At the EMC World conference in Vegas, EMC unveiled their latest plans and roadmap for content management and collaboration including tighter integration of new products with the Documentum platform and a new SaaS model designed for SMBs. It sounds like a very busy year ahead for these folks, almost too busy.Mark Lewis, EMC president of the Content Management and Archiving Division, discussed four solution areas where EMC has been working away at new products and services.
Transactional Content Management
Transactional content management is becoming very popular these days as vendors are working harder to integrate business processes and content management processes particularly in regards to processing in the insurance, financial and order management sectors.
With the acquisition of Captiva in 2005 and Document Sciences this year, EMC believes it is at the forefront of the industry for transactional content management. As such, they will be offering some enhancements to existing products and a number of new products that demonstration their capabilities in this area.
* Advanced Forms Capturing: EMC has plans to deliver advanced forms capturing abilities that will enable organizations to get more out of their forms.
* Documentum TaskSpace 6.5: A new, improved user interface will come in the third quarter.
* Business Activity Monitoring: EMC's BAM product will be integrated with Documentum.
* Captiva - Next Generation: They call it Project Athena. It's the next generation of data capturing technology and little bit of SOA all integrated with the Documentum ECM platform.
Another hot topic for the enterprise content management industry, information compliance includes things like discovery, e-discovery, compliance, archiving and data retention.
* Documentum Archive: EMC will merge Records Management and Archiving into a single platform. The Documentum Archive will support the archiving of email, files and database information. They call it the next generation of EmailXtender -- which is not going away with this new product.
* Federated Retention Services: The Federated Retention Services will help set data retention policies on information inside and outside of Documentum.
* Project Janus - email archiving: EMC refers to Project Janus as the "next-generation of email archiving" for Exchange and Lotus Notes. It will provide the ability to archive and discover emails using a connector to the Documentum platform.
Knowledge Worker Solutions
Not that 'Knowledge Worker' is an incorrect term for these types of capabilities, but we're much more use to hearing Enterprise 2.0. Is EMC trying to distinguish itself from all the other vendors by using a different term?
* On-line Collaboration: Another solution in beta, Project Magellan is an on-line collaboration solution that provides blogs, wikis, tagging, mashups, folksonomies all in a neat little package. These capabilities will be available through mobile devices as well. The client "essentials" will be released first, with the enterprise version following later on. This product offering will be free to users of Documentum and it's content repository.
* MyDocumentum: Offline access to data archives via mobile devices.
* Outlook Client for Documentum: Pretty soon, Outlook users will be able to access archived data inside their Outlook client.
Interactive Content Management
Interactive content management is all about managing content in a personalized way, making it findable by those who need it and being able to publish it to any device. At least that's how EMC describes it.
* Media WorkSpace: Media WorkSpace is solution designed for marketing collateral developers. It enables them to access, tag, annotate and organize thumbnails of images needed for marketing collateral. It also provides chat capabilities for teams of employees working on projects. This must have been developed for a specific client as it's serving what appears to be a very niche target audience.
* Web Publisher: Also coming out -- a web page builder called Web Publisher. Not much information on this product.
* Digital Asset Manager: EMC is also delivering a new version of its DAM product which will include the video broadcasting software it gained through it's acquisition of Avalon in 2000. Customers will now be able to move large video files across the internet.
XML and SaaS for SMBs
According to Mark Lewis, most of these products will be integrated in the Documentum ECM platform making it a more robust solution for it's enterprise customers. At the same time, many of these products will also be made available via XML in it's new SaaS offering aimed at small to medium sized businesses. Lewis acknowledges that not everyone wants to use Documentum -- or can afford to -- so this enables EMC to reach a wider market for it's solutions.
What Has Taken Them So Long?
All of these products fit right in with the market needs today. But one has to wonder why EMC is so late out of the gate delivering options like compliance and social computing solutions? Many other ECM vendors have their offerings in these areas out already -- not in beta. So the question to ask is -- are they coming to the movie too late to get a good seat up front? Are they banking on their SaaS offering to save them?