Revisiting the Content Management Frontier

Scene from the movie Alive, dead bodies in the snowTwo years ago, a journal was discovered while excavating in the Trough of Disillusionment of Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technologies. The journal told a story of fear, distrust, and desperation.

Today another tome was discovered. Written hastily in the margins of an IDOL manual was the following text. It is estimated that this was written two days after the conclusion of the previously discovered journal (which you should read 1st). The author is unknown.

The Aftermath

I am writing this huddled under the equipment of those who have gone missing. The last few days had been tense but calm. This did not prepare any of us for what was to happen this morning.

Yesterday had been fairly peaceful. IBM was finally climbing up the slope to freedom using a rope that appeared to be tied to Box. I’m not sure if Box has captured IBM or IBM has captured Box. Both seem determined to reach the upper plateau and were working together to escape.

Today that plan looks better than ever. We all woke-up to discover that OpenText had taken down Recommind. At first we were relieved it wasn’t us that had become next . It had been a few days since OpenText had last fed and we were all becoming worried. Little did we know.

Before we knew it, OpenText was consuming the few parts of Autonomy with meat on its bones. HP was clearly trying to escape the trough by discarding the last remaining shreds of ECM. HP was last seen fleeing down the valley, throwing the ECM scraps that OpenText didn’t claim to MicroFocus.

Why MicroFocus wants to join this hellish landscape is anyone’s guess.

EMC was just rescued. Dell swooped in to scoop them to safety. This had been apparent since yesterday but everyone was interested how it was going to work with Documentum still firmly attached to EMC. Then, out of nowhere, EMC kicked Documentum towards OpenText, who without pausing to finish consuming Autonomy, leapt and took down Documentum with one gigantic bite.

At that moment, everyone scattered. I managed to grab a few supplies from Autonomy while OpenText was distracted by the death throws of Documentum. I’m not sure how much longer any of us have got before we either starve to death or are consumed.

Alfresco and Nuxeo both look like they are making a move to climb up the slope but I’m not sure they have time. Documentum had been working on a plan to escape for years. It finally looked like they had the needed equipment but then OpenText happened.

OpenText always happens.

I am writing this so future generations can learn from our mistakes. Do whatever it takes to escape up the slope and find productivity. They say it’s on the plateau but I suspect I’ll never know as it is hidden by the clouds.

I have to go now. Night is falling and I’m afraid that come sunrise, OpenText will be ready to feed again. What OpenText will do to survive once we are all either dead or escaped up to the plateau is anyone’s guess.

Pray for us.

Saying Goodbye to Documentum

One year ago, when Dell announced it was buying EMC, I wrote,

If you see Open Text or CA buy the ECD, start lighting the funeral pyres because Documentum would be officially brain dead and waiting for the machines to be turned off.

Well, it happened. OpenText acquired Documentum. This brings to end the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) wars that began almost 20 years ago. Back then, the leaders were FileNet, Documentum, Oracle, and OpenText. FileNet is buried at IBM who is flirting with Box. Oracle is struggling to reestablish itself after bringing on former Documentum leaders but they are fading away.

This morning, OpenText announced their acquisition of Documentum. I was hesitant to predict that OpenText was going to buy Documentum. It was the obvious prediction and I knew that it would be a chunk of change. $1.62 billion was the final price which covers the $600 million OpenText raised in May and another billion of debt commitment provided by Barclays for this transaction.

I suspect that nobody else was willing to pay EMC that much.

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What is an Information Professional?

Beaker from the MuppetsOne thing I heard from MANY people at the AIIM conference was that the concept of an information professional as we understand it was flawed. The claim was that usage patterns of AIIM resources showed that members would join and engage to tackle a single project. Once that project was completed, they would leave AIIM and presumably go do something else that wasn’t information related. John Mancini, the outgoing CEO of AIIM, shared his thoughts on the current information professional in a four post series covering the history, evolution, environment, and future of the information professional.

Experience tells me that the conclusion is incorrect. There are a large number of people who spend careers in the space and dip into AIIM resources only periodically. It is also a conclusion is hard to confirm or deny because once they disengage from AIIM, it is tough to measure what people do next.

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FOIA, Email, Clinton, and the State Department

Clinton speaking at the Brown & Black Presidential Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, January 11, 2016.A recent piece of FOIA news was brought to my attention by Ann Snyder over at the Information Governance Initiative. The legacy of Hilary Clinton running her own email server is growing. It seems that the U.S. Department of State has stated that it will take 75 years to release the emails of Hilary Clinton’s aides from her time as Secretary of State.

Let that sink in. 75 years. Not days, YEARS!!!

They then go on to give some outrageous estimates based upon processing only 500 pages per month. I’ve been working with the Federal government for years and have worked on many FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) systems. To understand how ridiculous this is, let’s examine an agency where I’ve been looking at FOIA closely this year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

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Content Management, Platforms or Solutions?

Pendulum about to cut a man in half in the movie "Pit and the Pendulum"The Content Management industry is rife with contradictions. The biggest of which is that the business just wants solutions to their problems while IT wants a common platform from an established player to make integrations and upgrades less risky.

I’m not sure how we solve this problem and I am tired of watching the pendulum swing back and forth.

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A Digital Fail in Jersey

Joe Piscopo as Paulie Herman from Jersey annoying an innocent

Picture this if you can. After waking up in Scotland, I get to the Edinburgh airport with my brother for our flight home. My brother is using a cane as he is still recovering from breaking his back in January and we’ve walked a LOT the past few days. After flying across the ocean to Newark we get through customs and are screened by the TSA. All we want to do is grab a beer and a snack while we waited the last hour and a half for our flight home.

Well, Newark had other ideas.

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