The EMC Writer’s Summit, 2010 Style

For those that are unaware, EMC hosts writers in the Content Management space for a 1-day gabfest about once a year.  Last week was the third one, so I guess we can officially call it annual.  This is an invite only event with some of the expenses paid.  That may lead you to wonder about what was discussed and if it was biased…

Well, it wasn’t biased or tilted at all.  First of all, kudos to EMC for inviting me.  I wasn’t the nicest person on the block after EMC World, but they still went out of their way to make sure that I was able to attend.  Their were no conditions placed upon me, and my degree of rabble-rousing was left to my own discretion.

The best part was that aside from a short intro by EMCs Whitney Tidmarsh on “Why IIG” and the changes taking place within IIG, there was no EMC focused topics or discussions.  There were some EMC opinions put out there, but they were contributions and not dictates.

All-in-all, it was a great event that spurred some great discussions and debates.  I’ll be talking on some of the topics over the next week or so here.

What Did We Talk About?

Meanwhile, you can look at the history of the twitter discussions by searching on the #emcsummit tag.

As a further resource, here is the list of topics, discussion leaders, and the topic overview:

  • Information Intelligence Defined – Whitney Tidmarsh, CMO, EMC: (Nothing new to readers was presented here, but there was a hint of some news coming in early November at Momentum. We’ll have to stay tuned.)
  • The Future of ECM: The Market – Melissa Webster, IDC: We can all agree the ECM market is evolving, but what’s going on in the market? What are customers buying, and is the future of ECM really case management? Melissa Webster, who leads IDC’s Content and Digital Media Technologies research program, will share fresh research and perspective on the market.
  • The Future of ECM: Managed ServicesAndrew Chapman, EMC: Few people dispute the value propositions of ECM but the barriers to adoption for real, enterprise-strength ECM systems have always been notoriously high. Delivery of ECM as a service has the potential to provide many of the core ECM values without the infrastructure costs, this is not exactly a new story but consider a different dimension to this model. Don’t think about just delivering ECM in a different way to the same market, stop for a moment and consider all of the places where ECM-esque capabilities make sense from a business perspective but cannot be provided at a low enough ‘cost’ to the organization. If ECM services were easily available and low cost enough where would you use them? Would you go broad and replace every system drive with a visualized ECM system? Would you go deep and build ECM into more of the corporate systems? Would you attack a different market segment by providing consumer Mozy-ECM or SMB capabilities behind common platforms like SharePoint?
  • eDiscovery– Ralph Losey: The technology revolution has released a genie called The Information Explosion. The deluge of data that computers and the Internet have triggered have had incredible consequences. We are just beginning to realize their impact on our established institutions. Many are good, many are troubling. Among them is the stress the data deluge has placed on the world’s legal systems. Our systems of justice are critically challenged by the bewildering technological advances of the past thirty years. Attorney, law professor, and blogger Ralph Losey has been a part of it all. He will lay out his unique vision of the challenges and possible answers to these new dilemmas.
  • Information Governance in a Cloudy World– Whitney Tidmarsh, EMC: We’ll get an early preview of the second report from the Leadership Council for Information Advantage, an advisory group made up of global information leaders from brand-name enterprises. This report provides top-level guidance on how organizations can begin enacting the organizational, technological, and cultural changes required to achieve information advantage in cloud environments. Leaders share in-the-trenches insight and information governance strategies for achieving business agility and advantage in the cloud.
  • The Social Experience in the Enterprise– Bryant Duhon, AIIM: Bad analogy alert: Where there’s smoke there’s fire, but very true in the E2.0/social media/collaboration world. There’s a nice roaring fire there to warm the bones of anyone, but too much smoke from “gurus” and a misperception that Facebook is all there is to social media makes everyone choke. We’ll have a discussion around the business value that E2.0 can actually bring. We might also slide into a quick discussion of the value of culture, readiness of change, etc.

Johnny Gee was in attendance and has just posted an excellent post on ECM as a Commodity, an offshoot of Andrew’s discussion topic.  I’ll be chatting on this topic in detail in the future.  This topic was very popular as Ron Miller posted some commentary on this topic based upon his virtual participation.

Ralph Losey has just posted on Early Case Assessment for eDiscovery, and talks about the Summit and what he learned as a lawyer at the event.

Looking forward to some good discussions over the next few weeks.

3 thoughts on “The EMC Writer’s Summit, 2010 Style

  1. Jake says:

    I attended Andrew Chapman’s presentation and to be candid, he was all over the map …. I guess he is a GM over at EMC but for someone at his level I expected more in terms of structure and content with his delivery. Anyway, is ECM becoming a ‘commodity’? Duh!

    The EMC Writer’s Summit is becoming a place where EMC is attempting to influence (of course) bloggers to their view/definition of ECM. Case in point, Melissa’s comments about Case Management were narrow and biased in favor of EMC. The EMC folks treat Case Management like it’s a new concept … that just tells me how out of date these guys are with the market. I sincerely think EMC needs a whole new marketing dept … their message is stale and more reactionary than it is visionary.

    Pie, yes, I am sure the EMC folks want to curry favor with you … please remain objective and independent of the “hugging” …. your crediblity depends on it.



    • Jake, have no worries. They didn’t sway me. I took the opportunity to share my thoughts. I think they have backed-off a bit on Case Management, in the sense as they didn’t seem to be pushing it as the only thing. Not saying they are on track by any means.

      The one thing I did like is that the discussions were open. They didn’t censor the discussion, and some of us challenged them a couple of times. To me, it was a chance to tell them face-to-face, again, the issues involved. My vision for the future of Content Management did not change there.


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