Last Thursday (17th June) the AIIM Roadshow 2010 reached the final day of a four day tour ending in London. The theme was "People and Documents Working Together". It's an annual event with keynotes, case studies and vendor exhibitions. Based on the conversations I had, the attendees seemed interested in transactional content, records management and there was good representation from the Public Sector. Not really the classic CogniDox company profile, in other words!
Take-away impressions from the event? The traditional proprietary ECM vendors must be very nervous at the strong growth of Microsoft's SharePoint. Licensing costs for the former are around 4-5 times what it would cost an organisation to "go SharePoint". Which is not to say that the latter is cheap, especially if you need extras such as Enterprise Search. There seemed to be a sort of complacency amongst the attendees I spoke to that it is OK to buy in a software solution that Microsoft say is a "foundational ECM", then pay again for 3rd party add-ons to make it a complete solution. But I can relate to the statistic that 37% surveyed say SharePoint is their first ECM ever used. Given the way it's bundled into various volume licensing agreements, it must come across to IT departments as "free". And because they have it, and users are asking for department Intranets, why not try it out? But that's a one-way journey.
The Real Story Group (formerly CMS Watch) take the side of buyers rather than vendors. The impression I got from listening to the closing keynote from them was that dealing with traditional ECM vendors hasn't always been a pleasant experience. So maybe working with Microsoft SharePoint is better?
Apart from SharePoint momentum, open source, Cloud and SaaS are also a problem for the ECM vendors. It's hard for them to adapt their architectures and the new business models sit uncomfortably with the traditional revenue streams. It can't be good.