EMC will soon release one of the first embeddable enterprise CMS platforms that is able to support all content application types. In an industry where the big brands already own the majority of the ECM market, this may not be life-changing, but as basic content services (BCS) commoditize, it could prove critical to the company's success.
By offering an embedded repository EMC may be able to expand its reach and maintain some form of cachet among industry giants like Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle — who are already staking claims in the unstructured content services space.
Earlier this week CMS Watch's Alan Pelz-Sharpe weighed in with his take on the OEM approach, casting his doubts on EMC's ability to execute a move like this, given their history of big deal making and relative lack of experience in the OEM space.
On the upside, Alan does note that while the business application market is ruled primarily by two major brands, thousands of smaller app vendors remain in need of a satisfactory solution. This means EMC can either become the SouthWest of BCS for small app vendors, or it can take a potential looser route into unfamiliar territory and head-to-head competition with the giants.
Whether the company can yank and tug themselves into this new shape does remain to be seen. The desire to shift strategy in this space cannot be faulted though. Its a popular move of late. Oracle's BCS has been making some noise. Xythos is pushing their BCS solution. Microsoft's MOSS 2007 is coming out the door now. And other big vendors like Open Text have been shifting focus further up the stack.
While EMC hasn't been all that active on the BCS frontier, they do believe that once the new edition appears they will see a dramatic increase in companies that use Documentum with their applications.
With a spark of optimism for product demand, archive marketing director Lubor Ptacek notes, “Today, virtually every application vendor needs to embed a content repository and content functionality as part of their application.” That may be true, but in general smaller vendors build their own simple content services or use databases. The BCS market is yet to mature and what comes of EMC's efforts will likely be costly, as it will be at the expense of other well funded and well positioned players.
Documentum OEM Edition will contain a preconfigured version of the EMC Documentum Content Server and will have the same functionality and API as the version sold to enterprise customers. The platform will be optimized for typical usage profiles in a resource-restricted environment. It also comes with a silent installer for easier embedding into the host application without introducing any new dependencies.
Starting in December companies will be able to place Documentum OEM Edition's ECM software in their own apps. Application vendors who purchase the revamped embedded software will receive access to EMC's co-marketing, developer and tech support programs.
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