Will VACS be the End for ECM Platforms?

If we look back, ECM is a young space.  It started back in 1998 at Documentum when they were the first vendor to look at both documents and web content together formally.  Until then companies had either been documents (Documentum, FileNet, and OpenText) or web (Interwoven, Vignette, etc.).  This transition was huge and really affected the players heavily.  Having been in the starting line up during the second quarter of ECM it was an interesting time.  And I see a lot of similarities today with a move to Value Added Content Solutions (VACS).

Successful conversations today are no longer about great library services or even content formats but how content adds value to existing business problems.  It a shift in the conversation to how the content is being used rather than how it’s being created.  It’s not about saving one person one hour of time once a week but rather how you save a thousand people one minute of time (quick math 52 hour in the former and 867 in the latter.)  A great place to see this change is with VACS in the CRM (customer resource management) space.

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Taking Time to Explore SambaCloud

We’ve all been there, in a rush to get from point “A” to point “B” we end up missing the stops along the way.  That’s the way I feel after first taking a look at Razmik Abnous and Ian Howells’ new start-up SambaCloud.  My first cursory quick glance really did not show me what they were all about.  So I’m glad I took some more time to really explore what SamabaCloud is about.

For those familiar with Documentum will recognize Razmik as a Founding Engineer for Documentum.  So when his LinkedIn profile updated to say founder of SambaCloud, I had to take a look.  I will say that as first glance I thought, “Oh. Ok.  Interesting.  Yet another content management company.”  But after further digging and a presentation from Razmik and Ian I was thoroughly impressed.  This was not Content Management but something a lot more.  They had developed a tool that would cut repetitive research time within a collaborative interface.

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Coming Next Year to Salesforce – File Sharing

Salesforce formally announced Chatterbox today at Dreamforce.  Chatterbox is adding file management to Chatter, a collaboration service which is integrated with Salesforce.  This will be the first direct offering of file management from Salesforce.  Salesforce is formally targeting Dropbox with the announcement, but this will also go head-to-head with partners like Box and SpringCM.   The announcement was lite in details (for some thoughts read on) so it will be a waiting game for the release, targeted for the first half of 2013.

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Cloud Content Eyes on Dreamforce Next Week

In case you missed it Tuesday, Salesforce CEO announce a moved to files and documents (starts at 12:15 into the clip) by extending Chatter to become Chatterbox.  Not much more today but to say it was an evolution of social networking.  Benioff specifically mention Box as a competitor but I know others cloud-only vendors like SpringCM and traditional vendors like EMC and OpenText will also be watching the announcement next week.  More to come next week.  The big question to me is will this be a build or a buy.

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