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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Looking at the Legacy Content Management Vendors


In my predictions for 2013, I made the following prediction on the future of the traditional “leaders” in the Content Management space.

First Major On-Premises Traditional ECM Vendor will become Obsolete: I know, obvious right? Statistically speaking, one of those vendors will likely still be a market leader in 10 years. In 2013, we’ll see our next elimination for that spot (though they will be in denial). To make this easier to measure, I’ll name the contenders: EMC, IBM, Open Text, and Oracle. Microsoft falls into this category but it won’t be them, at least not in 2013.

Aside from simple statistical probability, I saw a few things this fall that led to this prediction.

  1. Talked to people attending the IBM Information OnDemand while I was in Las Vegas.
  2. Attended the Open Text conference in Orlando.
  3. Watched the news out of Momentum Europe.
  4. Kept my eyes open.

What I’ve seen is a scary amount of consistency among the players.

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Box, Syncplicity, and EMC


imageThis post has been a long time coming but it really took me a while to come to grips with all the implications of the Synplicity acquisition, and there are many. (Plus there is this whole day-job thing with AIIM). There are really three angles to take when looking at the acquisition.

  1. What this does for EMC’s Content Management cloud strategy?
  2. What this means for EMC’s technology stack?
  3. The impact on the nascent cloud-based Content Management space?

Without further adieu, let’s dive in and see what we can figure out.

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Documentum, Not Going Away Without a Fight


imageAs I fly back from EMC World, I am left pondering the future of EMC in the Content Management space. This is a space that is undergoing an overhaul. There is a surge of innovation which we haven’t seen since the nineties. The cloud is becoming a more important part of the equation for organizations and those vendors that don’t evolve to fit the new demands aren’t going to be relevant in four years.

To be honest, I fully expect only one of the established leaders (EMC, IBM, Oracle, and Open Text) to make it. Microsoft might make it two with their Office365 offering but there is the separate concern that SharePoint will collapse under its own weight after two more releases.

Seemingly aware of all this, last year at EMC World, Rick Devenuti announced during the Momentum keynote a new strategy for Documentum. Based around the concept of the New User, the idea was to support the transition to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) reality hitting many organizations through new clients, new deployment methodologies, and even new architectures.

This year had more of the same. It what was more of a report card than any major news, aside from the Synplicity announcement. So I’m going to give out grades for the execution of the strategy. Here are the ratings:

  • Above Expectations: The information presented exceeded the expectations set a year ago and the realities of the evolving marketplace.
  • Satisfactory: Pretty much on course as per last year. Given the realities of software development, especially for systems as complex as Content Management. This is still a good rating because expectations were set pretty high.
  • Unsatisfactory: A fallback or failure to met expectations. Cut functionality or significantly changed timelines are reasons that this would be awarded.

Keep in mind that even with good scores, determining whether or not any of this is going to be delivered in time to meet the needs of the market is a function of all vendors in the space as a whole. EMC can’t control what the other vendors do over the next year. They can try to shape the discussion of the market but there is no guarantee that they will be successful.

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EMC World 2012: xCP 2.0–Insider’s View


Time to hear how the Early Access program is going for xCP 2.0. Kenwood Tsai is going to talk about the program and have several participants, including Erin Riley from Beach Street, speak on their experiences. It is still 6 months from release but I’ve heard positive things so far so I am curious to hear what is being said.

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Dreaming of the Documentum Community and Conferences


I had a dream that I was at the upcoming  Documentum Developer Conference and TechSet next month here in the DC area. (Seriously, I did. Was a little strange, even for me.) I was wandering around, saying hi to people I knew, sharing a quick drink. Soon enough, the next set of sessions started and everyone went to go learn while I went off to….no idea actually as I then woke up.

I decided to take the dream as a sign that I needed to write about the event. Why? Because this reflects a return to something that was a regular occurrence back before EMC took over the conferences. It deserves recognition.

Oh, and I plan on swinging by to say hello and want to see you there.

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The End of an Era


image In my last post I mentioned that I have been very busy of late. Well, part of that work has been working towards this…I am leaving the world of consulting. That’s right, after spending almost my entire career being a hired gun, I am choosing sides and becoming a “client”.

More than that, but I am leaving the world of Documentum. This year, for the first time since I started attending in 2000, I will miss the Documentum conference, aka EMC World.

These are some big changes for me. I thought I’d take some time and share.

Consult, Rinse, and Repeat

Five years ago, I was hired to build/lead the Enterprise Content Management practice at Washington Consulting, Inc. (WCI). Over the years, through ups and downs, I became a Director and the capabilities of WCI grew. Today WCI is in a much stronger position, by any measure, to solve the Information Management problems of its clients.

imageMeanwhile, the repetition started to become obvious. While the technology kept evolving and changing, the core challenges were constant. Organizational resistance, short-term financial goals, and the desire to just “throw”  the system over the wall and see what users do with it.

So it became obvious that it was time for new challenges. Of course, there is a side effect…

Leaving Documentum

I am leaving the world of Documentum behind. While that wasn’t a goal, I wasn’t trying to stay in the world of Documentum either.

The next year is going to be critical for EMC and their Documentum line. The Cloud-based Content Management train is leaving the station and this is the year that EMC can grab a spot in first class. It is going to be fun to watch.

Watch I will. Too many friends, colleagues, and clients have a vested interest in the outcome for me not to care. I’ve poured a lot of energy into that world over the years and I’ll always have an intense curiosity regarding Documentum’s fate. I’m rooting for EMC to succeed.

I’ll always care, it just isn’t going to be my problem anymore. At least for now.

The Next Chapter

So what is next? That is the subject for a post in the next week. I’m going to a position that I’ve been wanting for years with an organization that seems to be a natural fit. Since I’ve made the decision, the most consistent feedback I’ve received is, “That’s perfect!”

It likely isn’t perfect but it seemed like the right choice.

Looking Back on Pie’s 2011 Predictions


image I have been busy these past few months. How busy? Just look at my post rate. It hasn’t been for lack of topics, I’ve just been burning the candle at both ends.

Well, I’ve been on “vacation” for the past week and feel rested enough to take some time to write. Coincidently enough, I have two posts to write quickly, the first being this post evaluating the predictions for 2011.

As I did for the 2010 predictions, I am going to score them as either correct, incorrect, or partial (50%).  The partial is for predictions that were correct in the causes, but the effects were off.

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Nuxeo World 2011, A Healthy Start


I had the pleasure of flying to France to speak at the second Nuxeo World last week. While my primary purpose was to deliver a quick little keynote on Content Management Trends (slides and CMS Wire article), I had ulterior motives:

  • Where are they going?
  • Do they know Records Management?
  • Are they capable?

I had enough of an answer on each question to enter into a partnership with Nuxeo, but this was all about long-term planning and strategy. I thought I’d share what I learned while letting them learn that there are pros and cons to the publicity that they get by working with me, just ask EMC (who has accepted the balance).

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