It’s Good to be the King
Software companies, and analysts alike, love to come up with unique product positions, and categories, that enable them to stand out from their competition. Put a bunch of related capabilities together in a box and give it a catchy name. Hey, presto! Congratulations, you just invented a new market and, guess what, you’re the King.
But software markets evolve over time. Markets seldom ever die; rather they develop into something else, sometimes absorbing or merging with other markets. We saw this in the content world when document management evolved into ECM and more lately Content Services. Similarly in the process world, we first had a ‘workflow’ market, which evolved into business process management (BPM) and, more recently, spawned robotic process automation (RPA).
The desire to create faster, more efficient, and more agile business processes fueled the rise and evolution of these markets. Just as the rise of Cloud Computing raised customers’ expectations regarding the time it should take to deliver business value to the enterprise.
Today many customers are looking for business solutions rather than a set of technology platforms from which to then architect a solution. And the new market terms that are emerging reflect that shift. For example, the increased profile of Process Mining results from a desire to understand an organization’s business processes and coupled together with other related capabilities, such as real-time monitoring and predictive analytics, deliver Process Intelligence.
Content Intelligence and Beyond
ABBYY has long been synonymous with the document capture market, which morphed into the Cognitive Capture market by exploiting artificial intelligence and machine learning in particular. Together, these capabilities provide us with Content Intelligence through classifying and extracting the structured business information lying dormant inside unstructured content.
With their acquisition of TimelinePI in 2019, ABBYY acted on its beliefs regarding the inescapable linkage between content and process intelligence. And, I can sort of see their point. After all, unstructured content is very often the payload carried between tasks by a BPM system. The recent market focus on automation through the deployment of RPA also necessitates gaining access to this valuable trove of actionable business information. After all this information is useless without knowing what to do with it. So there is something to be said for combining content intelligence with process intelligence to create a new term that ABBYY is now using in its product marketing, Digital Intelligence.
At Deep Analysis we do not compare and contrast one vendor with another, nor do we put them into convenient (for the analysts at least) product categories. Instead, we focus on the problems these products solve. Even so, the thought process that goes into coining new terms, and how these reflect changing market conditions is fascinating for sure. Equally, I am sure that ABBYY hopes that this term creates some traction in the market and that it helps to elevate them above the growing population of vendors occupying these currently separate markets. Whatever their motives, there is a certain logic to the term ‘Digital Intelligence’.
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