EMC made many significant announcements in 2012 (D2, xCP, D7) that has impacted their user base. Now that the dust has settled, we are making the following predictions as we look forward into 2013:
- Webtop Installations Will Start to Fade – Despite the development approach (buy vs. build) taken by your company, many Documentum customers have some or all of their user base on the Webtop interface. Webtop has been around for a long time, is not going away, but is beginning to feel outdated. Webtop has been successful at “getting the job done”, but does not have the response times users are demanding or the simple, user-friendly interface users are expecting. In 2012 EMC laid out their next-generation user interfaces (D2, xCP). That coupled with the announcement of D7 will cause a lot of clients to take a step back and evaluate whether Webtop applications should be migrated to a different front-end interface prior to upgrading.
- Lots of Interface Evaluations – This builds on top of the first point, but applies to all clients – not just those using Webtop. Now that Documentum has shared their next-generation interfaces, clients are evaluating if they should move to D2, xCP or something else (Other 3rd Party Applications, open source solutions)? Click here for – more detailed information on comparing different interface approaches.
- Slowly Upgrading to D7 – With the release of D7, many clients will start the upgrade planning process in 2013. However, D7 does not appear to be a major release. Rather it is more focused on backend items such as security and performance. We predict that the migration to D7 will be slow since upgrades are expensive and the benefit to the end user is not as obvious as a release that includes new features. One intermediate approach some of our clients have taken is to upgrade the interface to a platform that is supported on both current and future Documentum versions yet also gives them the ability to evaluate other platforms in the future. See a blog post about this approach HERE. Along with the D7 evaluation, and the increasing Documentum maintenance costs (see more below), we also believe more clients, specifically small to mid-size installations, will also look to alternative solutions, such as Alfesco. See an Example of one Phrama company that implemented a controlled documentation system on Alfresco HERE.
- Performance Will be a Hot Topic – For years all of us have been telling end users, “be patient you are processing documents not just data, it just takes longer.” This line is wearing thin with all the advancements in technology and users want faster performing applications. Performance improvements will be a theme in 2013 weather you are evaluating new interfaces or sticking with current approaches. This blog on Performance talks about innovative ways we have tried to help clients struggling with performance issues.
- Mobile Demands Continuing to Grow – While Mobile has gained a lot of traction in the workplace in 2012, those responsible for ECM applications are still figuring out how to best enable access over mobile devices. Our approach has been to focus on making simple document processing activities (search and retrieval, approval) available on a mobile platform. To find out more about the approaches and R&D done in this area at TSG Click Here.
- Cloud Discussions, But Slow Adaption – In addition to Documentum’s cloud offering, more and more competitors are offering cloud-based solutions. Some of these solutions are full ECM offerings in the cloud (Documentum, Alfresco) and others are specific to a business need (regulatory, drop box, etc.). We believe this market is maturing, but that full-scale movement to the cloud within ECM will be slow. With the cloud discussion comes many larger complex questions such as: Will my company’s lawyers allow the content to be stored offsite? Is the cloud-based solution flexible enough to meet my needs? What if I have specific needs that cannot be met by the cloud-based solution? Will this cause my content to splinter into many different storage areas – I’ve been spending years trying to consolidate it on one system? All of these complex questions will cause the movement to the cloud to happen more slowly.
- SharePoint Discussions Are Dead – The discussions regarding SharePoint as a viable ECM platform are gone. In fact we are seeing people migrate off of SharePoint sites because more ECM functionality is needed. Click HERE for an example of one client retiring their SharePoint sites due to the lack of ECM back-end control.
- Maintenance Costs Increasing – We have already seen our clients’ maintenance costs increasing (Click HERE). Smart folks will manage these costs by retiring products they are not using, caching consumers out of Documentum (Click HERE), and retiring products that can be replaced with open source offerings such as OpenAnnotate and OpenOverlay (add links ).
2013, like other years, there will be plenty of topics to tackle. Just remember you aren’t in it alone. There will be plenty of other people out there grappling with the same issues you are! Please respond to this blog posts with you thoughts and predictions for 2013.