M-Files: Gartner's Only Magic Quadrant Visionary in Enterprise Content Management

By Steve Anderson

The Gartner Magic Quadrant study is one grid a lot of companies want to be on. Representing some of the best firms in a particular area, the Magic Quadrant ranks these firms according to certain factors. This year, only one firm could call itself a Visionary in the study, and that firm was M-Files Corporation.

M-Files, a company that handles solutions that help businesses better handle the documents that fall under their purview, saw some very strong growth in 2015; growth sufficiently strong to outpace the industry as a whole along with some of the biggest names in the field. With cloud-based solutions' demand on the rise, the field saw a 56 percent increase in software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings, and M-Files also saw big growth in its channel network. With almost 500 companies in over 100 countries, the company has a presence over much of the world. It saw its biggest growth, meanwhile, in the places where growth is usually seen first: Asia, Europe, and North America.

Gartner posted M-Files to the Visionary slot, recognizing the completeness of its overall vision, but casting some doubt on its ability to fulfill that vision. Had it been the other way around, the company would have been declared a Challenger instead. Companies scoring high on both ratings are called Leaders, meanwhile, and low in both makes a company a Niche Player.

Completeness of vision was particularly important this year, reports noted, as the fundamental enterprise content management (ECM) market had undergone several changes. As Gartner itself noted, ECM is rapidly becoming more of a framework that deals with individual use cases instead of a sort of one-size-fits-all operation. Thus, Gartner has had to adjust its own definition of ECM for the Magic Quadrant, and discovered that M-Files was a major force in overall vision.

When an industry changes, so too must the means to evaluate that industry, a point that's clearly worked in M-Files' favor this time around. While that may not be the case forever, for right now, it's enough to give M-Files an excellent berth and a new classification that should get it some industry interest. With the resulting resources that follow, M-Files might well be able to push itself into a Leader slot by augmenting the ability to act on its surprisingly prescient vision.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant study has long separated better firms from the rest of the market, and a slot in the study can be a big help in drawing and keeping business. That might be a development M-Files can successfully take advantage of, if it can hold on to what it's done right and augment where it has fallen short so far.

Edited by Alicia Young

Contributing Writer

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