This is an important post. This is all about pulling it together and helping everyone to understand the thought process behind this series of posts. Before I do that, here is the list of links to each post:
- Redefining the Core Tech of ECM: This is the post that inspired the series and lays the groundwork.
- Application Separation: Arguing for a separation of the applications from the Content Server
- Focus on the Core: Talking about getting the Content Server a little more up-to-date and bundled with the right tools.
- Identity Management: A central concept for any ECM system seeking to become the platform for an organization or beyond.
- Architecting Content Applications: Expanding on the Application Separation to talk about how the separated applications should be built.
- Simplify and Bundle: Trying to wrap it up by talking about how the pricing model needs to become much simpler and straight forward.
My Christmas Gift to EMC
This series was meant as a present to EMC. It is a collection of things that I have heard from multiple clients, partners, and EMC people themselves. It has been collected in meetings, over lunch, and over drinks. Some ideas have come from day dreaming and others have been distilled from violently delivered rants. They also come from comments, emails, questions, and discussions both on my blog and in your own EMC Developer Network community.
Some comes from my teams delivering Documentum and other ECM products in a variety of environments.
Some comes from watching the market change and evolve over the past decade. The problems we are trying to solve are the same as they were 10 years ago. The technology is newer and the scale is larger, but the core problem remains.
There is a lot of content out there that needs to be managed.
We talk a lot about what ECM really means and how the definition is evolving, but the user doesn’t care. They need to be able to find and use content when they need it. The organizations where people are working care about the same thing, but they also need to be sure to remove content that is no longer needed.
Oh we can go on about new needs and try and sell that to people, but they aren’t new needs. They are deeper layers of the onion. The management of storage wasn’t important for ECM until we started storing things automatically, increasing the volume. We didn’t need eDiscovery tools until we had enough electronic content to be worth a subpoena.
It is a complicated problem that EMC has helped solve for lots of companies. Like many vendors, many failed projects aren’t due to software issues but to implementation or change management issues. As software becomes more complex to buy, install, configure, and use, the rate of failure will increase.
Meanwhile, other, newer, vendors are coming out with simple, bundled, platforms. They are attacking EMC and the other large vendors from underneath, sniping at the low hanging fruit. They are growing bigger and some are getting ready to stand toe-to-toe with the big boys. With their lower complexity, they’ll do it if for no other reason than this:
The users will be able to understand what they are being offered.
EMC needs to respond to the market or they will be replaced. They can go business specific and focus on compliance and maintain a big lead there, but when they look around, the rest of their market will be gone.
I like EMC. I like the Documentum product. I think it is quite powerful. It isn’t for everyone, but that is partly because of the things I have covered in this series.
Times are changing at an ever increasing pace. Will EMC be able to keep up?