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EMC Pushes New Documentum Release, Vertical Apps Via Its Hybrid Cloud

This week's EMC World may have a strong cloud focus, and storage is certainly the engine that drives the vendor, but information management is the major push of the second day of the annual gathering of customers and partners in Las Vegas. EMC is making a number of announcements, including a new release of Documentum D2, as well as new offerings for life sciences and engineering, plants and facilities management companies on EMC OnDemand, a hybrid cloud.

The latest release of EMC's content management application, Documentum D2 4.0, also available on EMC OnDemand, includes a new user interface; configurable, widget-based workspaces for "functional" tasks such as browsing the repository, searching for content, managing tasks and previewing content; and gadgets such as Google Maps, calendars and access to Twitter and Facebook accounts. Workspaces are containers for widgets and gadgets.

Alan Weintraub, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, says the release will give Documentum a better position in the market. "Documentum has struggled with their user interface. Webtop is complex and seen as user unfriendly," he says. "Many Documentum implementations fail, not because of the technology, but because of the complexity of solutions and the end user's acceptance of the solution."

He says most Documentum implementations suffer from "user revolts" and adds, "The move to D2 will help organizations get over the user acceptance issues."

EMC is also expanding its Information Rights Management (IRM) offering with Documentum Mobile, which will provide some benefits by enabling better content security for documents stored on mobile devices, says Weintraub. "While this is a key and unique feature, the complexity of implementing IRM may still make this a little-used feature."

Documentum for Life Sciences Solution Suite, available initially as part of OnDemand, addresses quality and manufacturing for compliance with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 regulations. It includes the Documentum Enterprise Content Management platform; Documentum D2 for configuring user interfaces, implementation and migration services; and document control configuration tools for auditing, reporting and e-signature support for compliance, lifecycle management and document control services; and industry-specific modeling capabilities.

Weintraub say it's refreshing to see Documentum refocus on life sciences. "They have been losing ground in life sciences for the last few years. The introductions of new life sciences solutions will enable them to regain momentum that was previously lost or in jeopardy of losing."

The second offering, Documentum Engineering, Plant and Facilities Management (EPFM) OnDemand, manages project and asset lifecycle from design to construction and operation. The company says it focuses on project-centric and repeated "transmittal" processes for managing supplier/contractor and operator interaction through potentially thousands of drawings and documents, and can support hundreds of project engineering capabilities such as bulk importing and validation of content, engineering numbering systems, and collaboration across multiple parties. The EPFM solution is also available for implementation in a traditional environment.

Weintraub says the focus on solutions is a requirement for all ECM vendors. "Users are looking for content-centric solutions that can bring value to the organizations in the shortest amount of time."

From a cloud perspective, he says the biggest announcement is the support of the EPFM and life sciences solutions. "This will enable Documentum to go after new accounts with an offering that is less complex from a hardware and operations perspective. OnDemand has the potential to alleviate some concerns and eliminate buying obstacles. Organizations are eliminating Documentum from RFPs because of a perception that it is difficult to implement, difficult to maintain and has obstacles to adoption because of the user interface. The combination of OnDemand, D2 and solutions address most of the concerns presented by end users."

EMC also announced that 45 partner solutions have been certified as to performance, scalability and interoperability with IIG products.

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