After its acquisition of Stellent half a year ago, Oracle has been disturbingly mum about how it plans to use its new resources to beef up their existing Content Management offerings.
That silence has just been broken. Today Oracle released its broad intentions for assimilating Stellent offerings.Well no, not really, but at least now it's got a timeline.
The Stellent brand and existing suite of document management products will give Oracle a natural competitive edge against existing big-box contenders like EMC, IBM, Open Text and Interwoven.
The problem lies in whether Oracle can perform the handiwork necessary to implementing Stellent's assets into its chaotic middleware line. The line includes business process management products, security offerings and other across-the-board enterprise solutions. If Oracle solves this puzzle, its modest ECM customer base of 6,000 could very well balloon to significant size.
So what's the plan?
"We plan to market [our Enterprise Content Management Suite] very aggressively and it will have some very attractive pricing associated with it," says senior director Greg Crider of product marketing. Well, that's creative.
Oracle's existing ECM suite is targeted to users seeking to standardize their enterprise content management assets within one framework. The suite includes Universal Records and Content Management, respectively; and Imaging and Process Management: Universal Content Management is a Java app that enables businesses to run document management, Web content management, digital asset management and records and retention software from one place and across a multiplicity of company Web offerings. This particular product will showcase at the AIIM 2007 ECM conference this week in Boston. Universal Records Management enables clients to implement records and retention management policies to information parked within files, content management systems and e-mail archives. Records management is a challenge Stellent has helped tackle, a particularly tricky task after changes in the eDiscovery dialogue. Imaging and Process Management supports imaging applications, reducing the chance of error in automated tasks like invoice and claims form processing.
The next 12 months will see new releases for Oracle's entire range of content management offerings, with swift integration of Stellent's assets.
Crider divulges that new ECM products will be "hot-pluggable," which means all software will be able to work in conjunction with third-party products, even those of competitors. This ideally conveys to enterprises that an investment they've already made is protected by the Oracle brand.
Oracle can clearly afford to be generous with competitors, considering they've been busy engorging the empire. In addition to the Stellent purchase, PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems were also thrown under the Oracle blanket. They've also won acquisition rights to Hyperion, a business-intelligence solutions purveyor, and just yesterday they conducted an on-demand software launch featuring products expected to bring them head-to-head with Salesforce.com (which bought its way into the content management space).
Oracle's frenetic ECM activity was predicted early on -- in 2004, to be exact -- by our own Brice Dunwoodie.
Read more about the Oracle/Stellent mash at your leisure, or surf Oracle products at the Oracle site.