AODocs Joins the Elite of the Content Services Industry
As most of you know, every year Gartner produces a massive amount of Magic Quadrant reports describing the market and key players in industries, from marketing automation to robotic process automation to our very own Content Service Platforms market.
Since Gartner shook the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) world in 2017 with news that ECM was dead and they had replaced it with Content Services Platforms (CSP), the Magic Quadrant has settled down a little. But the 2019 report feels different.
For one, AODocs is now a recognized player in the Magic Quadrant, joining 17 other organizations that are driving the CSP industry forward. We are obviously delighted to be included in such illustrious company. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the numerous customers who participated in the Gartner qualification process — all taking phone calls and completing questionnaires about how they have used AODocs and what their experiences were.
We love our customers, and it seems they love us too. We’ve helped many of them transition away from using legacy document and content management systems, most of which were built over a decade ago and were simply not fit for purpose in today’s cloud-based, collaborative, always-on world. And this leads me to the second thing that feels different in this year’s MQ report.
A Changing of the Guard
The 2019 MQ for Content Services Platforms saw just three new entrants but also major changes in the space. Without citing specific vendors, it feels as if many of the legacy players are struggling, and the newer entrants, specifically those with a cloud-first approach, are gaining a lot of traction. This is a dramatic shift from even 3-4 years ago.
Back then, conversations raged about whether the cloud was secure and why on earth would anyone consider putting their critical business content there. That conversation is done. The cloud now is the de-facto place to both store and process your content, but the cloud provides more than that.
We know that the cloud provides scalability beyond anything we could possibly imagine on-premises, with a pricing model that offers an operational expense rather than a capital one, attractive to both IT and finance alike. But look beyond that to initiatives such as API-first and open standards. Both of these are driving a level of inter-connectivity between new systems that were unthought of just a few years ago.
The ability to connect to a cloud service, e.g., to do OCR on a financial statement, and to get a near-instant response via software that is constantly on the latest version, for often a per-action price, is amazingly liberating. This is why true cloud vendors are starting to rule the CSP Magic Quadrant — and I see no reason at all why this will change.
The Platform to Rule Them All
One other thing that is exciting for us at AODocs is the growing acceptance that Google is a fantastic platform for delivering cloud-based content services. More and more vendors are building integrations to Google Drive and G-Suite to facilitate cloud-based storage and retrieval, and to utilize the collaborative nature of G-Suite. But they all still have some work to do.
AODocs was founded in 2012 and is not simply integrated into the Google Platform but is also built on it. This unique positioning has seen great adoption within the Google eco-system, where organizations who have already moved wholesale to Google Drive or G-Suite recognize the continued need for information governance, workflow creation, reporting, and all the things that come with a regular document management system but not out of the box with Google.
Having access to such a large eco-system of already active Google users is a fantastic place for AODocs to grow its business, but even more exciting is the sheer scale and level of innovation going on beneath AODocs at a platform level.
The analogy I like to use is based around cars. Google provides our engine, and we just tune it and put it into whatever chassis we need to solve a particular problem. The great thing though is that the engine keeps getting better and better, faster and faster, more fuel-efficient, all without us having to do anything. It’s a symbiotic relationship that delivers significant flexibility, capability, and benefits to end-users of both Google and AODocs.
And did I mention that AODocs is the only document management system recommended AND used by Google themselves?
2019 Was Just the Beginning
When we look back at 2019 will we consider it a year where the CSP tide truly changed course? I believe we will. Not only has the constitution of the Gartner MQ changed but also Forrester recognized the shifting landscape by releasing a dedicated Cloud Content Platforms report (in which AODocs was recognized as a “Strong Performer,” by the way).
And even more importantly, in my opinion, than the analyst activity, the uptick in interest and adoption of cloud-based CSPs to re-invigorate the way in which organizations use and even think about content is well underway.
As we close in on a new decade, could content services finally be close to realizing it’s true potential? I sincerely hope so.