As I mentioned in a previous post, an analyst firm has asked a set of questions around futures. In this answer, i have elaborated on the points so that they stand on their own, but the four points are essentially the same. Our vision is in reaction to where we think that ECM is heading.
What is your product vision and what are the benefits that customers gain from your product?
Core to Alfresco's product vision is open source, which allows us to distribute ECM with near zero cost, use open source components and our open source community to substantially lower the cost of development and build a community around our open source code to guide and disseminate Alfresco into enterprises that may have never even used open source before. This allows users who have never even tried ECM to experience it, organizations who cannot afford ECM to deploy it and to allow the community to participate in the evolution and innovation of Alfresco. Our goal is to lower the cost of ECM and expand its use in the process.
We align an open architecture and open standards to complement the open source. It is in our interests to make our system as replaceable as possible, since this eliminate any fear of use and empowers the user to deploy ECM where it is needed, not just where it can be justified. We design the system to modular and pluggable so that anyone can extend functionality that may be needed or missing. If a re-factoring of a component is needed, then it can be replaced. We have moved to make more components of the architecture script-oriented to make them more accessible to a wider audience of developers and to speed the development of those components.
We strive to increase the accessibility of content through re-usable content components and services as part of our Web Scripts architecture. These components are focused on the most common use cases of content management and are designed to work in many different types of environments, not just our own product suite. We make content accessible by addressing ease of use and familiarity and blend into the environment of the user such as shared drives, Office applications, Web 2.0 systems and enterprise portals. Content management capabilities should be ubiquitous, nearly invisible and intuitive to spread its use from specialize applications to widespread use throughout the enterprise.
We endeavor to innovate enterprise content management by challenging the conventions of ECM and applying new paradigms and metaphors of Web 2.0 and Social Computing. Open source has been particularly important in this innovation by working with other open source communities and integrating new technologies as they are developed by other projects. We believe that extending content beyond mere objects to include people and their relationships to each other as social networking extends content beyond limited departmental uses to customers, partners and the wider business community of an enterprise. Integrating Web 2.0 techniques and actually integrating into popular Web 2.0 platforms will allow users to apply the tools that they use as individuals in the context of the business processes of the enterprise.