I’ve been working on a cool post about some positive content technology coming from EMC, but that needs more time to gel as I play with the tech, so I’m following-up with a post about where some of the focus on Case Management within EMC’s Information Intelligence Group (IIG) originated.
During Rick’s keynote at EMC World last week, he stated that Composite Content Applications (CCAs) were equivalent to Case Management. At that point, I had my second “You gotta be kidding me!” moment of the conference. It helped solidify the feelings in my analysis of the “strategy” at IIG.
In later conversations, I learned that line of thought came from Gartner. At first it was a guess, but then it was confirmed. I decided against covering this point in my previous post because I hadn’t read the source material, and I didn’t want to accuse EMC falsely.
Well since then, I’ve gotten to read three reports on the topic, and I can say that EMC got it wrong. The reports I read are:
- Introducing Composite Content Applications, Published January 22, 2010
- Critical Capabilities for Composite Content Applications: Case Management, Published January 22, 2010
- Ten Key Content Management Projects for 2010, Published April 26, 2010
Let’s look at the reports briefly, starting with the list of ten.
Where the Problem Started
If you have to find the source of the Case Management infection, the “Ten Key Content Management Projects for 2010” is patient zero. The list in the keynote was taken from this report. That isn’t just a guess, I was told. In it is the following items at the top of the list:
- Composite content apps: case management
- Cloud-based content management
There are no numbers on the lists, but I expect that they are ranked in their perceived order of importance. Personally, the ranking is irrelevant to this discussion, though if Case Management was “last”, that would probably be a little deflating to EMC. (I included the second item for a multitude of reasons not related to today’s theme.)
So if you look at the list, I can see how you might think that they were equivalent. When you look at the description, it becomes not as obvious.
Base configurations of key suite components for composite content application (CCA) solutions like case management are a logical progression of the ECM (and sometimes business process management [BPM] solutions) value proposition.
“like case management” is such a telling set of words. It seems to me that Gartner is saying that Case Management is a type of CCA and that Case Management is a key Content Management project.
I was pretty confident at this point, but I dug deeper to the other two reports.
The Answer is in the Dates
So I read the “Introducing Composite Content Applications” report and it talks repeatedly about multiple types of CCAs. For example:
CCAs already exist in a variety of vertical and horizontal configurations focused on transactional, collaborative and Web channel processes and users.
In the report, it does call out Case Management as an important example that is going to have a lot of activity in 2010. This is why, on the same day and by the same author (Toby Bell), Gartner released the other report on CCAs and Case Management.
The first sentence of the Introduction section of the “Critical Capabilities for Composite Content Applications: Case Management” report matches the one quoted above for the list of 10. That tells me that they definition did not evolve dramatically between the two. This report reinforces the statement that Case Management is one example, though an important example, of a CCA.
The thing is, these two reports were released on the same date, so it appears that there was no change in Gartner’s definition. The consistency in wording between the January and April reports shows that the interpretation of Case Management being an example of a CCA that is high on the radar of companies looking at new Content Management projects, but still just an example.
What EMC Should Have Said
What they should have said about Composite Content Applications and xCP is quite simple:
Case Management is the first suite of solutions that we are going to help you deliver using the xCP platform. We see a large need in the industry to address this important problem, but it will only be the first of the many solutions that we at IIG help you build.
I’m sure they would have word-smithed, or spent more than 5-10 minutes on, the message, so forgive the wording. The point is, Case Management is not the end-all, be-all of Content Management or the Documentum platform. Delivering a platform that allows for applications to be easily developed through configuration more than customization is a much more palatable and meaningful message.
I test drove that message last week and it went over a lot better than Mark and Rick’s messages.
With this change EMC could also have renamed the product family from Intelligent Case Management to Intelligent Content Management. THAT would have gone over a LOT better. I might have only complained about lack of vision which is, unfortunately, normal for the keynotes and EMC.
This, like everything else I’ve shared of late, I told EMC directly last week. This isn’t a surprise to them at this point. That said, share your thoughts here so they can benefit from your insights as well.