EMC’s Faulty Perception of Content Management


How I Met Your Mother Spit TakeWhile at the Monktoberfest last week, I had the luck to run into some people from EMC.  Not just any folk from EMC, they were from “core”, the storage side of the business. After convincing them that I knew enough about EMC to have a real conversation, we discussed Documentum and the Information Intelligence Group (IIG) where Documentum sits.

The talk quickly turned to why Documentum did not live up to the potential they had when EMC acquired them. While I have many opinions, I thought I’d get their opinion. It was a little surprising.

They didn’t adopt Virtual fast enough.

There have been a lot of missteps over the years, but that wasn’t one of them. I was selling Documentum during the rise of VMWare and I can state this for a fact, I NEVER lost a deal because Documentum didn’t support virtual machines.

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Repeating Past Mistakes Won’t Make ECM Work


Stitch banging his head against the wallEvery now and then I read a post that makes me wonder if the older Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendors are intentionally trying to keep the industry stagnant. They make a fair penny selling to people who tried their competitor’s solution and failed. Whey not keep it up for another decade?

That was my response when I read How Free Puppy Syndrome Can Ruin Your ECM Strategy. My first thought that this was going to be a generic attack on open source. While I no longer work for an open source vendor, I am still a fan and think that open source solutions provide strong value.

It wasn’t that simple. The article attacked everyone who is trying to take the industry from one of failure to one of universal adoption. I am going to address all the bullet points.

The author meant for each point to be an indicator for failure.

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You Will Never Have One Place for All Your Content


Dr Who in the rainYou read the title correctly. No matter how hard the industry works between now and the time you die, or are simply drooling in a wheelchair, you will never have one place for all of your content. I’m not simply talking the difference between work and personal pieces of information. Whether you are at work or home; on your computer, tablet, or phone; or any combination of those, you will always have content you need to access in multiple systems.

A little depressing isn’t it?

That doesn’t make it less true. If it makes you feel any better, it will not be entirely your fault. The problem is that you and your company do not own all of the content that you use. There is content out there that originates, and lives, in other places.

And there is nothing you can do about it.

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Doom and Gloom for Dropbox and Box?


If you have been anywhere near twitter the past week, you’ve seen the article from ZDNet asking Can Dropbox and Box survive as independent services? The author, Ed Bott, then goes into the pricing competition for storage and how both services are falling way behind the curve to Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

Ed misses the point. This isn’t about storage. Not anymore. It is also about convenience. How well can you synch across all your devices with products from the big three? How well do those products work with other applications on your mobile devices?

Even more importantly, how well do those applications serve the enterprise?

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Content Management Step 5, Dispose of that Information


Mount Trashmore, VA BeachWelcome to weird, mystical world where we are now permitted to get rid of expired information. I phrase it like that because we live in a world where we are permitted to dispose of information, but never automatically.

How many hours are lost reviewing information in order to determine if it is okay to remove? How much information is kept because we are unsure? Why do we even need to get rid of information?

That last question is easy to answer and not in the way you expect.

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Content Management Step 4, Protect that Information


Protecting our information is, in many ways, the trickiest concept in making Information Governance profitable. To many people, it is the same as controlling information. After all, how can you protect information if you don’t control it first?

I have a better question. How can you protect information if you don’t capture and organize it? How can you even control something that you aren’t protecting?

The real problem is that too many organizations blend control and protect into one concept or set of rules. They are distinct and need to be treated as such.

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Content Management Step 3, Control that Information


Auburn's Eagle FlyigAt this point, I’ve covered the first two Content Management steps towards achieving the proper Information Governance, knowing. The remaining steps are ones that the industry executes fairly well today, at least from a technical perspective. It just feels like a failure because we historically fail to Capture and Organize content properly.

The third step is Control. Control is something that most organizations have mastered, perhaps a little too well. If a piece of content gets into the system, locking it down is easy. The challenge here is not the technology, but the basic approach to controlling content.

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