A year later – where is Documentum and Sharepoint today?

Someone just recently posted that its been almost a year since I have initiated the discussion about Documentum vs Sharepoint. Robin East’s comments were pretty insightful and a year later, it seems to be right on the mark.

At EMC World 2007, I felt that EMC was promoting its Content Services for Sharepoint as a way to respond to existing Documentum customers when they started to ask about Sharepoint.  As of today, there seems to be only 1 or 2 dedicated sessions to Sharepoint.  Hopefully, there will be more sessions as we get closer to the conference date.

I personally feel that Documentum is in the process of re-defining itself in the market place. Since March Madness is around the corner, I would like to say that this change is analogous to a basketball team losing all of its seniors last year. I believe in the next two years, we will see EMC Documentum re-invent itself by truly embracing the services architecture and spend less time developing specific products.

We have seen the evolution of Webtop and how feature rich the application has become. Like Microsoft Word 2003, there seems to be too many features exposed through the UI that most users do not use -80% of the users use only 20% of the features. With D6, the clutter has been reduced by the introduction of presets functionality. I think this is a stop gap measure.

The reality is that there is no magic bullet application that will work for everyone. EMC Documentum needs to return to its roots and focus on how to best support its developers and make it easier (and thereby cheaper for clients) to produce feature rich applications in a minimal amount of time. I think TaskSpace is the first step, but I feel that EMC Documentum needs to put a lot more R&D into developing this platform and expand its current line of web/product services.

I dont for see revolutionary changes when D6.5 comes out later this year, but I do believe that 2009 will be the test on whether the new EMC Documentum can really challenge Sharepoint’s advances. Till then, Sharepoint will keep on making inroads into ECM market.

Any other predictions for 2009?


5 responses to “A year later – where is Documentum and Sharepoint today?

  1. Johnny,

    We will have a number of sessions on SharePoint at EMC World this year, we are still working out the details but SharePoint will be well represented. In fact, EMC have invested heavily in a new department specifically tasked with building out the current product set and working much more closely with Microsoft on the best approach to address our current customers and also the larger SharePoint community. We see this as a great opportunity for growth and a real sweet spot specifically for the content management and archiving products.

    Feel free to learn more about the reference architectures that we are currently considering at :

    If you happen to be at SharePoint 2008 this year you can also hear me talk more about these topics and the larger EMC plan.

    Andrew Chapman

  2. Thanks for the update Andrew. I’m glad to hear that last year’s push didnt go to the waist side. Unfortunately, I wont be able to make it to Sharepoint 2008, but I will be at EMC World. Looking forward to seeing and hearing about EMC’s plan.

  3. Look… I’ve seen D6 at the Techset in Munich (Oct 2007). My impression… is like every component evolves in it’s own way, regardless of what others do. Take the aspects for example. They are a great addition to the Content Server, a thing that I truly missed in some projects. Now they are part of CS but not of WDK. If you want to somehow expose the aspects through WDK you have to code your own component, which seems pretty stupid to me. Another example: TaskSpace. Can it be deployed via Composer ? No. Although Documentum Composer was supposed to “ultimate” in deploying Documentum applications it’s buggy and difficult to understand (imagine it crashed an application during the labs of a WDK course).
    I don’t have any predictions, only wishes – I wish for those various divisions inside EMC to have a shared agenda and some global vision of things…

  4. jollyca,
    Did you work with Composer during the WDK course at TechSet? If so, this must have been a pre-release/beta version as Composer only was released in January 2008.

  5. Nice comparison. This is really a useful post. Thank you

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