Momentum 2010 – Summary

I’ve still got one or two more posts on individual sessions to crank out but given there has been one or two summary posts already, from Andrew and others, I wanted to get down my overall thoughts on the few days in Lisbon. I’ll go through each day and then bring it all together.

Day 1 – Partner Conference

The first day brought a feeling of change, with new people like Fred Monjazeb, Chris McLaughlin and Jeetu Patel taking to the stage it did feel as though there was a change in the senior positions. Coupled with the announcement the previous Thursday on the departure of Mark Lewis I was looking forward to the following day’s keynote. The venue itself was great, nice to have a bit of warmth in late October and there was a lot more space in the exhibition area. I had a great chance to catch up with a lot of people in the afternoon and then evening over dinner before the night was brought to a close listening to some Fado music in the centre of Lisbon. If you ever go to Lisbon find a bar which plays this music, it is a great experience.

Day 2 – Keynotes and Architecture

Now I have already posted about both the Architecture session and the morning Keynote. Jeroen really got people to sit up and take notice in his architecture session, it was a bit of a slow build up (necessarily slow as this was a deep dive), but I just wish Jeroen had timed his presentation, he clearly needed two hours and not the allotted 45 minutes. As a result he did a second part in the late afternoon which I couldn’t get to due to other commitments, Virtual Momentum will have to do for this if it is one of the sessions on there. Enough has been said on the keynote, although I will come back to the overall message at the end. However there was definitely a buzz starting to go through the conference following some of the sessions. Personally I was also starting to get busy as the number of customers who wanted to talk with me started to increase. The Cultural Evening was good fun but the location was not great, nearly two hours on a bus wasn’t the best way to start the evening. Still, a positive day overall.

Day 3 – Presentation Day

Day 3 was when I was due to give a presentation on SharePoint and Documentum, but first I attended the Fatwire presentation to understand EMC’s direction on integrating this product. This was interesting and a colleague of mine, Jeff Quiggle, gave a good insight into how customers can look at migrating content from Documentum to Fatwire. However I did get a bit of feeling of ‘so what’ from this session, we were shown a numbver of websites which were produced using Fatwire but to be honest they could have been done in HTML. I would have loved to have seen how the content was managed, or how the customer feedback was brought back into the repository or how Social Media really could have been linked into the overall solution.

I then did my presentation with Jon Ludwig. This was a well attended session, still waiting for the exact numbers, and it was good to get up in front of people with this being my 3rd Momentum and something I had made a promise to myself back in Prague that I would do. The feedback afterwards was positive and I look forward to finding more stories to tell to customers and partners at future events. The other theme on the Wednesday was the number of customers who I spoke to, I counted nearly a dozen different customers who wanted to talk to me in detail about SharePoint and Documentum. This was great fun and a great way to help understand the challenges they face and the types of solutions they are looking for. There is no doubt that there is a real need out there to understand how to embrace SharePoint and how to get the two technologies working together, looking forward to helping people to achieve this.

Finally I attended Randy Hodge’s presentation on getting xCP to work in the Cloud. This was very interesting and I will post details on the session in the near future. I had spoken to Randy earlier in the week and it was great to hear him describe his role and the important which EMC are placing on getting xCP 2.0 right and getting their vision of Cloud right. We had a good discussion on the Use Cases I am seeing in the UK and I look forward to seeing the results.

Day 4 – The End

Whilst this was my 3rd Momentum this was the 1st time I had made it to the final day, other commitments in previous years meant I had to leave early. The last day is clearly wind down time and while there some interesting sessions I do think it must be hard if you are given one of the speaking slots on the Thursday morning. They final keynote itself was a summary of the week, perhaps it needs a bit more oomph in its message but I guess most of the attendees don’t make it to this session.

Summary

So I have to agree with Andrew that this was the best Momentum, certainly that I have been. And it could have been better still. Why?

1. There is a feel of change at the top, not just Rick replacing Mark but also some of the management team, have brought a new impetus to the organisation. I was very impressed whenever Fred Monjazeb or Jeetu Patel spoke and look forward to meeting them more in the future.

2. The keynote, this should have been so much better. This is not a criticism of Mark directly as the delivery was not the main problem in the session. It was the message. As Andrew said in his blog the EMC IIG tanker has slowly been moved in a new direction and I felt this was the first time they could talk about this new direction yet this message came from the other sessions and not the Keynote. The move to xDB and the Next Generation Information Server, the strategy around Cloud, the release of xPlore, the focus on business solutions, the reduced reliance on 3rd Party products, the rationalisation of the User Interface suite, the focus on faster and easier deployment….there was so much which could have been said and wasn’t in that one session.

3. The next few years will see a huge change in the EMC IIG products. The release of xCP 2.0 next year is the first milestone but the move to the NGIS will be massive. The name itself marks a change in the products but if EMC do succeed in making it truly an information server and can combine it with the Process Management and Governance capabilities elsewhere in the product set then it could be a game changing release.

4. SharePoint. Okay so I did present on it but it is a much discussed subject, I spent well over 12 hours discussing with customers, partners and EMC themselves the different approaches to take to harmonising their existing Documentum environments with the SharePoint world. It appears that there are more than a few organisations who are scratching their heads on how to get the technologies to complement each other.

I’ll follow up with a post on what the future may mean for people and what I hope to see at Momentum 2011 in Berlin.

Momentum 2010 – Documentum Architecture

So the Documentum Architecture session has traditionally been one of the busiest at the Momentum conference, and in spite of the 8.45 am start this was the case in Lisbon as well. The session was presented by Rohit Ghai and Jeroen van Rotterdam. Rohit started by saying that the session wasn’t at the right time as it was going to provide more detail on the technical keynote which had not yet been given. (Note to conference schedulers, put the sessions in order and give this highlight session the slot it deserves).

Rohit put some context onto the development of the products, some Business and some Technical. He explained that they had identified three waves of focus in each of these. The Business Context was Collaboration, Compliance, Content and IT. The Technical Context was Datacenter Architecture, Application Architecture, Web and UI and Endpoints. For each of these Contexts Rohit described how the world has evolved and what this means – so for example content has moved from paper digitisation, through word docs to rich and social media.

Rohit then introduced the new stack:

UI Layer – Modular User Interfaces

Composite Application Layer – Case based applications

Information Services Infrastructure – Cloud, Information Types

Interestingly Rohit mentioned that EMc want to provide the compliance layer for all information, and he touted the idea of using EMC as the Compliance tool for information such as Googledocs, I’ve mentioned in the past how Googledocs could do with this…didn’t think EMC could play in this area but nice idea.

Jeroen then took to the stage and said he wanted to give us a sneak preview of where they are heading, this was not intended to be a roadmap. Currently EMC provide a centralised architecture, they want to move away from this:

- to be the platform for hybrid cloud deployment;

I’ve heard cloud mentioned a few times at the conference and sometimes too many people think cloud is virtualisation, Jeroen was clear on this…it is more than that, and yes we need multi tenancy.

Xplore

Jeroen then gave a brief introduction on XPlore, GA on 1st November! He talked about the current architecture and how the new architecture is very similar and the existing XML extraction technology will be used as well as the existing DFTXML format. Interestingly XPlore has been built as a standalone search engine, it will not need Documentum to run. Lucene is heavily embedded into the architecture, but is deep within the architecture. For more info on XPlore Jeroen recommended one of the XPlore sessions.

UI

After a quick recap on the Centerstage architecture Jeroen confirmed that xCP 2.0 will be built on the RCMP model, however he did note that they will not forget their WDK users and will look to achieve backwards compatibility…although this will be a challenge. He talked about the performance challenges in Centerstage 1.0 but these have now been resolved. MediaWorkspace and Centerstage will in the future work on the same technology and with data tables now in Centerstage they will look to help customers migrate from eRoom to Centerstage. Basically it looks as though we will finally see a rationalisation of the user interfaces which EMC provide. The Long Term UI strategy is:

- Client – Native RIA

- Developer – Spring IDE (Eclipse)

- Admin – Hyperiv + vCenter

Jeroen then described the EMC Cloud Information Services Strategy, and for this cloud means:

- scale out;

- multi-tenancy;

- no 3rd Party SW components, yep thats right, no more reliance on Oracle or MS for the DB or on other vendors for the App Server…simplification and cost reduction, yay!

- no downtime;

- dynamic provisioning;

- virtualisation;

- billing & metering;

Unfortunately at this stage Jeroen had ran out of time, despite a whole host more material to cover, some things I picked up on were XACML in xDB11 and even more interesting is the end of the Content Server, it will be the Information Server in the future. If this means the ability to do true structured and unstructured in one repositoy with one set of policies to manage this…well that is exciting.

Overall this was an excellent session and for anyone who has worked with Documentum for a long time should be enough to give the taste of the future, and it sounds incredibly bright. I will do more to write my opinion on the session in coming days but its been a busy day and I still need to write up the morning keynote from Mark Lewis.  I won’t get all my write-ups done this week so some will need to wait, and I look forward to reading other people’s views on the conference. Day 2 is now done and I am pleased with what I have seen thus far. So in answer to the question posted here, the thing I most enjoyed about Momentum on Day 2, for me, was the passion and excitement which the EMC team demonstrated in their vision for the future of IIG and a realisation that there will be change, and it will be a change for the good. If EMC can demonstrate and maintain this passion while delivering these changes then as a partner I can help to get customers excited and help to get them investing in EMC solutions. Good stuff.

Momentum 2010 – Partner Day

So nearing the end of the first day of Momentum 2010, and apart from the heat in the conference centre its been a good day.

First up there was the chance to meet some old faces and encounter some new ones but we soon got cracking with the Partner conference. This was hosted by Mike Kan from EMC who introduced Mike David from Ovum who gave, a somewhat already convinced audience a presentation on what it takes for Information Intelligence to be derived from an organisations information assets.

Things really picked up when Chris McLoughlin took to the stage. Now James recently commented on Twitter that he had seen a change in EMC’s approach to partnering, the reason has been Chris. Chris is the VP for Partners and Channels Worldwide and his presentation demonstrated his determination to put Partners at the forefront of EMC’s plans for the next few years. Yes it will mean as Partners we will have our share of work to do but it should mean we get more support from EMC. One of the key messages he gave was that EMC need to move from selling IT to selling business solutions, something which I have been looking for for a while. He put up one slide which really summarised the current situation well:

- xCP is not currently broad enough;

- there is a lack of incentive for the EMC sales team to partner;

- there is too much conflict with EMC PS and partners;

- there is a lack of a proven methodology for working with partners;

- they need to improve their accreditation and certification programme.

A couple of other things which he mentioned of interest were:

- EMC will revitalise the Designed for EMC programme so solutions from partners can seek to attain that badge;

- technical support will provide a dedicated support person for new implementations (oh how we could have done with this one).

John  O Melia, head of EMC Consulting WW then took to the stage and gave a short presentation on how the EMC Professional Services group will help partners to work with them.

Finally, on the presentations front, Rana Ghosh Roy of BG Group talked about how they are using Documentum. Interesting for me as Rana recruited me into my current position before he moved on.

Finally there was a Panel discussion involving a number of EMC senior execs. Most of this was around partnering but there was one question around how EMC IIG will embrace the cloud which Jeetu Patel (CTO) answered. With this one response I started to see a vision for the future for EMC and started to see some real positive signs for the future. Jeetu talked about two things:

 

- cloud enabling the current EMC products, and this was from virtualisation through to multi tenancy;

- using the IIG products as the governance layer for an organisation’s information no matter where it is stored, on premise, private cloud or public cloud. Having one policy administration layer across all information;

I’m hoping there will be more on this vision as Jeetu’s answer, and the way he delivered was a taste of a bright future for EMC.

Overall the first day was interesting, with people like Chris McLoughlin, Fred Monjazeb and Jeetu Patel I see a new face for the EMC IIG group and a new direction which is promising. I am really hoping this morning’s keynote will reinforce this, I am still not sure who will be delivering it but EMC IIG have a chance to move forward this morning…lets hope they do that and do not look back.

Back to the Blog

I’ve been extremely quiet over the past few months in terms of my contribution to this blog but extremely busy in what I have been doing at work, plus there has been the small matter of 3 small children at home. I hope to get back to some posts and will start with my usual accounts of the EMC Momentum event, this year being held in Lisbon.

I’ll attempt to get posts up as soon as possible after the sessions but some will be delayed as my diary is already looking pretty full for the week with planned discussions on xCP and SharePoint/Documentum integration. Plus I am doing a presentation on the latter on the Wednesday.

I’m expecting a really interesting conference this year, and I think it is time for EMC to really start putting some weight behind some of their thinking around xCP and other product developments as well as giving us a vision which will provide a clear roadmap for the next 5 years in the face of some very stiff competition in the marketplace.

The news of the leadership change, announced on Thursday and commented on by Pie, will provide an interesting start to the conference, Mark is supposed to be delivering the keynote on the Tuesday but I would hope that this keynote now delivers a passing of the reins on to Rick and an opportunity for him to deliver his vision for EMC IIG.

Pie has set some very good rules on blogging at conferences and I will be sticking to these. Open presentations will be reported on, when I get chance to attend and write them up. Conversations that I have with individuals will not be commented unless I specifically ask the individuals concerned.

This is my 3rd Momentum conference and I’m delighted to be presenting this year. The bulk of the presentation was given earlier in the year at EMC World by a colleague of mine, Jon Ludwig, however we are adding to it with two topic areas. One will be a more in depth Case Study based on a project my team in the UK are delivering, the other will be based on an exciting announcement which will be released in the next 2 days. However it is the networking which is the real benefit of Momentum, hopefully this year will be as productive as the previous two.