Lane Severson, a leading content management analyst for Doculabs, a Chicago based content management analyst firm, recently posted an updated review on Alfresco. TSG has worked with Doculabs since our founding 22 years ago and more recently with Lane as a keynote at our client briefing as well as on multiple client engagements. This post will present our thoughts on the Alfresco review.
Alfresco Plus Amazon – Alfresco Strengths
Consistent with Gartner’s 2017 review, Lane recognized Alfresco as having all the basic ECM capabilities and particularly recognized Alfresco’s abilities with Amazon Web Services (AWS). TSG agrees with Doculabs analysis on Alfresco and AWS based on our own experience with Alfresco and AWS. Differentiation that TSG has observed compared to other content management vendors include:
- Alfresco provides an AWS marketplace instance to allow AWS clients to quickly leverage for both early prototyping as well as use as a template for the eventual production system, something no other major content management vendor provides. TSG also provides our own AWS marketplace instance on Alfresco with our software products.
- Alfresco conducted a “billion object benchmark” with AWS and Aurora in 2015 that proved out the solution for large implementations with ingestion speeds of more than 400 documents per second. Doculabs talked to multiple Alfresco clients that manage more than 600 million documents within the platform.
- Many of the other ECM vendors (OpenText, IBM) struggle with multiple repositories solutions as well as the distraction of having their own cloud that competes against AWS.
- TSG has 17 clients currently using Alfresco on Amazon Web Services. Despite working with a large number of Documentum clients over the past 22 years, we are not aware of any Documentum clients running on AWS. Some moved to the VMWare cloud before the sell-off to Dell.
- Alfresco does not have the distraction of pushing a hybrid cloud software solution tied to their public cloud that some other vendors (ex: OpenText, MFiles) that relies on additional software and has not been embraced by customers. Look for TSG’s write-up in Document Strategy within the next two weeks for more about Hybrid software versus a Hybrid approach.
Doculab’s Alfresco Concerns – Implementation Services and Industry Verticals
Doculabs identified Alfresco’s lack of implementation services as a concern when comparing to vendors like IBM and OpenText that provide consulting services along with software. Instead of providing services, Alfresco provides a platform and encourages clients to work with Alfresco partners in regards to implementation. While a “one stop shop” might seem advantageous, TSG has seen multiple clients struggle with vendor supplied consulting services. A robust partner network provides more choice for customers and the ability to have more objectivity when it comes to both the software implementation as well as creative additions and integrations.
Doculabs also identified Alfresco’s lack of industry vertical as another concern. The legacy vendors had an advantage of timing (FileNet with Financial Services, Documentum with Life Sciences, OpenText with SAP) in that they had a solution and integrations back in the 1990’s when many of the verticals were first beginning to look at ECM. Alfresco is gradually making progress against the legacy players as a platform rather than a vertical solution. TSG is seeing progress on verticals from the Alfresco partners particularly insurance and compliance/manufacturing with our own solutions.
Access the complete Doculabs report here.