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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Content Management Step One, Capture that Information


A Cinnabon treatThere were a lot of disagreements on my view that Box or Dropbox will be a leader in Content Management in five years. Some were willing to concede that in the Small and Medium Business (SMB) market it might be the case but not in larger Enterprises. To anyone relying on that argument, I suggest refreshing yourself on how disruptive technologies attack a market.

I want to take a moment to explain why one of them WILL be a player in the market. It all comes down to one simple point, they capture content.

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Box v Dropbox v Everyone


While I was at Alfresco, I made a point of ignoring the competition. I always believe that if you can’t win without saying something negative, don’t bother. On the flip side, I didn’t want to draw extra attention to the competition.

Don’t have any of those issues now.

Even though I was quiet, new things still happened. Recently both Box and Dropbox have been making some announcements. While I am not going to go into the details, plenty of people have done that already, I’m going to talk about why any of it matters.

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Why Choosing Content Management is Becoming More Critical


Waiting for GodotI have recently been talking in my presentations about organizations opting to do nothing about their Content problem. When looking at the prospect of rolling out a new Content Management System (CMS), it is a valid option. There is only one issue with that choice.

Each year, choosing to do nothing becomes a worse option.

Let’s take a moment to discuss why doing nothing is riskier now than it was in the past.

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Talking Business Solutions in Russia


In my last post, I talked about my trip to Russia. I was there to speak during the opening session of the ECM Ecosystem conference being put on by the Russian edition of PC Week. I thought I would share the English version of my presentation , The Shift to Business Solutions, and some of the related discussion that occurred during the panels.

Picking a Trend

For my talk, I was asked to highlight trends in the industry. While I mentioned the obvious candidates (Social, Mobile, Analytics/Big Data, and Cloud) in my talk, I chose to focus on the continuing shift towards Business Solutions. While not as obviously sexy as the others, it is one that is making Content Management easier to manage and handle.

I also picked this one because this is a trend that every organization can benefit from immediately. It is a focus on how to implement and execute Content Management, not how the concept needs to evolve.

After spending the week there, I was sure that I had chosen wisely.

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Content Management in Russia, Same Challenges, Different Language


St Basil'sIf you were watching my twitter feed last week, you likely deduced that I spent the week in Russia, specifically Moscow. I was there to participate in the ECM Ecosystem conference being put on by the Russian edition of PC Week.

Before I arrived in Russia, I would have been hard pressed to explain how the Russian market differed from the market in the U.S. and Western Europe. After my visit, one thing is very clear.

They are almost exactly the same.

This isn’t to say that there are not differences. Every country has specific challenges. While I was in Moscow, I spent a lot of time talking to organizations how they could be more successful managing their content. What was most striking was that while I was in the middle of some of these conversations, I realized that I had participated in the same conversations in Chicago, London, Barcelona, and many other cities.

Prior to heading to Russia, PC Week had asked me some interview questions. The published version can be found, in Russian, online. I am going to take one of the questions and expand on my answer now that I have seen the Russian market first hand.

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Document Management versus Content Management


Things used to be simple. In the 90s, I delivered Document Management solutions. They were simple, straightforward, and they worked. With the start of the new millennium, I started delivering Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions. The difference was that we were supposed to be handling content that weren’t documents. This included pictures, videos, and web pages.

Except that I wasn’t often doing that.

Sure, I delivered a few Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems and created some websites and portals. When you got down to it, I spent most of my time delivering slightly more evolved Document Management solutions with some process thrown in to spice things up.

Forget “Enterprise”. It was always solutions solving specific business problems, at least on the successfully projects. At best, I was simply delivering Content Management, not ECM.

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