SourceOne, EMC’s Worst Guarded Secret Arrives

For months, upon months, I’ve been hearing about SourceOne. Multiple friends at EMC occasionally let the name drop, while others would talk about something coming up and I would say, You mean SourceOne? I eventually learned what it was, but I had to be quiet.  I told some clients, soon EMC will have an nice eDiscovery option for you, but in the meantime, these are your choices.

When I was up at AIIM, they made the announcement, held a fancy webcast or two, and posted material for all to see. Was it worth the wait?

What the Heck is SourceOne?

If you go watch the YouTube video EMC SourceOne Architecture: Scalability, Accessibility, you may be disappointed.  In it, Michael Brown covers the Email Archiving, called SourceOne Email Management. It is great and nice, but doesn’t really talk about the entire solution or how the Documentum Repository might play a part in the bigger picture.  He alludes to a bigger picture, but doesn’t cover it.

It is when you look at the briefing given by EMC management during the SourceOne launch that you see that there are three “products” currently released in the SourceOne “Family”:

  • SourceOne Email Management: Email and instant messaging archiving (Instant Messaging!?!).  It replace the old EmailXtender product. I originally thought that it used the Documentum Content Server, High-Volume Server option, for storing these emails, but I now suspect that it doesn’t. One clue is that a related product they list DiskXtender and not Content Server.
  • SourceOne Discovery Manager: Discovery and legal hold for EMC SourceOne Email Management archives. Doesn’t look like anything else, yet.
  • SourceOne Discovery Collector: Indexing appliance to automate collection throughout the enterprise (This is StoredIQ I believe). Content identified can be held in a Documentum Repository or Centera and locked down.

I couldn’t attend the briefing in person as I was busy, but one curious note is how little Documentum is mentioned in the slides, even just as a repository.

Want to know the biggest selling point of this product? EMC uses the Email Management product themselves. Not a bad reference or test-bed.

Want to Know More?

So do I. There is a four-part webinar series, What You Don’t Manage Can Hurt You, coming up in May. The first of which is May 5, An IDC Perspective on Information Governance.

I suspect that to get more answers, I’m going to have to grill people at EMC World. The scariest part about this product launch is how little information I can find below the marketing speak.  I know EMC uses it.  I know people, that I trust, that are learning and/or using SourceOne that speak well of it.

There is too much mystery out there and the presentation line-up looks more like sales/marketing.  I have clients that need eDiscovery. I hate not being able to give them much substantive information on this. I know will be coming, but I’d like more now.

When people are presented with a lack of information, they think the worst. Lack of details around the storage of Instant Messages is just one of many gaps that I am having trouble closing. Chuck Hollis, a non-CMA person, gives the best write-up of the offering and offers the best part around the vision, I keep thinking of SourceOne not as an email archiving product, but as the first release of an enterprise ILM platform. Great vision, but when?

I am under-whelmed so far, but will withhold judgement for a month to see what else I can learn. Expect to hear more from me then.

Until then, a massive thought…I implement the archiving solution and I then declare email as a record into my RM solution. How many copies and who is managing what? I know what I’d choose….