Gartner Report

I’ve recently had the opportunity to read the latest vendor focus on EMC Documentum from Gartner. The key recommendations are around:

- look to EMC Documentum as a strategic partner capable of delivering true enterprise content management
- select your suppliers with care
- long term information management needs could be well addressed through EMC Documentum with their approach to ILM

Nothing startling there then, certainly the second point is one which should be advised of any similar processes.

The meat of the report focusses on areas which EMC Documentum are looking at:

Transactional Content Management – this is a big play into the FileNET area by Documentum and I agree that at first sight it is a credible alternative. My view is that Documentum will need to establish a foothold in this market and look to leverage their position as a true ECM partner with their other offerings to convince customers that their future lies with Documentum.

Collaboration – here the report picks up on one of my biggest bugbears with Documentum….the future of eRoom. Having first worked with the product nearly 3 years ago it was clear from the start that the eRoom product was a problem for Documentum. The technical architecture is vastly different from the core product set and the integration between the two products has been, thus far, poor in terms of end user experience. In fact I would go as far as to say that the recently released Sharepoint Services for Documentum appear to be more powerful than the Documentum/eRoom integrations so far released. Further to this there is my view that eRoom is a poor product for customisation; it is an extremely complex product to unpick and I would advise customers away from too much customisation. In fact this view was reiterated in a conversation with Documentum on a project I worked on 3 years ago. I fully concur with the report’s statement that it is time for EMC to address the confusion that exists with their Collaboration Strategy and how they work with Sharepoint and yet progress the eRoom product.

The report looks at other areas too, notably Interactive Content Management. Despite my comments above the report is generally positive and hits the right note in my opinion; of the vendors in the ECM space EMC/Documentum have the best coverage across the piece. The biggest weak area has been the one which they are addressing with Transactional Content Management.

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2 thoughts on “Gartner Report

  1. In your view, what are the differences between a source selection for an ECM and a source selection for a CMS system? Is it true that they are different, and that a document management (ECM) service does not do the types of things you want to achieve in terms of your Web site presentation and publishing layer for Content Management?

    Are there success stories in having the ECM as a piece of a CMS/Web site or can it do both?

  2. I think terminology may be as much in question here as anything else. ECM is the broad term which encompasses the various apsects of Content Management such as Document Management and Web Content Management. However I think your question is still valid, and it is around what differences there are between a Document Management system and a Web Content Management system. Yes, there are key differences between the two types of system notably for Web Content Management there are the needs to provide integration with a web authoring environment, management of presentation templates, ability to preview final content as part of the final site and the ability to manage the publishing process.

    However the basic content services which are provided by, and are fundamental to Document Management remain, such as versioning, lifecycle, metadata management and searching.

    I have seen examples where a Document Management implementation has been extended to include Web Content Management and this has been successful, one of the reasons being the single source of content idea. Another possible example, and something I advocate, is that a document can be considered web content and in many organisation we see documents being published to the external sites, e.g. white papers, analyst reviews. Thus having the ability to manage all content in one place is useful but be wary of not confusing the end users too much. Those using the system for Document Management do not need the extended functionality and these tend to be the majority, care must be taken when implementing.

    Documentum is a good example of a suite of products where the Web Content functionality builds on the core Document Management, through the additional products such as Web Publisher and Site Caching Services.

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