Six Years of Pie

You may not know it looking at my last two months of activity, or lack of it, but I’ve been writing, tweeting, and generally being loudly opinionated for the past six years. What started as just a way to vent my opinion over the direction of EMC/Documentum has become a platform for trying to push for change in the industry.

Thing is, the change is here. This June I’m going to pull my best Howard Beale and I’m going lay out why things are changing and why we can’t act as if it isn’t or that we have control.

But before all that, let’s review what has come before.

Starting Simple

The first year and it was highlighted by a debate with James McGovern about the lack of standards in the Identity Management realm. These standards, while existing, are still slow to gain adoption among enough of the players. It was great because it made me think in big picture terms about the industry.

Then one year after starting I decided to live blog EMC World 2008. My readership took off. This got my ego up a bit. I enjoyed the attention but instead of milking it, I wanted to try and make a difference.

Stepping it Up

It all changed one day when I had a conversation with Aaron Levie. Box was relatively unknown at the time, but Aaron had a vision. I wasn’t sure if he could deliver, but over the next several months of thinking about what the cloud offered the complex world of Information Management, I decided that the vision was the correct one. Mostly.

I started calling out the established vendors and pointing out to them what they needed to do to survive the transition. Most were skeptical that the change would be so drastic. It was, and continues to be a classic example of the Innovator’s Dilemma.

This led into my most heavily viewed (as measured by first month views) post ever written. Written after EMC World 2010, it essentially slammed EMC’s approach to the Information Management space. The tone and attention gained me a measure of respect in the industry. EMC now seems to be going in the right direction, but whether or not it will be in time to matter is a matter of great debate.

A New Role

In January of 2012 I took on the role of CIO at AIIM. To-date, it has been a rewarding and educational experience. I‘ve had some successes, and some challenges, during my tenure. I’m still dedicated to making sure that AIIM is equipped to provide its members with everything that they need to be successful in their career.

There is still one promise left to fill. I was asked when I interviewed if I still wanted to be an industry presence. I said yes. Recently, I have fallen behind on that promise. It is time to turn it around.

I still believe in my vision of Omnipresent Content Management. Terminology aside, it is our future and after sitting on the sidelines for the last year, I’m going to push. I’m not going to pull punches and I’m going to let it rip.


Final Recaps

And Finally…to see how things have changed and evolved, here are the previous anniversary posts. Read them or not, they are mostly here so I have them in one place.

  1. A Year in the Life of Pie
  2. Another Year in the Life of Pie
  3. Another Year Older and Deeper In ???
  4. I’ve Been Doing This Four Years?

You’ll notice a lack of a 5-year post. Seems the life of a CIO is busier than that of a consultant when you aren’t being paid by the hour anymore.

7 thoughts on “Six Years of Pie

  1. Hah…I remember when I first made my foray into blogging. Your blog certainly appeared regularly on my radar…and I always thought to myself…man, if only I could write like Pie. He actually has an opinion about these things (rather than just waffling on about the subject), and isn’t afraid for “good healthy debate”. And it was through your blog that I can into contact with so many of the rockstars in this area! (The previous commenter included!)
    Thanks for the inspiration over the years. Look forward to reading more.


  2. Dear Lawrence, congrats on coming back. In the last year hardly any worthwhile deabte has taken place. After the initial resistance everyone is now pushing the NEW collaborative case management style and ooops … In the Smart Process Apps they suddenly even include content as a key capability. Something I propsed ten years ago!

    I am sure that you are right about EMCs lack of strategy but the innovators dilemma is not the right excuse. We have been told for a number of years that with our focus on merging CRM, ECM, BPM and Case Management that we have developed past our market. That is the short-sighted view of someone who uses just one product functionality and just wants faster horses in front of his cart. Innovative vendrors have to transcend that but they are held back mostly by the analyst community as they do not like to have their neat market fragment muddled up. They also do not like of vednors step out of the boxes they have put them in.

    But le t me also open a point of disagreement. I think ECM is not just being replaced by BOX. That is no more than content storage even if they eventually manage to have a practical user interaction. It is cool for individuals and small businesses but not for any business that has to manage business processes.

    In that corporate marketspace ECM is dead. Just as CRM and BPM. What businesses need is CONTEXT management. Functionality that is in line with systems of engagement and content will at best be integrated via backend services. ECM only sees the content as a blob and thats where the real opportunity is.

    Just like the BPM world hasno quietly assimilated collaborative process styles without flowcharts they are now trying to asimilate content functionality. We started that 13 years ago … Thats how backwards corporations, analysts and vendors really are. In the meantime we even had a cost-driven discussion about IT being a commodity that can be outsourced or bought like a utility. Cloud is just another form ouf outsourcing for crying out loud. It is the biggest equalizer of all. Renting Cloud services IS NOT innovation! Every idiot can do that.

    True Innovators will utilize software to create empowering collaboration functionality that fills the huge gap between ERP and Cloud to empower their employees and customers to engage in new ways. I certainly do not see any ECM vendors or BOX doing that.

    Software isn’t judged by TCO but only by the total opportunity it presents!!!


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