So Open Text have bagged Vignette and the last large, independent ECM player is about to melt away!
Is that good news or bad news for the industry?
For the industry analysts it is probably bad news, since the small visible tip of the industry that they viewed (and most other industry "experts") has just got smaller.
Is that good news or bad news?
If you’re a senior executive in this industry, managing an ECM, EDM, BPM or document centric BPO company and you have previously used these "experts" to keep you informed, perhaps setting your future strategy by their analysis, I suppose that could give you some cause for concern. Their analysis will now be even more skewed and extrapolated.
Is that good news or bad news?
Actually, I think the fact that the pontificating, crystal ball gazers will now be rightly exposed as talking eloquently out of their "hulls" for the past few years is actually a very good thing! There are many good executives in this industry who don't need the "Mystic Megs" to create a profitable company. They especially do not need experts who see just the tip of the iceberg and, based upon such a limited overview, extrapolate theories for where this industry is heading.
In the same way that the Captain of the Titanic got his bearings wrong, it is just as likely that the crystal ball gazers have too. The most annoying thing is that they are selling something based on what will happen in the future and is consequently, hard to challenge. How many analysts are held to account for their reports of five or ten years ago?
“It says here in your report that this industry would be worth $450 billion by now. Well where is it? Can I have my money back please? By the way, don’t let the door hit your backside on your way out!”
There is a lot more life left in this industry and I suspect that we are about to enter probably one of the most exciting stages for this technology sector. New companies are now free to emerge above the waterline as the new shining vessels of success. There will be a lot more acquisitions but not of the size we have seen in the past, until we start to see some multiple acquisition roll-ups.
What is evident to just a few, is the real size of this industry, globally. What has been seen by the many is just the tip of the iceberg. The few big players, sitting proud above the waves, attracting the attention of the analysts and the media. That tip has now melted away to just a few now!
What has previously only been appreciated by just the few, is what lies beneath the glare of the bright sun of publicity. Innovation is there and thriving. Technology, talent and passion that, with the right nurturing, will make it into the sunlight.
The time has come for the entrepreneurs from the SME's to make their way to the surface. (Note to self: I may be carrying this analogy too far now) There is a lot of talent, innovation, value and not an inconsequential amount of profit, hidden away in the companies that have been lurking in the shadows below. This is where the new stars of the industry will arise from. The business world has changed and it will continue to change at an every increasing pace. The big boys can disappear quickly in one brief storm and new players can quickly rise to prominence, due to increased access to information and better communication.
The ECM iceberg has not melted away as the crystal ball gazers had predicted, it has just disappeared from THEIR view. The weight is below the waterline.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Who knows? Personally, I can't wait to find out! Good Bye Mystic Meg and let's bring on the party. This is when the fun really starts for those that can see below the Plimsoll line.
If you would like to come diving below the waves and find out what potential treasures are hidden below for your company, please get in contact.