Documentum – EMC World/Momentum 2013 – TSG Recap

Thanks to all of you that again made our Momentum EMC World our most successful posting days.   This year was an interesting time.  It really made our day to get feedback that many of you look forward to the summaries as well as how the blogs throughout the year have helped with Documentum-related decisions throughout the year.  This post will try to wrap-up and summarize all the other postings, as well as express TSG’s opinion on the event.

Recap of Momentum 2013 Postings

Documentum Momentum 2012 compared to Momentum 2013

In our discussions at the show and on the way to the airport, Ellen, clients and I thought this year’s event was very similar to last year’s event and distinguished itself from the first two years under Rick Devenuti’s tenure in that it continued to be very pragmatic.

All of the roadmap sessions confirmed that the short-term commitments stated for last year had been met and focused on what was going to be done in the short term (mostly end of 2013 and early 2014).  Some specific commitments from 2012 that were achieved included:

  • Solutions was the big buzzword – We would say Energy and Engineering (EPFM) and Life Sciences are the ones getting the most attention.  Other solutions include Healthcare, Public Sector and Financial Services.  More on solutions later in post.
  • D2 4.1 has been released
  • xCP 2.0 has been released
  • Captiva 7.0 has been released
  • D7 has been released  – focused on performance enhancements.  (performance is only for Windows  – 7.1 will address other environments – see Roadmap post for more detail)

We did notice several major changes in IIG personnel that we would say are all positive and both client and partner friendly.  Lots of good discussions throughout the show with some of the veterans of Documentum that confirmed things are changing and improving that left us very encouraged compared to earlier years.

Why aren’t existing client’s upgrading??  EMA to the rescue

From talking with attendees and some of the tone of the presentations, we got the feeling that existing clients are hesitating to upgrade from Webtop to D2/D7. This may be due to level of effort or that they are just hesitant to try the new solution.  We only talked with one North American attendee that was leveraging D2 (but not for production yet) and, during the roadmap session only one attendee raised their hand stating they were on D7 (and not in production yet).

Rick Devenuti stated in his keynote that Documentum Consulting is now offering a migration tool, EMA (Enterprise Migration Appliance) to help with the upgrade.  Rick’s push has been for speed and EMA fits that goal.  In regard to speed, Rick’s major points were:

  • If procuring new hardware takes time – talk to us about OnDemand – we can have equipment for you in the cloud it for you today (as much cloud as you like)
  • If installing Documentum takes time and is difficult – worked to make it easier to install/deploy
  • Building and test takes too much time – D2 and xCP are focused on configure (assume quick) rather than code (assume slow)
  • Migration takes too much time – EMA works on the DB level to go faster than through the API

EMC Consulting ran a live migration during the event for one life sciences company.

Good Enough – the delay of the Upgrade

During our discussions with attendees, we see “good enough” as the major impediment for existing customers to upgrade.  Client’s installed production solutions are perceived as “good enough” to not spend for new interfaces or risk the upgrade. Many have upgraded to 6.5 or 6.7 only recently.  Rick correctly pointed out that clients have mentioned “moving from 5.3 to 6.x was such a pain, I don’t want to do that again”.  In looking at upgrading to D2/xCP 2.0, some major issues that make the upgrade WORSE than the 5.3 to 6.x include:

  • Change in Object Model – both D2 and xCP 2.0 require a change in object model requiring a migration and transformation of all the objects.  This migration costs money, takes time and was not required for 5.3 to 6.x.
  • Significant change in user interface – besides the “configuration is better than coding” and some improvements in the interface, most clients look at D2 and don’t see an obvious or substantial difference in function or performance from their Webtop installs.  New interface will require retraining of users, something that was also required from 5.3 to 6.x but was not substantial.
  • New interface costs – the new interfaces requires new purchase of software.  Webtop seats transferred from 5.3 to 6.x but will not to D2 or xCP.
  • Loss of function – while clients might say “configure don’t code”, we still see clients holding on to their customizations.  How does a system owner answer a user that has a function, from customization, in their existing environment, that won’t be in the new system?  How do you tell a user that, after we spend this time, effort and money to get you to the new system you won’t be able to do things that you used to do before the upgrade?

For all of the above reasons, clients seem to be staying put on a “good enough” Documentum and Webtop solution.  This isn’t necessarily all bad as, for all the reasons above, we haven’t seen clients moving to SharePoint, something that many analysts predicted with the release of SharePoint 2010.  SharePoint was barely mentioned during Momentum as we see it continue to fade as a true Documentum alternative for a host of reasons.

We applaud Documentum’s effort to address the desire of users to stay on their existing environments given these facts, and, as mentioned with Webtop 6.7 SP2 in the roadmap session, have a method to run Webtop on D7 and upcoming D7.1.

Documentum Upgrade – Speed versus Trust

With the discussions around the speed of EMA and Rick’s other points from the keynote, we think a bigger underlying issue with existing long-term Documentum clients and the upgrade is trust rather than speed.  To illustrate, we had this conversation with one long-time Life Sciences customer.

“Over the last 15 years, Documentum has introduced DCM and a regulatory submission manager, announced moving away from DCM and submission manager, reannounced a new DCM,  announced that they are moving away from DCM and advised us we should go to FirstDocs, and now they are announcing a Life Sciences suite that requires Documentum consulting and going after FirstDocs?”

The client in question also went through a very aggressive software audit in the last five years.  Documentum customers have long memories and turning around the trust issue, particularly when it comes to spending money on new software and Documentum Consulting, will be a significant issue for existing customers.  Net promoter scores was something Rick was particularly focused on in 2010 and needs to continue to focus on to win back client’s trust.

We would predict Documentum would have better success with new customers that are in initial purchase decisions and don’t have the baggage of previous Documentum relationships.

TSG Thoughts – Documentum Solutions

Gearing to Rick’s Keynote, we spent most of our time focused on understanding the solutions rather than individual product updates.  Our thoughts are we can review D2 4.1 and xCP 2.0 on our own.  Look for posts in the upcoming months as we review more products.

Some high level thoughts on the solutions:

  • Energy and Engineering – We thought this solution was the most mature and was obviously developed with clients by consulting, particularly in Europe.  See our post on Day .5.  Major updates to D2 and xCP 2.0 coming and addition of Trinity to consulting team should help with more business knowledge to Documentum Consulting which has struggled in the past with this industry.
  • Life Sciences – This is the solution that seems to be getting the most amount of push from Documentum.  See our posts  in regards to Migration and Solution.  This is industry that struggles with both “good enough” and trust as mentioned earlier in this post. Additionally, this industry tends to be slower to implement a new solution due to the large validation efforts required with any new release.  Documentum will probably have to buy/invest in a significant marque client to see this industry move in mass to their solution.
  • Healthcare – Rick announced integration with Epic in the keynote for this industry.  We recently had a client in Health Care that discontinued using Documentum to move to Epic’s module for patient records.  We see ECM as an uphill climb here as most of the Healthcare systems have a module for records.  Some of the strengths of ECM, (check-in/check-out, security, enterprise search) are not necessary for Healthcare records.  We see this as an uphill struggle for Documentum as they can’t compete with Epic or others on the data portion of the solution which will dominate the decision process.
  • Public Sector and Insurance – both of these areas were pretty light in both the keynote and agenda so we will skip any analysis here.

Other Thoughts

  • We didn’t put much time into Syncplicity review.  Jeetu has made some advances but we choose to put more time into core Documentum reviews based on feedback from clients.  It seems from the presentations that IIG has had some success with Syncplicity but we haven’t had those opportunities yet at our clients.
  • As mentioned already, we didn’t put much time into D2 4.1 or xCP 2.0 as we are currently testing in our labs.  Look for more posts on both in the future.
  • SharePoint Integration – SharePoint was a big deal back in 2010 for Rick, but less and less every year.  We see consistently that SharePoint usage is declining at our clients and don’t see it as a alternative to Documentum.
  • Mobile Interface – not so much this year.  Again, clients are thinking about and we expect traction soon but “good enough” can get in the way of new.  Syncplicity also plays in this space and might fit certain user scenarios better.

TSG Product Direction Alignment

We always look for the EMC World announcements to shape our own open source product strategy regarding Documentum.  After EMC World and discussions with clients, our strategy, particularly with clients that are focused on “good enough” is to offer products and solutions that can be used to make “good enough” solutions better with additional items.  We think the EMC offerings can coincide with some of our offerings specifically:

  • Solutions – we will continue to offer streamlined Documentum or Alfresco solutions for Regulated Industries, Insurance, Engineering, Forms and Digital Archival/Retrieval.
  • OpenMigrate – we will continue to offer a migration tool as open source to allow clients to use internally for a variety of migration needs including migration.  We see EMA from Documentum specifically focused on upgrading to D2 and limited to only being a Doucmentum consulting offering.  We will be offering a migration path to D2 as it becomes more widely accepted by the Documentum user community.
  • ActiveWizard  – to augment Webtop, D2 or allow for streamlined dynamic form and workflow capabilities.  We have recently added the ability to leverage Activiti workflow with Documentum repositories.
  • High Performance Interface (HPI) – to provide an alternative open source alternative for Documentum authors, approvers and consumers.
  • OpenOverlay and OpenAnnotate – to provide open source tools for PDF annotation and overlays.

We remain committed to offer our products and solutions on either Alfresco or Documentum (via OpenContent) to provide flexibility and alternatives as well as speed our own internal development with a variety of customers.

Summary- Continued Pragmatic Approach

In talking with different attendees, particularly ones that came in 2012, everything was very similar to (even Momentum Lounge furniture).  We didn’t get any attendance numbers but, from the attendance at Rick’s keynote, we would guess somewhere in the 1,000 to 1,500.  We liked that the agenda was tight (even starting Monday afternoon) and well-paced.  Breakouts of Momentum Lounge and separate area for Momentum presentations worked well.  Great networking throughout and everyone was very approachable.

Clients were impressed with the pragmatism of keeping to what was committed to last year.  Clients want consistency from IIG/Documentum and the ability to plan based on how the product is evolving.  We applaud the pragmatic approach from the last two EMC Worlds.  Clients are looking for:

  • Less buzzwords from EMC (Big Data) or IT in general (Social)
  • Less big press release relationship announcements that fade in months (Box.net, Cisco…)
  • More consistency from IIG/Documentum on plans and commitments consistent with client needs

and the last two EMC Worlds have been steps in the right direction.

18 thoughts on “Documentum – EMC World/Momentum 2013 – TSG Recap

  1. Thank you for this great summary. Over the years, we’ve had some great blogging coverage that has waned with some of the bloggers moving into different areas. TSG’s coverage of this year’s event has been perhaps the best, so I do want to thank you for that.

    I have a few comments to make on a few points in the post. I would ascribe this to our (EMC) inadequacy in representing the some of the facts clearly. Let me attempt to add clarity to them here. Forgive me again as this is in no way a rebuttal – I think as I said I would blame us for not getting the message clearer.

    On the comment about the object model: “In looking at upgrading to D2/xCP 2.0, some major issues that make the upgrade WORSE than the 5.3 to 6.x include:… Change in Object Model – both D2 and xCP 2.0 require a change in object model requiring a migration and transformation of all the objects. This migration costs money, takes time and was not required for 5.3 to 6.x.”

    In truth, there has been no major change in the schema of the existing object type hierarchy (thinking specifically of dm_sysobject, dm_document, dm_folder) from Webtop/D6 to xCP2/D7 or D2/D7. Let’s start with D2. D2 3.1, 4.0 and 4.1 all support D6.x Content Servers and can work directly on the same objects that Webtop, TaskSpace, or any other client works with. You could even use Webtop at the same time and on the same objects as D2, with the limitation that any configurations made via D2-Config will not be honoured through any client except D2 clients. There is no actual need for a migration. If you have a Content Server version older than a supported version (the latest version, D2 4.1 goes back to Content Server 6.6), you could do an in-place upgrade from a supported docbase. Even if you are going to D7 and currently on a 6.5 or higher docbase, you can do a single-step in-place upgrade to D7. But D7 is, strictly speaking not required for D2 at this time. One thing we may have done to give this impression might have been the Sobi migration which used EMA. This might have been for various reasons. Sobi was on 5.3 and this requires a two step upgrade of the docbase (5.3 >> 6.5 & 6.5 >> 7). In addition, each of those versions of the Content Server support different versions of OSes, App Servers, DB Servers, etc. There are also different dependencies to think about when thinking about other Documentum or IIG Product versions or 3rd party products. There may have also been a number of 5.3-based customizations that are either no longer supported or there are better ways of doing them now. Depending on what the customer is doing, migration may be a better or faster path than upgrading. This is why we are encouraging customers to do an evaluation with a partner experienced with upgrades if they do not have strong in-house Documentum experience. This is also the purpose of the free migration evaluation from Professional Services. In some cases the recommendation may not be to migrate, but do an in-palce upgrade, or do nothing at all – it depends so much on what the customer is trying to do that it would be silly for us to prescribe a one-size-fits-all solution. But I guess the key here is that it isn’t a change in object model that would force you to migrate for D2.

    On xCP2, the answer is a little more complex. At the outset, I will say that a migration would be needed for xCP2 to use data from other clients (and this includes D2), so it’s more of a technical detail that it isn’t a change in the repository object model, but it the fact that in xCP Designer, there is no facility to import an existing type definition. In addition, the runtime requires an additional resolution layer (stored in dm_xcp_artifact bundle, which is not an object model change per se, it is an additional item that xCP2 requires) that wraps access to objects but even if you added that at runtime, it would be irrelevant because xCP Designer wouldn’t be apprised of the type. Reverse engineering is possible but a little tricky, and that is why we are providing a “Type Adoption” feature in xCP 2.1 as part of our focus on Migration and Interoperability in the xCP 2.1 release. xCP 2.0 was not pitched as the release for existing applications to move on to – but xCP 2.1, with Type Adoption, Type Migration, and Two-way client interoperability all as major features in the release, is the one for existing applications to move to.

    On the comment on loss of function: “Loss of function – while clients might say “configure don’t code”, we still see clients holding on to their customizations. How does a system owner answer a user that has a function, from customization, in their existing environment, that won’t be in the new system? How do you tell a user that, after we spend this time, effort and money to get you to the new system you won’t be able to do things that you used to do before the upgrade?”

    Though I will not pretend it is not a pain in rear to redo your customizations, I will say that whilst we are preaching “configure don’t code” as the way to improve TCO and reduce risk, we fully recognize and embrace that for most customers, configuration will take them most of of the way to a real solution, but not all the way. For that last mile, we recognize that every solution is going to have some amount of custom code and what we strived to do is create some well defined extension points in both products for customers to be able extend them. With D2 having a more configuration / OOTB client paradigm, though it has mechanisms to extend its functionality, I would say there are some limits to what you can do, particularly around the UI, but we’ve found that the things you can do are still enough for most customers to get what they want. In xCP 2.0, the customization framework is great and this product is certainly geared to customers who had lots of WDK customizations. xCP2 has facilities for both server and UI customizations, giving customers the ability to get exactly what they want in many cases. Of course there are some limitations here as well, but I would say (and I am saying this very frankly as the Group Product Manager owning both xCP and D2) that the limiting factor in xCP2 and D2 around customizations won’t be the capabilities of the product as much as the knowledge and skills of Documentum experts on how to customize these products. It will take time to build up those skills as well as the best practices around them, and that will take some time.

    On the comment around 6.7 SP2: “We applaud Documentum’s effort to address the desire of users to stay on their existing environments given these facts, and, as mentioned with Webtop 6.7 SP2 in the roadmap session, have a method to run Webtop on D7 and upcoming D7.1.”

    Thank you. . This was part of our strategy as announced at last year’s EMC World/Momentum in Vegas. All 6.7 SP2 clients will run on D7. The clear message is: we recognize that for many customers, you are happy with Webtop or TaskSpace, and if you are, we are not going to force you to undergo a premature and costly client/app migration/rewrite before you realize the ROI you want. Don’t migrate for the sake of migrating! Do migrate when the needs of your business users surpass the capabilities of those legacy clients, and when you are ready, we’ll be ready for you with our new solutions that enable more use cases than were possible before.

    On the comment from the disgruntled LS customer: “Documentum customers have long memories and turning around the trust issue, particularly when it comes to spending money on new software …, will be a significant issue for existing customers. Net promoter scores was something Rick was particularly focused on in 2010 and needs to continue to focus on to win back client’s trust.”

    I agree. We need to do a better job. It is a real focus for us going forward. We need to be consistent, and that’s started with us delivering on our short term commitments. Now we need to focus on ensuring our long term strategies align with those of our customers.

    On putting time into reviewing xCP2 and D2 on your own: “As mentioned already, we didn’t put much time into D2 4.1 or xCP 2.0 as we are currently testing in our labs. Look for more posts on both in the future.”

    Looking forward to the reviews. I’m also more than happy to give you & your team a walkthrough of the roadmaps we gave for D2 4.2+ and xCP 2.1+ if you are interested – let me know.

    On migration solutions: “OpenMigrate – we will continue to offer a migration tool as open source to allow clients to use internally for a variety of migration needs including migration. We see EMA from Documentum specifically focused on upgrading to D2 and limited to only being a Doucmentum consulting offering. We will be offering a migration path to D2 as it becomes more widely accepted by the Documentum user community.”

    During EMC World, in the breakout sessions, both Patrick Walsh and I promoted both fme (Migration Centre) and eurscript offerings, as well as partners in general around Migrations. EMA is just one of many offerings geared to migration, and I am a strong believer in choice. Going forward I will make sure to call out OpenMigrate specifically as an option for customers. One additional clarification: EMA can do migrations to anything, not just D2. As clarified above, D2 doesn’t change the object model, so the destination object model is the same as the source. This means EMA could be used to migrate to Webtop, D2, xCP1 or xCP2, custom client, or a solution offered by EMC or a partner… it doesn’t really matter. It works on the DB level and with mappings, so it’s goal is to upgrade you to D7, and map your data to the destination however you want.

    Thanks,
    Ahson Ahmad
    (Group Product Manager – Solutions Platform: xCP & D2)

    • Ahson,

      Thanks so much for your great detail. Approving your content unedited.

      One small follow-up, I am not sure you understand my D7 point. I was saying that, to take advantage of D2 configurations, existing objects (say in DCM) would require a migration. Can you confirm or clarify.

      I wanted to clarify that, in regards to other content, we are not saying that you would require a migration, and with D 6.7 SP2 – some of the older interfaces can access D7.

      Thanks again for all the detail. Appreciate the dialog.

      Dave

      Dave

  2. Thanks Dave. Unfortunately, though I have vast experience in the world of Documentum as a former customer and consultant, DCM is one of the very few products I have never actually touched. I’m assuming DCM was no different than most of our other WDK-based clients like DAM and Web Publisher, insofar as they used the standard object type hierarchy with no additions (such as TBOs or Aspects referencing DCM specific classes), and the disclaimer is I am making this assumption in my answer. Please do correct me if I’m wrong. If I’m right, which I think is a safe bet, you could take advantage of D2 configurations on existing objects managed by DCM without doing a migration.

    Hopefully that makes sense (and hopefully I’m not wrong)! Certainly for Webtop, DAM, MWS, TaskSpace… you could install D2 in the same repository and work with the existing objects.

    Thanks,
    A.

  3. I’m a bit confused. So in a simple Yes/No. Can D2 and xCP now be customized?

    Two years ago at EMC World the answer was a No. Has that now changed? If we have the time and a resource willing to learn how to customize D2 or xCP, is it possible?

    • Anhtuan,

      I think xCP could always be customized. D2 was the big question. Documentum is releasing an API but the point of the approach is to “configure don’t code”. In the back and forth above, I think Ahson is stating that “With D2 having a more configuration / OOTB client paradigm, though it has mechanisms to extend its functionality, I would say there are some limits to what you can do, particularly around the UI, but we’ve found that the things you can do are still enough for most customers to get what they want.

      Does that answer you question?

      Dave

    • xCP was always customizable. D2 was not. We’ve introduced some customization capabilities in D2 4.1.

  4. Dave/Ellen,

    Thanks for your outstanding coverage of EMC World. I really enjoy catching up on these blog posts to keep my finger on the pulse at EMC.

    I did have one question which I didn’t see addressed in your blogs from EMC World, and that is around how well high-availability is built into the Content Server. You included a lot of highlights about the number of documents and/or migrations per hour or day, but key to many users is to make certain they can keep that architecture running 24×7. While most companies now can cluster/load balance many of the components of Documentum (web servers, rendering engines, publication tools), the challenge has always been at the heart – the Content Server. My experiences through 5.3 was that only federation was available to host mulitple content servers, and my research into early versions of 6.x was that clustering was not out-of-the-box and required professional services. Did you hear if EMC has made any improvements in the 6.7 or 7.0 platforms to make clustering content servers OOTB?

    • Mike,

      We didn’t hear anything new in regards to clustering around the database server. Will check other sources but our thoughts are that clustering in the content server is not available OOTB.

      Dave

    • Mike,

      Active-Passive Clustering is supported even in 5.3. Officially I think MSCS was the documented route, and this is documented in the CS 5.3 Installation guide. When I was with a customer we set up (non-standard) AP clustering with IBM HA, though I can’t speak officially to the support protocol on that one.

      Active-Active Clustering is supported by setting up multiple Content Servers on the same repository. The idea is then to load balance the CSes by setting up a DocBroker for each Content Server. The docbroker.ini should be configured to talk to a primary Content Server, and then you should add the remaining content servers as backup docbrokers. You can also set the proximity value to tell the docbroker the sequence of CSes it should visit in the case of failover.

      Then you have two options:
      Option 1 – put a load balancer in front of the docbrokers, and point all app servers to the load balancer.
      Option 2 – assuming the app servers are already load balanced, for each app server/client, in the dfc.properties, you want to configure a primary docbroker and then secondaries as backups. This will give you a similar effect to load balancing if the app servers are already load balanced (but not the exact same effect).

      This was possible in 5.3 and still possible today.

      Thanks,
      Ahson

  5. […] EMC World 2013 has come and gone and I unfortunately did not get to attend this year.  Like many of you, I have kept up to date by reading blogs by those that did attend.  The best blog I found covering EMC World 2013 is TSG‘s.  They have done a stellar job (as they have in year’s past) keeping everyone who did not attend — and probably those who did attend — well-informed.  I encourage you to check out their summary of the entire event here. […]

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