For the first time in over a decade, there’s been a real shift in the Leaders for the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms. The leader quadrant has traditionally been dominated by industry giants such as Microsoft, IBM and OpenText. Year-after-year, these same names ranked at the top of Gartner’s list, and well, like eating the same cheeseburger every day… it got boring. In true, 2020 fashion, this year was different.

The single biggest theme in this year’s quadrant is the heavy downward shift of some tech industry giants. Their behemoth size, previously giving them a similar behemoth advantage, may now be the primary reason for their fall. These Fortune 500 companies do much more than Content Management, MUCH MORE. The strategic direction of each of these companies is dictated by what will benefit the whole, and what benefits the whole doesn’t always align with the direction of the Content Services industry. The last few years have seen a steady rise by vendors focused on this industry alone and as Gartner’s criteria evolve, don’t be surprised to see the tech giants continue to decline.  Here’s why….


For many years, the tech giant, OpenText, has been grouped with Microsoft, IBM and Hyland as leaders of the “leaders” pack. Yeah, I know it’s a mouthful, sorry. A few years back, they acquired Dell’s ECM Division, to gain market share from the Documentum and ApplicationXtender product lines. Needless to say, the customers of those products have had a bumpy ride, which included significant increases in annual maintenance fees. Hard not to see that customer satisfaction impacted Gartner’s ranking and OpenText fell to the back of the “leaders” pack. While their fall was larger than any ranking in years, surprisingly, they weren’t the biggest fall this year.


Another tech giant, another mainstay in the small pack of frontrunners in the “leaders” pack, another tumble down the ranks. The past 10 years hasn’t seen a rise or fall as significant as IBM’s fall… right out of the Leaders quadrant and into the Visionaries quadrant. Their landing spot puts them in the company of industry up-and-comers, SER Group, M-Files, Newgen, and Nuxeo. Depending on how you interpret the rankings of the Visionaries, it could be said that IBM is now ranked behind each of those vendors. With IBM’s long-time reputation for systems that are costly to develop and support, their flagship content management product, FileNet, continues to see degradation in what were once lifetime customers. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Hyland Software:

The past 15 years have seen Hyland steadily climb the Magic Quadrant. Joining the Leaders 11 years ago, they’ve continued leapfrogging other vendors, including IBM last year and OpenText this year. Only one more vendor remains ahead of them, Microsoft (who really throws a wrench in my tech giant theory). For years, Hyland has been a visionary for content services and solely focused on their single, flagship product, OnBase. Recent years have seen strategic additions to their portfolio, through acquisitions of leading technology providers, including former Magic Quadrant mainstay, Perceptive and another notable mention (below).


After a few years toeing the line of the Leaders quadrant, Alfresco finally made the jump out of the Challengers quadrant, and a healthy jump at that. Formerly a more niche solution, many people may not be familiar with the name, but Alfresco’s continued growth and development is really making a name for themselves. Don’t be surprised to see their name absent from the 2021 Magic Quadrant, as recently, Alfresco was another strategic acquisition by Hyland. With two Magic Quadrant Leaders joining forces, will they be able to dominate the Content Services Market? That’s a good question… stay tuned.

Kyocera Document Solutions:

Another interesting change this year was the addition of Kyocera, who had not previously made the ranks of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant… at least for Content Services Platforms. Their acquisition of Everteam allowed them to step into Niche Players quadrant, in give-or-take the same place Everteam was previously.  Their propensity for growth through acquisition could help them rise the charts.  With the other tech giants trending in the wrong direction, we’ll have to see how it plays out.

We can hook you up with a complimentary copy of the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms, so just call or email Chris!

Chris Whalen
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