A few recent technology vendor announcements point out how the ECM market continues to mature — ECM acquiring Berkeley Data Systems, Interwoven acquiring Optimost, and Autonomy acquiring Meridio.
EMC takes ECM to consumers
EMC announced in early October it was acquiring Utah-based Berkeley Data Systems Inc., the operator of the Mozy online-backup service. Right now you're probably thinking, "Kyle, what the heck does this have to do with content management?" Well, read me out...
What EMC has done is bought an online service provider (more than just software-as-a-service) that allows us (all of us with an Internet connection) to securely back up and archive OUR content (files) we have on our home workstations and laptops. All of us have digital pictures of family and friends, and one electromagnetic pulse can wipe out years of personal history. Heck, simple hard drive crashes have caused countless tears as parents realize they no longer have pictures or videos of their sons and daughters. And how many teens have lost their music collections after spilling coffee on their laptops?
The union of dominant hourly recruitment management systems.
My former employer Deploy Solutions was acquired by Kronos today. Although it must be very hard for my friends at Deploy to relinquish their autonomy, I think this move is wise for both parties — and Deploy CEO Nicole Stata always told me that, "she would not be left in the corner without a dance partner."
This acquisition combined with the recent acquisition of Unicru (another leading ATS for hourly workers) positions Kronos as a solid leader in the hourly recruiting space. This is certainly a roll-up play in the dynamic HCM space giving Kronos claim to some of the largest hourly employers like Home Depot, BestBuy, Securitas, and IKEA.
On October 23rd, Cisco announced its
acquisition of Richardson, TX based Navini Networks, a manufacturer of
WiMax access hardware for $330M. Where does Navini fit into Cisco’s suite of
access and network technologies? It’s a step closer to taking on a more
fully-fleshed out Ubiquitous Mobility story, something Forrester was expecting,
if not urging Cisco to embark upon in recent
research. Cisco will not, of course, stake its infrastructure business on
Navini technology out of the gate. In the short term, Navini and its WiMax
holdings will allow Cisco to take on competitors in emerging markets such as
Huawei, making use of WiMax to services constituencies previously outside Cisco’s
core market for networking gear due to a dearth of WAN connectivity. Longer-term,
I full expect to see Cisco take on more traditional (developed) markets with WiMax-enabled
local access networking gear, competing with expected product developments from Motorola and Nortel.
I picked up a book at the airport last week because 1) It had a pretty cover, and 2) The title was Juicing The Orange: How To Turn Creativity Into A Powerful Business Advantage. I've been thinking a lot lately about the relationship between the stuff that information and knowledge management (I&KM) pros are doing at work and the business movement toward organizations that are creative and have a heavy emphasis on innovation and design. Juicing The Orange turned out to be about lessons learned specifically in the advertising industry — not exactly my area of expertise. But I couldn't put it down! Many of the points authors Pat Fallon and Fred Senn raise are directly applicable to the efforts I&KM pros are undertaking — especially those who are or who work directly with HR, chief design officers, or other "culture players," as they are described in Juicing The Orange. In particular:
This week I am attending the IAPP privacy academy in San Francisco. This morning, the big event kicked off with a big tent event of keynotes followed by individual breakout sessions. Some of the highlights:
Interwoven has announced its acquisition of Optimost, a company offering Web site testing and optimization through a software-as-a-service model. Optimost enables organizations to use multivariable testing to identify combinations of Web content — such as ads, pricing, and layouts — that get the best response from site visitors (all the better to drive up those conversion rates).
This isn't Interwoven's first effort to appeal to marketers; earlier this year, the company announced a targeting management module that allows non-technical users to manage contextual experiences for Web site visitors. This latest acquisition plays nicely into the story of traditional WCM vendors offering features such as targeting, testing, and analytics that will differentiate them from the platform vendors, which tend to offer more limited functionality in those areas.
My colleague Suresh Vittal commented that this acquisition is just another step in the broader issue of increasing relevance and targeting. The question now is whether Interwoven will continue to add additional components of an online marketing suite, such as enhanced campaign management and Web analytics, in order to further differentiate themselves from their competition.
I am excited to be attending the IAPP Privacy Academy next week in San Francisco. If you'll be there and want to meet up, drop me a line at jmulligan at forrester dot com. It's a chance for privacy professionals to come together and discuss the issues they are facing with peers, and to learn from the individual working groups. Looking ahead to the themes and discussions offered, I am not surprised by many of the current hot topics:
Yesterday was the first day of Unisys’ Logistics Executive Conference in Nice, France, with client companies such as AirCanada, Air France-KLM, DHL, Delta Air Lines, and IATA meeting to discuss leading practices in air cargo management and information technology. Topics ranged from RFID and other tracking technologies to revenue management and next-generation logistics management systems. Technology innovation was the buzz word in many presentations, and a number of leading practices notably align with Forrester’s vision of dynamic business applications (apps which are “designed for people, built for change”). For example:
Avner Schneur, President and CEO of Emptoris, opened its User Conference in Boston by describing the challenges of global supply chains with particular emphasis on the risks, illustrated by Mattel's recall of toys sourced from China due to excessive lead in the paint. Announcing Emptoris 7, the latest release of its ePurchasing suite, Mr. Schneur explained the need for procurement professionals to move eSourcing beyond simply reducing cost and address issues of performance and compliance. He also stressed the need to extend Supplier Performance Monitoring into Supplier Development. "Mattel would not have had its lead problem had it been using our product" he asserted.
Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Chairman Emeritus, IBM Academy of Technology, was speaking from experience this morning during his interview by Wall Street Journal Columnist Walt Mossberg at the BIF-3 collaborative innovation summit. By a near-death experience, Wladawsky-Berger was referring to what IBM went through when Bill Gates founded Microsoft and the PC took off. Another example interviewer Mossberg raised during the conversation was Apple, which was in terrible financial straits in the mid 90s and has risen from the ashes to become today’s darling in the consumer electronics and digital music markets. Wladawsky-Berger said that near-death experiences open up the mind to new experiences – they “clean the brain.” These experiences force people to think in new ways and look for new opportunities. For IBM, the Internet became the lifeboat and the company clutched onto it. Later came Linux and other technologies.