EMC Turns a Corner on Content Management


EMC issued the first major refresh of its content management platform, unifying the various software components to share a common architecture. The release is the first since it acquired content management software provider Documentum for $1.7 billion.

The Content management applications in Documentum 5.3 now share the same code base, security model, repository, object model and programming interfaces to trigger business processes, said Lubor Ptacek, product director for EMC Documentum.

This represents a shift in the philosophy of enterprise content management (ECM), which used to solely determine how files, Web content, and rich media were created, stored and distributed. To make this happen, EMC had to eliminate so-called siloed applications that operated independent of one another and replace them with a stack that is interoperable all around.

"Content management is now becoming the ERP of unstructured content," Ptacek said, noting that Documentum 5.3 will be available March 31.

This is consistent with analyst observations that enterprises are shifting away from point products in favor of more unified software stacks for content repositories.

The revised platform differentiates from products from IBM, Interwoven or FileNet because those vendors' architectures still comprise multiple code bases, security models, repositories, object models and APIs , he said.

Documentum 5.3 also boasts several new features to help the platform be more actionable for users.

Documentum Client for Outlook, a new client interface for Microsoft's e-mail application, lets users access Documentum directly within Outlook. Documentum Content Transformation Services lets users easily change desktop documents and images, audio and video into any compatible content type. Documentum Collaboration Services lets clients work together on tasks.

5.3 also incorporates a rash of new business process management (BPM) capabilities to help enterprises orchestrate enterprise resource management (ERP) , supply chain management (SCM) and other tasks.

Included in this are a business process manager, execution engine, services and process connectors to help Documentum BPM products with third-party applications such as rules engines, simulation environments, and auditing, analytics and reporting tools.

New federated search tools allow users to have one access point to perform content searches across heterogeneous repositories within or outside the enterprise. This includes integration with other competing systems from FileNet, Open Text and SAP.

Enterprise search is also becoming increasingly important to IBM, which recently upgraded its content management tools, spicing them up with its OmniFind technology. Big Blue will also refresh its Websphere Information Intrgrator product later this year.


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