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3 Key Takeaways from the 2019 Nucleus Research ECM Technology Value Matrix

Background on the Nucleus Research ECM Technology Value Matrix 2019

Every year, analyst company Nucleus Research develops a Value Matrix for key software solution categories — outlining leaders within each category and a quick brief on each vendor. These reports are an invaluable tool for customers seeking ECM solutions and reviewing top vendors. For those familiar with Gartner Magic Quadrants or Forrester Waves, it’s a similar report. But Nucleus differentiates itself by exclaiming on their website:

“Our research is not designed to tell clients what they want to hear, but instead what they NEED to know to make the most informed technology decisions. The numbers don’t lie and provide the best foundation to assessing and understanding technology choices.”

This week, they published their Nucleus Research ECM Technology Value Matrix 2019 and M-Files was positioned in the Leader quadrant for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendors for the sixth year in a row. Even more exciting, Nucleus Research placed M-Files in the top spot among 17 vendors — rating the M-Files solution highest for functionality and near tops for usability.

The report says, “M-Files position in the Leader quadrant is supported by its strong technology, user-centric functionality, and robust usability.” It continues to say:

“Nucleus expects that M-Files will continue to set the standards for content management functionality in the near future.”

We are excited to have been given the top spot, as it serves as validation of the investment and hard work we’ve put into innovation and a second-to-none user experience. For more on M-Files on the Nucleus Research ECM Technology Value Matrix 2019, read our press release here.

In addition, there were some very interesting takeaways from this year’s report that we wanted to share with you:

Customers Shift Focus from Security to Innovation as a Prime Differentiator

Last year, the market for ECM solutions honed in on data security as a primary focus, given the inception of GDPR and widespread reports of high-profile information security breaches.

In 2019, however, Nucleus says that user feedback has been “radically different” than in 2018. Users have come to expect that an ECM solution will have robust security measures baked in and have thus shifted their focus to vendors with an innovative feature set — including AI & machine learning, automation, integration, capture and collaboration.

Users Expect ECM Vendors to Invest in Four Key Areas

Nucleus says it succinctly when they claim:

“Traditional monolithic content management vendors will continue to shrink as buyers look for usability, functionality, and innovation (rather than reputation), when selecting content and collaboration platforms.”

The report goes on to outline four key areas where users expect the most innovative ECM vendors to invest resources:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML)

AI and ML are central to a sophisticated content management solution. AI technology is still carving a path into some ECM platforms, by “enabling greater automation and elimination of manual repetitive tasks.” Forward-thinking content services platform vendors are figuring out where AI and ML will ultimately fit into their solution and investing in these technologies.


Optical Character Recognition (OCR) converts paper and digital documents into searchable, editable data, extracting value from unstructured data. Standard OCR functionality has become common to most ECM systems, but the future of capture, according to Nucleus, is the ability to capture handwritten characters and “interpret text that is not neatly arranged in rows and paragraphs.”


Companies have 4+ disconnected information repositories, on average. Nucleus says, “This electronic disconnect is inefficient and costs businesses money through in lost time and opportunity. Users are looking for integrations that aggregate data from disparate sources to form one coherent multi-functional system.”


Remote workers are becoming more commonplace as companies look to maximize talent acquisition outside of their physical geography. Users expect ECM vendors to focus on making real-time collaboration simpler and more efficient.

It’s no wonder M-Files leads the pack, especially with these four cornerstones of innovation users are clamoring for. M-Files has already made (and will continue making) significant investments on these fronts, getting ahead of customer needs.

In the realm of AI/ML, for example, M-Files makes use of these technologies to use the content of the document to suggest metadata values, thus making information easier to classify and find. With respect to integration, M-Files has been an industry leader with the Intelligent Metadata Layer, which links to disconnected repositories and allows users to find content, regardless of where it’s stored, in a single interface.

The Term “Digital Transformation” is Becoming Passé

This was an interesting one. Digital transformation as a buzzword has dominated enterprise technology circles for a few years now, but the report proclaims:

“Nucleus believes we’ve heard the last of the term ‘digital transformation’ and can look ahead to innovative automation, integrations, agility, and accessibility.”

While Nucleus didn’t expound much on the idea, it makes one think that organizations have, in large part, transformed and are now in the tweaking phase, maximizing the tool stack they’ve chosen. It’s an interesting proclamation, although debatable. Perhaps a topic for a future article?

Download the complimentary report here: