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EMC World 2009 – Return of the Son of Momentum

EMC World 2009 – Day 2 Thoughts and Day 3 Plans

Today was the first full day of EMC World 2009. As I mentioned earlier, EMC has indeed grouped the Documentum-related topics and partners together, and I think they have successfully pulled off the conference in a conference. I talked to Whitney Tidmarsh, Chief Marketing Officer of EMC’s Content Management and Archiving Division, and an old friend (I actually trained her on Documentum when she first joined the company 14 years ago). Whitney told me that the “buying affinity” of EMC’s CMA customers was different from that of its hardware customers, and that they finally realized it was best to separate the CMA sessions from the rest of the conference. The best part is that they are calling the conference within a conference “Momentum”, which is the name of the old Documentum User Group conference before they were acquired by EMC.

I have to admit that pulling out the Documentum sessions into a little Momentum conference has made a HUGE difference. Whitney told me that there’s about 800 CMA attendees this year, so that means that only about 11% of the attendees are Documentum focused. You can start to see how we feel a little underappreciated and overwhelmed in the midst of 6,200 hardware focused attendees.

Overall, the sessions I attended today were decent. I didn’t get to attend most of the ones I targeted due to space limitations. All four of the sessions I wanted to attend had crowds flowing out the door, and I only made it inside the room for two of them. For the other two, I attended my second choice sessions, which were fine.

The best session of the day was John McCormick’s presentation on Collaborative Technologies. John is another old friend of mine, and he’s the GM of Knowledge Worker products, which (if I understand correctly) covers WebTop, CenterStage, and My Documentum. John covered each of these in his presentation, and he’s so freaking smart and knowledgeable that it’s a real pleasure to see him present. The biggest discovery for me today was about My Documentum, which is a rebranding and upgrade of some existing Documentum applications.

My Documentum has three components:

  • My Documentum Offline – This is the old Offline Client (available as part of WebTop), and it allows users to synchronize content between their hard drive and the repository. If content in the repository is added or updated, it’s automatically downloaded to your hard drive, and if you edit one of those files while on a plane, it will automatically check it in as a new version the next time you connect to the network.
  • My Documentum for the Desktop – This is the old Documentum File Share Services, and it allows you to access Documentum as a shared drive from either a Windows or a Mac desktop.
  • My Documentum for Outlook – This is a rewrite of the Documentum Client for Outlook. It now operates as a full-featured Documentum client – you can browse folders, import emails and attachments into Documentum, etc.

There’s a huge push around CenterStage, Documentum’s new collaboration application launched last year. This application breaks away from the WDK model and employs a FLEX-based development framework. EMC claims that their customers were asking for a more Web 2.0 experience, and the CMA group responded by developing a new set of applications using the FLEX framework from Adobe. I’m not convinced that this is the best decision, because most Web 2.0 applications are actually HTML and AJAX based, and I’m sort of tired of EMC changing the development environment every few years. I’m also worried about how anyone is ever going to effectively customize it. But that’s probably a point of view best elaborated on in a future post.

CenterStage is breaking some new ground for Documentum, and probably the biggest thing from my perspective is the addition of faceted search refinement. Blue Fish has been adding Faceted Search Refinement to our Documentum solutions for over 4 years, and I think it makes a huge improvement in usability. You can learn more about what Faceted Search Refinement is by watching a webinar that we recorded with Endeca last year.

The other big push is for SourceOne, EMC’s new Archiving and Records Management suite. I hope to learn more about that later in the week.

Tomorrow, I plan on attending the following sessions. We’ll see if I get into any of them. 🙂

  • TUESDAY 8:00 – What’s New with Web Content Management and the Product Vision of Web Experience Management
  • TUESDAY 11:00 – Configure, Don’t Code! and Other Ways the EMC Documentum Platform is Making it Easier to Build Solutions
  • TUESDAY 2:45 – Federated, Virtual, Universal…Can You Have it All?
  • TUESDAY 4:15 – Customizing EMC Documentum CenterStage 1.0

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