By Barbara Darrow, CRN
Janet Perna, general manager of IBM Software's Data Management group, and Brett MacIntyre, vice president of content management for IBM Software, spoke with CRN Industry Editor Barbara Darrow on Thursday, a day after IBM announced its acquisition of Green Pasture Software, a Corvallis, Ore.-based provider of document management applications. The deal marked the third content management-related acquisition within a year for IBM Software.
Below are extracts from the CRN interview.
CRN: What does Green Pasture bring to IBM's table?
PERNA: What it brings to us is compound document management. It's the ability for multiple people to prepare complex documents in a collaborative way, to keep track of versions and so forth. It's used widely in industries that are regulated, like pharmaceutical industries for drug submissions and companies that need to keep track of engineering drawings.
CRN: So you're talking about simultaneous access?
PERNA: Yes, simultaneous. So you and I can both check out pieces of a document, and each one can work on it and check it back in.
CRN: So going forward, will IBM integrate this into DB2 Content Manager or make it a separate product? Can you discuss product plans and packaging?
PERNA: Green Pasture has been a partner of ours. They've taken compound document management capability and integrated into DB2 Content Manager. What that means is the content that's created is stored within the Content Manager already. As you know, what we've delivered is a content repository in Content Manager that is high-performing, scalable and reliable, and that's the base infrastructure.
CRN: What's going on in the content management market these days? For example, EMC bought Documentum, and there have been a number of other deals. Is the consolidation going to continue?
PERNA: If you look back at interviews we've done in the past two years, every time you ask what's new I talk about the emerging area of enterprise content management. We can see the consolidation taking place now, but it's something we've been working on for a number of years.
...What's driving it today? First, there's a great desire among companies to save money ....Second, they're learning that they can improve operational productivity now by doing things like automating their claims-processing applications and really being able to implement digitized workflow. ....Third, all the regulations now around things like [the] Sarbanes-Oxley [Act], SEC compliance, HIPAA and Basel II have to do with life-cycle management of pieces of content. And fourth, if you look at end-to-end business integration and on-demand computing, they require seamless flow of information, and that information comes in all forms--some in documents, some in relational databases.
CRN: FileNet is out there. Oracle needs to respond. Maybe there's an interesting pairing there?
PERNA: We compete very, very well with FileNet today and with Oracle. I don't know. It might be an interesting pairing.
PERNA: This area will grow faster and larger than relational databases.
Think about relational databases. They've been out for 20 years now, and this space is projected to be a $9 billion market by 2007. Oracle has been asleep at the switch here.
CRN: On the other end, Microsoft
may be years away from enterprise content management. But many say they've done a smart thing by putting very basic document routing in Windows SharePoint Services, which is 80 percent of what smaller companies might need, plus engaging in partner efforts and plan to come up to the enterprise later.
MACINTYRE: What they've done is exactly what you described. They have some point solutions and a couple of domains to meet basic needs--basic document management, basic routing capabilities. They don't have what customers want. They don't have imaging, report management, records management--the things large companies are asking for to be compliant and realize cost savings. They're light-years away. Read