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Executive Insight

For several years, Alfresco has been working to address what we think is a big opportunity in the enterprise software market. It’s at the intersection of content, process and apps. Unless you are in the ECM or BPM markets, many would not recognize our name; however, Alfresco keeps many well-recognized brands and governments around the world running their business everyday. During this time, we have built out a robust set of capabilities on an enterprise-class platform.

The choices for ECM have been limited to either legacy vendors that can’t keep up with new technological approaches (cloud, hybrid, mobile, multimedia, release agility) or niche systems that can’t be applied across the enterprise and therefore force a multitude of content and process silos. This has left enterprise CIOs experiencing some unfortunate ECM challenges, including:

  • They can’t integrate the ECM system with other business systems, creating content silos and frustrated users screaming “where’s my stuff?!”.
  • They don’t have the deployment choices they want (on prem, cloud, or a mix of the two at the app and content level).
  • The ECM system doesn’t do everything they want, creating the need for additional tools.
  • The ECM system only applies to specific use cases, creating yet more silos.
  • Users fail to adopt the ECM, rendering it useless, embarrassing for the CIO or LOB sponsor, and a waste of money for the business.

Over the last 10 years, Alfresco has developed a rich platform that addresses key workflows across an enterprise from basic content management, collaboration and rich media to case management and records management. We go very deep into rich metadata, integrated process, records management, granular user roles, content transformations, powerful search, enterprise administration capabilities and do this in a mobile and web friendly environment. However, it’s not just about these capabilities, it’s about how we do this. Alfresco does this in a modern, modular, open, developer and cloud-friendly environment that allows for speed and scale, deployment flexibility, and time and cost efficiency.

Alfresco recently received recognition that, in my opinion, validates our approach. Alfresco was cited as a Leader in ECM business content services in The Forrester Wave™: ECM Business Content Services, Q3 2015 evaluation. Also, Alfresco was named a Visionary in Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management.

While this is something I am personally proud of, it’s frankly more important for the industry. It validates a solid alternative to those seeking options outside of legacy vendors that aren’t modern or flexible, and newcomers that can be difficult to implement across an entire organization. CIOs are no longer beholden to the older legacy vendors that live on high maintenance fees and starve the market of innovation. We are giving viable options for CIOs to think broader across a single line of business (LOB) and newcomer tech providers that focus on just one use case. I have seen countless information silos in a variety of organizations with information stuck in isolated systems, exacerbating the problems CIOs are trying to solve.

While all this is great, and it’s nice to have this validation, I believe the best is still yet to come.

Because we’re not satisfied at stopping there. It’s also about providing a great experience throughout the customer journey and lifecycle. I am proud of the Customer Success team, and our recent win of the Omega NorthFace ScoreBoard Award for Outstanding Customer Service.

I believe the best days for Alfresco, our partners and our customers are still yet to come. As we continue to invest and innovate at the speed of open source and cloud, and drive innovation in elegant content and process centric applications, the future is looking very bright. While there is still much to do, and as a product leader I will never truly be satisfied with how fast we can deliver compelling solutions, it’s nice to be recognized by these industry experts for the accomplishments thus far.

That said, we are busy preparing for some exciting upcoming releases so it’s time to get back to work. I’ll share more insights into Alfresco as we move along this journey together. Thanks for checking in!

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  • Steve Odart

    Thomas, I agree with you. I believe that a successful digital transformation strategy for any large corporation, or organisation (especially the ones with a global footprint) necessitates putting in place an underpinning content platform. Which is quite interesting, because it then means this ‘content platform’ is one of the core technology platforms across the business, rather than a department nice to have. The platform needs to successfully and uniformly manage people and processes, whilst having the ability to plug into a wide variety of technology tool boxes both on premise and in the cloud. At Ixxus, we are now finding that probably in excess of 80% of our Alfresco projects are global content platforms, for some of the largest companies in the world.

    This further validates what all of the analysts are saying about Alfresco, because frankly the ‘proof of the pudding is in the eating’ (I am not sure if that is a well known phrase in the US, but you probably get the point!), and when we have lived and breathed the journey of a Fortune 100 Global Organisation assessing all of the options available to them, and deciding that Alfresco is the answer, it kind of says it all …..

    Good work, and I look forward to seeing what else you bring to market to further enhance the Alfresco success story.

    • Thomas DeMeo

      Steve, thanks for the comments and I agree with your points. I talk with more and more global companies that do in fact need an underlying “content platform” as part of a broader digital transformation strategy. Having a number of content silos in each line of business does not get them where they need to be, and is hard to manage and keep track of. While we do see more line of business owners drive the business requirements, the role of the CIO is changing and is more consultative, broader and higher level. Not around “command and control”, but more “consult and enable” a digital transformation strategy that scales across the business. Imagine being audited in a regulated industry or government agency and having to sort out where relevant content is across multiple silos. How to find it?, who touched it? when?, there is no room for error, and the stakes are high. Integrations across systems becomes very important, and that is where open standards, clean APIs, and a broad connector strategy can help out. I see a pendulum swing happening where there is recognition that a cross company, or government agency, content platform as core underlying technology is greatly needed.

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