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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Consolidation Jigsaw Puzzle : Customers Beware

Post IBM's proposed buyout of Filenet, the buzz about the consolidation in the ECM market is getting more & more shrill. For players like IBM, its 16 billion software business now contributes even more profit to the bottom line than services, and it's just now emerging as the $91 billion company's most dependable growth engine. (Actually this is insightful - The Annex Research estimates for 2006, software will account for 20% of IBM's revenues but 37% of its profits. Meanwhile, services, which represent 53% of revenues, account for 35% of profits, and systems and technology (mostly hardware products), which represent 24% of revenues, account for just 12%. IBM's software unit enjoys gross margins of 84.2%, compared with 35.9% for hardware and 27.7% for services). For players like HP, it’s a catchup game. BI Vendors could be buying out ECM players says this article,predicting more twists in the content management space. Bizarre, to say the least. If such a thing would happen, this would throw the BI players/ECM players into an awkward situation – they will lose their identity . Look at this BI operates on structured data and too often ECM players operate on unstructured/hybrid data. BI mostly operates on data built on transactions – It cant be said of ECM to the same degree. Look from a buyer perspective – what would he get out of such a combined play – NOTHING, TO SAY THE LEAST. Also it may be technically possible (though not so easy), to combine these together – this would be a heavy duty investment for any enterprise and would definitely not be more flexible or friendly to operate/extend and integrate with other applications. More consolidation of ECM space appears plausible – that would be bringing together platform/infrastructure players, portal players, ECM players together . The early results of acquisition of proximate space play show that this strategy is not delivering, well enough. The future of enterprise software lies in partnering meaningfully, consolidating where there is a clear rationale, but not to come together for the sake of coming together!!.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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