2001: An Enterprise Odyssey

The Discovery from 2001When I was at the AIIM Conference this year, Thornton May, gave a frenetic keynote address. While I am never quite sure what the key point Thornton is trying to make during his talks, he always makes everyone in the audience think, which is a very good thing.

During his keynote this year, Thornton used the following exercise to get the audience thinking about the future.

Choose movie, show, or work of literature which comes closest to capturing the essence of the external environment facing your enterprise today.

There were a lot of answers, some good, some mired in the past, but it was a very thought provoking discussion. My choice, if you haven’t figured it out by now, was 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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GenXer’s Rant for Independence

The Manhattan ProjectI am part of Generation X. My parents were born in 1946, the quintessential Baby Boomers. All my life I have heard about the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers and all they accomplished. Together they built the society we live in today.

And what a society it is.

My early years were defined by the Cold War. I was never sheltered from the truth. I knew that if there was a war that my proximity to a navy base was a blessing. It would be over quick. The threat of nuclear war was just background noise, a fact of life, a dark cloud that you learned to ignore.

What was scary to us was the use of resources. The country was going deeper and deeper into debt. Everyone knew that this meant economic hardships down the road. Forget counting on the government to help you in retirement like it would help our parents and grandparents. Social Security would be empty.

The oil crisis of the ‘70s made everyone realize that oil was not going to last forever. Three Mile Island and Chernobyl made us realize the risk of our nuclear future. As the environment was impacted, we worried about acid rain, polluted oceans, the shrinking Amazon, and growing Sahara. Debate global warming all you want, but do we need to keep putting poisons into the air every day?

When Columbia exploded, our hopes and dreams of escaping into space died.

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A Release Note For Legacy Systems

I’ve often said that older systems haven’t innovated as much as they should have the past decade. Sure, the systems change and evolve, but have they really improved? Here is a quick look at what just about every release made in the last 10 years could have looked like.

imageAnnouncing SuperOld CMS 8.5!

We are proud to announce our newest version of SuperOld CMS. Right off, you will be impressed with the bigger version number which means more goodness for you.

For this release we listened to you and heard your concerns. In version 7.5 we placed our new critical features in a menu that our customers said was too hard to find. Now that you have had three years to learn exactly how to use those features, we have moved them to a more intuitive location. You won’t believe how easy it is to use now once you break three years of ingrained behavior!

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Content Management Step One, Capture that Information

A Cinnabon treatThere were a lot of disagreements on my view that Box or Dropbox will be a leader in Content Management in five years. Some were willing to concede that in the Small and Medium Business (SMB) market it might be the case but not in larger Enterprises. To anyone relying on that argument, I suggest refreshing yourself on how disruptive technologies attack a market.

I want to take a moment to explain why one of them WILL be a player in the market. It all comes down to one simple point, they capture content.

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Box v Dropbox v Everyone

While I was at Alfresco, I made a point of ignoring the competition. I always believe that if you can’t win without saying something negative, don’t bother. On the flip side, I didn’t want to draw extra attention to the competition.

Don’t have any of those issues now.

Even though I was quiet, new things still happened. Recently both Box and Dropbox have been making some announcements. While I am not going to go into the details, plenty of people have done that already, I’m going to talk about why any of it matters.

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My Day on the Potomac

Picture of the PotomacYesterday I shared about my departure from Alfresco. As soon as I hit publish, I hit the trail. I drove over to Maryland to Great Falls with the intent of tackling the Billy Goat Trail. The trail isn’t hard, just something that lends itself to deciding it is time for a beer.

The trail is in three sections, A, B, and C. I didn’t name them, so don’t blame me. Each section begins and ends on the C&O Canal, giving you a couple chances to call it a day early.

Let me describe them for you.

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