Capitalizing on Content

Today's posting is Christian Finn of Oracle discussing Oracle's Moveoff Documentum program.

We’ve gotten a lot of attention and interest lately on for our Moveoff Documentum campaign. If you haven’t heard about it, it is a dramatic offer: up to $1 million trade in on Documentum licenses to switch to Oracle WebCenter, with partners lined up to provide the migration software and services necessary to be successful.

Is it good marketing to make a dramatic and compelling offer? Surely. But some have asked if that’s all it is: pure marketing.

And the answer is, not at all; there is much more to it. Our view is that the campaign highlights a difference in philosophy and perspective between Oracle and EMC. At Oracle, we want to enable customers to capitalize on their content, throughout the content lifecycle and deeply integrated with the use cases for content in today’s social, mobile, and cloud world. It isn’t just about swapping out one repository for another. We are focused on helping customers do more with their content and get more value from it. As such, we are not only investing in WebCenter Content, but also in our Portal product, by the acquisition of Fatwire (now WebCenter Sites) for class-leading web experience management capabilities, and with the forthcoming release of Oracle Social Network, an in-house developed product for social collaboration around the business processes that run the modern enterprise.

This is a very different perspective than EMC seems to take. Although even EMC admits that Documentum’s revenue is falling—down 5% compared with a year ago-- they remain the enterprise content management share leader for now. Unfortunately, they seem more interested in exploiting their share as a collection agency (perhaps to fix the revenue decline) than in innovating and creating more value. As Joe Golemba, our VP for WebCenter Content, remarked here the other day, EMC is busy auditing customers to drive revenue.

Let’s contrast the results of the Documentum acquisition by EMC and the Stellent acquisition by Oracle. Oracle spent the first year after the acquisition integrating Stellent (now WebCenter Content) into the Oracle middleware stack, and with the Oracle applications. The result is WebCenter Content has grown substantially (over 20% last year, the fastest growing ECM system) and now is integrated out-of-the-box with key enterprise applications like E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel. It is also part of the foundation of Fusion Apps (Oracle’s next generation of enterprise applications), as the strategic repository at Oracle. And WebCenter Content plays a critical role in WebCenter, which includes significant investments in Portal, Social, and Web Experience Management.

EMC’s track record for investment and innovation around Documentum has not been strong. Let’s examine at a few common and critical scenarios that relate to content management in the enterprise and see how EMC’s bets around Documentum have paid off.

First, let’s look at document collaboration by teams—not the heavyweight process and repository-driven ECM, just the simple document sharing and revision that knowledge workers do every day as a core part of their jobs. Documentum acquired eRoom for this back in 2003, even before EMC acquired Documentum. If you look at the growth of SharePoint and more recently of firms like Dropbox and Box, you’d have to agree that facilitating team collaboration on content is both a major use case and a good business. And eRoom in its day in the 90s was a decent offering.

Where does eRoom stand today? Well it does seem that EMC offers it, but their front page case study is about their own internal use and how they reduced their costs to operate it by using another of their acquisitions, VMWare. The only customer one that’s front and center dates from March, 2007. That can’t make a buyer very confident that EMC believes in team collaboration.

But wait-- there is CenterStage. EMC announced CenterStage with great fanfare back in 2009, as “the new standard for extended enterprise collaboration” a.k.a. a new collaboration client for Documentum and the “evolution of eRoom.” CenterStage promises a Web 2.0 feature set, such as blogs, wikis, and tagging for user-generated content, as well as collaborative workspaces and so on. Yet far from evolving eRoom, it turns out you actually have to migrate from eRoom to CenterStage, and it doesn’t appear that too many customers have. EMC has only one customer case study cited on the CenterStage page of their website, and the top links in Google not from EMC all date from…you guessed it…2009. Last but not least, EMC is well known in Enterprise 2.0 circles as an enthusiastic adopter not of CenterStage, but of Jive. We’ll see how VMWare’s foray into social collaboration plays out, but EMC today is much more of a repository vendor than a collaboration vendor.

That brings us to the web content management/web experience management frontier. This of course is an absolutely vital use case for any enterprise or public sector organization, as the web has become a (and often the) primary channel for engagement with customers, prospects, and constituents. And here EMC and Oracle agree: Fatwire, now Oracle WebCenter Sites, is the web experience management solution that “offers best-in-class technologies for web content management, content targeting and analytics, content integration, user-generated content, and more…” If you are a Documentum customer and you want to bring your content to the web, even EMC would recommend that you look elsewhere. Documentum simply doesn’t extend to the web experience use case. It’s stuck firmly in the 90s. At Oracle, when you combine Sites with ATG, Endeca and Siebel, organizations have the one stop solution they need to gather and capitalize on customer information and actions to provide the most compelling user experience possible.

And at heart this is why we believe there’s been so much customer interest in our campaign. Customers want to do more than just manage the content they have—they want to capitalize on it, generating and using it in new ways to drive business forward, not just operate a glorified filing system. With our vision and investments in making WebCenter a collaboration, content, and experience management system for the future, customers can be assured they won’t get stuck in the past.

View the Moveoff Documentum webcast on the Moveoff Documentum web page.

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