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The end of day 1 – way too much information

July 9th, 2017 Comments off

My first PartnerSummit day at OpenText. Wow, that was heavy. There is so much to hear, think, discuss that I’m beat. Lying in my bed in the hotel to have some quiet (with the live band rocking downstairs😬) trying to sort all the info I gathered today and see how I can make this into a structured blog…

Maybe I need some data analytics to define structure, or get some concepts groups going to get relevance in my information search? For people who know me, they know it is not easy to structure my brain and no artificial intelligence will be able to work with this mess, so I’m stuck to my own brain and see what falls out.

The task I set out to accomplish today was to identify at least 4 products that would be a great addition to our portfolio. But after one day and way (WAY) to many products, I must admit: this is going to take a little bit longer. 😀

But the simple joke about my brain is so relevant for the journey we as a consulting company are on, that this will be the red line for this blog. The focus of Informed Consulting is very much on helping clients identify and address/manage their compliance demands. Supporting their journey of controlling the information processes that are relevant to being compliant. It does not really matter if you are in the life sciences space, an engineering company, a government agency or a bank. Our clients all have growing demands to meet their industry specific compliance demands. Until recently (1-2 years) Documentum could fulfill most of the demands and that was what we offered. But times are rapidly changing, even a mid-size pharma company has a enormous amount of info that needs to be managed and reused and just a ‘simple’ ECM system, meta-data taxonomy and search will not do the trick. We need to be able to give the client a total experience that will give them the ability to fit their compliance need in their overall EIM vision and tooling to guarantee the best experience, both for users and for the company.

Hey, that sounds familiar: Connecting people to the enterprise. The slogan that has been our vision the past 7 years is still, more than ever, alive!

But why, if we have been doing this already for years, is change needed? We live in a spectacular time. Simply put, on both sides of this equation (user and enterprise) the demands are exponentially growing. That, topped with a more than exponential growth in data, demands a total vertically focused solution, specific for the client. NO, not custom built, but a carefully packaged set of products, specifically targeted at the client’s needs. The challenging task of the new ECM Consultancy firms is not only to have the best developers or configurators. No, it is to have the best architects who can create an out-of-the-box, total solution, based on a predefined set of products, all handpicked and configured (composed) to meet the needs of that specific customer in that specific vertical market and to have an implementation team that understands the vertical and the vision of the architect and is able to deliver that before a very time sensitive deadline.

So that is what we at Informed Consulting have been doing the past years and we have a clear plan how we can deliver the much needed expertise to make that total solution. And now that Documentum is part of the rich set of products of OpenText we can rapidly deliver this total solution based on the products from OpenText combined with our tailor-made products for specific markets like our Quality Management Solution for the life sciences market.

For a life science company that total solution will include:

  • Documentum life sciences suite
  • eQMS express
  • SharePoint connector for Life Sciences for easy communication with partners in partner exchange
  • iHub for analytics to support that quick overview of all the states of the information and processes and manage and control every inspection
  • Decisiv to manage easy enterprise search not only in their ECM system but also in systems like their LIMS system. This is no eDiscovery but real AI driven enterprise search.
  • Blazon for regulator approved renditions
  • Marketing management that works with the ECM content
  • Customer communication management to streamline and audit all complaints and inspections
  • InfoArchive to really archive the old documents and make sure they stay compliant

And the list goes on and on. Sure, no client can do it all at once, but we have road map that will fit any client!

So, a great first day, with a happy partner and a SUPER road map for Documentum makes it complete.

Hope we can continue this happy flow for 6 more days!!

Day 4 and 3 before it begins

May 3rd, 2015 Comments off

Yesterday I missed the opportunity to write my blog. Packing was on the menu for the evening. The past few days I could take those 30 minutes to write my blog, but now I had to make sure all items for our booth where packed and ready.

Two laptops, a hub, a lot of flyers and some nice give-aways. Thought I was ready but then I remembered, I needed to finish the last tests of our Office 365 demo with SPA4D and our SharePoint LSQM integration solution. The first is easy. I have given this demo probably 50 times now and all with great success. Our integration with LSQM is a different matter. We are just releasing this together with the Live Science team of EMC – EDC.

The business case is simple but perfect: within a pharma company, a large group of users need to read the SOP’s and other important documents. This needs to be in the audit trail. This TBR (To Be Read) is a very basic function within Life Science. Normally the user needs a full LSQM license and needs to be trained how to operate it. That is not easy, as they might use the system only 2-6 times a year. On the other side, most of these users use SharePoint, they like it, understand it and are fine working with it. So the task is simple: create the TBR function with SPA4D and the answer is perfect. A simple task for users to perform and after the sign-off, a record in the audit trail is added for this action.

But that was the easy business case. What is much more interesting is the ability to service all partners in the life science ecosystem of a company. More and more pharma companies are just managing the process and out-sourcing a lot of work to partner companies. These partner companies come in different sizes and shapes, but also both in very tight or very loose relationships. But for almost all of these companies it is mandatory that they need to be able to read, comment and sometimes edit or create regulatory documents. This demand calls for a set of options a company can select from.

1) if the partner is fully trusted and you have a full working relationship, you might want that partner to have direct access to a subset of documents within Documentum. This needs to be a much simpler interface with preferably a lot cheaper cost-base as these users might change frequently. The interface should be simple and easy to use. The access needs to be possible within the extranet of the pharma company or via a cloud based solution like Office365.

2) if you work on a less frequent bases or less intensive manner with the partner, you might decide that the partner does not need to have full access to the site, but only read only access to a part of the site and should be able to submit documents to be added to your quality system. Again this should be a cost effective interface and simple to use. Because of the more limited relationship it should suffice that only the high level actions from the partner are captured in the audit trail, but versions and revisions should be fully available.

3) if it is a one-time or incidental partner, the partner should only get a copy of the relevant document(s) and should have a communication that is very controlled when documents are added to the system.

And this all makes together:SPA4LSQM-Partner eXchange (PX).

Within the easy to use SharePoint Interface you can decide what level of trust you give to a certain partner and configure the level of access to your QM solution. Trusted partners will get access to the full browse app-part of SPA4D to manage the documents they are entitled to and partners with less of a relationship will get only read-only access to Documentum and can submit documents via a process within a normal SharePoint library without having direct access to Documentum. If you want to make the integration even more loosely coupled you could share the documents with the partner via OneDrive for Business and not even give the partner access to the SharePoint environment, but still control the documents.

All very powerful and very good to demo.  So finally at 1.30 am all was tested and I was ready to go. Now I’m sitting in a Delta plane for the last hour before we touchdown in Vegas after a long, long flight. Hope to see you and let me impress you with a good demo of SPA4LSQM or join us in the raffle for a very nice toy.

Social Welfare at the ECM Workplace

January 19th, 2015 Comments off

A few months ago, Linda gave birth to her son Luca. Linda is the wife of Stephan, a colleague of mine. Curious as he is, Luca was premature when he decided that it was time to see the light of day. That by itself wasn’t any problem at all. The world was ready for him.

The birth of Luca triggered me to share a story that I tell my customers in the early days of a document management project. By now you are wondering why the birth of Luca trigger this story.

Here in the Netherlands, we have a social welfare system in place that kicks in at the early days of a pregnancy. Not only is the health of both mother and her child monitored, but the system also ensures a safe home is in place for the new born. It may sound overanxious, but one of the checks they do is to see if you have a cradle for the baby. That same social welfare system functions as a lifeline throughout your entire life until you shall come to your grave in ripe old age.

That lifeline provides the guidance, the procedures, the policies and the actions to fall back upon during your life. It’s the blueprint of the minimal life. You can still live your live to the max the way you want it, as long as you don’t underperform and drop below the minimum that the lifeline provides. It also takes into account the stages that you pass in your life. You may become a parent yourself, which gives you access to child support. You may develop a partial disability to work, which provides access to special compensation benefits. And even a basic pension is provided when you reach the age of 65+.

For us humans, the Social Welfare system provides the lower limit blueprint of our life from Cradle to Grave.

If you’ve read my previous post (Diversity at the ECM Workplace) about Connecting People to the Enterprise, you will understand that bringing and keeping your users on board requires an ECM solution that is easy to use but still honours the enterprise needs. One aspect that you need to facilitate is what I call the Social Welfare for the ECM Workplace.

Cradle to Grave is the concept that implements core information management functions, which become a lifeline throughout the entire life of your documents.

If I create a new document, the system needs to be ready for that. It needs to support the cradle. This can be done if the lifeline supports me with e.g. content types, templates, managed metadata and rule-based storage. In these early days in the life of the document, it needs the lifeline to understand whether it is going to be a contract based on the English language template. We stick more labels on the document to classify it and together that allows a document management solution to decide where the cradle should be located.

That lifeline also provides the guidance, the procedures, the policies and the actions to fall back upon during the life of the document. It will pass stages depending on the life it lives. In the infant stages you’ll see typical states like draft, and for review. In the adolescent stage the document will go up for approval, and get approved. While the document matures, it can use the supporting processes to move between these states and stages. At some point in time it might become a reference document to others which alters the access permissions as well as its information classification. Some documents will move from classified to unclassified, from internal use only to publicly available.

Like all of us, there comes a time when also the document will retire. It will be withdrawn from active service but is still available in some archived format with again changed access permissions and information classification. It may also move into a new storage location.

For managed information, laws, rules and regulations determine the length of the pension. There is no fixed rule for this, just like nobody knows how many years one is given to enjoy the old age. The harsh reality is, that it won’t last for ever. For managed information the grave implies that the information is deleted from the ECM solution or moved from the system to preserve its historical value elsewhere.

Depending on your requirements and circumstances, you determine what that lower limit is and which ‘social benefits’ you provide your users.
For managed information, Social Welfare for the ECM Workplace provides the lower limit blueprint of the life of that information from Cradle to Grave.

So, why did the birth of Luca trigger this? Because of the parallel between the Dutch Social Welfare System and the Cradle to Grave. You don’t want a fixed path for your newly born and nor should it be a one-off approach for your documents if you want to keep your users connected with your enterprise needs. But the opposite is also true. You don’t want uncontrolled chaos in both situations. It should be predictable and acknowledging that new documents get created and deleted and need to be managed in between. From Cradle to Grave.

Like the concepts of Diversity and Cradle to Grave matches perfectly in real life, as do they match perfectly in our ECM world. Take a look at SPA4D.com if you want to learn more about how we can help connect SharePoint collaboration functionality to the enterprise control of Documentum. Or watch our blog for more articles on enterprise information management.

Diversity at the ECM Workplace

November 10th, 2014 Comments off

Just the other day I was driving home from the office reflecting back at events that happened in the last few days and weeks. As always driving home is one of those precious moments where I can sit back and reflect. Sitting in the car in traffic, it finally dawned to me.

For a couple of days already I was trying to put finger on something that bothered me. I had been working on multiple engagements over the last few weeks. Some only related to EMC Documentum. Some only to Microsoft SharePoint and some included both. All were in different industries. If you wouldn’t know better, there was nothing they had in common. But there was.
Read more…

Momentum Vienna and The SharePoint Documentum Framework

November 5th, 2012 Comments off

This week is Momentum 2012 in the European capital of the waltz: Vienna. Of course, cultural heritage is large with the music from Strauss as well as the yearly débutante ball in the Hofburg. It illustrates that the Viennese Waltz is live and kicking as part of the Vienna culture. Waltzing is a very applicable way to illustrate the way Microsoft and EMC ‘dance’ together around information management. SharePoint and Documentum have learned to move gracefully through crowds of ECM without stepping on each others tows to hard and to often.

Dancing requires one to lead, usually the male, and one to follow and shine, typically the female. It’s not that simple to say that either SharePoint or Documentum is leading or following. That is largely dependent on your starting point — more on that later — although one could say that if you take the shallow outside approach, SharePoint is the sexy partner and therefore must take the female role: follow and shine. That leaves EMC as a leader.

If you dive a little deeper, the roles are not always according to the look and feel.
On a high level you can have two starting points: collaboration versus enterprise document management.

When you start from a collaboration point of view, SharePoint will be leading, the male role, and will perform the dance for its audience. That audience is looking for flexibility, tools that they know already — that is the MS Office suite —, as well as speed of change. This would leave the EMC suite as the female role. Following and shining. Off course I too had second thoughts about EMC being shiny, being sexy.

From the enterprise point of view, there is now doubt that Documentum steps up. The male and leading role. For years we learned Documentum was not sexy. But with D2 that changed fundamentally. And yes, xCP is also a step forward. Still, for the individual collaborator, its just not always good enough. Hence their love for SharePoint. From this angle it thus is the challenge to meet the needs of the collaborators somehow. That could well be SharePoint.

But let’s face it, dancing a waltz requires 2 partners. Documentum and SharePoint next to each other creates to silo’s of information and it goes beyond telling that such is a bad thing. They must be connected.

With SDF we can can make that happen. As EMC’s Consulting Preferred Partner (C3P) we know how to bridge those two worlds. Not only is such a matter of knowing the technical bits of the SharePoint Documentum Framework (SDF) but also the ability to help the customer bridge the two silo’s of people in their organisation. Those that want freedom to collaborate and those that want to control and meet compliance. Bringing those worlds together is what makes projects a success.

We at Informed Consulting are glad to help out. Just reach out. We may not all shine on the ballroom floor, we do in the Information Management arena.

Access Documentum content through SharePoint

October 7th, 2012 Comments off

Just recently I read an article by TSG about replacing external SharePoint sites with a simple cached approach providing Documentum access to external users. That solution was required to provide a selective view-only access to external users so they would only see the subset of quality documents applicable to them.

In the case provided by TSG, the external users do not need access to all quality documents, but need access to the specific documents that they are expected to follow for the business process. Previously numerous SharePoint sites were set up to allow external users to access the required documents. The client found that the work effort to maintain these separate copies and keep them up to date was very difficult and was looking for an easier way. The client was also concerned about the compliance risk of the SharePoint sites being out of sync with the Approved and Effective documents stored in Documentum.

The question is: is it in general the solution that you would suggest to a client that already owns both SharePoint and Documentum? I believe it’s not.

I believe that there is a better solution available: the SharePoint Documentum Framework.

First, the case given is a common case. In many cases you want to share and collaborate on a subset of documents. Indeed, clinical trials are an example of that. But also claims, customer files or tenders match that case.
Second, the concerns about compliance and separate copies are genuine concerns. Keeping copies in sync, though theoretical simple, is difficult. It needs full control over new, updated and removed documents and on top of that proper security mapping between two – now disconnected – systems.

So why not go the route that leverages existing investments and – more importantly – use the UI powers of SharePoint and the compliance powers of Documentum?

Let me share that route.

Documentum is very capable of managing all the documents, its versions and its meta-data in a secure and controlled way. This will guarantee that any user has only access to the documents that this user is allowed to read or edit. Regardless if that user is an internal colleague or an external client. A must for compliance.

Giving access to the customer through Webtop can indeed be challenging. OK, you won’t do that. D2, the alleged Webtop replacement, is by far better suited but still isn’t perfect.
The reason for that is related to the business requirements that you must expect when sharing documents with your client. Normally, next to sharing the documents as the main requirement, there are requirements like being able to interact (discuss, set tasks) and provide related collateral or instructions.

That’s one of the reasons why SharePoint comes into the picture. SharePoint is very capable of doing just that. But how to get the right documents available in this environment?

This is where the SharePoint Documentum Framework comes into play. This framework provides webparts that can query the Documentum repository for the right documents. And they honour the security set by Documentum. So, if you revoke access in Documentum, access is revoked in SharePoint. And as a bonus, you can set access to read-only even if the user has write access in Documentum. Not that I would recommend this as a replacement to setting the proper settings in Documentum.

The other interesting part of using these webparts is that your query leverages the available information about those documents in Documentum. So, if you’ve marked a document as ready for sharing with the client through its meta-data, it will meet the query parameters and show up in SharePoint. As soon as you change the meta-data so that it no longer is available to the client, it won’t show up anymore.

Oh, and important to some organizations: this is a productised solution supported by EMC and not a custom solution.

But regardless of that, the SharePoint Document Framework provides a flexible way to merge two systems that each lead in their own space. A case where the total is larger than the sum of the individual parts. A framework sold by EMC, implemented by preferred consulting partners like Informed Consulting.

If you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Documentum Big Data import/export

September 14th, 2012 1 comment

I’ve been away from this blog for a while, busy on projects for clients.
I learned something on one of these projects that I thought was worth sharing.

In a nutshell

Importing BIG files to or exporting them from Documentum is a challenge, but you can get around the out-of-the-box limits

Here is what happened

I was asked by a client with an existing Documentum system to help them with document import/export. They were unhappy with the solution that the previous contractor had built, using Taskspace and UCF. They complained that import often failed. They also wanted to add the ability for external systems to automatically import and export documents.
I asked about the kinds of documents they are storing and they turned out to be somewhat a-typical for a Documentum system. I my experience most Documentum systems are filled with documents of kilobytes to megabytes in size, with 1Gb being considered very big. For my customer, most files were between 10 and 50 Gb, with some as big as 500 Gb. That’s BIG.

Documentum has no problem storing files of that size. The challenge is in getting the files from the client to the server and back.
Since they asking for import/export functionality for interactive clients as well as back-end integration with other systems, I proposed to create a webservice using the Documentum DFS (webservices framework).

Now DFS has several options for content transfer:

  • BASE64: This will include the content as part of the reply message to the webservice client. This is the easiest, but also the most restrictive. Only advisable for very small content files.
  • UCF: This is Documentum’s proprietary content transfer method. It has many cool features for xml files and virtual documents and such, but it had proven unreliable in my customer’s environment with the BIG files they have
  • MTOM: The Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism is a W3C standard especially meant to reliably send binary data in SOAP webservice calls.

MTOM looked promising but I had run into boundaries using MTOM for big files in a previous project. When exporting several big files simultaneously, the App Server running the web services would run into Java memory issues. That previous project had considered 10Mb big, so we were sure to run into the same boundaries here.

I solved this by cutting the content transfer up in pieces.
Exporting a file now goes like this:

  • The web service client starts an export by specifying which file it wants to receive. The web service returns an export token (a unique ID for this export request).
  • The webservice client the calls the web service again, supplying the token and the maximum number of bytes he wishes to receive (the default being 1Mb). The web service returns part of the content file using MTOM.
  • The web service client keeps calling until the full content file is transferred.

This very simple protocol turned out to work like a charm, even when simultaneously transferring files of many Gb . We did advice the client to use a separate DFS server machine, so the Documentum content server is not congested with all the disk- and network traffic the big files are causing and TaskSpace can keep running smoothly for the users.

TaskSpace

For the interactive clients we did one more trick so they can use the new export/import webservice.
normally you would have a component on the TaskSpace application server that acts as a web service client, but that would mean that the content would be sent to the application server and the application server would then send it to the user’s browser. That would mean that the big files are sent over the network twice, causing unnecessary delays.
Documentum has a feature called Accelerated Content Services (ACS), but we could not use that in this project.We did find a way to get the content from the DFS server directly to the user’s browser:
We added a little javascript to the export page that calls the export web service and combines all the parts of the file into 1 BIG file.It works, it performs, 1 solution for both interactive and integration use, I am happy !

Let me know what you think

Sander Hendriks

 

 

The Momentum 2011 Perspective on EMC Documentum in Q3/2012

November 7th, 2011 Comments off

Current state

The 2011 Momentum has reached its end. In 12 months from now, we’ll meet again in Vienna.

When we do meet in Vienna, the Documentum world will have changed. Documentum D7 and xCP 2.0 will be generally available. C6’s D2 (maybe even X3) will be the configurable alternative to Webtop. EMC OnDemand will be running for many months all over the world. Developers, partners, deliver vApp solutions to run in both the private and hybrid cloud. Next to it will be SharePoint and Office 2013. Both running on premise and in the cloud (Office 365 or otherwise).

Off course, still a lot can happen in between, but let’s assume that nothing does.

What are partners going to do with this knowledge? What will the customer do with this knowledge?

Will they change their way forward? Will they behave like any mother and father to-be, when they learn that they are pregnant of a beautiful baby in 9 months from now? Will they start preparing for the delivery of this new-born?

I think partners will. For successful partners, adopting to change is part of their DNA.

But what will the customer do? Will she change and if so how?
I believe she will. I believe she has to.

The ECM world is changing rapidly. The business never stopped changing. Competition continues to find ways to close gaps and take leads. Not less important, demands from new joiners in your company are rapidly changing. It’s nearing the point that you want to work with them rather than that they want to work for you.

However, how she’ll change will depend upon her current state related to her ECM vision and ambition.

Several scenarios are possible and include common scenarios like “Continue as is”, or “Technical ‘as-is’ upgrade”.

One particular scenario that could happen is the scenario what I would like to call “re-think & re-do”.

The “re-think & re-do” scenario is an appealing scenario. It can be a game changer. It applies lessons learned, leverages new functionality, and re-implements the requirements in the new target environment.

The soccer analogy of “re-think & re-do”

There is a great analogy to be made with sports. Especially team sports. Let’s take soccer.

Winning the National league, the European Champions League, and the World Cup for Teams are goals for the top teams. Many want it, few get it.

The easy road of buying 25 of the best players doesn’t get you there. Many tried, none succeeded(1).
Building a winning team is a carefully designed growth path that takes effort and time.

On this route, every now and then a player gets injured for a longer time, leading to adjustments in the process. Patches are applied.
Sometimes players get better offers elsewhere and new players have to be bought or incorporated from youth teams, the labs. Sort of a Service Pack is applied.
And then success is there. The team is on a winning streak.

After some time the successes diminish. Competing teams catch up. The common game-play changes. The players on the team are over the hill, nearing their sports technical end of life.
At this point the team manager has to make decisions.

A common decision is that they accept the absence on the prime stage for a year and rebuild the team from scratch.

Where in the previous period, patches and service packs have been used to continue, this time a new major release is needed.

You see this happening in many of the Olympic team-sports (field hockey, volleyball) in the post-Olympic year. The next World Championships are typically 2 years away, the next Olympics 4 years. Enough time to re-do the team and go for success at the next major event.

The good thing about building a new team, a new major release for future success, is that it allows the team manager to apply the lessons learned from the previews period (re-think) as well as to recover from unwanted side effects that come with patches and service packs (re-do).

The lessons learned can be in many different forms. As an example:

  • The game-play may have shifted from physical to tactical and thus new requirements apply.
  • The common positioning on the midfield may have changed from 3 players on one line to 4 that are positioned in a diamond shape. In essence the functional team design is changed.

Also the side effects come in different forms with examples like:

  • Due to the absence of left-footed wingers, a right-footed player has become the left-winger.
  • The youngster, replacing a player that has left, is not performing consistently.

Taking these lessons learned as well as side effects into account, a new design is created to succeed in future success and the new journey begins.

The EMC reality

The process illustrated above for soccer, can be applied to Enterprise Content Management solutions like Documentum. There too, patches and service packs are applied until you reach the point where you have to re-think what to do with a next major release.

Given the announced release of Documentum 7 / xCP 2, the adoption of C6’s D2 user interface, the availability of Documentum in the Cloud (OnDemand), and also the omnipresence of SharePoint fits, the point of re-think and re-do has arrived. The time is here and now. Too much is and will change to continue as if it’s still the same.

This is a far from easy task and is highly dependent on the unique settings of the customer.

It takes time. It takes careful considerations. It needs a free spirit to not limit yourself to budget, resource, calendar, or any other constraint yet. It takes guts in a budget constraint business to acknowledge that maybe with the new facilities, something better, cheaper, more flexible, and more future proof is possible and that now is the time to find out. It requires expertise to take it to the extreme on paper and see what it brings, to think out of the box.

Because even finding out requires budget, some arguments to help you build the business case are given below.

EMC OnDemand

    • Supported by certified professionals on behalf of EMC; No need to invest in company resources.
    • Off premise in the cloud or locked down ‘all-in’ box on premise; No need to purchase hardware.
    • Sizing for average load with on demand resource expansion to handle peak loads; no need to invest in hardware that can cope with peak loads that occur only once a week.
    • Optimum module architecture through xMS, the requirement-based configuration descriptions that are used to generated the required virtual servers.

SharePoint

    • SharePoint is the users choice for collaboration and “work in progress” content management.
      Leverages the dominance of MS Office on the desktop and the user acceptance that comes with it.
    • SharePoint doesn’t (yet) provide the appropriate means to cover all enterprise needs, but SDF(2) is there to rescue. SDF, the SharePoint – Documentum Framework provides optimal bi-directional integration with Documentum to cover the enterprise needs.

C6’s D2

    • Reduce cost of customizations of Webtop by leveraging the configurable user interface that D2 delivers.
    • Replace Webtop with a much more tailored and applicable interface for those users that need functionality that is not provided through SharePoint or xCP applications.
    • Increase user acceptance with the appealing skinnable interface that D2 provides.

Documentum D7 / xCP2

    • Leverage the new deployment model that uses vApps.
    • Leverage the ability to reverse patches if the outcome has unwanted side-effects
    • Leverage the vast amount of documented functional patterns and solutions to build xCP applications.
    • Leverage the growing number of xCelerators to reduce implementation time and effort.

Non-technical

    • Replace old school designs and include lessons learned of the current implementation.
    • Start supporting the Knowledge Worker; Make it goal-driven and reduce the rigidness of traditional workflows.
    • Prevent the typical chaos that uncontrolled, non-governed SharePoint environments tend to create.
    • Take a controlled route towards the cloud by using on premise cloud technology.

Conclusion

I believe it’s here and now that you have the opportunity to re-think what your Documentum centric solutions add to your business and re-do them using Documentum & xCP through EMC OnDemand and integrate them with SharePoint through SDF.

If the signs are right, we’re expecting a beautiful baby somewhere in the late summer of 2012.
But, we have to work for that. It will not come easy.

The above mentioned arguments are not meant to be complete or generically applicable; further discussion is needed to incorporate the specifics of your organisation. That first step is yours. I’m sure you can do it!

 

Ed Steenhoek
ECM Solution Principal


 

  1. While writing this post, I was thinking about Manchester City. A soccer team where huge investments have been made in recent years but yet without success. However, after reviewing this post, it dawned to me that it is also applicable to Oracle. Oracle has been purchasing ECM technologies and companies but still doesn’t deliver a clear package that delivers success on its own – that is without cross selling from e.g. Siebel or the Oracle RDBMS – that matches the investments made.
  2. Implementing SDF requires a specialism that is provided through EMC Professional Services or directly from selected partners. Informed Consulting is proud to be that partner for EMEA.

Oh my, Information Overload

October 31st, 2011 Comments off

Momentum is about to kick off in full gear and it has me thinking about our clients and the problems they face. Information Managers and the organizations they represent face a fast changing Enterprise Information Management landscape. Increasing volumes of information from multiple sources, and systems result in an excess of information. In addition the paths to knowledge are changing as internal or external, traditional or web based and now also social information channels merge together as information sources. Both factors result in information overload for organizations and their Information Managers alike who must cope with the changing landscape. The traditional approach of the past was to select an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution and use it as the sole means of solving all Information Management challenges. This approach no longer meets the need of organizations and their users as no one solution will solve all challenges presented.

The evolution of ECM and the use of one tool is reflected in the history of information management. Companies first began to capture paper content via scanning. This was followed by the creation of digital documents using tools such as WordPerfect. The desire to manage information in a better fashion lead to Work Flow Management and over time all these all became part of Electronic Document Management (EDM).  The introduction of the Internet and the Web lead to Web Content Management. Finally companies began to manage all information at the enterprise level. Organizations began using Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions that became the tool that would allow them to impose enterprise rules on unstructured content. Resulting in increased efficiency and effectiveness as organizations where able to locate processes and manage their information.

The evolution of how users approach their information has taken a different path. The existence of multiple information channels reflects the needs of the users who are also seeking to find and consume and collaborate on information. Often seeking the path of least resistance to information they seek. Users no longer only turn to their busy colleagues but also to the web and tools such as Google and web forums to provide content they need to complete their task.  In addition some users don’t share information within the organization but with their social network contributing to the changes in the path to knowledge. Just as enterprises impose rules on unstructured content, the users have imposed rules on collaboration.

I propose a solution approach which creates an environment that would allow users the freedom to collaborate in a way that reflects their needs and allow them to approach collaboration on their terms. Thus imposing user’s rules on the SharePoint environment which reflect the way users work. Key to the solution approach is the ability to impose enterprise rules on the output of the collaborative processes using a robust ECM solution such as Documentum to meet the needs of the enterprise. Ensuring items such as auditability, security, record retention and workflow drive efficiency and effectiveness within the organization while users are still able to locate processes and manage their information.

I think the topic needs a bit more detail, and I will try to expand this in the near future. Love to hear your thoughts!

Timm Scalf

Director

SharePoint Documentum Framework

September 27th, 2011 Comments off

I was as reading through my old posts and saw the one about Documentum Sharepoint integration.
I felt there is something that I need to clear up: SDF is not available for just anyone.

EMC currently offers 3 products that can be used to integrate Documentum with SharePoint:

  1. MyDocumentum for SharePoint
  2. Repository Services for SharePoint
  3. SharePoint Documentum Framework

I mentioned all that in my previous post. There is a difference between the first second and third however. The first two are offered as products that you can just buy and install. The SDF is not officially offered as a separate product. It is a product that you can buy, but it is only sold as part of an implementation deal with EMC Professional Services. EMC will not let the customer, nor a partner do the implementation of SDF, unless they are subcontracting for EMC Professional Services.

For some customers this should be no issue. For others this would mean that using SDF is not really an option. Fortunately there are 2 other integration products to choose from.

Sander Hendriks

ECM Consultant