EMC Documentum shows the suite side of Web 2.0

This year has seen a slew of IT vendors adding social networking tools to their product lines, and EMC Corp. (Nasdaq: EMC) is no exception.

It too has realized that IT workers, whether they’re entering the workforce or are already established, are using Web 2.0 technologies to work more efficiently. The challenge to the channel, however, is finding solutions that can bridge the gap between mitigating the risk of Web 2.0 and improving employee efficiency.

This is one of the reasons why EMC added several Web 2.0 tools to its Documentum Enterprise Content Management (ECM) suite, Version 6.5.

Gregory Kosinski, director of product marketing for EMC, said his company understands that businesses today see Web 2.0 technologies as having major benefits and are adopting these tools.

Recently, Facebook redesigned its site to adapt more to the business user. Sarah Perez, a blogger at Read Write Web, noted that the redesign coincides with the move into the job market by many of the users that flocked to Facebook when the site launched in 2004 as a closed network just for college students.

She added that Facebook is looking to convince the so-called Gen Y workforce “that their set of social media tools can be the new way to get things done.”

The goal for EMC with the release of ECM 6.5 is to bring together two drivers in organizations that have often been apart: the way people work and mitigating the risk people are facing.

“We’re not a Web 2.0 company like Google. We are not providing Wikis and blogs. What we are doing is focusing on the content and managing that content with tools that people are familiar with. This is what makes us different,” Kosinski said.

The ECM 6.5 suite is built around five pillars: Knowledge Worker, Transaction Content Manager, Documentum Platform, Compliance and Archiving, and Interactive Content Management. The Documentum Platform is the underlying technology for the other four pillars and will feature the new High Volume Server that can ingest more than eight million objects a day and the updated XML Store, Kosinski said.

One of the new Web 2.0 tools for knowledge workers is Documentum Centerstage Essentials, which will be a free online beta until Q1 of next year. This area will enable shared team workspaces and have guided search.

“(Users) here can create documents and have access to documents, trade notes and annotate information. They can work on projects like a deal room and on new product information or new project management,” he said.

TaskSpace is the new social networking tool for the Transaction Content Manager section. This user interface can be configured by a channel partner and contains inline-foldering where a user can see documents or information without a lot of navigation.According to Kosinski, the transactional management portion of this suite will provide the best channel opportunity for solution providers. “It gives VARs the ability to take our business process management tool and TaskSpace and develop highly configurable applications to drive business process,” he said.

The Compliance and Archiving area will have the new federated record service for managing records across every organization in one location and under a single set of policies that are available for audit trails.

Kosinski said that this is another area where the channel can see some opportunity. “There is a play there in archiving for the channel. We tend to see that the SMB do not have the high volumes that are made easier with this release,” he said.

Finally, the Interactive Content Management portion of ECM will have the new Web Page Builder tool with the flex-based Web authoring interface.

Security and compliance concerns have been a hurdle for organizations embracing Web 2.0 fully. “The whole concept of collaboration in the past has been sort of a controlled environment. Web 2.0 opens that up to social networking like Facebook and YouTube and like it or not enterprise employees are using these tools and are able to make business decisions on that information,” Kosinski said.

Rather than keep Web 2.0 technologies outside of the enterprise, EMC’s plan is to better manage the information by opening the access up to the way people want to work. The company believes that by doing this it will help customers leverage broader content.“It still comes down to user behaviour and they have to participate in content management systems. They still have to have a lot of governance that is aligned to make it easier,” he said.

More than 60 per cent of ECM will touch partners through a set of system integrators and resellers.

With files from Heather Havenstein of IDG Newswire

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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