Cloud Native or Cloud Migrant?


For years, people have talked about the different generations that make-up the digital world. There is the Baby Boom Generation, Generation X, Generation Y, and the Millennials. At some point, the concept of the digital native was introduced. Depending on who you talk to, digital natives typically start somewhere in the Generation Y generation.

I am a Generation Xer. I am not a “digital native” by anyone’s definition. I may be an early adopter from Generation X, but no matter how well I adapt to the changing technology, I am not a digital native. I still remember using rotary phones and a time when the most advanced technology in the home was the television sitting on the floor.

The same division can be made with technology companies. There are many different generations. There is the Mainframe Generation, the Enterprise Generation (the client-server), and the Cloud Generation. In software there is also a strong DNA strain of Open Source, though those vendors can still be categorized in specific generations.

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The ECM Innovator’s Dilemma


So I promised an ECM specific follow-up to my book review on Christensen’s book The Innovator’s Dilemma.  There is a lot to talk about, so I’m not going to blather on with a long intro (though this sentence seems to be compounding the issue) and get right to it.

Or not…I have some disclaimers/notes:

  • Going to try and use as much of Chistensen’s terminlogy as possible.  This isn’t to say that he has a perfect model, or even 80% model, of what is happening.  It just helps to keep the terminology consistent during this particular post.
  • Every Content Management company is different and the observations will not apply universally.  Every company reacts differently.  That said, if I didn’t think that this applied to a large number of vendors, I would have targeted this post at particular vendors.

NOW we can get started.

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ECM Industry Goals: Move the ECM Industry Forward


I started this on Monday discussing the importance of goals in general, using the setting of goals for yourself as a starting point.  The same logic applies to a company, and its industry, as well.

Think about it, why is a company in business?  Yes, to make money, but that goal will only get you so far, just ask the gnomes.  You have to have something to offer and the ability to convince your customers that you can deliver and still be around in the future.

So in order to inspire your employees and your customers, you create a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG).  For example, maybe you want to create the market leading ECM solution.  Ten years ago, that was a challenge.  No one company had all the capabilities in house and the leadership of the market was in flux.  Now, to hit the same goal, you just take aim at the big boys and go forward.

But what does that really get you?  Are you leading or just following the trail already blazed?

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Forrester Makes Gartner Look Inclusive


A couple months ago, Gartner released their annual ECM Magic Quadrant (which I looked at).  Sure enough, being an odd year, Forrester released their ECM Wave.  I see the pros of waiting two years as the larger vendors take that long, or longer, for a significant release.  On the other hand, you have longer to wait for new members to show up.

Well not in Forrester’s world.  Only one new vendor (HP) was added and a few were cut, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

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EMC and Web Content Management


I made a few observations the other week about the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management that came out recently.  I, and others, criticized what it was measuring (though one blogger defended the MQ). I made the following comment in my dissection:

Personally, I think EMC (Documentum) and IBM (FileNet) are Niche Players in the WCM world at best.  Why?  Their WCM products sell into a very specific niche, those companies that already have, or are making, investments in their EMC or IBM platforms. If you know of either product winning a pure WCM bid, let me know.

Well, no comments on them winning a bid.  Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, just means that people that know of such wins didn’t read the post or care to comment. My point still is that EMC’s, and IBM’s, WCM offering is not the “Challenger” as the MQ seems to suggest.

Let’s dig in a little.

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Am I Buying a WCM Solution or Stock?


The Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management came out for the first time this month.  I say the first time because it was always a Market Scope before the 2009 report.  If you look at it, you can learn many things.  The one thing you won’t learn is if any of the products are right for you, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Jon Marks did a good job of comparing Gartner’s and Forrester’s latest rankings and highlights how a “Niche Player” may be worth considering. CMS Watch has stronger words on the topic, talking about some of the differences between their methodology and Gartner’s.

I have a few of my own thoughts to add into the fray…

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Update on the AIIM CMIS Demo


At the end of January, I talked about the proposed effort being undertaken by the iECM committee to create a CMIS demonstration for the AIIM Expo. Things are going well and I am working with others to build the demonstration. I wanted to share a few details with you.

  • We are implementing the Web Service binding for CMIS. While REST would be better for what we are doing, it was felt that the Web Services binding would be easier for the development team to churn out.
  • As a result of that, the participating vendors are Alfresco, EMC, IBM, and Nuxeo. Microsoft wanted to participate was not sure that their Web Services binding would be complete in time.
  • Each vendor will have a two issues worth of articles from AIIM’s bi-monthly publication, Infonomics.  In addition, each vendor is welcome to add their own white papers and collateral to the system.
  • Users will search on metadata and/or full text. All searches will be round-robin sorted so that each repository has multiple hits on the first page, assuming that they have any content that meets the criteria.
  • The system is being developed in .NET because we were able to identify a free hosting server that could support the effort.
  • We, including myself, are going to be at the Expo on April 2nd to talk about it. I’ll share the exact time when I have it.

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CMIS and SharePoint


This is a critical subject.  As I said when the CMIS standard was released, the key to its success will be vendor adoption.  This means more than just signing off on the standard.  The vendors have to incorporate it into their message and start to show clients, partners, and analysts how they plan to support and implement CMIS.  Based on how the ECM marketplace has begun to revolve around SharePoint, I consider Microsoft’s support a major component for success.  CMIS can succeed without them at first, but it will be a much steeper hill to climb without Microsoft.

Well, Microsoft appears to be doing things right so far.  In addition to showing a desire to participate in the AIIM effort (along with EMC, Alfresco, IBM, and Nuxeo), they hosted the first OASIS CMIS Technical Committee meeting out in Redmond, WA.  More important than either of those actions is the implications of this MSDN article, Integrating External Document Repositories with SharePoint Server 2007.

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Tony Byrne Visits the Web Content Mavens


Happy New Year Everyone!  It has been a while since my last post.  Things have been returning to normal and I took some time off during the holiday season to hang out with my wife and boys.  Upon returning to work, there was the normal small post-holiday backlog accompanied by the chaos that is the Presidential Inauguration.  I understand that it is an important event in American history, but the loss in productivity for what is essentially Obama’s first day of work is staggering.

Maybe I should request a parade on my first day of work the next time I decide to start interviewing for a job.

In the midst of all this, on Wednesday evening I had quite an enjoyable evening at the monthly Web Content Mavens event here in DC.  It was, as always, a fun time talking to various people about their challenges implementing WCM and ECM systems.  I even ran into a few Documentum people.  The highlight of the night was listening to, and talking with, Tony Byrne, founder of CMS Watch.

I like Tony, and not just because he has bought me a beverage or two in the past.  Tony doesn’t mince words.  He tells his honest opinion in his drive to educate people on the world of ECM.  Previously, he had spoken to the Mavens on Social Media, but tonight was focused on the Web Content Management (WCM) marketplace as it stands right now.

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Tower Falls to HP


A couple of weeks ago, the Big Men were speculating on potential buyers for OpenText. I opined that maybe HP would be looking to enter the market to compete with EMC. It was a brilliant piece of insight for all the wrong reasons. Right buyer, wrong target.

Turns out that HP has decided to buy their way into the market, but only with a single product, Tower Software. Like EMC, HP is looking to broaden their Information Management offering by adding Records Management and eDiscovery. If that is all they were looking to add, then buy Tower was a great move. I have always heard good things about their software for those purposes, though I always had doubts as to their complete ECM capability.

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