Assessing Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Web CMS

Gartner released their annual Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management (CMS or WCM) last week. Let’s unpack this year’s version.

What We’re Seeing

There’s little change at the very top. Gartner sees Sitecore and Adobe continuing to lead the way on both vision and execution, with Acquia following close behind.  

Sitecore and Adobe have introduced managed service cloud offerings and increased machine learning capabilities (via Azure and Adobe Sensei respectively). Meanwhile, Acquia’s Lift personalization tool saw version 3 released, which more tightly integrated Drupal content management tools into the product.

Episerver’s slow march toward the top stalled a bit this year, but they maintained their positioning. One of the big issues Gartner brought up was the responsiveness of Episerver to their clients, which would seemingly be driven by the growing pains of winning more market share and integrating new acquisitions into their platform.  Those new acquisitions in machine learning-based personalization and omni-channel campaign management have exciting prospects for the future.

Top Takeaway – Machine Learning

Every year seems to have a theme in the analyst reports.  Recently you’ve seen cloud, commerce, and personalization. This year it was clearly machine learning.

Biggest Surprise – No Additions or Removals

The only change of vendors was simply the acquisition of Hippo by BloomReach. Other than that, the provider list saw no change for the first time in recent memory.

Big Mover: BloomReach (Hippo)

BloomReach purchased Hippo last year and merging their two capabilities pushed it up into the leader quadrant. Hippo doesn’t have a large market share and has a small partner network, so there’s still work to do to move beyond their current position. Their Java based platform may also pose a challenge for the .NET and PHP dominant market they are entering.

Other CMS to Note

  • Automattic: made a big leap in ability to execute, even while taking a step back on completeness of vision. There’s still a lot more work for them to do to get to the leader quadrant. Not the least of which is getting enterprises on board with the idea of WordPress as an enterprise solution.
  • IBM and Oracle: stopped the slide of falling backwards. It wouldn’t have been a terrible surprise to see either or both of them to fall out of the leader quadrant. The continued emergence of IBM’s Watson platform (here using the Watson Content Hub) and Oracle’s cloud strategies (with their Content and Experience Cloud) have augmented their content offerings to be more in-line with other Leaders.

Final Thoughts

Each of the players in the leader’s quadrant are doing a lot around machine learning and we’re seeing cloud offerings no longer be a differentiator, but more of an expectation from these providers. This year’s assessment was far more static than previous years, in our view, due to the maturity of the existing CMS providers to the market needs. This is actually good news for customers, as there is more certainty in the market regarding the best platforms to choose from.

It will be interesting to see if any of the upstart SaaS, API-based CMS providers can start breaking into the Gartner Magic Quadrant next year or whether Gartner might introduce a new report in regards to those platforms.

If you’re in the market for a CMS, email us at

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Surprise Yourself! A Refined Point of View: ColorComm Conference 2017

Last week in Miami, the fourth annual ColorComm Conference was the hottest ticket in town if you were a woman of color in communications. The three-day experience was filled with thought provoking breakout sessions, colorful (and at times controversial) panel discussions and numerous networking opportunities, all capped off by a humorous and candid keynote speech delivered by the incomparable Whoopi Goldberg.

As a member of Burson-Marsteller’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, I had the privilege of attending ColorComm with several other Burson-Marsteller colleagues representing all levels and disciplines within our organization. Although positioned as a conference dedicated to addressing the unique issues faced by women of color in our field, the insightful and actionable lessons we learned can, and should, be implemented as best practices to help accelerate the industry’s and our agency’s larger D&I efforts.

The Good News
Progress toward a more diverse and inclusive industry is being made and that progress is measurable. Just like the work we do for our clients, we must demonstrate that our efforts are helping to move the needle in a positive direction. More importantly, these changes are coming from the highest ranks of agencies and corporations alike – where CEOs and other executives are being held financially accountable for meeting specific D&I targets. The outdated and misinformed perception that D&I is solely about meeting a quota is also changing. Rather, it is now being viewed as an increasingly crucial business objective.

The Bad News
Change is coming slower than we’d like and there’s still a lot of work to be done. For example, while women overall are occupying more senior leadership positions, representation in the C-suite is dismal, and it’s even more alarming for women of color. But with these challenges comes great opportunity for change, and some of the industry’s largest agencies (including Burson-Marsteller) are working together to break down those barriers and create solutions.

So, you may ask, “What now?” Truthfully, there isn’t any one correct answer. But from the knowledge I gained at the ColorComm Conference, I believe that through deliberate and consistent action our collective efforts can create a groundswell that will spark greater change from the inside of our agency outwards.

Three small ways you can become part of the solution include:

  1. Have constructive disruptive conversations: Essentially, we need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable – especially when it comes to addressing sensitive D&I topics that affect us all, e.g. gender and racial discrimination, the wage gap, cultural differences and others that ignite the social and political divide. Through conversation we achieve deeper understanding and connection, which improves everyone’s experience. Burson-Marsteller has championed this type of communication via agency-wide town halls and panel discussions. Last year’s “Burson Forum on Race and Policing in America” immediately comes to mind when, at the time, the tension between ethnic communities and law enforcement agencies across the country had reached a fever pitch.
  2. Become an ally: One of the most anticipated breakout sessions at ColorComm was called “A Few Good Men,” which featured four industry thought leaders including Jorge Ortega, EVP and Managing Director of Burson’s Miami office. The session presented a male POV on how women can better negotiate, get promoted and assert themselves in the workplace. The common thread among the panelists was their deep and authentic belief in the intelligence, strength and capabilities of women in our industry. We need more voices like theirs and we need them to be loud. If there ever comes a time when you feel that diversity & inclusion doesn’t matter to you simply because you don’t identify with the affected racial/cultural/gender groups, remember that we all have skin in the game. Be an ally and speak up for others, even if it makes you uncomfortable.
  3. Take action, as there is no time to waste: On day two of the conference, I attended a very memorable breakfast session titled “Trailblazing with Intention in the Age of Trump.” The panel was moderated by CNN Political Strategist Symone Sanders and included three PR leaders representing different PR agencies. Naturally, the discussion touched upon the President’s latest Twitter activity from earlier that morning and the latest staff shake-ups in the West Wing, but one of the panelists (and a former colleague of mine) shared some final words that left me inspired and motivated. She said that “regardless of your title, work background, resources or the blatant examples of injustice you may experience, you must act relentlessly to safeguard the future for the professionals who will follow behind us. While we may not see the full outcomes of the D&I work we’re doing now, the next generation of women communicators will surely benefit from our efforts, and that makes the struggle worthwhile.”

I am so grateful for the opportunity to have attended the ColorComm Conference. The educational sessions and interaction with my fellow sisters in the industry have provided a refined framework from which to work and live. It is my hope that you will join me in putting these learnings into practice to help build a more diverse and inclusive environment in your workplace. Give it a try, you just may surprise yourself!

Nikki Lopez is a Manager in Burson-Marsteller’s U.S. Consumer & Brand Marketing Practice.

Highlights from “A Few Good Men” Panel at ColorComm #C2Miami 2017:

Vincent Digonnet named MullenLowe Group APAC CEO

In a move that was planned when he joined as MullenLowe Profero APAC CEO in March, Vincent Digonnet will now step up to APAC CEO for MullenLowe Group. Digonnet had North Asia CEO for MullenLowe Group added to his business card in May, and during the last month brought the network’s “hyperbundled” approach to China and Japan.

The promotion is effective immediately. Digonnet will remain based in Hong Kong and will report to global CEO Alex Leikikh. Digonnet takes on leadership of the South and Southeast Asia region from Joseph George, who recently announced he is stepping down after 26 years in the network. MullenLowe Lintas Group in India and 303 MullenLowe in Australia will continue to report directly to Leikikh.

The new position will help Digonnet deploy resources in each market to make MullenLowe “more digital at its core” while moving MullenLowe Profero from digital communications to business transformation, he told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “I will be able to leverage our existing capabilities in each market,” he said, citing Indonesia as an example where the network has digital capabilities within MullenLowe but no Profero footprint. “It will allow us to bring to our clients a seamless capability,” he added. The network’s recent announcements show, Digonnet asserted, that it was in a better position to create a more unified structure than other networks or holding companies that are making similar moves. Rather than having to destroy existing power structures and deal with politics, MullenLowe is simply building a better operation, he said.

Leikikh said in a release that in the six months since he joined, Digonnet has made a “huge difference as a dynamic and forward-looking leader” and cited his digital expertise as a crucial ingredient in the network’s effort to “embed digital-first leadership within all our markets”.

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