Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ECM Acquisitions: the Paradigm is Shifting

To hear that Open Text bought Burntsand, a professional services company with expertise in MS SharePoint (MS Gold Certified) and EMC Documentum (Signature Partner), the paradigm is shifting... What is the strategy behind this type of acquisition? Take out the legs of SharePoint proliferation? Or, partner with the competition now to ease the eventual shift to lighter weight, federated repositories with agile, modular services of functionality of the future? Or, is this a Canadian acquisition among friends? It’s just strange at first glance.

As the Facebook-like mashup wars continue, this may be one of many interesting acquisitions. How can a traditional ECM repository layer be repurposed into a service layer that underlies SharePoint as a frontend? A fully integrated (not EMC’s SharePoint web parts, or OT’s CLM or Wingspan’s Docway) backend, maybe a “faster” performing CMIS? Hey all the pundits said 2010’s the year of CMIS…

One obvious synergy is the need for OT to integrate its whole suite of applications and solutions with SharePoint or get fully cut out of the picture in the next five years. EMC does this sound familiar? Did you hear the shock and awe salvo being launched when SP 2007 was released? Can you see the rockets heading toward Documentum as SP 2010 is getting hyped?

As these huge suites of software get split and repurposed, ECM as we know it will evolve into Enterprise Content Services, ECS. Content will remain as king, it’s the “Management” that will be replaced by agile services which when mashed up will be greater than the sum of its individual purposes. Plug and play like iPhone apps. What will be the platform for this: SharePoint.

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