woman eating a doughnut
Dell EMC is sweetening its enterprise content division products before selling them to OpenText. PHOTO: Thomas Kelley

EMC's Enterprise Content Division (ECD) often over-promised and under-delivered. It demonstrated products long before they were ready for primetime, teased its customers with promises of acquisitions that never materialized.

But now, just two months after Dell swallowed EMC in a $67 billion acquisition and then rapidly moved to sell the content division to OpenText, things may be changing. 

Today at Momentum — Dell EMC's ECD user conference in Barcelona — the company unveiled long sought solutions around its three primary products: Documentum, InfoArchive and LEAP.

ECD Cheat Sheet

Before we look at each of the products, let's quickly recap a little history. EMC's ECD was also known by several other names, including Documentum, CMA (Content Management and Archiving) and IIG (Information Intelligence Group. Then came the Dell acquisition.

About a week after closing on its purchase of EMC, Dell signed a definitive agreement to sell ECD to OpenText. That acquisition is expected to close in early next year.

So all these new capabilities — many of which customers have been pleading to have for years — will benefit OpenText.

Documentum 7.3: Open Source Benefits, More

Dell EMC ECD President Rohit Ghai delivered on a promise he made at EMC World in May: a new version of Documentum that's cheaper to run, allows for faster migrations and is available on-premises, in the cloud or via a hybrid model.

Documentum 7.3, now generally available, is it as much as 70 percent cheaper to run from a total software ownership perspective (via open source technologies like Linux OS  and PostgreSQL database). In addition, its required hardware costs are down by 30 percent to 40 percent. Better yet, it's available as hosted service, freeing IT pros to work on things where they can add more value.

InfoArchive for Critical Information 

Some companies throw all of their information into data lakes. Others hold onto application data and content only as long as they must because owning it can be a liability in a lawsuit. 

But no one, no matter how they view data, wants to store unneeded information on expensive local storage. Enter InfoArchive, which enables enterprises a cheaper way to store information they are required to retain.

Tomorrow Dell EMC ECD will announce InfoArchive is available on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Amazon Cloud.

LEAP Bears More Fruit

At EMC World, Ghai introduced LEAP, a suite of purpose-built, cloud-native content apps meant to address everyday end user needs and activities. LEAP was designed for everyday collaboration by workers within and outside the firewall.

The suite is based in the cloud, offers a consumer-like experience and meets regulatory and compliance needs.

Today Ghai announced the LEAP Focus app (for optimized document viewing in mobile) and the LEAP Express app (for digital approval workflows) are generally available. The company is also making LEAP Concert (it enables the creation of a wide variety of documents in a collaborative but controlled environment) available to beta testers.

Ghai also introduced the LEAP platform, a set of micro-services used to build LEAP apps. It is now available for customers and partners to build their own apps or extend existing LEAP apps.

Ghai told CMSWire there was a big difference between LEAP and similar options from companies such as Box. LEAP is repository independent: content can reside anywhere. With Box, you are limited to the company's cloud, Ghai said.

Analyst Reaction

Jed Spink, director and solution principal at Arkitectas Limited, a London-based enterprise information management consultancy attending Momentum, told CMSWire "InfoArchive seems to be getting more focus and interest than any other product."

As for LEAP, “it remains a work-in-progress and whether it can compete where similar applications exist, like Box capture, remains to be seen." He also said how LEAP drives customers to use the ECM product set "seems unclear."

Whether OpenText will continue to invest in LEAP is also a worry, Spink said, which leads to the (still unanswered) $64,000 question.

How will OpenText integrate (or not) Dell ECD products, especially where products overlap?

Ghai told CMSWire that question will remain unanswered until the OpenText acquisition closes.

Muhi Majzoub, OpenText EVP of engineering, told the Momentum audience OpenText will continue to support LEAP and other ECD products. But he didn't offer any specifics.

And this is an audience that wants more than promises. They've gotten a lot of those over time — and many of them were ultimately broken.