With the news that TSG has joined the Alfresco family, many of our customers, ECM/CSP analysts and even competitors have been asking why make this change. This post will discuss the thoughts that led to the decision to join Alfresco as well as the opportunities for the future.
Making a Larger Market Impact with TSG’s products and services under the Alfresco Brand
The major reason for both TSG and Alfresco to explore the possibilities of combining was to make a bigger impact on the CSP/ECM marketplace. We are confident that our combined strengths and capabilities will continue to innovate and evolve the most modern Content Services Platform on the market. Over TSG’s 14 years of partnership with Alfresco, TSG has successfully deployed Alfresco and TSG products across both large and small clients (TSG has over 40 active Alfresco clients). TSG and Alfresco were able to leverage our products and services to make these clients successful but sometimes found extending TSG’s success to other Alfresco clients, prospects or partners was challenging. These challenges included competition with other software and service partners, geographic constraints as well as client biases in regards to software provided by a relatively small firm like TSG.
As part of Alfresco, clients, prospects and Alfresco partners now have the potential to have access to TSG’s full suite of products and services directly from Alfresco that include:
- OpenAnnotate – for robust viewing, annotating or redacting content.
- OpenContent Management Suite, Case and Search – No code configuration for building a variety of vertical applications including insurance, manufacturing and plant operations, and even accounts payable among others.
- Capture 2.0 – upcoming machine learning focused on next-generating capture of documents leveraging machine learning.
- OpenMigrate – the most successful high speed and massive volume Alfresco migration tool along with TSG services for moving from legacy ECM platforms like FileNet, Documentum, OpenText, Mobius, CMOD, DocFinity among others.
- OpenContent Web Services – Additional web service capabilities to add to Alfresco for redacting, comparing and other common document management capabilities.
Look for some rebranding with new product names to take advantage of the Alfresco brand.
Alfresco has also committed to supporting all of TSG’s existing OpenContent, OpenMigrate, OpenAnnotate and services clients (including Documentum clients) to support them in continuing to be successful with our products and services with no interruption.
In addition to the market impact of adding TSG front-end products to Alfresco’s highly successful backend, another area for innovation will include pursuing NoSQL offerings. TSG has been recently recognized by the market after our 11 billion document benchmark conducted in 2019. TSG has multiple successful clients that are benefiting from the benefits of NoSQL including a recent mult-billion document migration from FileNet to a NoSQL repository . TSG NoSQL deployments and options include:
- HBase/Hadoop – for on-premise or cloud NoSQL alternative to relational databases
- DynamoDB – for Amazon Web Services
- HBase/HDInisght – for Microsoft Azure
- HBase/BigTable – for Google Web Services
Alfresco PAAS and SAAS Offerings
In September 2019, Alfresco launched a new Platform as a Service. As Alfresco renews their offerings around Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), TSG can offer additional capabilities including no code configurable software (OpenContent Management Suite and OpenAnnotate), specific vertical solutions like insurance and manufacturing along with integration services to tie the offering to existing client applications or other PaaS or SaaS offerings.
Clients looking for PaaS are hoping for less IT involvement and will demand more from the service provider including integration services. With roots and culture based on client service and integration capabilities, TSG will add considerable depth and breadth with products and services to the Alfresco PaaS and SaaS offerings.
Simplified Alfresco Sales with Solutions
While Alfresco has always been a robust repository for technical decision makers, more and more new prospects and opportunities are coming from a combination of business owners looking for specific solutions in combination with a more robust repository, often in the cloud. Combined with Alfresco, TSG adds the ability to simplify the sales process by:
- Adding TSG no code configurable solutions to the Alfresco sales team and partners with specific industry knowledge (insurance and compliant manufacturing/plant operations among others) and referenceable clients. No code solutions provide a more cost-effective and supportable solution and shorter implementation timeframe. OpenContent and OpenAnnotate are available for most existing versions of Alfresco as well as new versions and NoSQL options.
- Adding TSG NoSQL options to allow more options for clients looking for NoSQL versus SQL alternatives.
- Adding TSG Elastic Stack and Solr capabilities for customers looking for alternatives.
- Adding TSG Amazon, Azure and Google cloud experience to the Alfresco sales team and partners to provide additional options for client cloud solutions.
- Adding TSG integration experience to augment client resources or other partners to address more complex integration requirements and additional software providers.
Adding all of the above under the Alfresco brand will allow for:
- More complete proposals and RFP responses to customers/prospects
- More choices for customers in regards to both front-end and back-end solutions from Alfresco
- Simplified sales and purchasing decisions
- Simplified support and issue resolution
Coordinating with Alfresco Sales and Marketing
One of the struggles for TSG historically has been sales and marketing. Given our consulting roots, we lean toward engineers that like to solve detailed problems and have struggled develop a geographically diverse sales force to bring our message to new prospects.
Being part of the Alfresco family allows Alfresco sales and marketing to better spread the message about TSG software and services while adding TSG expertise to aid Alfresco’s marketing and sales efforts. Alfresco also receives significant benefits of the coordination including:
- TSG’s vertical expertise (insurance, manufacturing, plant operations among others) solutions and reference clients.
- TSG’s services as part of the sales process for POC’s as well as implementation and migration estimates and experience.
- TSG’s integration experience as part of the sales process to offer more complete solutions to clients.
- TSG’s AWS, Azure and Google experience and NoSQL alternatives for clients.
- TSG’s Elastic Stack and Solr experience and alternatives for clients
Better Traction with Alfresco Partners
While TSG has a strong relationship with multiple Alfresco partners, as part of Alfresco, TSG will be able to more easily participate with partners for joint sales and implementation initiatives representing Alfresco. Partners will soon have access and be able to resell OpenAnnotate and the OpenContent Management Suite. Alfresco professional services will now include TSG resources with the ability to assist and augment partner led Alfresco initiatives including access to the industry leading OpenMigrate services offering that successfully delivered over 20,000 document migration per second as part of the 11 Billion Document Benchmark.
TSG and Alfresco – What’s Next
Update – 3-25-2020 – Reaction from the analysts and press has been great so far despite the uncertain times caused by the virus. See two articles by long-time ECM analysts.
Alan Pelz-Sharpe – Three Recent Acquisitions – Hyland, OpenText & Alfresco
Jeff Potts – Alfresco Acquires Technology Services Group
Virginia Backatis – Here’s why Alfresco acquired Technology Services Group
While combining with Alfresco brings some easy short-term benefits to both TSG and Alfresco, the potential to shape what comes next has us excited as well. As we mentioned in our Document Strategy article about the coming disruption, TSG combined with Alfresco has the potential to dramatically turbo charge both Alfresco and TSG’s “What’s Next Efforts”. Whether NoSQL, Smarter Object Store, Cloud, Machine Learning, no code or new technologies or approaches that will emerge, the combined strengths of TSG and Alfresco can quickly react and shape the market.
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