EMC + Documentum: Mismatched or Better Together?

3 minute read
Virginia Backaitis avatar

Documentum isn’t going anywhere, so say EMC Information Intelligence Group President Rick Devenuti and his boss David Goulden. Though each gives different reasons for why the relationship works, both men insist that the businesses are better together.

Goulden, CEO of EMC’s Information Infrastructure group (a.k.a. EMC) which owns IIG (a.k.a. Documentum), says that the division is “highly profitable.” We’re not going to argue with him on this point, he’s an accountant.

But other points may not be as black and white.

Last week, at an EMC World event for analysts and the press, Forrester’s Alan Weintraub asked Goulden what a company whose primary business is Infrastructure and Storage was doing with a company whose business is software, solutions and services.

Goulden explained that, in time, the company plans to have software vendors build solutions that leverage the EMC platform and that IIG (Documentum) will be one of those vendors, adding that it just“happens to be (a software/solutions provider) that we own.”

He also made it clear that EMC will continue to invest in IIG.

When he was asked a similar question the next day he offered yet another reason for why the relationship works.

"It (Documentum) feeds our storage business, that’s why we bought it," he said.

While Goulden’s answer might satisfy analysts and investors, it’s doubtful that it would give the warm fuzzies to the Documentum community.

But Devenuti’s responses to similar questions might be reason for fireworks.

EMC IIG’s Rick Devenuti Delights Documentum Enthusiasts

CMSWire asked Devenuti similar questions and he offered solid answers -- in fact the best we’ve heard to date.

Learning Opportunities

First, Devenuti explained that Documentum and other IIG products like Captiva and Document Sciences logically fit on top of the EMC stack.

Next, he confirmed that while the Documentum platform does indeed drive storage sales, there’s a bigger story too. Namely that the combined solutions are "extremely successful," especially where regulated companies are concerned.

And, finally, Devenuti added that IIG’s relationship with EMC spinoff Pivotal (a third platform company within the EMC Federation) opens the door to new possibilities. Possibilities that will be leveraged on the third platform in the future, and as soon as today. Newly introduced SaaS solution Supplier Exchange serves as a good example.

IIG + Pivotal = How Work Gets Done

A decade from now the third platform is likely to be where all work is done.

Devenuti also noted that he and Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz have a strong relationship -- they worked together at Microsoft for almost two decades.

And while we see this as positive for many reasons, what’s even better is that IIG already owns bandwidth in Maritz’s mind. In his keynote at EMC World last week, he spoke specifically about how IIG customers and developers can leverage Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry. (Compare that to the EMC of the past where Documentum barely got any airtime from the C-Suite.)

In fact, the IIG-Pivotal relationship has already been leveraged to catapult Documentum ahead of most other ECM vendors. It will also provide customers with a pathway to move to the third platform when they are ready -- whether that’s two or 10 years from now.

So are EMC and IIG better together than they would be apart? For the first time ever, we’re leaning toward yes. Partly because the vision, the leadership and the relationships are there, and partly because the EMC Federation (EMC+Pivotal+VMWare) is already walking its talk.

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