year, but ‘tis the season for the Enterprise Content Management magic quadrant, and I wanted a season to celebrate in.

First of all, get your own hot and handy copy of the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management here and click through to the report.

I think it’s worth mentioning that Microsoft is ever so slightly the leader on the Completeness of Vision axis, and is #4 in the race, behind IBM, EMC, Open Text, and Oracle, on the Ability to Execute axis.  Nobody worries about #4, right?  #1, now – they have to worry.  We all know about #2 – just about as many folks chasing them…  but #4?  Who was #4 behind Michael Phelps in the Olympics?  …never a second thought about them, right?  

Let me digress just for a moment…  this reminded me of an article on CMSWire last week, “Forrester: Beware of MOSS Madness?”.  After the author ripped into SharePoint through the bulk of her story, she came back to the center with this comment, “The thing is, you could say that [one needs to be careful when developing for SharePoint] about just about every other CMS product out there.  You just don’t hear the grumbling as loud.”  Well, perhaps now that we know that SharePoint is only #4 in Ability to Execute, we won’t be hearing the grumbling that was being referred to.  Or is the grumbling because SharePoint is #1 in Completeness of Vision?  Perhaps the grumbling will be with us for a while yet. 

I’ve got one thing to say about Ability to Execute, however.  I’m not an analyst, but I am a thinker, and two areas called out by Gartner where Microsoft SharePoint is in need of partner solutions to deploy solutions are Workflow/BPM and Imaging.

Those are two weaknesses that I love to have recognized, because we have such a strong partner ecosystem in these areas.  With workflow vendors such as K2, Nintex, Skelta, Ultimus, and Ascentn; and imaging vendors such as KnowledgeLake, Fujitsu, BlueThread, ClearView, Hyland, ImageSource and Captaris;  SharePoint is a testament to the open framework that ISVs are attracted to as a platform for them to showcase their mad skillz.  (Wow, one of those companies is also in Challengers quadrant of the ECM MQ on its own!)  I wonder what happens when you take SharePoint’s #4 on the Ability to Execute axis and combine it with that incredible partner ecosystem? 

…I guess it causes a lot of grumbling.