While most of the focus in regards to the announcement this month of the purchase of Documentum by OpenText has been on what will happen to the Documentum customers, we got some insight from this week’s ARMA conference in regards to OpenText client thoughts. This post will share our thoughts as well as present some of our insights based on our previous analysis.
OpenText Customers – What does the Documentum purchase mean to them?
From a quick look at the OpenText press releases, OpenText has been on a buying spree
- April 18th, 2016 – OpenText Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Certain Customer Experience Software Assets of HP Inc.
- April 27th, 2016 – OpenText to Acquire ANX
- June 20th, 2016 – OpenText Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Customer Communications Management and other Assets of HP Inc.
- July 20th , 2016 – OpenText Buys Recommind, Inc.
- September 12, 2016 – OpenText Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Dell EMC’s Enterprise Content Division, including Documentum
OpenText customers have to look at the above and think, “What does this mean to me?”. For those committed to the OpenText ECM repository, how can buying Documentum be a good thing? The concept of the enterprise suite for ECM makes sense when clients have access to a variety of tools for different functions that offer consistency and easy integration. Documentum was a competitive product for the core repository rather than an additive product to the ECM suite (like when OpenText purchased Brava in 2015 for annotations). The purchases of different companies could be seen as a distraction for ECM customers that want innovation around and in the OpenText repository. Other feedback included:
- Similar to Documentum, there hasn’t been much innovation in the core product over the last three years.
- From the press release as well as the supporting presentation, there is no mention of the benefit for existing OpenText customers.
- As we have said after our OpenText migration experience, we would have to say, from a core repository perspective, Documentum is better.
While some were worried that they might be forced to migrate to a single repository (Documentum or OpenText), as we said in our detailed analysis of the purchase, we think the probability that the two repositories would be combined is extremely remote as introducing a new repository could lead clients to considering non-OpenText solutions and would not benefit OpenText financially. A variety of other reasons including all the Documentum or OpenText solutions having to be ported as well would make the merging into one repository cost prohibited and risky. Similar to the history of FileNet/IBM and a variety of ECM products, we would expect OpenText to continue supporting both repositories going forward.
OpenText Customers and Software Audits
One disturbing discussion involved OpenText clients going through recent software audits from OpenText. In the Documentum customer base, we saw very aggressive audits starting in 2006 and continuing through 2013 or so. See our posts from 2009 below:
- Preparing for the Documentum Software Audit – quick tips and thoughts
- Preparing for the Documentum Software Audit Part II: Understanding Audit Query Results
For the Documentum client base that went through the software audit, it was a difficult process from a relationship perspective and too often we saw sales sacrificing the relationship for a short-term win. Documentum eventually gave up the practice but by then much of the damage to the relationship was done.
For OpenText clients, the purchase of Documentum/ECD can’t be viewed as a positive. The purchase, combined with all the other purchases, doesn’t necessarily add innovation or additional capabilities to what they already own and could be seen as a distraction. Like Documentum customers, the true costs or benefits of the purchase will take a year or more to determine the impact.
Let us know your thoughts below: