I was one of about 30 people to be fortunate enough to attend one of the more interesting sessions at EMC World for Documentum. Interesting in that it was all about implementing Web 2.0 solutions on top of the platform. Fortunate enough in that, for some reason, the session was scheduled for the last session of the last day. This meant for east coasters like me taking a red-eye home after losing more money at the tables.
“Taking Advantage of Social Computing with Documentum” presented EMC’s architecture in a light that would use it’s libraries for that would allow vendors to develop WIKIs, BLOGs and 360 networks that take advantage of the platform. But other than saying they would look to open standards such as OpenSocial (or the new standard Facebook Platform announced yesterday) but would probably end up down a different path, they didn’t get to deep into how. At least EMC is thinking about how to work with others on Web2.0. And they did show how it was being done in the real world, specifically with Jive Software.
The session showed how Jive’s Clearspace had been integrated with Documentum to show the relationships of individuals to content stored within Documentum. When looking at an individual’s record in Clearspace you could now see all the content they had authored, discussions around that content, and other collaborative aspects. And EMC is using it in-house.
Sounds a lot like iTeam to me. For those that don’t remember iTeam, it was Documentum’s attempt at collaboration lead by John Newton. Unlike other collaboration applications that focused on collaborative communications/ interactions, iTeam was about collaboration on the creation of content. It specifically focused on associating individuals and conversations with content within projects. Unfortunately five years ago it was difficult to explain that there were different flavors of collaboration, so iTeam was replaced with the eRoom acquisitions.
Well looks like Jive has recognized that the market is coming around to document focused collaboration. Let’s see how long it takes before EMC remembers they were there first.
We’ve been using eRoom for quite some time to manage our “conversations”. We built eRoom custom commands to allow users to hit a button after posting a comment. The command immediately notifies users that a new comment has been added to the conversation, then logs users when they read the discussion. Keeps track of date and time read, as well as the date time that the poster sent out the notice. All the while, we have searched for a good tool to integrate with eRoom that pretty much already handles it. We found Clearspace by Jive software. We then contacted some senior folks over at EMC and found they were already using Clearspace internally.
At that point, we had begun looking into integrating Clearspace into eRoom. Given the direction of Magellan, we decided not to pursue that integration any further.
$5 says we’ll see Jive Software as another subsidiary of EMC Corporation by 2009. 🙂
“Conversations” in eRoom:
I think you hit the solution right on the head. Customer’s are seeing the need to manage the communications around content. My problem is that it’s being presented as “new.” It disappoints me that we forget that we were already there. iTeam understood this and instead of bringing together the two technologies together, Documentum simply forgot the “other child” ever existed. There was strength in their synergies that were not used to their advantage. I think it’s interesting to see old capabilities are coming back, it’s just unfortunate that they were not put in years ago.
As for the $5 bet, your window is too large. “By 2009” I see it more like before the end of summer. Actually, my gut says as soon as Iomega’s a done deal we’ll see all the talk about Web 2.0 was really “just Jive.” It was a bad pun but intentional.
I think we probably attended many of the same sessions at EMC World, too bad I did not know who you were. I would have introduced myself. You have some great posts on your blog. I never used iTeam as I was an eRoom guy prior to EMC’s purchase of Documentum and Documentum’s purchase of eRoom.
It is very interesting to see EMC focus more on user interface. At Momentum 06 in Anaheim, we met the woman (forgot her name) who just started the Usability group at EMC Documentum. That group was very visible at EMC World in Vegas. They were doing usability testing right there at the show. I heard someone list the number of companies that they went out to observe. They did not just do focus groups, but actual observations of typical end users in their typical workday.
That kind of commitment is surely paying off with upcoming UI’s such as magellan. I think they are finally “getting it”. I’m much more energized this year than after the past few conferences I have attended.
My focus is on collaboration, but also on Business Process Management. With BPM, users are very concerned with all content associated with a process and that includes communications, comments, etc. I actually think that a convergence of TaskSpace and Maagellan will serve many end users pretty well, but doubt we’ll see it any time soon. I will be writing a post to my blog this week about TaskSpace and Magellan for BPM end users.