Witnessing the Birth of a CEVA Ecosystem

Those of you that have read my articles before know I’m big on CEVA’s.  I think Content Enabled Vertical Applications (or if you now prefer Composite Content Applications) are the future for enterprise content management.  I believe that ECM would gain stronger visibility and penetration in the enterprise by allowing and supporting the development of out-of-the box end solution.  Yesterday’s CSC Trends Conference was a showing of just what can happen.

2009 CSC Trends was the second year for the conference.  This years big change was that the conference focused on content management in the life sciences regardless of ECM platform or solution.  It purpose is to show specific industry solutions that can further leverage their investment in ECM.

The conference, hosted by CSC, had both Microsoft and EMC as platinum sponsors.  And to steal a line from Andrew Chapman, a year ago you would have never seen a joint keynote from EMC and Microsoft.  Both vendors are platforms on which CSC offers packaged solutions for regulatory submissions, FirstDoc built on Documentum and FirstPoint built on Microsoft SharePoint.  The host also had one of their own competitors, NextDocs a solution built on SharePoint, at the conference.  (Also at the conference were Glemser, LSI, Thomson Reuters, CYATechnologies, Paragon, and PleaseReview.)

This was a huge benefit to the customer base.  For the first time, in my recollection, at one place at one time the end customer is able to discover what is possible with ECM in their industry regardless of platform.  To date, most conferences have focused on ECM technology in general, AIIM, or a specific vertical problem, ARMA.

This was also a huge win for the vendor space.  The 170 attendees from 50 companies and the vendor mix shows how with focus a large ecosystem can be created in a single industry.  The real evolution in ECM will be when this feat can be re-created in another industry.  Today, I believe that only in airline or legal industries could this be the case.

With the conferences focus, attendance, and location I believe that it has the possibility to become the size of ARMA in a few years.

Another huge surprise for me was being able to meet Alan Pelz-Sharpe of CMS Watch.  His presentation and another yesterday added more information to an article I’ve been working on but that will wait for another time.

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