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2006.09.05

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» The Commoditization of Content Software from AI3 - Adaptive Information:::
John Newton (co-founder formerly of Documentum, now of Alfresco) puts a telling marker on the table in his recent post on the Commoditization of ECM. Though noting the term “enterprise content management” did not even exist prior to 1998, he goes o... [Read More]

Comments

Loved your article. I can tell you from a Sales perspective, it is almost impossible to differentiate the products designed for the middle market. Alchemy, LaserFiche, ApplicationExtender, Hyland, Docuware, etc. all have similar features and modules. It is not the software you buy, or the open source app you implement, it all comes down to the skill of the people involved in the consultation and customization of the system. I have found it is imperative to have high quality engineers/business analysts that can interview staff to design a system correctly, and make the implementation successful. Thoughts?

www.scanguru.com

This blog entry is like a heavy (and tasty) meal and took a while to digest. I request you to write about many such nice topics (but smaller ones to digest).

You have explained effectively how open source is able to compete (in three ways) in this changing market. But unfortunately most of the CIOs are still looking at cost and list of features, instead of thinking about long term strategic advantage.

Commercial "closed source" players will reduce the licensing costs. They will package the offerings such as WCM and Document Management along with their other software (IBM/Microsoft way)…so that the effective license/support costs are invisible to the end customers. They will argue that their support model is better than community support.

The advantages with software like Alfresco (or any open source and open standards based software) are “control”, “flexibility” and “power”.
(1) With open source you have full control over your technology investments.
(2) With open standards, you have flexibility to integrate with other systems.
(3) Open source products are proven as powerful in features, scalable with highest market cap.

Linux has proved it, Apache has proved it, MySQL has proved it, JBoss has proved it and now Alfresco is proving it.

This is an excellent examination of a vital issue, that of how best to maintain competitive advantage over one's competititors. I am not familiar with Moore's book but think I will add it to my "to read" list as it looks interesting!

That is a good subject for another blog, especially with our 1.4 release out today with production-ready BPM.

My take is that business processes are essential to ECM in the form of document workflow, project management in WCM, processes in record management, and auditing of all the above processes. All of these are people-oriented processes, as opposed to the A2A processes of EAI.

Ultimately, the people and machine worlds may share process definition languages, but that they are world's apart with occasional requirements for integration. They will diverge more over time.

My 2c.

Very thoughtful insight on the continuing evolution of the ECM market. I would be curious to your persepctive on how you define the content management stack (repository, metadata, search, workflow, user access?), particularly as it relates to the continuing evolution of BPM and what the ramifications are for many of the content management/EAI vendors. And which areas of the stack are prone competitive pressures.

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