One Company’s Journey through the Gartner Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Magic Quadrant

In 2017, Gartner renamed the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Magic Quadrant, now referring to this group of solutions as Content Services Platforms (CSP). More on the reasons for the change and the implications in our previous post: Content Services Platform (CSP): All You Need to Know about the Term Gartner Introduced Last Year

Here at M-Files, this year represents our eighth year featured on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms (CSP). We’ve seen our company’s growth and our vision for consistent innovation play out before our eyes on our journey through the Magic Quadrant, and what a journey it has been.

While this post is not meant to be self-aggrandizing, in many respects, the M-Files progress through the quadrant serves as validation of our place as a visionary in the information management space. M-Files’ vision for our solution and the execution on that vision play a central role in our company story. And we think that it’s a symbiotic relationship in that our story has been so forward-focused that it has played a part in helping define the vision of the industry as a whole.

Enough back-patting for now. Let’s look at how the ECM market has shifted over the years and the hike towards the top M-Files has made through the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

2012-2013: M-Files Breaks onto the Scene

The 2012 and 2013 ECM Magic Quadrants were dominated by Niche Players, with 59% and 61% of vendors on the list, respectively, residing in that bottom left quadrant. M-Files could be found among those players, making their debut in 2012. The concentration of vendors in the Niche Players quadrant made sense since the market six years ago was more fragmented as emerging ECM solutions were busy finding their lane.

As for M-Files, our story was one of expanding our market reach outward from our home base in Finland and redefining the way the world organizes information. Specifically, the company led innovation on the idea that users should be able to find the documents and information they needed in a contextual way — based on what that thing is rather than where it lived in a myriad of repositories.

2014-2015: M-Files on the Move

In 2014 and 2015, there was some market consolidation with a few scattered acquisitions by the larger players. We also saw a few of those Niche Players from past years — including M-Files — begin to make a move towards the centre line and erode the market share of the largest constituents. The market was going through a shift from large enterprise suites to more business solutions focused on delivering business value in specific use-cases. In fact, in the 2015 Gartner report, they stated:

“Product specialization — aligned to country-based business requirements — increased the fragmentation of market share as best-of-breed and regional vendors succeeded in out-competing their larger international rivals. The combined market share of the top three ECM vendors continued to decline — from approximately 46% in 2012, to 44% in 2013, and to 41% in 2014.”

In these years, M-Files moved northward representing an enhancement of their ability to execute. The company doubled down on their metadata-centric strategy, which allowed the solution serious flexibility and furthering the idea that M-Files as a solution doesn’t care where information may live but is more focused on what that information actually is — all to enable users to find the documents they need more efficiently and cut down on the amount of unstructured, dark data that plagues so many companies.

2016-2017: M-Files Recognized as a True Visionary

The 2016 and 2017 iterations of the ECM Gartner Magic Quadrant saw big changes. In 2017, Gartner rebranded it as the Content Services Platform (CSP) Magic Quadrant, moving away from the familiar ECM acronym, in response to an overall shift in the market to a more integrated toolset of content-related services. Overall, the market shifted from simply managing unstructured content to an integrated approach focused on content context and usability. In the market, the name of the game was no longer “Let’s find a solution where we can store all of our files.” It became “Let’s find a solution that’s much more than simply file storage.” End-users demanded solutions that had a variety of core functionalities — including robust information capture, workflow capabilities, improved search and especially repository integration.

M-Files moved into the Visionary quadrant in these years. In truth, the market was catching up to some core functionalities that M-Files had already been pursuing for years prior. So, it was a sensible and natural move into the Visionary quadrant. While the market was really starting to grapple with the challenge that information tended to live in multiple repositories, M-Files had already begun solving that problem by presenting a product that was repository-neutral and an integration of multiple repositories like network folders, SharePoint, ERP“>ERP and CRM. This was all an extension of the what it is vs. where it is the philosophy that underpinned their strategy.

In addition, M-Files introduced the intelligent metadata layer (IML) at the beginning of 2016 to deliver a simple, unified user experience for modern information management, where users can browse data in all connected systems and repositories with the same user interface — something that other ECM solutions are unable to offer. Not only that, but M-Files made good on their promise to deliver an amazing experience, regardless of device, allowing users to access, capture and manage data wherever they may be on their mobile devices.

Final Thoughts

From top to bottom, as an organization, we here at M-Files have a culture of embracing innovation and living out our path as a visionary in our space. We continue to listen to the needs of the market and respond with solutions that solve problems — big problems — with the way information is managed on the enterprise-level, and 2018 has been no different, with the release of the subscription-based M-Files Online, the first information management system that enables organizations to flexibly combine cloud and on-premises deployments with a single user license without having to lock into one model.

To learn why Gartner once again recognized M-Files as a visionary and to help understand the changing CSP landscape, download your free copy of the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms, compliments of M-Files.






5 Key Manufacturing Challenges (and Why ECM is Key to Solving Them)

Yes, manufacturing is about the management, combination, and utilization of physical things. But modern manufacturing is so much more than that — in many ways, modern manufacturing is the original Internet of Things — bringing together both physical and digital things.

Of course, manufacturing organizations have all the same kinds of challenging document and process challenges facing any organization — challenges that Enterprise Content Management (ECM) might be able to help allay. Look at the back-office processes for just about any organization — finance, HR, contracts, sales, marketing, and record keeping are just a few — and you will likely find tons of paper or a hodge-podge of suboptimal and siloed ways of managing digital documents. Or most likely, both.

Intelligent Information Management (IIM) is key to addressing these general business problems. But manufacturers have an additional set of document-driven challenges that make it even more imperative that they adopt a strategic approach to managing information. Think for just a moment about the myriad types of documents that are specific to manufacturing:

  • Standard Operating Procedures, or SOPs
  • Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) documentation
  • Customer Contracts
  • Manufacturing Agreements
  • Order Forms
  • Shipping Documentation
  • Product Design Forms
  • QA Documentation
  • Inspection Reports
  • Engineering Change Orders
  • Invoices
  • Purchase Orders
  • Compliance Reports
  • Order acknowledgements
  • Internal production documents
  • Shipping documentation
  • Warranty requests

Now think about how this high degree of document complexity ties to the strategic business issues facing manufacturers:

  1. Skilled labour shortage
  2. Technology advances
  3. Cybersecurity
  4. Global competition
  5. Changing regulations

How is each of these strategic business issues tied to Intelligent Information Management?

Skilled labour shortage: Nothing can make an organization less attractive to attracting and keeping the best new talent than 1) recruitment and onboarding processes that are manual, slow, and mired in paper; and 2) information systems that feel to the new employee (especially recent college graduates) like they’ve walked into the middle of a computer museum.

Key IIM functionality needed: A modern digital workplace that allows work to be done anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Technology advances: One characteristic that makes information management in manufacturing particularly challenging is that many processes have historically been automated with stand-alone, process-specific applications (e.g., MRP/ERP Software, Product Lifecycle Management Software, Supply Chain Management Software, Manufacturing Execution Systems, and Production Scheduling and Control Systems). The result is a set of information silos that make true Digital Transformation across processes particularly challenging.

Key IIM functionality needed: A common framework for managing unstructured information that is easy to integrate into the stand-alone applications that drive manufacturing processes.

Global competition: Even the smallest manufacturer typically finds that they compete globally at a very early stage in their evolution. This means that every moment of lost productivity counts; the productivity loss from mismanaged and lost documents within most organizations is massive.

Key IIM functionality needed: The ability to simplify the task of finding the right piece of information at the right time is critical to recapturing lost productivity. In an environment in which the volume of information coming into an organization is scaling geometrically — and in which much of this information is scattered across process-specific silos — the ability to manage information based on metadata is key. The ability to manage information based on metadata and assigning metadata automatically where it doesn’t already exist — productivity growth across manufacturing processes.

Cybersecurity: Usually at the top of every CIO checklist, cybersecurity is particularly challenging when supply chains stretch across the globe and across multiple systems.

Key IIM functionality needed: Ability to use metadata to find and protect particularly sensitive documents and AI capabilities that allow you to find and protect sensitive personal and business information within documents.

Changing Regulations: The document-related regulatory complexity for manufacturing organizations is higher than for most organizations. Manufacturers need to think globally from the start — that means a rising tide of regulations like GDPR that can no longer be solved with manual, paper-driven approaches. Manufacturers typically face a host of standards-based information and process management requirements (like ISO 9000) that are difficult to standardize, audit, and keep up to date when relying on paper. Specific sectors face their own particular sets of regulations and audit requirements. For example, food and pharmaceutical manufacturers must document compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Key IIM functionality needed: Effective compliance begins with having consistent and intuitive approaches to information categorization when a document is created, not after the fact. This means that it begins with individual knowledge workers and equipping them with tools that manage information based on what it is (e.g., a contract, an invoice, a resume, a purchase organization) rather than where it is stored.

Ensuring consistent quality and maintaining quick access to important information is crucial in a manufacturing organization. Reducing regulatory risk, effective project management, automated workflows, and engaged suppliers and employees are critical to the success of any lean manufacturing initiative. And the first step is a common and consistent Intelligent Information Management framework.



Deliver Seamless Customer Experience with Newgen at 8th Annual MEBIS 2018

Newgen Software, a global provider of banking software solutions, today announced its participation as a sponsor at the 8th Annual Middle East Banking Innovation Summit from 17th-18thSeptember 2018 at Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Attendees will get to experience a wide range of solutions for lending, online account opening and trade finance.

“Newgen solutions offer a configurable unified platform built on Business Process Management (BPM) to cater to both consumer and commercial banking. These will help banks to achieve a faster-go-to-market and stay on top of regulations,” said Diwakar Nigam, Chairman and Managing Director, Newgen Software.

Meet Newgen experts in the networking area to know how banks can leverage new-age technologies such as analytics, mobility, cloud, etc. to deliver greater productivity, speed, and infinite business. Learn how leveraging BPM with Robotic Process Automation, banks can automate their routine mundane tasks and enable continuous process improvement. These help them to deliver a seamless customer experience while driving maximum value out of the latest technology trends and create higher business volumes.

Gain an insight into the Online Account Opening solution which provides an intuitive, interactive, and customer-friendly platform. It is built using Newgen’s two-decade-long understanding of account opening related challenges. It is targeted at usability and configurability. Usability ensures that the online account opening interface is smart, comprehensive and simple enough for customers to stay on the application, complete it or save intermittently and come back later for completion. Configurability provides a future-proof solution to adapt to dynamic market and customer needs.

Newgen’s future-proof solutions can be tailored to the unique needs of a financial institution and are scalable enough to accommodate hundreds of processes with billions of transactions. Moreover, these solutions help relationship managers by offering true mobility for on-the-go information access and entry. Not only does this help ensure the accuracy of information, but it also helps deliver contextual information to customers.