Thursday, April 19, 2012

Do Partners Use DCTM products In-house?

So why is it that most Documentum professionals do not use Documentum products to manage their own content? Wouldn’t you think using the products that they tout as superior for their own use would be a no brainer? Even EMC doesn’t exclusively use its own software for content management! What’s the deal?

If we can understand the reasons why, then we might be able to figure out some core issues with the product suite. Using only DCTM software should be requirement to becoming an EMC/Documentum partner, but isn’t. What’s wrong with this picture?

Time is money
It takes “non-billable” time to build out the infrastructure, install the content server, application server, applications, then to configure the applications, users, roles, security, and so on. Management of partner resources is based on greed, not product enhancement. The focus is on exacting value from client’s basic content management needs, not leap frogging the product flaws, by building great products.

No Rules, no need
If partners and consultants had strict rules and were regulated, they would think twice about not using DCTM products. They would weigh the options of not using DCTM and realize that maybe compiling to its inherent rules in not a bad idea.

The carpenter’s house
Like a carpenter’s roof, consultants are notorious for not taking care of their own back yards in terms of using the tools and knowledge to fix things where they live. They build palaces for clients and come home to trashy trailers.

The configuration and ease of use of Sharepoint is a huge and obvious issue. But do consultants create an uproar about this? Not really, most build both solutions and some have even switched to all SP. This is sad.

Share drive comfort
The share drive mentality is still strong in most companies. Why switch if the options are not compelling enough? For records retention just hold onto the content 8 years from when it was last modified. Done.

There is hope with the xCelerator movement that Documentum might be trying to focus on a few right things. One is stressing the “product” on top of the product for solving specific vertical business problems. But you can only go so fast in a Maserati when the road is curving and has cracks.

It’s time to consolidate the product talent and build a completely new stack (not 7.0: 1.0 again, this time leapfroggin). This stack should revolutionize the creation and management of content. Make the partnerships with other companies, use the cash reserves, get in the game!


Anonymous said...

Being a bit overly simplistic in my view, I think "partners" (who mostly operate in a consulting model) work in a faster-paced world than their clients. Enterprise solutions tend to move slowly due to budgets, planning, approvals, training, etc. This gives time to put processes in place and train people on how to use the system.

Consulting is fast; time is money. Documentum fails to integrate easily with the simple desktop software (not just "Office" but also OpenOffice and LibreOffice). Documentum also did away with the Desktop Client which was, perhaps, the most useful desktop integration they ever had. is easier to use. That should be a wake-up call right there.

The Documentum products need to break out of their browser-only technology and get back into integration with the user desktop. I should be able to open a document, with a simple link, and save it back to the repository. I used to be in this world. I remember the standard links which were ugly and didn't go to the CURRENT version. The MS Office connectors were dodgy and a CIFS integration would have been far more useful -- and usable on Windows, Mac, and *NIX!

This is all a huge deterrent when time is money. It is a waste of time to mess with a clunky browser-based system which resembles the use model of an old source control system than it does a modern content management system.

Seamless user desktop integration should be a standard feature, not a line-item broken out for maximum profit. Win people with feature richness.

It's a great tool-kit, but the end-user experience is often painful. That's where Sharepoint wins. Even Alfresco wins there! Documentum needs to take that head-on. That would make it more usable for everyone, including partners.

John F Webber said...

Thanks for your comment. You are right that I simplified my view to say that I'm willing to bet that most partners do not use the software that they pitch day in and day out, except maybe the open source guys and Microsoft. I don't profess to know the full answer as to why this is so, but the next killer app will solve it.