Last week I attended EMC ECD’s Momentum conference, my 5th Momentum conference in Europe but the first time it has been in Europe for a number of years. It was also a conference which went ahead with the looming take over of EMC ECD by OpenText. It was an enjoyable few days and a chance for me to get closer to some of the tech than I typically get in the day to day routine. What were my takeaways:
- Stating the obvious but the OpenText deal is not yet done. As a result there was nothing which ECD could say about the roadmap of the products assuming the acquisition does go ahead.
- Nevertheless there was a lot of commentary on the deal and what came across strongly was a focus on the ways the two products complement each other rather than overlap. OpenText were represented by Vincenzo Nigrelli and Muhi Majzoub who were consistent in their message and praise for:
- ECD’s strong partner culture
- The strength of the InfoArchive product
- The vertical positioning which ECD have in sectors such as Life Sciences and Energy and Engineering
- The innovation being driven through the LEAP platform
- Clearly though there is overlap in the two sets of products and we will just have to wait until the deal is closed, likely to be January, to find out what the intent is for some of the core products. What I would say is that I do not see OpenText retiring any of the core products in the near future, there is too strong a revenue stream for this to happen. There may be more investment in some areas than others, see above, but the immediate future will see little change in my view.
- LEAP is the rising star in the platform based on attendance at sessions and the Hands On Labs. I took some time in the Hands On Labs and found a product which is easy to use and looks really neat. In the sessions I also liked the way the product had been architected although we didn’t get into a huge amount of detail. For me though there needs to be a lot more investment in the product, it looks neat and works well but there now needs to be some more investment along the lines of the Supplier Exchange product which is built on LEAP. Clearly ECD see this as something which their partners will do and hence the release of the Platform API but they also need to ramp up investment to deliver some business solutions.
- InfoArchive is where the money is. Whilst LEAP is new and shiny InfoArchive seems to be where ECD are making their money. It really is a compelling business case for customers and should in theory be an easy decision for businesses to make to invest in this space. Having played with the technology it comes across as straightforward to use but I also came away thinking that there needs to be some serious thought to topics such as Information Design.
So in summary a positive conference despite the elephant which lurked in the corner, and sometimes jumped on to stage to wave at the attendees! The ECD execs who spoke publicly (Rohit Ghai, Jason Capitel and Jim Nelson) did so with excitement and not apprehension and while clearly there will be some big changes to come I would predict that when the deal closes there will be an increased investment in some of the stars of the ECD portfolio which has probably been lacking in the past few years under EMC.