Microsoft, Box, Google continue to lead Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms

Gartner published its latest Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms, profiling 14 of the top players in Content Collaboration – and it’s no surprise that Microsoft, Box, and Google continue to dominate the Quadrant.

As part of its analysis, Gartner has predicted that 55 percent of large and midsize organizations will “use a content collaboration platform to implement document workflows and improve collaboration and productivity” by the year 2022.

Through its usual process to help organizations select their preferred CCP vendor, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant has identified 2018’s:

  • Leaders who execute well against their current vision and are best positioned for tomorrow.
  • Visionaries who understand where the market is going or have a vision for changing market rules, but do not yet execute well.
  • Niche Players who focus successfully on a small segment, or are unfocused and do not out-innovate or outperform others.

Challengers who execute well today or may dominate a large segment, but do not demonstrate an understanding of market direction.

Here’s how they stack up:

 

What are this year’s leading Content Collaboration Platforms?

Let’s focus on the three big players in this market: Box, Microsoft, and Google. Their persistent appearance in the “Leaders” quadrant is no surprise based on their market position. They have the ability and funding to continually execute on their vision for content collaboration.

Box

One of the reasons key why Box is so high up in the MQ stack is because they deliver on a full product line that covers the necessary aspects of content collaboration (like workflow, metadata management, content collaboration and intelligent services), all delivered on a scalable and secure cloud platform. Box also extends its content collaboration capabilities through intelligence, enhanced user experiences and enterprise-oriented governance, protection and oversight. This results in customers that are generally happy with the results delivered by their Box deployments in their digital transformation journey. The problem Box faces is the competitive advantage some other services have, like Office 365 and G Suite, from a content collaboration perspective. Their content collaboration might not be as visionary as Box, but with the additional services they include, they are more cost-effective.

Google

As one of the largest public cloud providers in content collaboration, Google can look back at a long history of cloud deployments. However, this is also one of its weaknesses since Google has little to no interest or intention to integrate natively with other cloud systems or on-premises platforms. This makes the service unappealing to customers who seek a hybrid content management environment due to business requirements, or who lack the desire to be a 100% cloud-based organization. The innovative nature of the Google Stack does bring interesting features like the integration of AI, like Quick Access (a function that suggests files deemed most likely to be needed next) and natural-language search. However, some customers have mentioned that the lack of some of the basic content collaboration features like the metadata and taxonomy makes the use of the service difficult and confusing.

Microsoft

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant research focuses highly on OneDrive for Business, a service within Office 365 that is used most often as personal content storage – but this focus contradicts Gartner’s research statement of rating Content Collaboration Platforms. The Microsoft Platforms best suited for this type of CCP workload are Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online. And even though they are using the same technology, their implementation is significantly different. However, we can state that Microsoft is trying, just like Google, to make its content collaboration more intelligent. The Microsoft Graph adds intelligence to content stored in OneDrive and other Office 365 data applications. It enables deep insight into content that can enhance the user experience through smarter interactions. Microsoft Flow, by using the Microsoft Graph, can help automate content management and processing tasks. One of the things to be cautious about is the integration of Office 365 with other content management systems or applications. The native integration is in almost all cases insufficient for most customers. Additionally, customers have complained about potential additional storage costs when OneDrive for Business or SharePoint online is used intensively. To quell those concerns, Microsoft has recently increased their storage quotas.

 

Key Takeaways

Based on their features and functionality, each of the three highlighted leaders is clearly addressing a real need to help businesses grow and collaborate better within their organization. However, for each vendor, Gartner raises the same point: That these systems are not well-equipped to deal with the deep content integration to outside platforms that so many organizations often require. They perform best when all of an organization’s content is stored within their particular system, but as soon as content distribution is required across different platforms, native integration becomes an issue for each of them.

This is important to understand because there is a change happening in the Content Collaboration industry. A single, one-size-fits-all Enterprise Content and Collaboration platform is less of a requirement for a business than to simply be able to use the right tool for the right job. But hope is not lost here. With a robust Enterprise Content Integration platform, organizations can keep all of their content in sync no matter where it lives –  allowing them to use the platforms they prefer, and eradicate any native integration problems that may exist within these platforms.

Source: Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms, 2018

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