Had a most fabulous afternoon today in Manhattan. A very sincere thank you to the organizers and committee members of the New York City AIIM and ARMA Chapters who put on a great joint education event today. The topic? "Open Source ECM.... Hip.. Not Hype". Joined on the panel by the distinguished Richard McKnight of Alfresco and Bryan Reynolds, CEO of ECM consulting firm Sitrof, I think we all left feeling very enthusiastic about the level of interest in open source ECM, with some fantastic audience questions, comments and interaction. This topic clearly was timely and relevant.

My highlights....

Seeing the thumbs up in the audience when we said it's time to explore ECM platforms that were built in THIS century...not the last one.

Discussing some of the future-proofing benefits open source can deliver vs. proprietary vendors... more than 1 hand went up in the room when I asked "Who's had their current ECM provider acquired recently and is anxious about its future roadmap..."

Getting lots of support for the concept of letting customers download, prototype, test, explore software in depth before forcing them into a financial commitment.

Seeing the nodding heads during a discussion of open standards as just - if not more - important a factor in ECM choices - preventing lock in, better anticipating future needs to migrate, upgrade, export/import, thinking long term and having the confidence that they can move when needed. (Yes... we high-fived the CMIS official ratification this week...)

Was also very gratifying to hear first hand that more and more organizations - particularly in public sector, non-profits, associations, etc that open source is being written into their procurement guidelines.

I repeated what I blogged about in my AIIM 2010 wrap up post 2 weeks ago... the trends that are hitting the radar in 2010 are what will emerge as significant forces in ECM over the next 3-5 years. ECM is a commoditized market. The next generation of ECM leaders must naturally come from fresh perspectives on development, marketing and business models. The market has shifted. And that is not hype.

And thank you to Twitterer Jason Stearns (@JCStearns_CRM) who live tweeted the whole event at hashtag #armaatnoon. Wish I would have known.... would have told more people to tune in!