EMC / DocumentumFollowing through on an alliance announced in October, EMC has released two new products to facilitate integration of EMC Documentum with Microsoft SharePoint.The new products -- EMC Documentum Archive Services for SharePoint and EMC Documentum Content Services for SharePoint -- provide enhanced product integration while favoring EMC's Enterprise CMS capabilities. Documentum Archive Services provide customers with the ability to archive content to a Documentum content server from the SharePoint platform as well as improved transfer capabilities between SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 and Documentum. Documentum Content Services provide customers with the ability to search across Documentum repositories, manage document life cycles, plus support for virtual documents. Furthermore, Documentum Content Services is implemented as a group of ASP.NET WebParts (portlets) that allow access to an EMC Documentum repository via the SharePoint interface. For existing Documentum users, this is potentially the best of both worlds. Customers will get to leverage the new SharePoint 2007 platform, an area where Microsoft has thrived (as can be seen by their market share) and Documentum has traditionally struggled. Furthermore, SharePoint customers will now be able to take advantage of the power of the true enterprise-class content management foundation in Documentum. Although EMC is not the first content management system provider to integrate with SharePoint -- Hummingbird, Open Text, and Interwoven have already made similar announcements -- they are certainly the largest player to jump on the bandwagon. According to Lance Shaw, a senior marketing product manager with EMC, the decision to build tighter SharePoint integration was driven by customer demand: “Customers want to be able to deploy SharePoint out to end users while using more complete, robust content management system on the backend.” This announcement is intriguing for a number of reasons. Alliances between software and/or services companies are sometimes little more than public relations maneuvers that may never have an impact on the respective customer bases. However, this situation indicates that both Microsoft and EMC are aware of the shortcomings in their enterprise content management products and they realize that this alliance will benefit them both. Although EMC and Microsoft will continue to compete in the ECM space, EMC hopes to leverage the huge success of SharePoint for collaboration, document storage, and now with 2007, web development. If, as Steve Ballmer recently alluded to, SharePoint really is the next big operating system for Microsoft, then EMC is wise to buddy up with Redmond. Overall, this looks like a win-win scenario for customers of both Microsoft and EMC -- a rare but welcome occurrence in the world of enterprise content management.