This is probably the most important story about the IIG portfolio in recent memory. EMC announced today the acquisition of cloud file sync and share vendor Syncplicity. This is significant on different levels and there will be posts from many sources official and otherwise attempting to understand it all but here are a few of my early observations. (These are my opinions and not necessarily those of EMC.)
I believe this move shows that
- EMC still believes content management is important – For the analysts and customers that fret over EMC’s resolve in the area this should serve as a message. EMC is especially adept when it comes to putting it’s money where it’s strategy is. There would be no investment at this level if the leadership did not mean what they said when was asked if the IIG portfolio was still strategic.
- Both EMC and IIG Leadership are responding to changes in the marketplace – As one who pays close attention to the ECM market it can be quite frustrating when you recognize changes some refuse to see. Our business is rife with denial of the impact of SaaS on the content management market. There are still those who would defend the way business has always been conducted to the detriment of a company’s very existence. Customers today want the option to buy capability as a pure SaaS offering and are not willing to wait for legacy platforms to transform in either technology or business model. No amount of denial or justifying one’s current strategy with past successes will compensate for it. We needed to acquire to lead.
- “SaaS vs. Traditional” is not an either/or scenario for EMC – The only companies that make the argument you can’t do both are those without the resources to do it. The combination in the portfolio of ubiquitous access with the option to add reasonable centralized governance is a good thing. Maturing the sync and share market with Documentum class policy enforcement could accelerate adoption into security minded business areas that free range tools only dream about today.
As I learn more I will pass it on. I want to understand more about the technical side of things.(integration, archive,etc) I have played with the various clients (Mac and Android) and so far I am pleased. No doubt we will be bombarded with feature bubble charts from friend and foe alike but my initial reaction was positive. I especially like the administrative options for setting default behaviors.
At this point though I believe this is a move by EMC that was both well reasoned and aggressive and I suspect will trigger copy cat acquisitions within months. Professionally I am looking forward to learning how we can use Syncplicity ourselves and sell it through our direct and partner channels.
Finally as someone familiar with the struggles IT organizations have with opening up this capability I can say that I am hopeful this combination will bring us to the place where productivity and security of unstructured data no long have to be at odds in the enterprise.