Want to look like a fool? Then call EMC Documentum a legacy Enterprise Content Management system that’s too sluggish and weighed-down to keep pace with the times.
“EMC (Documentum) is now more nimble and agile than ever,” writes Mukul Krishna, an analyst with Frost & Sullivan, who has just named Documentum the winner of its 2013 Global Enterprise Content Management Product Quality Leadership Award. The ECM vendor that is more than two decades old scored top marks in five out of five categories evaluated.
Documentum Delivers On New Market Drivers
In his report, Krishna points out EMC's ability to build upon its well-established strengths in document, records and case management by identifying and responding to new market drivers, such as unstructured and time-based content, mobility, compliance, collaboration, digital intelligence, application development and rapid application development.
Not only that, but Frost & Sullivan also says that Documentum circa 2013 has been built to operate in a broad variety of settings with an extensive set of high performance tools. It’s not a claim most ECM vendors can make.
EMC's Non-ECM Offerings Add Value To Documentum; Enterprises Win
But that’s not all. For what many consider to be the very first time, we finally understand how Documentum benefits from being part of the EMC-family whose products facilitate things like File Sync’N’Share (via Syncplicity), Cloud Storage, Big Data and Virtualization.
EMC Documentum = Pillar For Big Data Strategy
Though we don't usually hear about Big Data managers talking about Enterprise Content Management being key to their strategy, Frost & Sullivan says that it is (or that it should be). In fact, the analyst explains that there are four Big Data pillars which consist of Content Discovery & Management, Digital Intelligence & Analysis, User Experience and Storage.
The benefit of Documentum belonging to a vendor whose portfolio is as rich as EMC’s is that it plays nicely with its parent company’s other technologies, be they EMC Isilon (storage), EMC Kazeon (e-Discovery and file intelligence), EMC Captiva (intelligent enterprise capture), EMC Documentum Content Transformation Services (dynamic publishing), EMC Document Sciences xPression and EMC Documentum D2, (customer communications and user experience), EMC Documentum xCP and Greenplum’s Big Data database (which includes Pivotal HD) … and so on.
As a result, EMC customers are at a strategic advantage when it comes to fulfilling their Digital Intelligence and Big Data needs; it’s a claim that very few ECM vendors can make.
Drum Roll Please - EMC Documentum Beats the Competition in 5 out of 5 Criteria
Unlike Big Data technologies which are still young and often bleeding edge, Enterprise Content Management solutions are mature -- they need to offer exceptional performance, reliability, strategic design, ease of use and value directly (almost) out of the box.
EMC does this better than any other ECM vendor says Frost & Sullivan. Here’s a brief synopsis of their evaluations using each of their five criteria:
Criterion 1: Product Performance - Flexibility, Modularity & Scalability
Every ECM vendor wants to grab the golden ring and they each have their own strategy to do so. Some companies try to focus on a single area of Content Management, like WCM or DAM, and try to rule that space, while others try to be all things to all people, so they acquire companies whose products will (hopefully) fill the gaps that keep presenting themselves in their portfolios.
EMC Documentum does something different, according to Frost & Sullivan. They (for the most part) organically enhance their own solutions which typically deliver "exactly what the doctor ordered." It should be noted that EMC IIG does occasionally acquire companies and solutions, but that they then become seamlessly integrated into the EMC portfolio in short order.
Frost & Sullivan likes EMC for the flexibilities and ease it offers its users.
EMC is one of a very few select vendors in the industry to allow its customers to model information, business processes, user experience, and data services, including connections with other business systems in the enterprise, in a single design tool called Documentum xCP Designer that emphasizes composition and configuration and requires minimal, if any, coding,” says Krishana.
EMC’s ECM platform is also modular and scalable according to the evaluation, which means that enterprises can buy according to their business processes, workflow, content management needs and analytical requirements versus an entire solution set, some of which they may not need.
Criterion 2: Product Reliability Grows EMC Documentum’s Footprint
EMC has grown organically, its products work almost flawlessly, says Frost & Sullivan. The products, like Syncplicity, that EMC IIG acquires, work too.
From the report:
Frost & Sullivan firmly believes that (EMC IIG’s) annual customer contract renewals are based on the exceptional features and integrated product portfolio that enterprises have come to rely on. Documentum has long been reputed by enterprises for its strong compliance and ediscovery solutions, with a long history of serving the Healthcare, Life Sciences, Financial Services and Insurance, Energy & Engineering, and Public Services sectors. Today, its SaaS based Syncplicity Enterprise Edition offers connectivity to Documentum and enables customers to keep files within corporate data centers (private clouds) in addition to the public cloud, thus expanding EMC's footprint in its traditional enterprise customer base”
Criterion 3: Product Design
If you’ve ever been to EMC World -- EMC’s annual user conference -- you know that EMC spends big bucks on innovation. The company’s platforms aren’t made up of cobbled together products which when integrated might just get the job done (or might not). For the most part, they’re architected and developed in house. That’s how the company (and its customers) likes it.
This isn’t to say that EMC and EMC IIG never purchase companies or technologies that are close fits when it comes to providing solutions to address new industry challenges. EMC’s acquisition of Syncplicity is a very good example of this.
From Frost and Sullivan’s award publication:
Enterprises are constantly asking for the ability to share, sync and back-up files though the cloud, as this is now increasingly commonplace in the consumer market. EMC now provides exactly this capability to the enterprise through Syncplicity, enabling users to interact and share content on their device of choice with the security and governance IT requires.”
Criterion 4: Product Usability
Once upon a time ago users complained about Documentum a great deal. It worked with one content type, but not the next, with one kind of device and not another, and policies on who could see what were difficult to establish, discern and enforce.
Those days are gone.
From Frost & Sullivan’s award publication:
Today, Documentum ranks highly from a usability standpoint because it supports many different content types (structured and unstructured), device types (Macs, PCs, tablets, smartphones), and is highly compatible with others’ Enterprise Content Management solutions through CMIS and complementary applications (such as Microsoft SharePoint and SAP).
Documentum xCP allows any business system with a Web Services interface to be integrated with the platform within the xCP Designer without writing code by doing a visual mapping of the data and then automatically creating a set of Web services.
Documentum’s strong policy enforcement helps its users tightly control who has access to what content, and who can do what with that content. Role-based access to content is not only enforced within the firewall, but even going beyond it.”
Criterion 5: Perceived Value
Those of us who are old enough will remember that Documentum used to be called the Cadillac of the Document Management Industry. That’s when big cars were cool, storage was expensive and AOL was your email.
That’s when Documentum got its reputation for being overpriced.
And while Documentum isn’t cheap today, it’s worth every penny of its price says the analysis. Frost & Sullivan says that EMC is strengthening its value proposition and improving how it is perceived in the market. This shouldn’t be hard to do.
After all, Documentum is a solid and seamless content management solution with deep intelligence, and when it’s hosted on the cloud or coupled with VMWare its price point becomes extremely competitive, says Frost & Sullivan.
Title image courtesy of Eduard Kyslynskyy (Shutterstock)