Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management 2017 – What Does it Tell Us?

For people using the Gartner Magic Quadrant to shortlist CMS platforms we tend to find that initial research leads to more questions than answers.

To the naked eye they provide a rough guide to the marketplace. You can spot the leaders, challengers and followers easily enough but then again price normally dictates which segment of the quadrant you buy from anyway.

What I find interesting is looking at year on year trends. This has been especially interesting in 2017 as there is more movement than meets the eye…. Especially in the eCommerce Quadrant released earlier this year.

Gartner Magic Quadrant

Starting with the CMS Quadrant on the left there are four key findings when it comes to .Net CMS:

Sitecore remains a front-runner especially in ‘Ability to Execute’.
Episerver’s offering has shifted slightly, losing ground on ability to execute but improving Completeness of Vision. Importantly it remains in the leading segment.
Progress has seen a big shift back from its central position.
Kentico hasn’t managed to improve on last year’s position.

The first of these might be a little unsurprising as Sitecore has been in the leading quadrant for half a decade now. However, it is impressive that in the midst of an increasingly innovative marketplace Sitecore has managed to maintain a cushion over the best of the rest.

Episerver’s movement is interesting. The combination of a significant shift into the leading quadrant in 2016 and mixed product reviews meant that we suspected it might drop back into either the Challenger or Visionary segments. Maybe this suggests that issues from merging the Episerver and Ektron code bases and corporate structures are finally over.

Not many of us at i3 were surprised to see Sitefinity fall back from their good ranking position in 2016. Its traditional marketplace of easy to use brochureware websites has been flooded by Content as a Service providers like Perch, Prismic and Contentful.

Kentico’s lack of movement is possibly related to this trend. Their Kentico Headless CMS has been rapidly developed alongside their traditional CMS product meaning a lack of new features in the last release. Promises of new functionality in Kentico 11 might see it improve in 12 months’ time.

Gartner Magic Quadrant

The eCommerce matrix is probably more interesting.

Firstly, Sitecore is on the scene for the first time. This is probably a reflection of the maturity of its connectors for uCommerce and that it’s new inbuilt Sitecore Commerce product which has integration connectors with MS Dynamics (great news for any Dynamics Nav customers).

Episerver made major gains from a Niche Player to a strong Challenger position. As stated in our blog a few weeks ago, it’s out of the box features are very impressive.

Finally Magento, probably the best known eCommerce platform has moved into the Leading segment for the first time alongside SAP and the other big players. It’s certainly no surprise. As it is owned by eBay it’s always had good connectors with that marketplace (an important channel for smaller retailers). In addition although last year’s release of Magento 2 into the market as an ‘enterprise ready’ product was painful for developers it did significantly improve ease of use for end users and add some nice new functionality.

Why aren’t Kentico and Sitefinity in this Quadrant? Sitefinity, being frank, is a long way behind on eCommerce. Kentico does have a good inbuilt eCommerce engine that is flexible but perhaps comes up short in an ‘out of the box’ comparison. The other potential reason could be the focus on getting a ‘Headless’ offering to market quickly meant they didn’t have time to court the Gartner assessors on eCommerce.

So what should you buy?

As clear as mud isn’t it?! Our recommendation would be to pick the system that offers the greatest compatibility with your full list of requirements and your integration needs…. Oh and your budget!

For businesses needing eCommerce integrated with a large installation of Dynamics, Sitecore should certainly be considered. Conversely, people wanting a CMS for a relatively straightforward project with a modest budget and a few integrations should be looking at Sitefinity and Kentico.

If in the early stages of platform selection I’d be keeping an eye on Episerver too. It’s the platform which seems to be moving fastest and might offer a good alternative to Magento at enterprise level.

Click here to watch the replay of our recent ‘What is the Best eCommerce Solution’ Webinar.

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