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Gartner Magic Quadrant: What to look for in a content service platform

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Gartner Magic Quadrant content serviceIn recent years, content management has experienced significant upheaval as the industry has moved from the concept of enterprise content management (ECM) to the more flexible notion of content services.

The difference is that with an ECM approach, organizations consolidate all content into a single platform. By moving to content services, organizations can benefit from integrated services and microservices with common APIs that are ready to be used in digital business applications spanning a diverse set of use cases and business systems.

Gartner has helped lead this transition with its annual Magic Quadrant report. Over the years, the evaluation criteria has changed, bringing in new vendors and moving others to the sidelines. The latest Gartner Magic Quadrant report for content services platforms, published in October, evaluates organizations across five fundamental use cases, which Gartner refers to as “critical capabilities.” These include the following:

  1. Document management. For a high score, a vendor must demonstrate a modern user experience that integrates content repositories, including cloud-based repositories. Also noted is support for compound documents (made of multiple parts), embedded content analytics in search results, and entry templates that speed up and standardize incoming documents,
  2. Back-office processing. This capability encompasses multichannel capture for all types of incoming documents from multiple sources, intelligent data extraction with sentiment analysis, keyword extraction and tight integration to line-of-business (LOB) systems.
  3. Business process applications. Gartner is looking for toolkits that give designers an environment for developing business-process-driven applications. Vendors get extra points for an intuitive user interface and mobile applications that are business specific and have a consumer-friendly look and feel.
  4. Records management. Information governance and regulatory compliance are essential elements of a content management system, and the top-rated solutions will show retention, disposition, legal holds and file plan management in an easy-to-use management environment.
  5. Team productivity. Collaboration is the key word for this capability and Gartner looks for vendors who provide a collaborative content environment, which should include social features, document management and workflow, so that work is trackable with appropriate audit trails. Mobile and desktop synchronization features are also valued, as are ways to connect users outside the firewall.

2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant content service platform rankings

IBM has been positioned in the leadership quadrant in this revitalized space. IBM Content Services is a core pillar of the IBM Automation Platform for Digital Business. IBM is one of the original content management pioneers and its content and capture solutions are used by the world’s largest public and private organizations.

This year’s Magic Quadrant submission process was extremely rigorous, beginning with a 600-question survey that required very specific answers on security, scalability, integration, deployment models, and the essential features and use cases in production today. Client experience scores were an important factor, too, with Gartner requesting a minimum of 10 customers to interview about working with IBM software.

For the first year, Gartner requested substantive software demonstrations, showing off the user experience for all five critical capabilities. While it was a significant amount of work for vendors to complete, readers should feel confident that the 2018 report represents an extremely thorough analysis.

The future of content management services

IBM Vice President of Digital Business Automation Mike Gilfix said of the report, “I’m delighted of course. But significantly, Gartner called out the IBM vision of content services as a pillar of a digital business transformation. It is a vision that we have made great strides executing against in 2018 and as we continue to integrate content with business process automation, robotics, decision management and infuse the entire digital business automation platform with intelligence, we will only increase our standing in the vision category for 2019.”

Read a complimentary copy of the complete Gartner Magic Quadrant content service report.

Learn more about IBM Content Services by watching the back-office processing demo video provided to Gartner.

WW Portfolio Marketing Manager, Enterprise Content Management

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