Growing compliance and governance requirements are fueling a spending surge in enterprise content management (ECM), leading to a 19 percent CAGR that will outpace the overall software market through 2008. Rather than purchasing multiple products to address varying content and usage needs, firms are looking for enterprise content platforms that provide a common set of services. A new report from Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR) uses its Forrester Wave™ methodology to evaluate ECM vendors’ new suite offerings that bundle a number of individual ECM technologies with the needs of IT decision-makers in mind.

“The ECM suite market is still emerging as content and infrastructure vendors continue to respond to the needs of IT decision-makers by developing, assembling, or buying point content products,” said Forrester senior analyst Kyle McNabb. “Infrastructure vendors are taking advantage of the fact that IT organizations want ECM capabilities within their IT infrastructure portfolio. Pure-play content vendors that can’t compete on the infrastructure front will move aggressively into content-centric applications.”

Forrester evaluated ECM market leaders EMC Documentum, FileNet, Hummingbird, IBM, Interwoven, Microsoft, Mobius Management Systems, Open Text, Oracle, Stellent, and Vignette. Approximately 55 criteria were grouped into three high-level categories: current offering, strategy, and market presence. A combination of vendor surveys, product briefings and demos, and customer reference calls were used to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each vendor.

Forrester Wave Results

Forrester found that IT infrastructure vendors have established early leadership in an evolving market. IBM and EMC Documentum lead the market, although other strong performers and contenders should not be immediately discounted, as they possess differentiating capabilities that may be better suited for specific business needs.


  • EMC Documentum is a good choice for organizations interested in making ECM an extension of their existing IT information management infrastructure. This vendor seeks to advance its ECM capabilities into a broad information life-cycle management platform.
  • IBM’s information management strategy and its broad ECM portfolio helped this vendor overcome average scores for its current offering and below-average suite readiness scores.

Strong Performers:

  • FileNet is a good fit for organizations with high-volume production imaging needs coupled with human-centric BPM requirements.
  • Hummingbird benefits from strong document management and a newly acquired WCM product from RedDot Solutions. It is best suited for organizations that need document and Web content management with a focus on end user usability.
  • Interwoven offers a broad set of ECM capabilities and excels in Web content management, document management, and digital asset management. This vendor’s strategy is focused on meeting organizations’ content-centric needs.
  • Open Text, through acquisitions, has created a broad ECM suite of capabilities and can expect improvement with a focus on content-centric applications.
  • Oracle has limited ECM capability breadth but a strong foundation that appeals to IT decision-makers.
  • Stellent’s high scores in breadth of capabilities, suite readiness, and architecture offset a limited set of extended capabilities like collaboration and business process management.
  • Vignette’s suite readiness is negatively influenced by lack of common administration and separate repository services for individual products, but it is very suitable for organizations in need of high-performance WCM, high-volume production imaging, and integrated document and records management requirements.


  • Microsoft has a powerful vision but is late to the game with very limited current capabilities. However, it still has the potential to become a stronger performer in the next few years.
  • Mobius works best for organizations with deep archiving and report management requirements, which it complements with basic ECM functionality.

“The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Content Management Suites, Q3 2005” is available to Forrester WholeView 2™ clients at

The Forrester Wave Methodology

The Forrester Wave methodology is open, rigorous, and unbiased. Forrester starts with an open criteria review process, verifies findings against customer interviews, and checks facts with vendors. This research is performed without sponsorship to help user companies make better vendor selections. Forrester does not charge vendors in any way to participate in a Forrester Wave. All Forrester Waves include an interactive vendor comparison tool that provides detailed product valuations and customizable rankings.