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Turning the Page on Documentum

It’s been a busy week, but I finally got a chance to review all of the various messages on the deal close for EMC ECD.  I should write something about the product and direction, but I’m not ready to do that just yet.  You see, for many of us, ECD meant nothing.  It was really Documentum or eRoom, Captiva, AppXtender, Bulldog, TruArc, Acartus, Relevance, WMI, or even Boxcar.  I was proud to wear the Documentum badge twice in my life.

I joined a year after the IPO, in 1997, and left a few months before the acquisition was announced by EMC, in 2003.  It was a wild ride.  At the turn of the millennia, Documentum went through its growing pains.  When I joined Jeff Miller was CEO and we were a document management company.  When Dave DeWalt joined Documentum, I was his first swat team sales engineer and ultimately became Director of Product Strategy.  I made a lot of long lasting friendships in those six years.

I returned five years later.  This time the transition was in my life.  It was EMC now, but for me Documentum was like going home.  I worked with many of the same people I had years ago.  It often felt like nothing had changed.  I wasn’t the only one that had gone and returned over the years.  Try as they might to change the name, the Documentum spirit couldn’t be broken.

It all changed for Documentum and ECD in 2015.  As it became obvious that EMC was due for a change, questions arose within ECD.  When the merger between Dell and EMC was announced in October, few thought there was any future for ECD in the new Dell EMC.  EMC never recognized the synergies that ECD could offer.  How would Dell?  It became a waiting game, a waiting game that lasted eleven months.  The outcome wasn’t what most had hoped, but the one most expected.

It’s difficult to watch as lives change drastically for lots of good people by no actions of their own.  But I want to be positive.

For those of you who have worked so hard for so long, you made your customers happy and that created a strong community.  Enjoy retirement or a nice break from the daily grind.  The industry will be here when you’re ready to come back if you want to come back.

For those of you who are ready to go do the next thing, the experiences you bring to your next endeavor are sure to make a change.   I’m expecting to see a lot of cool new solutions from you all.

For those of you with the same office but new business cards, remember who the leader, the visionary in ECM was.  It took $1.62 billion to take you out of the leadership role you earned.  Even in the middle of confusion, it was you that brought new ideas to the industry.  Continue to bring your ideas to the table and work together.

This is not the last chapter in the Documentum story, but the start of a new volume.  So I pick up a glass and offer, “cheers to new beginnings.”

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