Documentum – EMC World 2015 – Meet the Executives

Rohit Ghai – President,  Jeetu Patel – Syncplicity,  Jason Capital – Chief Revenue Officer, Ryan Davidsen – Global  SE Lead , John  OMelia – Senior Vice President – Documentum , Jeroen Van Rotterdam – Chief Technology Officer

Session was described as being just Rohit and Chris McLaughlin, head of Marketing – Chris was a no-show.

This post will share questions and answers from the session.

Cap Gemini Question – Project Horizon – What is it?

Rohit – The underlying platform of an ECM repository that is being built out in micro services architecture.  We needed to decide between being a platform or a solution company.  Project Horizon offers a combination of an application and a service with many services aggregated together.  Platform will be constructed as applications and services with the ability of solutions built on top to weave together the solutions.  Foundational capability with Cloud Foundry, foundation services that any of these applications and services can use.  Bridge capability in a pseudo public cloud (not multi-tenant).  Rohit also loves the phrase “glorious future”.

TSG Note – We are going to do a deeper post in the future.  New architecture built for the cloud but will have a bridge for existing Documentum customers.  Underlying components seem to share xDB of InfoArchive and has been in the works for 3+ years.

Moderator – What is the Granularity of Micro-application and role of partners?

Rohit – Don’t think of it hundreds of applications with such low-level things like a “check out” application.  Maybe a dozen applications.  Looking to partner (example e-signature application with Docusign) to complete the picture.

Audience – xCP – what is the role?

Rohit – xCP is to build a solution building platform.  Solutions up top – applications are slivers of solutions.  Project Horizon will allow xCP to run on bridge to the future.

Questions – What about Mashups?

Rohit- Mobile Application, Web Application, API/Service – Availability – embed Web UI as a broader solution.    Is a Mashup with a little more availability.  We don’t have it all figured out.

TSG Note – need to see defined – looking for more Project Horizon detail in future roadmap discussions.

Moderator – InfoArchive – Saving Money and accessing other content.  Can retire applications but are there vertical applications.

Jerome – Building specialized UI for clinical archive data into existing system (ex: Epic).

TSG Note – Moderator seemed to use this one as a leading question to promote InfoArchive.

Moderator – John – Let’s talk about Customer Success

John – Customer Success – Need to move our tracking of customer success more into the SAAS world. We released supplier exchange in August.  With SAAS we can monitor customers and we are very connected to our customers in that part of the world.  Trying to see how we can use this to see what our clients are doing with on premise.  For strategic customers, appointing a customer success manager where there only job is to get to know you and understand the technology.  We are looking to partner better with our clients to better assist them on their customer success journey.  We have introduced a small customer success team – hoping to see value and improved customer satisfaction.

RSA – Documentum – Question about how come not working as tight with RSA

Group agreed that ECD aligned with EMC Storage, Pivotal, InfoArchive but not as tight with RSA despite obvious opportunities.

Delta Airlines – Question for Consumer  on Generic Users – Need a replacement for Webtop – Doesn’t seem to be a Webtop besides moving to xCP or D2

John – ECD just released a new version of Webtop –  6.8.  No plans to not support Webtop for at least another 4 years.  We have follow-up plans for Webtop.  Webtop is not a high investment product but we will keep it updated and certified.  D2 and xCP have a high investment.

TSG Note – Later talk was “at least” 5 years support of Webtop.  Agreed with panel that sometimes sales reps (or competitors) will say Webtop is being retired in order to sell other solutions.  Panel was adamant that it was not the case and later RoadMap presentations confirmed that “if you want to keep using Wetop you can.  We will keep in current but are not investing in it”.  

Audience – We have TaskSpace – Need to Rebuild in xCP 2 – will we need to rebuild for Project Horizon

John – we need to future proof investments in D2 and xCP.  Bridge in Project Horizon should address that they will be supported going forward.  We have no plans to leverage Webtop with that with Bridge.

TSG Note – We will all need more detail on “The Bridge” versus the Tiles component of Project Horizon.

Large Client – Question about volume given 15 terabytes.  What about the Baseline environment?  Can you make all parts of it scale (example was DM_Clean).

John – Detailed problem – suggested Genius lab – schedule session.  Challenges around 7,000 customers, one key message is take care of us.  Help preserve our investment.

TSG Note – In discussions afterwards, question was to get Documentum to think about huge storage and issues with scaling all parts of the solution. Large Client and others called themselves the “1 Billion Objects Club”.   Client was looking for plans to move away from single gigantic database for these large volumes.  Large Client really wanted more partitioning and other ways to handle large amounts of content with Documentum.

XMS for provisioning – didn’t work – what are your thoughts?

Jerome – XMS – we developed tool to provision Documentum/xCP.   We are looking at other container technologies.  Looking to for more generic.  Cloud Foundry – more in sessions tomorrow.

Rohit – XMS was valid when developed but not an investment as the paradigm has shifted.

APIs for Documentum – What is the future now?  Specifically on High Volume transactions?

Jerome – various APIs.  DFC, SOAP DFS, investing in REST.  Extensibility model – need to reduce the chattiness.  Announced Spring Data.  Further invest in REST – thin user interfaces – agular and bootstrap – can address the chattiness – give Spring as well.

Moderator – Jason Question – Interesting things with things customers are doing.

Jason – Common theme, many deploy for compliance and governance but not getting the right value – not used productive for business outcome.  See it not used well too many times.

TSG Note – This was a weird answer.  Question was a softball – what is interesting is that the answer was “our clients don’t deploy right”

Partner – We are struggling with the interface – what is the vision of being to create the universal interface.  Lead to a question of licensing for a new customer – why do I have to buy for different users (xCP versus D2 versus Horizon…)

Rohit – We have crafted a custom model for different clients.  We are trying to work on pricing and packaging.  In regards to the technology aspect of the interfaces, we are approaching it as D2 4.5 for the library use case.  Custom UI scenario, felt that when looking at Webtop we were making it a Frankenstein.  xCP for the process centric cases.  Process engine piece should be available in both.  Need to figure out the pricing on that as well.

John – When talking to customer, choice is really important.

Engineering Client – What is the Vision?  Can I have xCP and D2 on one repository?

John – It is a vision but need to the right experts.

Rohit – can do today but with certain constraints.

Summary Thoughts

Great candor between the participants and real passion for “What’s Next” from Rohit.  These sessions have always been tough as the folks who ask questions typically are very hands-on and trying to influence the executives to modify the products.  This happened all the way back in Miami in 1996 during the first Momentum when they beat up John Newton about Auto Render.  (what would later become Document Transformation Services).

I thought the team handled the questions well and most of the participants I talked to afterwards were happy to see the dialog despite not always hearing the answer they wanted.

Let me know your thoughts below.

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