From the category of – why doesn’t everybody do this – OpenText has announced the acquisition of Spicer Corporation to form their own content viewing, annotation and redaction product. Some major ECM vendors have elected in the past to remain “viewer” agnostic and left this to ISV’s. EMC/Documentum for example, after abandoning their docviewer product of the 90’s developed a long relationship with Informative Graphics and has remarketed their Brava! product – but they curiously opted not to bundle this viewer when they released TaskSpace. Other third party options exist (Snowbound,et.al.) but more customers expect their CMS to do more than uberfilemanagement out of the box. Embedded viewers are such a natural fit. Just ask Stellent (Oracle) .
While some of the extension can be very powerful the problem is that it’s all tied into the generic viewing capabilities of multiple file formats. See one of the often missed components that Oracle acquired with Stellent was the intellectual property of the Mastersoft filters. The little secret is that there’s only one vendor of content transformation filters and anyone that wants access to them now talks to Oracle. So while Open Text may get some interesting technology, they me be at the mercy of Oracle when they go to use it. That’s why most ECM vendors are happy to let the smaller vendors manage the relationship with Oracle or better still just work with the Adobe PDF format.
To answer a question for Lee, there were contractual issues around getting Informative Graphics’ Brava! into TaskSpace. While I have no specifics I can guess, having been through the process before on a different product, that the price that IG was going to get per license was most likely too low based upon the volume expectations.
There I times I miss being a product manager, and then there are times I don’t.
I suspected as much but I nevertheless think they would better serve their customer if they just bought one of the vendors and made it a part of the product – Oh but wait – didn’t EMC buy one already- Pix Tools – part of the Captiva acquisition – strange that didn’t make it in- or maybe it did and I just missed it in the 250 page tutorial I went through – doesn’t do office formats though – just images but embedding that would still be better than treating it as just another 3rd party.