While we have mentioned that Documentum “is not investing in Webtop” for the past couple of years, we still see many clients struggling with “what should I do next” when dealing with moving away from Webtop. This post will discuss some of the common concerns clients present regarding moving away from Webtop as well as our thoughts on how to mitigate those concerns.
“Don’t want to go through that again”
In Rick Devenuti’s keynote at EMC World 2013, Rick correctly pointed out that clients that had gone through the pain of a migration from 5.3 to 6.0 (or 4 to 5, or 5.2.5 to 5.3….) and couldn’t imagine doing it again. While Rick was trying to solve that pain point with a migration tool (EMU) from Documentum Consulting, there is a lot to the concern about the upgrade besides just the migration of data. Concerns could include:
- Cost – including new interfaces (xCP, D2 or other) as well as internal resources to plan, conduct and support the new system
- User Issues – including training and acceptance of the new system
- Functionality – many of the Webtop systems have pretty extensive customizations to meet certain requirements that are not “out of the box” with any new system and would have to be redone or would not exist in the new system.
Webtop – Good Enough?
For many clients, while they don’t like Webtop, they don’t like the idea of completely replacing it (time, cost and effort) for something that might be similar to Webtop even less. If a company is “compliant” with current Webtop, does moving to something new make them “more compliant”?
Overall, many clients don’t necessarily trust that, by recommending xCP or D2, Documentum is really looking out for their best interests. Concern over just pushing another product to sell or a way to sell a move Documentum Consulting. Consider on Pharma client we met at EMC World that said:
Over the last 15 years, Documentum has
- introduced DCM and a regulatory submission manager,
- announced moving away from DCM and submission manager,
- reannounced a new DCM,
- announced that they are moving away from DCM and advised us we should go to FirstDocs,
- conducted a system audit and charged us for additional DCM licenses based on who “could have used it”
- and now they are announcing a Life Sciences suite that requires Documentum consulting, migrating to D2 and competing against FirstDocs?
Gradually reducing reliance on Webtop
Our approach with clients is to gradually move them away from Webtop with open source additions, something that is not possible with D2 or xCP. Some examples:
- Consumer – Our first approach is to really get the consumers off of Webtop as the functionality is often too much for those looking to just search and print. By providing a simplified search outside of Webtop, clients have gotten immediate feedback from the majority of users (typically 70%). We often see clients move even farther away from Webtop and Documentum to a business continuity approach to publish content out of Documentum to make sure more neutral when updating Webtop. Recently we posted on Mobile Access to Content as well (via iPad).
- Approvers – Given success with Consumers, a great next step is to get approvers off of Webtop as the functionality is also “too much” for those just looking to review and approve. We have developed a variety of interfaces to simplify these processes including iPad and tablet interfaces as well as Mobile Phones as approvers are typically very active away from their computers.
- Authors – Typically the last users on Webtop are the authors who need create/check-in/check-out. TSG has been successful moving them to HPI on their existing Documentum infrastructure to replace many of the complex components of Webtop.
Given effort, trust and cost, we see more clients considering the gradual replacement of Wetop as a practical approach rather than the “rip and replace” (and rebuild) approach required for other Documentum alternatives.
If you have thoughts relevant to this discussion, please share below.