Hot Vendor Throwback: A Look at 5 Key Categories from 2018
by Katie Woodford, featuring Aragon analyst insights
In 2018, Aragon Research continued its tradition of honoring noteworthy, visionary, and innovative technology providers and published its sixth annual series of Hot Vendor™ reports. The icing on the cake was being able to formally recognize each winner at Aragon Transform, our December event that brings together up-and-comers and leaders from Silicon Valley and beyond.
As we look toward the 2019 Hot Vendor Awards (in fact, we just opened our 2019 nominations), it’s a great time to reflect back on five key award categories that caught our attention in 2018.
New Year, New Categories
Fittingly, blockchain is a hot and hyped buzzword in the tech world, but security remains one of the largest hurdles for blockchain adoption in the enterprise. 2018’s Hot Vendor report for blockchain focused on smart contract applications, and the ways each recognized provider is working to help solve identity verification and authorization issues in unique ways.
- Chainalysis offers a blockchain compliance platform with a specialization in anti-money laundering and KYC.
- Chainlink focuses on the construction of blockchain-based smart contracts that can connect to legacy data via its Chainlink API.
- Harbor is changing how blockchain transactions are accomplished by enabling a new standard, R-Token, which is a security token that helps ensure that the right parties are involved with the right transactions.
- Symbiont offers a robust blockchain development platform that focuses on different types of financial transactions, including loans, mortgages, crowdfunding, and asset digitization.
2. Dynamic Experience Management
While the trend toward a device-independent web approach started several years ago, Aragon is predicting that dynamic experience management (DXM), the new term for headless CMS, is the next generation of website management. 2018’s Hot Vendors in DXM make it easier for enterprises to personalize experiences and deliver any type of content to any device.
- Amplience provides a complete dynamic experience for retail and other markets. It can deliver any form of content and partner with leading eCommerce platforms including SAP and Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
- Contentful provides content infrastructure that offers APIs for managing, integrating, and delivering content to any device.
- Contentstack offers a full dynamic experience management platform that features extensive support for content delivery to any device type and a robust partner network, including integration with leading commerce platforms.
3. Image and Video Analytics
The use cases for image and video analytics are still evolving, but real-time facial recognition, transcription, tagging and indexing, and other capabilities are gaining momentum with advances in machine and deep learning algorithms. 2018’s Hot Vendors in this category included:
- Affectiva is known for its Emotion AI that analyzes complex and nuanced human emotions and cognitive states for face and voice.
- Ever AI offers a range of data analytics for images. Insights go beyond object recognition to deliver insights on age, gender, emotion, and ethnicity.
- HapYak offers video analytics capabilities that integrate with other CRM, marketing automation, learning, and analytics platforms.
- Valossa leverages AI technology to provide video insight, analytics, and recognition. Its AI enables audiovisual time-based metadata, face recognition, censoring, scene search, indexing, visual tagging, and other tools.
In 2018, Aragon recognized intelligent content analytics (ICA) as a fast-rising trend due to the need to gain insights from unstructured content. Check out 2018’s Hot Vendors in Voice Analytics and Hot Vendors in Document and Contract Analytics reports for other specialized looks at content analytics providers.
Fundamental But Fast-Growing Categories
4. Digital Transaction Management
A market that Aragon defined in 2014, digital transaction management (DTM) has been an award category since the inception of the Hot Vendor Awards, but has certainly evolved since.
The DTM market is growing at a double-digit rate and today, is about more than just automating the electronic signature phase; it concerns the entire content lifecycle from creation, approvals, signatures, and retention. In 2018, the DTM Hot Vendors were:
- eDOC specializes in mobile enterprise DTM to enable enterprises to close business deals faster and remove friction across the digital transaction process, including remote contract signing. eDOC also offers asset management solutions.
- Nitro provides a complete DTM solution with a focus on managing PDF documents. Besides advanced PDF capabilities, Nitro now offers eSignature and content analytics, too.
- SignEasy provides a full cloud-based DTM platform that allows enterprises to manage digital transactions from document creation to signature, while monitoring the process in between.
- Wacom enhances digital workflow through digital and visual communications. Wacom provides tablets, signature pads, pens, and digital ink that can enable enterprises to develop their own unique DTM solutions.
5. Sales Engagement
Another market identified by Aragon, sales engagement—a term coined in 2016—represents a category of sales tools housed in an all-in-one platform to streamline the digital selling process, and is also growing at a double-digit rate.
While we haven’t explicitly recognized Hot Vendors in this category since the start, Aragon has watched the consolidation of the sales enablement space and the shift toward integrated platforms for several years. 2018’s Hot Vendor report for sales engagement focused on the ways each provider enables faster outcomes for sales teams.
- DealHub.io is a digital work hub that provides content sharing and contract management, in addition to real-time insights that can guide the sales process.
- Highspot offers an intuitive and easy-to-use sales engagement platform that can speed up overall engagement through content scoring and integrations with other technology platforms.
- Olono is a SaaS-based sales activity automation offering that leverages sales and marketing application investments and captures sales activity to automate actions.
- Outreach fully integrates with Salesforce so that updates occurring in either platform are instantly communicated.
- VanillaSoft has a strong focus on communications, including voice, email, and SMS messaging, and helps maximize the scheduling process.
A Look Back at All of Our 2018 Hot Vendors
And that’s not all. In 2018, we covered Hot Vendors in a total of 18 categories.
Take a peek at the rest of these disruptive providers to get an idea of where these markets are headed. (Or to see if you have what it takes to be a Hot Vendor.)
Who Will Be a 2019 Hot Vendor?
If last year’s winners sound like you, we’ll be evaluating this year’s hopefuls shortly. Nominate your firm or your client by February 20th.