I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t admit that Sharepoint will control most of the collaboration market space but there is need and profit in the rest of that pie chart. IBM is not backing away from collaboration but EMC’s lack of vocal support of eRoom, pandering to backend integration and promises for the delayed Rich Internet Client suggest that eRoom is doomed. It could be that the market has made it’s decision already but YOU the customer have the power to SAVE EROOM.
I surmise that there is still debate in EMC’s secret lair about what to do with eRoom. EMC’s continued promotion of the product in the Insignia line is a ray of hope in an otherwise dark cave of doubt. While in concept the Collaboration Edition might have been a good idea, in execution it’s not even close to the ease of deployment offered by eRoom and Sharepoint alike. So we are left to wonder where the roadmap and tools are that buyers and technology planners need to make fair evaluation of the merits of eRoom over Sharepoint for their new and existing collaboration systems.
EMC needs to hear the customer’s voice over the hype and din of marketing being broadcast from Redmond. Call your sales rep. You’ve paid your maintenance and I think you deserve an answer.
The best way to loose the bout is never to get in the ring. Don’t give up without a fight.
Not to worry. It’s true that more noise could be coming from EMC about eRoom and collaboration in general. But all that is about to change.
First off, EMC just released a new version of eRoom – version 7.4. It features very tight integration with the EMC IRM software, which by the way, is notably superior to anything coming out of Redmond.
The other news is that you are about to hear a lot more from EMC about the next generation collaboration and knowledge worker client. eRoom is awesome – no doubt about it – but there are also plenty of areas for improvement. And lets face it, users familiar with “web 2.0” interfaces are expecting more these days.
There will be lots of details coming out at the time of the EMC World show in May. Hopefully we will see many of you in Las Vegas but if not, keep an eye on the website for lots more information.
Thanks for the post!
Thank you very much for the comment – I certainly hope to get more insight into your plans at EMC World and I know we all will be watching for more information.
As a consultant and integrator – my voice may be important to me but the most important voice to be heard is that of the customer. I am genuinely concerned that the Microsoft marketing machine has and will continue to overwhelm the needs and opinions of an otherwise very satisfied eRoom customer base.(a rare commodity in ECM to be sure)
The fact that there are areas for improvement is exactly my concern.You may be addressing them – but how do we know? The architects and planners in the trenches need your (EMC’s) marketing support to keep your products in their businesses. They may not necessarily be generating new license revenue but they keep the maintenance dollars coming and hard earned market share is easily lost in lack of renewal.
One last thought – Rich Internet Apps are all the rage, but moving to that model doesn’t necessarily demand abandoning the option of implementing the simpler back end of eRoom, particularly for the SMB customer. Without sufficient R&D though, eRoom won’t have the services to support it and it will simply not compete.
Thanks again Lance for the comment. I trust now that all my fears will be laid to REST in Vegas.
Thanks for referencing my post on eRoom. ref above, I have met Mr Shaw at a number of EMC conferences and he is a great guy, so I truly hope we do start to hear more from EMC as soon as possible, but it has been suggested from other official quarters that the publicity on ‘son of eRoom’ might not get out until the fall (maybe at the EMC European ‘Momentum’ event ?).
Meanwhile my current organisation is a big fan of eRooms so I am sure it will upgrade to 7.4 – but does it provide easy RSS and other so called ‘web 2.0’ features ??? It wont be upgraded before I leave in a few weeks, but “long live eRoom !” 🙂
From what I have seen, the next eRoom will have RSS, blogs, wiki’s etc. 7.4 does not have those things. There are still thousands of dedicated eRoom customers where eRoom is an integral part of the business framework. I’ve seen the so-called migration tools from eRoom to SharePoint and they will work fine so long as you never use the nested container notion in eRoom. If you have a flat structure, just like SharePoint, then the migration is fine. The moment you put a database in a folder or a folder or calendar inside a database entry, you’ve blown your migration path to SharePoint. SharePoint does not allow this.
I’ve also seen some interesting ways of using SharePoint and Documentum together to provide a more organized infrastructure of enterprise content. I think that will grow even more. Let’s not forget web parts for eRoom and SharePoint. You can use SharePoint AND eRoom at the same time.
It will be an interesting year to say the least.