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Gartner Magic Quadrant: Horizontal Portals 2012

Gartner has recently published the 2012 version of their Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals.  So far, I haven’t found the Gartner report on their reprint site and none of the vendors have provided links to it yet.  Here is the link to the report on Gartner’s site, but you’ll have to be a Gartner subscriber to access it:

Overall, the Magic Quadrant hasn’t changed a whole lot since 2011.

Gartner Magic Quadrant Horizontal Portals 2012

Lets take a look at each of the quadrants:


In the Leaders quadrant, we have IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and Liferay.  These are the same vendors that have been leaders in 2011 and 2010.  For each vendor, Gartner lists what they view as strengths and cautions.  Here is a brief set of one strength and one caution for each vendor.


  • Strength: The report states “Enterprise customers’ desire for a broad and versatile set of capabilities to achieve an effective and differentiated experience plays in IBM’s favor.  IBM is as close as any vendor to a one-stop shop employing portal technology as a foundation for UXP initiatives.”
  • Caution: “WebSphere Portal requires considerable design, development and integration investment and expertise (especially in the enterprise Java platform). This is the classic trade-off between full strength flexibility to meet a wide range of needs versus lightweight, easy-to-implement lean portals.”


  • Strength: The report states “SharePoint includes more out-of-the-box capabilities for common B2E portal scenarios than most other competitors’ products. SharePoint’s popularity has engendered a third-party ecosystem unlike that of any other provider, including independent software vendors (ISVs), implementation partners, Web agencies, and myriad global and local system integrators.”
  • Caution: “While relief from well-known weaknesses, like problematic customization, multisite management, mobile support and multilanguage support, may be on its way in SharePoint 2013, customers will have to wait to check their worth. In the meantime, the many organizations looking to build sophisticated, differentiated, global customer-facing websites will have to rely on third-party products and consulting expertise.”


  • Strength: “Oracle WebCenter can leverage more go-to-market angles and appeal to more IT and business audiences than most smaller competitors.  Oracle is the only one among the large providers to be deemed a Leader in both the Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals and the Magic Quadrant for WCM markets.”
  • Cautions: “Recently, Oracle has placed strong emphasis on Web engagement management (its WebCenter Sites product is chiefly focused on B2C website and digital marketing initiatives) and, by comparison, its message to companies seeking B2E and B2B solutions seems muted.”


  • Strength: “SAP’s vision, commitment and road map for the evolving portal market have improved significantly over the past year. In the road map, SAP NetWeaver Portal has become part of a comprehensive and ambitious strategy to improve SAP user engagement in light of emerging trends like social, mobile, cloud and information.”  See my recent post about SAP NetWeaver Cloud Portal.
  • Cautions: “SAP has shown less inclination than its competitors to support external marketing or service centric customer and consumer portal scenarios. Recently, organizations are finding that portals can deliver significant business value in customer-facing scenarios, and several of SAP’s competitors have been quicker to recognize and exploit the trend.”


  • Strength: “Liferay Portal is a lean, highly interoperable, flexible portal product. Functionally complete and, according to customers, low in total cost of ownership (TCO), compared with commercial products with which they’ve had experience.”
  • Caution: “It remains difficult for a small organization [Liferay] to keep up with other leading portal vendors, which often serve as one-stop shops for all the pieces necessary (including complementary software, services and hardware) to manage portals. Many are moving toward even more-comprehensive UXPs, entailing additional investments in innovative, complementary capabilities, such as analytics and mobility.”

Visionaries, Covisint, and Backbase are back in the Visionaries quadrant.  Adobe is a new addition this year to this quadrant and to the Horizontal Magic Quadrant report.


OpenText and Red Hat (JBoss) are in the challengers quadrant.  In 2011, OpenText was in the visionaries quadrant, while in 2010 is was listed as a challenger.

Niche Players

Drupal, DotNetNuke, and EdgeIPK are listed in this quadrant again in 2012.  New players in the Niche quadrant include eXo and United Planet.  Gartner has dropped TIBCO from the Horizontal Portal Magic Quadrant.

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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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