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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Box Is Doing More Than Checking Boxes


I want to start off by apologizing to Ron Miller. Ron is a smart guy and I count him among my friends. Ron also wrote something the other day where he was wrong.

Not a little wrong, a LOT wrong.

Ron wrote an article titled Box has always been about looking forward, not back. It is a good article and it covers Box’s three biggest announcements from BoxWorks quite well, but he misses the point. He missed what Box is really doing.

They aren’t just checking Boxes or throwing people a bone. They are preparing to take over everything.

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What Constitutes Industry Leadership?


File:Aston Martin DBS V12 coupé (front left) b-w.jpgOne of the debates that I have often had with other Information Professionals is the question, Who are the “Leaders” in our industry? This was always up for a good debate because we could never agree on the basic ground rules:

  • What role does the technology play?
  • Do you measure by sales or install base?
  • Do we care what Gartner, Forrester, or others say on the topic?
  • What players are even in our industry?

With all these open questions, it is a debate that usually lasts until someone gets fed up and forces a topic change upon the group by asking, Who is buying the next round?

This is a question that is important for me to address and I thought I would open it up for discussion.

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Box Defends Against Office 365


In case you missed it, Box introduced some new pricing last week. While the details are not relevant right now, the key detail was that if you have only 10 people, your price per user is now $5. This is great if you are a small shop because you don’t need as many features and you do need secure sharing.

So why bring Office 365 into this? Because this new price range is same as the Office 365 Small Business tier. Sure you can get more with Office 365, but Box still has that “easy to use” feature going for it.

Still, why Office 365? Because Office 365 is great for small shops. It bundles email with SharePoint and Lync. For a organizations with minimal to no infrastructure, it is a very quick setup and before you know it, you have your basic productivity tools.

I suspect that Box is looking at Microsoft as the big Gorilla in the corner. If they aren’t then they should be doing that. Microsoft has a decent cloud solution and a ton of money. It should be possible to fix SkyDrive, make an interface that works on Apple, and market to the same people that Box targets.

Box used to market against SharePoint to get attention. Now they need to work against them to make sure they stay safe.

Addressing Denials by an ECM Disruptee


Lane Severson posted a rebuttal to my statement that Information Management has Failed. My first thought is that he doesn’t see it. That was also my second thought. Then I remembered a truth about disruptions that I shared on Twitter the other day,

The very nature of Disruptions is that those being disrupted live in denial until it is too late.

Lane is caught in the disruption. He works for Doculabs who makes money by being good at helping customers select and implement traditional Content Management systems. A shift to the cloud means a change to the expertise they deliver.

Still, Lane is pretty smart and his points deserved to be addressed.

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Box Isn’t Disrupting Because of the Cloud


I recently realized this truth which seems both contradictory and obvious at the same time. Box and the other cloud vendors aren’t disrupting the industry because they are Cloud/Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) vendors, they are disrupting it because they put people ahead of the Enterprise.

Think on it a minute. I talked about this in my AIIM keynote but I didn’t link it all together. SaaS may be the disruptive technology but it is the ease-of-use built into the applications themselves that is giving them market share.

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Information Management has Failed


New PictureIn March, I gave a keynote at the annual AIIM Conference. It was based upon my post, Silicon Valley’s War on the Enterprise. I’ve been hoping to share the video with everyone, but that doesn’t seem probable due to some bad luck.

Given that it is a very text-light presentation, I am going to try something new. I’m going to walked you through the whole thing…..

This is War

Seriously, it is.

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Six Years of Pie


You may not know it looking at my last two months of activity, or lack of it, but I’ve been writing, tweeting, and generally being loudly opinionated for the past six years. What started as just a way to vent my opinion over the direction of EMC/Documentum has become a platform for trying to push for change in the industry.

Thing is, the change is here. This June I’m going to pull my best Howard Beale and I’m going lay out why things are changing and why we can’t act as if it isn’t or that we have control.

But before all that, let’s review what has come before.

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Future of the Cloud, Suite or Best of Breed?


The last few weeks have been very interesting. Oracle held their annual conference, followed by SalesForce, and then Box. It was a good time to be in San Francisco as you had three distinct approaches to helping the Enterprise.

  • Oracle, for all the jokes around them “discovering” the cloud this year, offered a story about their tight stack of hardware and software.
  • SalesForce announced Chatterbox which makes Content Management a native feature to their platform.
  • Box announced new partners and new tools for integrating Box with all sorts of other cloud-based applications.

What you have are two suites and a best of breed approach. A recent NY Times blog post on Open vs Closed covered the two approaches well. What is the right choice? What is the future?

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