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Is Enterprise Content Management Done?

CMS Wire reported last week, “The way Rohit Ghai puts it, EMC Documentum is done … fully evolved, so to speak.  ‘No one is asking for more features or functions, he said.’”

I wanted to ask, if no one’s asking for more features or functions, are you asking the right questions?  I will absolutely agree that library services and workflow are done.  Once you hit simultaneous edits and configurable tasks, those features could be complete.  But there’s more to ECM than library services and workflow.  ECM vendors, let me ask you some questions?

These are my personal opinions and not those of Big Men On Content (BMOC) as a whole, any other BMOC blogger, nor our affiliated companies past or present.  This opinion has been formulated based on my years in the industry along with what I’ve seen or heard in the news.


How does ECM solve Business problems?

The only customers I’ve heard asking for a content management system in years are those which have an existing system that they let go out of control.  What I’ve heard is:

Sure, most ECM vendors can build a custom solution, but customers want configuration.  They don’t want weeks of discovery, followed by months of development.  These are standard business processes.  Why does it take months to do this?  So while ECM doesn’t address this business problem, other vendor ecosystems have evolved to solve it.  For each of the three business challenges, there are dozens of vendors ready to solve a business problem.  These solutions require a few weeks of configuration to get started.

How Does ECM Support Text Analytics?

When someone at last month’s AIIM16’s Industry Insights 2020 Expert Panel said, “We’ve been talking about text analytics for 20 years.”  I wanted to jump up and yell, “So when are you vendors going to do something about it?”  Being in the industry for 20 years, I know as a group we’ve been talking about text analytics for less than that.  I remember talking about it at the EMC Writer’s Summit in 2010.  Where’s my content analytics.

EMC Documentum used to talk of its success with Pfizer’s Viagra.  By using Documentum, Pfizer was able to submit their new drug application to the FDA 3 months earlier giving them 3 extra months before their new drug went generic.  With a drug like Viagra, that meant millions.  The real story of Viagra is that it was an accident.  It didn’t solve the problem it was intended to solve.  In clinical trials, the side effect proved more valuable than the original drug.  So I ask, how many other Viagra-like drugs are locked away in those content collections?  That’s not a million dollar solution, but a billion dollar solution.

Code complete?  Bah humbug!

So there you have it.  I am asking for more features and functions.  I want content solutions that address my business challenges and I want to find hidden value and insight hidden in my vast collection of documents.  ECM is not fully evolved.

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