Monday, March 28, 2011

Documentum's 2009 "Roap Map": Optimism to Reality

Looking back on EMC Documentum’s product “Road Map” announcements and the hype revolving around them shows how marketing works and how it tries to scare or lure customers into upgrading and/or buying more products.

I read an article entitled EMC World 2009: Beyond D6.5, A Product Roadmap written by Pie in May, 2009. It was very informative with all the buzz words and I’m sure accurate for that moment in time. However, there were statements like “D7 not 2009, will be 2010”. This gives the impression that EMC is moving quickly on its major releases.

It is March, 2011 and we’re at D6.6. I’m not going to bet that D7 comes out this year. I remember reading Pie’s article and being excited to work with DFS and CMIS. I was also surprised at how many installations were still at 5.3sp2. I’m working on an upgrade right now from 5.3sp2 to 6.6. This is a large installation which requires lots of planning and coordination. A year ago, I looked at a 4.3 installation still going strong...

The owners of legacy DCTM systems wait until post support ends and then they leapfrog over many releases. Which technique is best suited for your company depends on many factors, but I’m willing to bet that they save a lot of money by waiting. There is less disruption of User experience as well. The IT department suffers because the technology is antiquated by the time of the upgrade. Three CIOs have probably swung through the company.

Taken with a grain of salt, these “road maps” usher in new excitement about technology X.0. These unveilings show us what we want to hear, they excite us, they allow us to dream of new interactions, new trends, new connections. I enjoy these “road maps”, but I would rather they were called “dreamscapes” instead. Like most companies that are strapped these days and cutting IT budgets, EMC needs to figure out ways not to over sell. They need to tell it like it is, which is a map with changing roads and the distances will always be longer, the scale will morph, and their products will slip in and out of relevancy to the hype. 

EMC Documentum's longevity has to do with the product's orginal vision, not the over selling antics of sales and marketing. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Some solid advice. To be fair to EMC, the vision at the time had D7 as the next version after 6.5. We have since had 6.6, are about to get 6.7, and I am hearing rumblings of a 6.8.

One thing I would like to add is that any software roadmap is purely theoretical beyond the 6 month timeframe.