One of the best things about the Documentum (Momentum) and Alfresco (Devcon) user events is that many of the sessions have been posted on the Web for review. As part of our ongoing series about migrating from Documentum to Alfresco, this post will discuss thoughts and strategies around company vision.
Documentum Momentum Review
As mentioned above, many of the sessions and keynotes from Momentum are available on youtube including the kickoff keynote from Momentum Vienna 2012.ARVE Error: need id and provider
You might want to fast-forward to the Rick Devenuti keynote that starts at about 32 minutes into the presentation. Rick’s presentation is titled Business Transformation – transforming business by connecting information to work. Rick’s basic themes are transforming your business to make money, save money and stay out of trouble.
Rick announced 40 new products in the first 10 months of this year as well as solutions from Documentum including a return to life sciences with D2. Rick also states that there are 61 EMC Certified solutions from partners.
While Captiva and IRM have new releases, we think most readers would be focused on xCP 2.0 and Documentum 7.0. xCP 2.0 has been promised for a long time (see EMC World 2010 thoughts) and is finally available. Our initial would stress that xCP 2.0 is a much needed re-write with new technology. We are slightly concerned that this might be a difficult upgrade for xCP 1.0 clients but stay tuned for a more detailed review. Documentum 7.0 release is focused on performance with a pledged increase of response time by 10x. Look for an update in our comparison screencam of xCP, D2, Webtop and HPI as we show off all the new releases.
TSG Take – Documentum Vision
Our view in regards to the Documentum vision focuses on the company culture. At the end of the day, Documentum is dominated by a sales-driven culture. From the keynote, the culture is apparent with additional products, solutions and consulting services all being focused on what can be sold to the customer. A great example of how this culture drives company vision is the ever expanding suite of products. The Syncplicity purchase is a great example. Two years ago with Rick Devenuti newly at the helm, Box.net was part of the initial keynote at EMC World as integration from Documentum to Box was a major announcement. One year later, Documentum purchases Syncplicity as a competitive product to the Box integration and something new that can be sold to the customer. This logic drove the D2 purchase (see our initial thoughts) as a new product to sell to customers. As introduced at last year’s EMC World , Documentum is also building solutions for specific industries at returning to solutions for existing customers including life sciences and others. One rather quirky youtube (the eye contact is kind of freaky) video for life sciences can be viewed below.ARVE Error: need id and provider
In looking forward, we would expect additional purchases around mobile, cloud and social as EMC/Documentum wants to pursue these new revenue streams for existing customer accounts. Also look for more solutions, particularly around government and financial services, as they desire these new customers as well.
Alfresco Devcon Review
John Newton’s keynote from Devcon is available below.ARVE Error: need id and provider
Keep in mind that Devcon is a developers conference as opposed to a user conference. John’s style is very different from the formal suit-coat of Momentum as the presentation actually is geared to entertaining the engineers that come to Devcon with more of a collared shirt and jeans crowd.
John’s presentation actually has a Monty Python theme that the engineers loved while presenting the progress and vision. Alfresco is focused on the core architecture components including:
- Document Management
- Team Collaboration
- Rich Media Support
- Web Content Services
- Process Management
- Image Management
- Electronic Records Management
One thing he mentioned was their Ecosystem of Integrations that include CIFS, WebDAV, SharePoint, Exchange, Google Docs, CMIS, SAP, Salesforce, Kofax, Autonomy and thousands more.
Alfresco is the open and hybrid platform for business-critical document management and collaboration
- automates content-intensive business and collaborative processes
- inside and outside the firewall
- providing better service to customers
- adapting quickly to rapid market changes
Alfresco is firmly focused on providing core infrastructure and integrations to other required components rather than purchasing other companies adding to a “suite” of products. For solutions and consulting services, Alfresco relies on their 300+ Global partners rather than create their own consulting division.
Alfresco’s focus is on at cloud connected content and providing both on site as well as cloud access to content securely but realistic on when the cloud will be adopted by customers.
TSG Take – Alfresco Vision
Our take on Alfresco’s vision is similar to Documentum back in the 1990’s where John Newton, as a founder, was driving technology from an engineer perspective. Alfresco focuses on the core repository and integrations to other tools while keeping their cost model and company lean and mean. As engineers, Alfresco looks to leverage new development environments and tools rather than invent or purchase products as part of a suite. Alfresco recognizes that they need to leverage partners to provide solutions and focus on enabling their partners rather than competing with them in regards to a consulting practice.
Documentum and Alfresco Company Vision Comparison
In the end, the true difference between the two company visions is their focus. Documentum is a 1990’s enterprise software company with a sales driven culture. As ECM moves more to a commodity, Documentum is struggling to maintain revenues despite falling software prices and is looking to and sell additional software and services (our solutions) to existing clients while frantically hunting for new opportunities to sell to new clients. Alfresco is a 2000’s growth company with an engineering driven culture. As an Open Source player, Alfresco sells to CIO and IT directors that want the commodity pricing of disruptive approaches compared to the enterprise model. Alfresco’s approach has to be different from Documentum’s model in the 1990’s as Documentum had the benefit of pursuing opportunities with no or very limited competitors already in place, something software vendors call green field in a farming reference to no crops (or software) have been planted yet. Alfresco must replace existing solutions with better technology and pricing models. Alfresco, like Documentum, is looking to provide additional solutions but in an open-source model with partners rather than proprietary solutions with an internal consulting division.
Some observations and comparisons:
- Documentum – Sales and Marketing, Alfresco – Engineering
- Documentum – Per Seat Pricing and Maintenance, Alfresco – CPU Support Only Pricing
- Documentum – Suits and Sport Coats, Alfresco- Collared shirts and Jeans
- Documentum – Ever expanding suite of products/solutions, Alfresco – Integrations and open source alternatives
- Documentum – Documentum Consulting Division and Partners, Alfresco – Partners Only
- Documentum – Proprietary Development Environments, Alfresco – Open Standards
- Documentum – Enterprise Software, Alfresco – Open Source
Last comparison would be between Rick Devenuti and John Newton. Both are influenced by their background and it can be seen in their strategy with their companies.
John comes from Ingres, a rather quirky but innovative engineering focused database company. John went on to found Documentum through the initial engineering and growth stage but left when it became too bureaucratic. John manages Alfresco as a growth company focused on innovation in regards to engineering and disrupting existing software products. John has to offer a different technology/pricing/cost model to replace existing products and is focused on growth through partners and integrations rather than competing for services.
Rick comes with 20 years at Microsoft, a company with a dominate market share but struggling with continued growth. The Microsoft strategy has been to add products and services that extend their products (SharePoint extending Office, Microsoft Consulting) but, as a mature company, are not particularly known for innovation. To break even, let alone grow, Rick has to expand Syncplicity, D2 as well as solutions and consulting expansion are very similar.
Let us know your thoughts below.
Hi, as always interesting and well argumented post! I have been to Momentum Vienna and actually did find both of Jeroen van Rotterdam’s presentations more revealing about EMC’s intentions. The following statements are surely well put “Documentum – Proprietary Development Environments, Alfresco – Open Standards” and “Documentum – Ever expanding suite of products/solutions, Alfresco – Integrations and open source alternatives”. However I really got a strong impression that EMC is taking next fundemental steps and choices in its technology stack (nextgen, D2-config to core, rest not just an api, but the glue etc etc) and though EMC IIG’s choices in recent years have been misleading and unfortunate (verity to fast to xplore, clients strategy as eroom, centerstage, wdk to D2, xCP), I believe they are doing more than just buying products to change revenue stream and doing a halfway integration. Sure they are a sales oriented company especially compared to Alfresco, but I also see a mindshift change to a more engineering approach.
TSG Dave says
Thanks so much for the comment. I might be jaded, but I have trouble seeing the mindshift change to engineering. While they might have new releases, any of the real technical things that they are doing are things that could have been done years ago. (or were proposed years ago – REST in particular). We are always open to look again but a push to have proprietary “configuration only” approaches with consulting solutions for Documentum hasn’t unlocked innovation like Alfresco has with open source. It is more of a lock-in technique to extract more from clients.
Just my two cents.
Stefano L says
This post is just great as usual! Thank you Dave. I’ve been in the ECM world in the last year, I’m quite new indeed. I’m working with both Documentum (6.7) in a big company as an IT consultant and with Alfresco Community (4.x) in my relatively small company. I think that a big point to Alfresco is that even small or micro companies can start using it for free in a few minutes.
This takes no revenues for Alfresco company but it still is a great advantage in respect to other competitors for some reasons:
– When these little campanies grows to big numbers they will be comfortable with Alfresco and their first choice for robust ECM will be Alfresco Enterprise and Alfresco Partners Solutions
– If they get to developing custom solutions they’ll probably share their win/fail list with the wide Open Source Alfresco communities, that will become wider.
I’m not comparing performance because it seems like both are fast and good at doing what they do.
PS: my English is not so perfect 😛