Every couple of months we like to step back and offer a “What’s next” post in regards to our thoughts on what Documentum customers should be considering with their implementations. For this post, we will highlight our thoughts based on a thorough review of EMC World and our client briefing discussions.
1) Cache those Consumers – We have been recommending for years that clients consider a “Web Cache” approach to allow consumers to view approved content outside of Documentum. Business continuity, performance (of both search and Documentum contributors), ease of use, as well as license considerations all come into play. (see our detailed whitepaper).
2) Keep it Simple – The biggest barrier to user acceptance of Documentum has always been end-user difficulty in understanding a complex interface. Look for opportunities to simplify the interface as well as reduce the number of user decisions particularly for form and workflow .
3) Consider Extranet – With a growing mobile workforce as well as partnerships, more and more Documentum users are not always connected via the internal network or even employed at the company. Documentum clients should have solutions that address access “off the corporate network” requirements
4) Embrace Open Source to Augment Documentum – Whether Linux, Tomcat, iText for PDF Manipulation, Lucene and OpenSearch for search integration or any of the offerings from TSG, more and more clients are adding or replacing different components of Documentum with Open Source solutions to add capabilities as well as save on license requirements.
5) Look at SharePoint – Chances are your customers are already looking at it. Proactive Documentum clients have considered SharePoint and understand how to leverage connectivity rather than replacement. TSG connectivity items are here.
6) Understand your User Accounts – Administrators should be actively monitoring licenses and user accounts. If you haven’t been through a Documentum Software Audit, chances are you will be soon. Clients need to proactively monitor their licenses and leverage this knowledge to defend their usage of Documentum to EMC (including sales reps).
7) Begin Phasing Down WDK Development – One of the key highlights of EMC World, for those looking for it, was that Documentum is “no longer going to invest in Webtop” and other WDK solutions. This is not saying that WDK (or the DFC) is going away, just that user should consider developing outside of the WDK if they want their changes to live on in a non-WDK world.
8) Off Shore Documentum Consulting – Big Mistake or Bad Idea? – Many discouraging stories were shared during our client briefing regarding offshore Documentum development (e.g., misinterpreted requirements, Documentum knowledge….). We at TSG have been involved in cleaning-up many past efforts were offshore Documentum consultants were leveraged but didn’t deliver a quality and in some cases, a correct solution. In an environment where configuration is better than customization and most customizations are limited to small code changes, clients need to ask themselves just what can be sent offshore that really saves time and money.
9) Wait for DFS-based solutions – One significant component of the Documentum Roadmap was that Q2/Q3 of 2011 would feature major releases for xCP as well as CenterStage based on DFS. We, TSG, recommend that clients wait for these releases due to the major re-write required of the products to leverage DFS as well as for Documentum to address some performance concerns regarding DFS.
10) Time to ditch WebPublisher –Ditch might be a strong word, but with the FatWire announcement as well as Documentum not investing in WDK solutions, WebPublisher clients should begin aggressively looking for other alternatives. We think Alfresco as an Open Source alternative should be reviewed as well as FatWire.
11) Consider the Cloud – We are seeing more and more clients, tying to the Extranet needs above, looking at hosting applications in the cloud. We had one client migrate to Alfresco hosted in the Amazon cloud retiring an internal Documentum instance.
12) Upgrade to 6.5 – We thought everyone needed one more reminder. While most readers are already aware, it goes without saying that getting long-term support from Documentum is a good thing. While we still have many 5.3 Customers, most view 2010 and 2011 as the time when they will finally do the upgrade.