5 Thoughts – Box Included in Forrester Wave for ECM

sand-716660_1280On August 28th The Forrester Wave™ for Enterprise Content Management (Business Content Services, Q3) was released[1]. I’ve been saying for a while that some of the EFSS vendors, Box among them, are going to be part of the next generation of ECM platforms. It pleases me greatly that at least one analyst firm agrees with me.

I’ve included a chart showing the vendor rankings, based on Forrester’s scores. I’ve included the summarized MARKET PRESENCE score, as well as the detailed scores for Revenue and Customers & Markets; I’ve got a reason for doing that.

Without further ado, here’s some thoughts I have about Box’s inclusion in Forrester’s ECM Wave.

  1. CURRENT OFFERING: Box ranked 9th out of 11. The low ranking is no surprise given Box’s relative immaturity in the ECM space. What does surprise me is that it beat SharePoint 2013, and that it’s pretty close to Alfresco and EMC. As much as I dislike SP as an ECM platform, I do think it should have been ranked higher than Box.
  2. STRATEGY: Box was ranked 1st. Given who else is included in the Wave that’s a fairly significant accomplishment. Now, before any of us get too excited, having a solid strategy and executing it are not the same things. Given the ECM stalwarts that are on the list I have to assume that Box outscored them because of focus (I mean, look at the bags of tricks that ECM, OpenText, IBM have to throw at something). Will this hurt Box’s current offering scores in Waves to come? Dunno. The surprise to me in this bit is how low Alfresco scored.
  3. MARKET PRESENCE – Revenue: Box is 5th with a score of 3.9/5, which kinda has me scratching my head a bit. They were beaten by EMC (4.1/5), IBM (5/5), Microsoft (5/5), and OpenText (4.9/5). If the scores are reflective of current fiscal year revenues, why isn’t Wall Street showing Box more love? If not, maybe Forrester needs a bigger scale for this bit.
  4. MARKET PRESENCE – Customers & Markets: Box tied for 5th with Lexmark. Depending on how Forrester calculated the revenue scores, and Box’s business model, I’d expect this year’s customers & markets score to impact (positively) next year’s revenue score. A big question I have on this score is whether or not Box’s non-paying customers made up some of the market score.
  5. The main thing to take away from the Forrester report is that Box was included. I’ve been calling for them to be seen as ECM rather than EFSS for a while now, so I’m obviously happy with the outcome. Frankly, even if Box hadn’t been included in the final 11 but had been mentioned in the “Explore Other ECM Vendors …”, that would have been a huge step in the right direction. So, yeah, I told you so.

Forrester ECM Vendor Ranking

[1] You can download the full report from the vendors that are caught in the wave or head to Forrester and buy it.

3 Comments on “5 Thoughts – Box Included in Forrester Wave for ECM

  1. Nice commentary, Chris. And fair play to Box AR team for securing a position in this report. This feels like a more believable peer group than is collected up in the EFSS bucket. At the end of the day, the definition of “competition” is the list of companies that you lose business to, so it’s interesting to see in black and white that commentators now adjudge Box to compete with SP, IBM et Al(freso) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Robert.

      It’s also a matter of analysts (Cheryl McKinnon, in this case) understanding where Box truly fits. I also like to think that someone’s finally believing what I said about a year ago. Who knows? 🙂


  2. Pingback: #BoxWorks2016 – My Thoughts | PHIGs IMC Inc.

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