2014 has been an exciting year thus far for Alfresco. Our developer Community continues to expand, we’ve brought great new partners into the fold, and we are incredibly honored to have been selected by some very prestigious new customers. Even better, our visionary product innovation at the intersection of business-critical content, process and collaboration continues at breakneck speed. As a result, Alfresco is on a growth trajectory that is triple the growth rate of the ECM industry overall1, and the company is growing more than 30 percent annually. I couldn’t be happier and hope you will join us at Alfresco Summit 2014 September 23-25 in San Francisco or October 7-9 in London where we will be sharing more details about our plans and priorities for the upcoming year.
But today I want to turn to some news that is validation for any CEO. I’m proud to announce that Alfresco has raised a new round of funding – a total of $45 million led by Sageview Capital along with participation from existing investors Accel Partners, Mayfield Fund and SAP Ventures.
Why are investors betting on Alfresco?
The Enterprise Content Management (ECM) market is huge – estimated to be a $5.1B industry (per Gartner) as of 2013. I’d guess it’s topping $6B today. And it’s also crowded – with traditional ECM vendors on one side struggling with legacy technology that dictates the dreaded “lock in” that frustrates customers… and newer, cloud collaboration players that serve a content “light” need for consumers who want to share or store content, like a PowerPoint document.
The path we’ve chosen is one less traveled – admittedly disruptive – and informed by customers’ needs that simply aren’t being addressed by the ECM industry today.
The world Alfresco lives in and the customer pain-points we solve are tied to mission-critical content, processes, and records.
In other words, we are content at scale – not the lightweight use of that content (like sharing images or documents). You can get cheap storage to do that. More so I’d argue that “ad hoc” storage is what causes content chaos. Highly-regulated industries (think government, finance/banking and high technology) require enterprise-grade content management solutions they can trust to comply with SOX, FERPA and other regulations. As example, many US-based IT organizations have compliance needs dictated by The Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) where who touched what document, when and how often is in the spotlight. These industries seek an enterprise-level, compliant way of managing their mission-critical content in a user-friendly way.
Open-source DNA + the application of open standards is disintermediating Legacy ECM players.
In the ECM industry, there is a large installed base of technology that has been around for nearly two decades. We hear complaints daily that companies crave something new – a more modern, and open architecture (built on open standards) that doesn’t trap them within the walls of legacy technology. Companies seek easy deployment and integration of their content management platforms into existing technologies. With legacy vendors, that is a long, expensive and ultimately unrealistic goal. But with Alfresco it can be done simply and quickly with a content management solution built on open standards, with a modern architecture that allows flexibility and can evolve with customers’ needs over time – avoiding vendor lock in. And integration with other lines of business (LOB) is easier as customers have access to source code to easily understand how to integrate with their preferred content management system.
Having the freedom to enjoy all the benefits of the Cloud – while also gaining the advantages of an on-premise environment (at the pace of the Web) is the Holy Grail.
While many companies today have highly-valued content that IT will never trust to anything but an on-premise environment, others desire to have the freedom and efficiency of the Cloud. In addition, many enterprises would prefer the best of both, where they can choose the cloud for some content while keeping other content on premises. Hence ECM customers seek deployment options to meet their IT departments’ preference—whether it be on premise, Cloud or via a hybrid approach. Alfresco is the hybrid solution that provides all these options. Having the ability to replace legacy, on-premise only solutions with a hybrid approach appeals to both the IT department and the end user. We give the end-user and IT the freedom to develop on top of the cloud platform for today’s mobile workforce, with the same compliance benefits of an on-premise solution.
It’s also worth sharing that one of the key frustrations of on premise software of the past is the slow pace of innovation. With an open architecture, you can actually operate and make changes to your on-premise architecture – when you’re ready – at the pace of the Web.
At Alfresco, we have built a business that now serves more than 1800 active customers in 212 countries, managing more than 7 billion documents for over 11 million users worldwide. We’ve set ourselves on a path less traveled – but one informed by customer needs.
We are confident with this latest round of funding that the trust our investors are placing in Alfresco will only deepen our industry disruption and accelerate our ability to lead customers toward the future of ECM.
1 Calculations performed by Alfresco Software based on Gartner Report, Market Share Analysis: Enterprise Content Management, Worldwide, 2013 Analyst(s): Tom Eid, Bianca Francesca Granetto, 2013 Published: 2 June 2014.