Another Year Older and Deeper in ???


image Three years ago, I started this blog to rant about how the merger of EMC World and Momentum hadn’t really worked out.  Well, after three years of improvements, there is currently a good chance that next year the conferences will be co-located and separate.

Two years ago, I reflected on my first year and shared numbers. By that time I was pushing for an ECM standard for the SOA world.  I had just learned that there was an effort underway that we would later learn was called CMIS.  This month, that journey ended and it became a standard.

One year ago I was more goal focused as I looked back.  I worked on two of the three goals, failed in the Design Patterns, but I think it was a heck of a year.

I cannot take credit for what has transpired in the last three years, well maybe a little for the improved Momentum, but not for most of it.  A lot of it would have happened anyway.  At most, I have helped push alongside the rest of you.  That said, goals have been achieved and it is time for new ones.

Which leaves the real question, What next?


Where Do We Go?

Blogging is work. Anyone who says otherwise is either nuts or uninformed.  It is easy to start a blog, but to continue it, one needs a passion, a mission, or inspiration to keep it going.

For three years, CMIS has been my passion.  I have shared many other topics, but the underlying desire has been the improvement of the Content Management profession.  CMIS is a powerful mechanism for solving the challenges that we face in the industry.

To be honest, the ECM vendors, all of the “leaders”, have been moving under the momentum they built-up a decade ago when ECM was a new term.  They hit their “goal” and are trying to find new ways to sell the same software.

Many challengers to the leadership have been very good at mimicking the leaders in order to look like the leaders.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t help us.

We need a new vision.  We need new leaders.  Why new?  Because we don’t have either now in the industry.

That is my goal now.image We need a vision and a vendor that can lead the way and deliver.  Being an outsider, I can’t just walk down the hall and make it happen.  I’m looking for it and pushing people to be bold and to share their vision with us.

I am going to spread the word and get people to start asking their existing vendors, and potential vendors, the difficult questions.

I’m pretty sure I will upset some people this next year, though I started that process when I called out EMC.  Other vendors are guilty as well, and many aren’t going to like me after the coming year.

In the end, I don’t care because in a few years, if all goes well, we’ll have a few vendors that we can believe in, both from a technical foundation and a vision for the industry.

2010 is going to be a busy year.  People may look back on May 2010 as when it all started (and not because of this post), but it will you to make the change happen.

Numbers, Why Count?

And now for the anti-climatic moment where I spew the obligatory stats or tidbits of information that I feel will show that I matter.  This year is all about percentages.  Raw numbers are tricky things, so let’s count growth…

  • Two weeks ago I had my best week ever, by about 25%.  Last week is just shy of the previous record.  It was the highest non-EMC World week by a mile or three.
  • The odds are that by the time you read this, I’ll have already set my record for best month, with a week to go.  Given the last two weeks, no shocker.

What does this mean?  Nothing.  To be honest, it doesn’t matter.  Like any blogger, I obsess, but my goal is to reach the people that make a difference.

If you read this far, you are one of those people.

8 thoughts on “Another Year Older and Deeper in ???

  1. John says:

    Call them out! I feel like the commercial ECM vendors have had variations of the same “whirly-gig” for a few years now and they all say the same thing: Look! It whirls! It Gigs! Go thee sales and maketh people want to buy it! To heck with wondering if it actually fulfills their business needs. Convince them a whirly-gig is what they need instead of a zigger-zagger! I know that is commonplace business to some extent, but it annoys me — let that go on too long and the business is about sales, not the product. Useful functionality becomes an optional feature to be monetized, not simply included with the product to make it better.

    The only ECM entities out there that seem to be attempting to innovate are the free options. They have to worry about competing based on solid functionality, not shiny new coats of enamel over the heavily patina-covered technology lurking beneath the surface. (e.g., have you seen the versions of some of the Java libraries Documentum* uses? How about the highest level of Java supported?) “Innovation” from EMC has come in the form of a bloated web service (DFS) and kludgy things that run on it (Centerstage, Media Workspace). They need to do better and stop producing such things as their next cool product. I tire of their recent model of upgrading including getting beefier hardware to compensate for deficiencies in architecture and coding.

    BTW, excellent reference with the M.G. image.

    *I’ve found it interesting that so many people I’ve worked with still call the product[-line] Documentum. There is coffee to be smelled there — that was a good era for the product line. Hang on, I need to step away and answer the clue phone and take a message.

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    • Chris Campbell says:

      To be fair, you’ve got to step back and look at he larger overall picture. Any software vendor (and not just EMC) that has a large established user base has to walk a tightrope implementing new technology without alienating customers who can’t upgrade for a variety of reasons. There are plenty of stones to throw around: Microsoft for keeping WinXP and IE 6.0 around for so long, Nintendo for not using 1080p in the Wii, the banking system for still using COBOL, etc.

      Working with government entities or federal and state regulated industries, many vendors develop to the lowest common denominator to save on costs then add software modules for needed features; or, create a separate consulting division to deal exclusively with “legacy” folks. Smaller companies will at first be more nimble with features. There’s no legacy code holding them back, not as many picky customers and often tailored to a niche industry.

      I’m not disagreeing with you, but I do empathize with the engineering department who would love to use the latest and greatest but has to juggle their loyal (and well-paying customers) who cannot upgrade.

      I’ll quickly address your points on technology, at least from my viewpoint as a customer. I have taken a look at the Java libraries very closely. More closely than I ever want to ever again. Are there things that I’d change? Sure. I wish they moved to Java 1.5 sooner and wish they were standardized on Java 1.6. I wish WDK would finally die and there was a clean break to a new interface. I wish updates weren’t delayed.

      The Wishing Fairy hasn’t been totally slacking in the technology department. I wished for a better WCM product and >POOF!< FatWire comes along with an already completed, modern replacement. I wish content searching was better. >POOF!POOF!< EMC goes out and purchases xDB.

      They have done some things and need to do more in other areas. There is room for improvement. BTW – As far as I know, the product line still is officially Documentum. While the division has changed names and the development platform is called xCP, the product family is still “Documentum“.

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      • Chris Campbell says:

        Dang it… new I shouldn’t have used angle brackets and instead used asterisks for my magic. I need a Proofreading Fairy. (*FOOP!*) The messed up paragraph above should read:

        The Wishing Fairy hasn’t been totally slacking in the technology department. I wished for a better WCM product and *POOF!* FatWire comes along with an already completed, modern replacement. I wish content searching was better. *POOF!* They dump FAST and make their own search engine that’s currently being field tested. I wish that the product line had better XML abilities and while we’re at it some custom content generation. *POOF!* *POOF!* EMC goes out and purchases xDB and added Document Sciences.

        …and yes, FOOP was an intended pun.

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  2. Agreed Pie. A new vision is needed. The good news is that, in my opinion, a new vision is currently evolving/pupating/transmogrifying. It has not yet completed though. The environment will continue to influence what form it takes.

    What is clear is that the old styles, forms and modes do not work well in the new social information economy.

    this video (posted as CMSWatch blog) illustrates the problem with the way things were.
    http://www.cmswatch.com/Blog/1905-The-ECM-salesperson-and-buyer—-part-1

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    • Saw that video last week. Fairly funny.

      I think one reason things have not worked is because organizations need to be more nimble, and the large vendors aren’t currently structured to allow that.

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  3. If the vendors are not providing leadership, and individuals like yourself are don’t have the weight, is there a room for the professional association to take the ball and run with it ?

    Should AIIM step into the breach ? Can it do that when it needs the sponsorship of the vendors?

    What about CM Pro’s ?

    I am just thinking out loud here, not suggesting any particular answers. Vendors jockey for position, some might think it a bad thing for any of EMC, Oracle, IBM, or Microsoft etc to be the “thought leader” for an entire industry sector.

    What about the Academics ? There are people who lecture and write on Enterprise Information Management / Knowledge Management of which CM in its various flavours is part ? Should they band together (and perhaps join with one of the associations above) to provide leadership and strategic direction ?

    So many questions, and no good answers from me, but what do you think Pie, old chap ?

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    • It needs to be an entity that the vendors will listen to and respond to on a regular basis. An industry association like AIIM would be good, but there role could just be a vital as endorsing. I think the answer will be a vendor that can share the vision and has the ability to deliver.

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