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EMC makes Documentum OEM-friendly

EMC has written an embeddable version of Documentum for OEMs, a move it hopes will expand the market for its content repository technology.

EMC Corp. has developed a version of its Documentum enterprise content management (ECM) application specifically for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to embed into third-party applications, a move it hopes will broaden the reach of this technology.

EMC acquired Documentum for $1.7 billion in October 2003, but unlike VMware Inc., sales haven't exactly blown the doors off. There are about 4,000 or so customers using the core document ECM platform. Embedding the product into other applications could make it a more mainstream product, EMC hopes. The company noted that Documentum was recently named the No. 1 content management leader based on software market revenue, according to IDC Corp.

A year in engineering, Documentum OEM Edition is a "shrink-wrapped" version of the traditional product, according to EMC's Lubor Ptacek, director of content management at EMC.

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"We've removed a lot of the different dials and buttons and navigation functions on the user interface, making the product a silent install," Ptacek said. The OEM version also includes an embedded Sybase database and index server, which users of the original product would need to set up separately. EMC uses index search technology from Fast Search & Transfer Inc. to enable the index server in the traditional product, but not the OEM version.

"They have embedded a different index server [in the OEM product] that's more streamlined and more manageable for an OEM," said Jim Nasr, CEO of Armedia, a Documentum systems integrator. "The traditional product is very big so they had to strip out some features and streamline some components."

Armedia plans to integrate the OEM version into its source code management product. "Then, we can sell this product to customers that don't have Documentum," Nasr said. Armedia works with other content management products from companies including Vignette Corp., Interwoven Inc. and Stellent Inc., but most of its revenue comes from Documentum systems integration work.

EMC has about 20 OEMs already working with Documentum, but they were "opportunistic," according to Ptacek. With the OEM Edition, the company hopes the market will really take off. EMC envisions the document repository market developing in the same way that the database market did. "Nobody thinks about how to design a database now, they just use Oracle or Microsoft," Ptacek said. "Content repositories will go the same way, you won't design your own, you will simply embed one." And of course, EMC wants this to be Documentum.

Furthermore, any type of application that handles content, from accounts payable and contract management applications to financial services and energy, will need a content repository, the company claimed.

The idea makes sense, according to Nasr, but he said EMC has "a long way to go … this market is nowhere near the maturity of the database space," he said.

The OEM Edition and the traditional version use the same application program interfaces (API), meaning that the products will be compatible, Ptacek said. As part of the offering, OEMs will have access to EMC Velocity Technology and ISV Program resources to help them market and deliver the product, EMC said.

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