The nice thing with friends in high places is the ability to see advanced copies of guides and books before they hit the public. Digital Clarity Group (DCG) has announced the immediate availability of an update to the North American edition of its popular Guide to Service Providers for Web Content and Customer Experience Management. Over the past few days, I've combed through the pages and remain as impressed with the guide as I was with its original release. The 2014 publication presents new research on key trends in client-provider relationships and adds profiles of agencies and integrators not covered in the 2013 Guide.
DCG’s Guide to Service Providers is designed as a resource for organizations seeking service partners whose capabilities and expertise align with their content and digital experience initiatives. “We see more companies looking for new partners even when they are not implementing new CMS and CEM solutions. They are launching strategies and programs that require skills that they don’t have in-house,” noted Tim Walters, DCG Partner and Principal Analyst. “The Guide aggregates hard-to-find information about qualified service firms and offers advice about crafting the most effective relationships with them.”
The research on the 47 service providers profiled in the update indicates that demand for outside assistance with WCM and CEM projects in North America continues to be healthy, and for many it is increasing. “More than half of the firms we profiled reported higher employee numbers than in 2013, and seven had opened new offices,” commented Jill Finger Gibson, Principal Analyst and study director for DCG’s Guide series. “Service providers are also expanding into new areas. More are emphasizing their e-commerce capabilities, for example, compared to what they reported in 2013.”
In preparing for this blog post, Mary Laplante (DCG Vice President of Client Services) reminded me that DCG is an independent research-based advisory firm. The translation is there is no "pay for play" going on here as none of the service providers listed have paid DCG to be included in this guide. Instead, several WCM vendors were asked to provide information on their leading service provider partnerships in North America. Additional service providers were included by other sources, including an agency advisory firm and previous work with service providers for end-user clients.
In addition to new analysis and key research findings, the 2014 North American Guide to Service Providers features:
- Updated information on the 42 firms profiled in 2013
- The addition of five new agencies and integrators for a total of 47
- Revisions to the Guide’s design and structure to enhance the reader’s ability to quickly find relevant information.
- The service providers profiled have technology partnerships with 29 vendors of commercial and open source CMS products.
The 2014 North American Guide update follows DCG’s coverage of the European service provider landscape with the April 2014 release of the first European edition of the Guide to Service Providers. In my view, the aggregated research found in these guides gives buyers an unprecedented view of client-agency relationships across continents.