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OEM and the EMC Inside Strategy

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After an uncomfortably long silence we are seeing more about EMC’s OEM strategy as it relates to Content Management. The press release adresses five key areas.

  • A formal rebranding of the X-Hive XML server and a reference from www.doczone.com 
  • IRM and a customer highlight for a SaaS evidence management application
  • The OEM content server is mentioned with no customer reference
  • Application Xtender is presented as a peer to content server
  • Captiva remains the cornerstone for capture 

It is clear that Content Management and Archiving has great plans for X-Hive.  CMA seems relieved to finally have a competitive strategy for the component content management space.  Similarly, RSA offerings have equal prominence but the most intersting note is what was not said. Only RSA is called out as being embedded.  No mention is made of how the customer handles the CMS related functions.

As for Documentum, the OEM content server was paraded around with the release of 5.3 and there has been little or no noise about it’s availability in D6. The overall experience of the 5.3 version was positive for the few (very few) that tried it but the licensing model was challenging and offered little differentiation from buying the platform outright. 

Documentum’s less famous step brother, Application XTender however seems to have moved back to the big table and is presented as a full fledged peer. The old Legato product was already successful as an OEM midrange solution. It is as if the Pleasanton dominated CMA organization is now having to share the lime light (and marketing muscle) with its internal rival.  The one constant is Captiva, which continues to maintain its identity in the ever expanding “One EMC.”

There will be much more to learn when the EMC Inside site formally launches Friday May 2,2008.

One final note. This renewed focus on the OEM channel comes at a time when EMC is beginning to embrace large resellers. Agreements with Dell, Unisys and Ikon are an indication that EMC is trying agressively to grow (or protect) market share in the face of the combined IBM/FileNet and Microsoft SharePoint threats. 

EMC core has traditionally been very successful working through channel partners and it makes sense that this tactic would bleed over into the software part of the business as the organization matures. What remains to be seen is whether or not methods for selling commoditized infrastructure translate to selling business applications. 

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