EMC's New Documentum Release Crammed with Features

EMC's announcement last week of a huge new release of its Documentum enterprise content management family illustrates the allure of helping companies with growing content and work process management challenges.

EMC bought Documentum in mid-2003, one of several acquisitions by the data storage powerhouse as it expanded into the information lifecycle management (ILM) area. The acquisition helped it compete on even more fronts with the likes of IBM and Sun Microsystems inside the data center.

As with other areas of business software tools, the enterprise content management market is rapidly consolidating, with various larger vendors buying up smaller ones. With Documentum, according to Sagueza Group analyst Rob Kidd, EMC “goes head to head with an IBM, Oracle or another large [enterprise content management] player like FileNet.”

The new Documentum release is full of content management tools and enhancements, including a federated search that lets users search content from a single point of access across repositories inside and outside the enterprise. The search feature can integrate with other systems, including FileNet, Open Text and SAP. An Outlook client interface allows users to access Documentum's features from within Outlook, including saving e-mail and attachments in the Documentum repository.

According to Kidd, the huge new release is very comprehensive. “It includes all sorts of content management, business process management, collaboration…[and] pure content management tools,” Kidd says. “The Outlook client [interface] is great stuff.” He was puzzled only by the new release's lack of Web content management capabilities. “The only thing that wasn't there, and I question why, is any Web content management tools,” Kidd says. “It's a pretty comprehensive release [otherwise].”

Businesses ultimately want unified content management, Kidd says, but also want to buy best-of-breed solutions for different areas of the business. Typically, integration of those various products takes place at the interface level, not the data level. But EMC is “raising the stakes by saying, we integrate at the data level,” Kidd says. “They're pulling a page from Sun's book and calling it unified. That's great, that they're trying to raise the bar on this.”

About the Author

Linda Briggs is a freelance writer based in San Diego, Calif. She can be reached at [email protected].