What’s Happening to Hummingbird?

Historically, the two main document management systems (DMSs) used by large law firms have been Interwoven Worksite and Hummingbird Enterprise – DM.

In October 2006 Hummingbird was acquired by Open Text. At the time, John Wilkerson, Open Text’s EVP, Global Sales and Services assured Hummingbird customers via an open letter that:

“the combined company will provide you with the best products, solutions, service and support to address your most pressing business issues.”

However, judging by the results of the 2007 AmLaw Tech survey (which queries CIOs/IT Directors of the 200 largest US law firms), law firms weren’t convinced by Mr Wilkerson’s assurances. According to the survey, Interwoven’s market share has increased from 56 percent to 62 percent in the past 12 months, while Hummingbird’s has dropped from 38 percent to 31 percent over the same period.

It’s hard to say whether Hummingbird’s woes preceded the Open Text acquisition or have resulted from it. Either way, to Open Text’s credit, they have continued to improve the Hummingbird product (now called Livelink ECM – eDocs DM), having announced a new version last month.

What is less clear is the extent to which Interwoven will be able to take advantage of Hummingbird’s situation. The problem for Interwoven, along with all DMS vendors, is that Microsoft’s Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) is playing an increasingly important role in the market. While the current version (MOSS 2007) cannot be considered an enterprise DMS – which is why the major DMS vendors are integrating with MOSS – Microsoft may not be as accommodating down the track.

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