Forrester Research rates Papyrus a ‘Strong Performer’!

I this post I want to comment a bit more on ‘The Forrester Wave – Document Output for Customer Communications Management’.

Overall, Analysts Sheri McLeish and Craig Le Clair set a fairly high goal to analyze the current market offering in document output management. Only vendors with enterprise class functionality in interactive, on-demand and structured document creation were analysed. The ISIS Papyrus Platform was positioned as a strong performer in the same league as all the large vendors. No overall leader emerged.

“ISIS Papyrus by far owns the broadest vision for DOCCM in the industry,” stated The Forrester Wave™: Document Output For Customer Communications Management (DOCCM), Q2 2009. Forrester defines DOCCM as software used to compose, format, personalize and distribute content to support physical and electronic customer communications and improve the customer experience.

The ISIS Papyrus Platform v7 was reviewed in The Forrester WaveTM as follows: “ISIS scored well as a Strong Performer across all segments and as a well-balanced product with enterprise potential. ISIS Papyrus has the broadest and most unique vision for DOCCM in the industry, supporting ECM, CRM, analytics, event processing, and BPM. It has a modular and easy-to-configure system based on patented technology that combines with innovative post composition, output management, and production management.”

Forrester also reviewed reference installations and stated: “Customers are committed to the ISIS vision and feel passionate about this vendor.”

I am pretty satisfied with the report but it obviously is highly subjective how the functionality, strategy and market presence is rated. If you purchase the report you can change the weightings in the spreadsheet to find your own leader. What comes out of these reports has a lot to do with how clever the vendor positiones features in relationship to buzzwords and trends at the analyst firm. As Papyrus is always against the current trend we usually do not too well in such reports except when a more detailed comparison and an in-depth evalutaion of long term benefits is made. Butler Group did that excellently.

Also at Forrester marketshare and business size is still number one. Therefore a fairly weak strategy and little innovation goes a long way with a huge vendor. A smaller vendor who is very innovative is seen at risk because of that. So you cannot expect that small innovative businesses are at the forefront in terms of ratings, except if once again you hit one of the buzzwords that matches the analysts predictions! There is kind of a commonality between IT and stock market analysts and it is related to self-fulfilling prophecies.

I noticed a lack of understanding in what the various product functions actually are supposed to do. The true complexity of structured output functionality was underrated with fairly basic documents being considered as the norm. For interactive output Forrester mostly rated forms filling applications that in most cases are not enough for the most basic requirements. The document generation with such vendors is then always additional hardcoding in Java or similar. OnDemand generation is defined as document request from other application and widely underestimates the need for interactive text editing as well. Do not forget that you also need the ability to collate, bundle, sort and resend those documents either on paper and electronically and that this ability is neatly integrated with the Papyrus Platform.

What Forrester considered as being ‘Workflow’ or ‘process’ for document application cannot really be taken into account. Only the large BPM setups of either EMC or Oracle would come close to what customers are asking and getting today from a Papyrus Platform. What Papyrus EYE offers in terms of GUI not even Adobe FLEX can come close, but how would Forrester understand that? Therefore if you need highly user-customizable content, free-text editing, dynamic processes for creation and production, powerful color charts, image and graphics you better make sure that you do a proof of concept before signing a contract.

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One thought on “Forrester Research rates Papyrus a ‘Strong Performer’!

  1. Max,

    Thanks for sharing your opinion. Indeed, the role of the analyst is quite a tricky one – and they come in many shapes, colors and sizes. It was nice to see you make the comparison to the financial world.

    This makes me wonder whether anybody ever did a comparative analysis between the Wall St analysts (Moody, S&P …) and those in the IT world (Gartner, Forrester…).

    Those in the financial world are receiving their fair (and undoubtedly well deserved) lashing nowadays. The question is whether a similar questioning of their relevance (and impact) on how our IT industry behaves can be made as well.

    I will refrain from mentioning in public my expereinces where analysts have clearly contributed to destroying entire industries. Then again, who is the bigger fool (he who proclaims or he who follows or both)?

    It just goes to show that the need to question deeper than then headline is critical in both domains — yet over and over again I see pitches being made (and bought into) without the desire (!!) to question what is behind statements of “best in breed” mean.

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