“SDL’s extensive experience, customer track record and complementary services make it a premier provider of WCM for organizations requiring language translation and localization at scale.”*
On July 26, 2017, Gartner published the latest version of its Web Content Management (WCM) evaluation, Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Web Content Management.
Gartner defines web content management (WCM) as “the process of controlling the content to be consumed over one or more digital channels through the use of specific management tools based on a core repository. These solutions may be procured as commercial products, open-source tools or hosted service offerings.”*
Every year, Gartner analyzes the leading systems in the web content management space and graphically positions these products against one another and identifies strengths/cautions for each.
We at SDL are proud to announce we were once again included in the MQ for WCM, named a Challenger for the second year in a row. Compared to last year, SDL has advanced along the “Completeness of Vision” axis, moving closely towards the Leaders’ quadrant, to the point where SDL is basically straddling the line between Challenger and Leader.
A bit of history
Before we jump into Gartner’s analysis and our interpretation of it, we think it’s important to note the history of SDL’s positioning in the Magic Quadrant analysis and our movement along the way.
SDL Web (Tridion) was in the Leaders quadrant in 2015 before divestment announcements were made around certain parts of SDL’s portfolio: Fredhopper, Campaigns and Social Intelligence, in early 2016. SDL’s revised go-forward strategy was directed at a clear commitment to focus on two key areas: Content technologies and language solutions.
After these announcements were made, SDL moved from the Leaders quadrant in the 2016 MQ to the Challengers quadrant, as the market seemed unclear as to how SDL’s decision to refocus and realign business priorities would play out. The vision was not yet completely understood by the market at that point in time and while the analyst community generally reacted favorably to the news to narrow the portfolio down, there was a period of uncertainty which warranted the change from a Leader to a Challenger in the quadrant.
Fast-forward to this year’s version of the document and as mentioned above, SDL is once again in the Challenger’s quadrant, but has advanced along the “Completeness of Vision” axis, which is highly encouraging.
From our perspective, the progression of movement along the “Completeness of Vision” axis is validation that from a strategic standpoint, SDL’s direction is now completely understood and the messaging is resonating with our customers, partners and within the analyst community.
About our strategy
SDL’s move to a portfolio with two key areas is an approach that may seem to go against the stream, in a market where technology acquisitions are happening on a daily basis. The real question though is: what serves our customers better? At SDL, we believe a best-of-breed approach with strong integration capabilities is the best solution for enterprises, since they have already made significant investments in existing digital marketing technology. Best-of-breed vendors can provide more flexibility for the enterprise and eliminate vendor lock-in.
Regardless of one’s point of view on a best-of-breed versus full platform-play approach, we feel that the technology itself should also do the talking. If the product itself is leading edge, then by nature the strategy will work. This is clearly what we witness with SDL Web. The product is reported to be leading-edge across many WCM capabilities as shown in the Critical Capabilities for Web Content Management publication, which was released in conjunction with the MQ for WCM.
Gartner reiterates the SDL Web platform/technology as a strength, asserting “SDL Web benefits from a solid architectural foundation. Its good content delivery (in support of complex multichannel and multilanguage digital presence) and interoperability both remain strong.”**
And as many of our customers can testify, SDL’s significant efforts put into building a complete microservices-based and future-proofed delivery environment that is open and agnostic of delivery channel is hugely important and innovative.
And what about the future?
What are our plans to push the boundaries in the market? Well, not only have SDL’s vision and technology rapidly advanced from this time last year, but Gartner also talks about SDL’s future and the ability to outperform competitors in due time: “The future holds significant promise, however, as SDL begins to apply the well-earned machine-learning and natural-language processing expertise it gained in the translation space more broadly to digital experience efforts.”*
“SDL is poised to apply its machine translation and associated machine-learning expertise to a wider range of content requirements — as web experiences progress toward digital — including human-to-machine interactions, conversational interfaces and the intelligent generation of content.”**
The future is hard to predict in the fast moving WCM space. It’s easy to be dragged into over-hyped discussions and lose sight of the actual problems our customers need to address with digital marketing technology. We at SDL firmly believe that our vision and technology advancements are solid, and rooted in a realistic view on what the market really needs. This is reflected in the latest release of our product,
SDL Web 8.5, which adds yet another set of great new features for practitioners and IT teams. You can find more information about SDL Web 8.5 on our website.