Next Gen Information Management – How to Succeed in the Era of Content Services
John Mancini

By: John Mancini on February 10th, 2017

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Next Gen Information Management – How to Succeed in the Era of Content Services

Enterprise Content Management (ECM)  |  Content Services  |  Intelligent Information Management (IIM)

On February 2, we conducted an AIIM Community Roundtable to explore the implications of the Documentum acquisition by OpenText. The following are just a few selected highlights from that discussion.

The speakers were:

  • Alan Pelz-Sharpe -- Industry Analyst
  • Dirk Bode -- CEO, fme
  • Sean Baird -- Director, DCTM Product Marketing for Documentum
  • Stephen Ludlow -- Senior Director, ECM Product Marketing, OpenText

JM: What’s going to happen to the existing Documentum customers?

Stephen Ludlow: There has been a fair amount of commentary and probably some concern along the way around what is going to happen with Documentum and Documentum customers. Will they be supported? What will OpenText do with Documentum moving forward?

We have a baseline platform of continued investment and roadmap commitments around both Documentum and Content Server. I think one of the most important things may also be to get upfront is that there is no expectation on our part that we will migrate Documentum customers to Content Server, nor is there expectation that we will migrate Content Server customers to Documentum. There is no great merging of these two applications.

One of the nice things that we obviously got in the acquisition was the new Leap platform. As more and more capabilities are consumed in the cloud, we will find that our customers begin to consume some of those services directly from Leap.

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We also really want to invest in what OpenText has been very good at in the past - which is our ability to be able to extend ECM into lead applications. We have spent a number of years being able to extend ECM into SAP. Now, customers are increasingly looking, as they start to use their ERP applications, their CRM applications, etcetera into the cloud, to be able to have cloud-to-cloud integration. The special sauce that OpenText really offers is their ability to integrate with those lead applications, be able to consume and synchronize metadata, be able to provide ECM directly in the lead application and integrate deeply in from a UI perspective. All of those capabilities will be built into Leap - which will allow us to have this cloud-to-cloud integration that customers are currently looking for.

JM: What is your take on the Gartner “retirement” of the ECM term and the transition to “content services?”

Alan Pelz-Sharpe: If I'm being really honest, I don't know that it matters that much. If we turn the clock back, the fact is Gartner was one of the very last -- I believe THE last -- analyst firm to use the term ECM. The reality is the industry is evolving, whether you call it ECM, next-gen ECM, EIM, or content services. Whatever you call it is not that important.

What IS important, though, is that buyers are looking less and less for a software package in a technical silo-like ECM or CRM, but they're looking more for solutions to meet their needs. You see this in RFPs today that often don't stipulate the kind of software that they're looking for, but instead focus on detailing the challenges that companies face. This is a big change from the past. People are inviting businesses to create a solution to meet their particular business challenges.

JM: How does this evolution into “content services” change the profile of a successful partner?

Dirk Bode: We used to solve many things with a fully blown ECM system, just because it was the tool we had at hand. Now, things are more granular, and more tools can be easily combined in the cloud world to get the job done. What that means for us as consultants, is less coding and more matching things together, more configurations. We have to constantly know what is out there and if it can add value to the total project. I still think custom apps will be around. That's my opinion. The big corporations will continue to want their own solutions, but the world will be more agile and will be more like the continuous delivery dev-ops driven world.

JM: What kinds of technology and business competencies does an organization need to have in order to thrive in the market we're going into?

Alan Pelz-Sharpe: We are moving away from selling platforms to selling applications. If you don't understand an industry in-depth, you're going to have problems. Really diving in and fully understanding the key breakpoints in business processes and business activities is a skill set on its own self.

Dirk Bode: From a partner perspective, cloud-native development skills are vital these days. You really have to understand how software in the cloud and for the cloud is developed. This involves a different culture of skills. Everything will become way more agile, and this whole dev-ops thing means that you have to work closer together and more flexibly.


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About John Mancini

John Mancini is the President of Content Results, LLC and the Past President of AIIM. He is a well-known author, speaker, and advisor on information management, digital transformation and intelligent automation. John is a frequent keynote speaker and author of more than 30 eBooks on a variety of topics. He can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77. Recent keynote topics include: The Stairway to Digital Transformation Navigating Disruptive Waters — 4 Things You Need to Know to Build Your Digital Transformation Strategy Getting Ahead of the Digital Transformation Curve Viewing Information Management Through a New Lens Digital Disruption: 6 Strategies to Avoid Being “Blockbustered” Specialties: Keynote speaker and writer on AI, RPA, intelligent Information Management, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation. Consensus-building with Boards to create strategic focus, action, and accountability. Extensive public speaking and public relations work Conversant and experienced in major technology issues and trends. Expert on inbound and content marketing, particularly in an association environment and on the Hubspot platform. John is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary, and holds an M.A. in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.