Random Notes on EMC World

These are some observations, in no particular order. I will possibly post some “more sensible” posts on specific topics later.

  • It was first time for me at EMC World and I thought the focus was much more on storage and infrastructure as compared to content management. They did certainly much better though in terms of integrating CMA (Content Management and Archival) with the overall EMC World. A lot of people who I talked to thought it was actually much better than that in the past when CMA folks felt quite out of place.
  • A big theme at the conference was about building social communities. Joe Tucci, the EMC Chairman started his key note with some statistics on tweets about the EMC World. He spoke about how EMC is working to give its customers more choice, better control and improved efficiencies. There was a dedicated blogger’s lounge, set up by Len Devanna and his team, which provided a great informal environment for bloggers and tweeps to come together and socialize. I am glad I was able to meet Laurence (pie), Len and Stu. There were other lounges on similar lines and in particular, the Momentum lounge provided a good place for Documentum users to meet.
  • Then there was CMA president Mark Lewis’ key note. He talked of ROI as return on information.
  • I was particularly interested in EMC’s initiatives around Customer Communication Management (or rather around their xPression product which came via the acquisition of Doc Sciences). Although, there were a few (and good) sessions on this, I was hoping for a bigger presence. They had a small, not so prominent booth within a large EMC booth.
  • Another interesting announcement (although this was done a couple of days before EMC World) was about free availability of the developer edition of Documentum. I think this is a great move to increase usage and acceptance of Documentum. EMC claims it takes 23 minutes to get up and running with Documentum, although i suspect it will take much more to download it – It is almost a 2 GB download and has steep RAM requirements (recommended 4 GB although 3 GB would work too) and so it would not be as easy to run it (on a laptop) as it is with some other products.This will essentially enable developers to get their hands dirty which in turn will help in more spreading of Documentum.  The developer edition comes bundled with Jboss and SQL Server Express database.
  • Some claimed that there were 7000 attendees but I felt the number was lower. I also think that number of customers, especially those interested in content management were far less than previous times. Although there were quite a few partners, the big partners were noticeable by their absence.
  • CMIS was reasonably covered. There was a dedicated session by Laurence and Karin Ondricek as well as Victor Spivak covered it in his session on D 6.5 architecture. Laurence demoed the federated CMIS sample application and according to him, the fact that Alfresco and Nuxeo allowed their servers to be up for Documentum conference showed the high amount of cooperation happening on CMIS.
  • Victor was quite clear about the scope of CMIS and more importantly what it is not. According to him, “I” is the most important letter in the acronym and in that sense, the objective is to provide interoperability and not implement more sophisticated features. And so the focus is only on basic services, mashup type of applications and not real business applications which are best handled by proprietary APIs (like DFS) or CMS specific features. He also said If you were to describe 6.5 release in 1 sentence, it would be “high volume services”.
  • There were quite a few sessions on WCM and more “Delivery oriented” aspects like Dynamic delivery, site management, Web 2.0, RIAs and so on. EMC has also latched on to the term Web Experience Management (WEM), something that Vignette and Fatwire have been using for some time. Web Publisher is not yet as sophisticated a platform for WCM and it remains to be seen how they do it.
  • Most of the sessions were EMC specific and by EMC and I think the number of independent sessions should be increased. I attended the one by Jeetu Patel of Doculabs in which he talked about different type of ROI modeling for ECM projects.
  • There were quite a few sessions on CenterStage. Victor talked about the philosophy behind center stage and that was to separate front end completely from business logic and backend because front end technologies have been changing quite often. I think this is an obvious way and wonder why this was not done in Webtop. He also explained the increasing support for restful apis etc. (See Pie’s post here ).
  • There were also few discussions around Lucene replacing FAST search in EMC’s products.

If you would like to get short takes directly in your mailbox, please do consider subscribing to my newsletter. I won’t spam you and your information will be safe. I usually send it like once a week (or once in 15 days).