EMC World 2016 – Day 2 – ECD Roadmap and Vision

A two hour ECD Roadmap session was the bulk of the second day as the morning was partner meeting and other EMC presentations.  This post will present our thoughts on the roadmap.

Overall Thoughts

As we mentioned last year, the Roadmap presentations have evolved to be a lot more short-term focused.  Most items have “this quarter, this year and future” designations rather than a 1, 2 or 3 year plan.  We would say that the existing products are being maintained and modified slightly for a new release every year without any “end of life” or plans to be replaced with a new product.

As we have done in the past, we will try to compare last year’s plans with this year’s announcements.

Leap Roadmap

Newest offering is Leap, which is Project Horizon’s official name.  See our thoughts from Rohit’s Keynote as well as from the Leap Roadmap and Vision presentation yesterday.

Project Horizon/Leap is built on the EMC architecture that includes Cloud Foundry, Pivotal as well as hosting with the EMC Cloud as a Software as a Service (SAAS) application available as public cloud only.  From the demonstrations (all done live), ECD has put effort into building out the first two applications with good starts on all five which include:

  • Courier – Content Exchange without the Chaos
  • Snap – Enterprise-class capture made for everyone
  • Concert – Collaborative document authoring with Control
  • Express – Anywhere, anytime access to your content
  • Focus – Document reader designed for mobile

Last year – Rohit described Project Horizon as:

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).

Last year Rohit had talked about solutions on Project Horizon and specifically mentioned Life Sciences (currently very D2) – I even saw a slide that had D2 running on the Project Horizon repository.  That goal has been moved to more of a coordination between a new Leap repository and existing Documentum repositories.  Supplier Exchange was a solution from the Utility group that was developed from scratch on Horizon/Leap.

Roadmaps for Leap:

  • Courier – Content Exchange
    • Now – Configuration for use cases, review and approval workflow, messaging and basic API
    • Next – (end of year) – Localization, Snap Integration, Docusign Integration, Extended API
    • Future – Content Intelligence, Advanced Workflow, Customizable email messages, Co-branding and white-labeling, Template Lifecycle management
  • Snap – Content Capture (Captiva)
    • Now – Real-time Auto Recognition, Export to multiple repositories, Template Design Service
    • Next – (end of year) – Mobile Client, REST API, Mac Support, Template Community
    • Future – Machine Learning for Document Recognition and Template Design, Web Designer
  • Concert – Collaboration (in development)
    • Next – (end of year) – Section based assignment, MS Word Support, In Document Workflow, Companion Mobile App, Document History
    • Future – Document template, Section library, Redaction, Real-time collaboration
  • Express – Access to Content (in development – Browser, iOS and Android )
    • Next – (end of year) – Review and Approve Tasks, Browse and Search Content, View Task and Doc Properties, Support for D2
    • Future – App Development Kit, Repository Agnostic, Intelligent Search
  • Focus – Mobile Document Reader (in development – iOS Only)
    • Next – (end of year) – View word on iOS, Reply – Reject – Accept Comments, Email or Cloud repositories, Documentum integration
    • Future – Android support, PDF support, Web experience
  • Leap Platform (in development)
    • Next – (end of year) – Developer Portal, Capture Service, Content Service
    • Future – Workflow Service, Common Gateway for Repositories

Lots of detail for Leap Security and Enterprise Readiness.  Also a strong commitment to a DocuSign integration.  Glad that ECD is not trying to compete as DocuSign is the dominate player.  There will be a Loyalty Tier for existing clients to get exposure to Courier and Snap.  Pricing will play a big part in determining the success of Leap.

Courier Pricing ($25/user/month)

  • Up to 500 open exchanges
  • Unlimited external users
  • API for integration
  • Export Files
  • Separate Approver and Contributor views
  • Audit and Tracking

There is an “Ultimate” package that allows more than 500 exchanges along with customer success manager and phone support along with Professional Services.

Snap Pricing Essentials ($75/user/month)

  • Up to 100K pages per year
  • Searchable PDF’s, Barcodes, repository export
  • Manual classification and extraction
  • Form & Doctype Design Services
  • Community Support

Snap Pricing Plus ($150/user/month)

  • Up to 1 M pages per year
  • All Essential features
  • Real-time advanced recognition including automatic classification and data extraction
  • 10 Templates designed for you as a service
  • Phone Support

Snap Pricing Ultimate (Custom quote/user/month)

  • More than 1 M pages per year
  • All features of Plus
  • Designated Customer Success Manager
  • Custom number of templates designed for you per year
  • Professional services available for additional fee

Premium support options available for additional fees.

Overall, I was impressed with the demos.  The design seems very clean and thought out.  Adding capabilities to Documentum and connectivity with Webtop, D2, xCP and Captiva will be appreciated by clients that don’t want to be forced to move.  Some concerns about the underlying technologies, particularly the Cloud Foundry/Pivotal and xDB components and potential impact of a Documentum sale by EMC on those components and hosting options.  Concerns will play out over the next 6 months.

Captiva Capture

Key themes this year for Captiva included:

  • SaaS and hybrid-cloud based distributed capture
  • Improved mobile capture
  • Next-gen classification and extraction
  • Higher operator productivity
  • Improved deployment automation

Snap (from Leap) will work with their own capture services to feed the Captiva Server (that would then feed Documentum as it does today).  Most of the roadmap is presented under the Snap above.

When compared to last year’s roadmap, Captiva roadmap included:

  • Mobile SDK 2.0 (Committed Q2 2015) – Automating the capture as much as possible. Automating the taking of the picture and new UI to assist getting the highest quality image. Image Enhancements and a Customizable UI.
  • Captiva Titanium (Targeted Q2 2016) – Completion Enhancements including rubber band, Combo box tool, print, batch selection as well as Designer Enhancements
  • Mobile SDK Diamond (Targeted Q4 2016) – continued enhancements to the Mobile SDK.

We would say that all of the above moved to the Leap platform.

D2 Roadmap

Key themes for this year for D2 included:

  • Ease of Deployment/Reduced Cost of Ownership (Docker, REST, etc)
  • Java-free client
  • Cloud Connectivity (Leap Applications)
  • Ongoing UI and Config Enhancements
  • Application Management

The one that should stand out to readers above is the Java-free client.  For long-time readers, the Java Component of a Documentum browser application would allow users to check-out a document to the local machine and, when the document had been changed, could quickly access the file from the checked-out location with a simple click of the check-in button.

While the Java component worked well in concept, IT and users both struggled as keeping it current on browsers was very difficult and often causes security concerns.  (typically you don’t want a website to be able to look at your files).  See our thoughts from the D2 4.0 Roadmap Presentation during Momentum 2012.   At the time, the crowd actually applauded when UCF was announced to be dropped but quickly turned when it was announced that D2 would include a new Java applet.

We applaud ECD for making the move to remove the applet.  In the big picture, it just isn’t worth the IT overhead to administer a Java applet for authors and they can be easily trained to browse or drag and drop the file to check in.  See an example of the check-in functionality in our learning zone.  Also, we just did blog on Office 365 that allows check-in and check-out without the download required.  Informal discussion mentioned that Office 365 integration might be included in the future.

Demo included both D2 SharePoint Webparts, D2 as well as Leap Express and back to D2.

Roadmap Items

D2 4.5 “Hawk”

  • Improved content discovery via facets
  • Multi-document support in workflows
  • Improved content transfer
  • Rest API to extend
  • Solution Packaging

D2 “Goblin” (Q4 2016)

  • Java-free client
  • Leap Express Mobile Support
  • Docker Support

Future Items were a little too vauge to post in a roadmap presentation.

Overall, we would say that D2, like Webtop, has moved into a stabilization period with minimal updates but is the foundation of many of the different solutions from ECD.  D2 will not be replacing Webtop or be replaced with Leap.  For both Webtop and D2, clients should look to leap for certain users.  We do have some issues with the underlying components and interface design of D2 as you can review in our Content Library Use Case based on one client that continues to struggle with D2.  In fairness, we do often leverage our own products, HPI or within our compliance solution so we are slightly biased here.  See upcoming comparisons of the two products over the next few weeks.

Webtop Roadmap

Key themes for this year for Webtop included:

  • Continuous Improvement
  • Security Focus
  • Stack Alignment and Clarification
  • Java-free Content Transfer

We have already mentioned the Java-free content transfer being a welcome addition for clients (particularly IT).

Roadmap Items

Webtop 6.8.1

  • Align with content server
  • Security
  • Performance enhancements (no detail)

eRoom was also presented but won’t share here

Webtop “Aragorn” (Q3 2016)

  • New content transfer mechanism
  • Chrome and Edge Support
  • CRD Refresh

No futures were presented as Webtop is clearly in support mode.  Clients should consider alternatives moving forward.

Documentum Connectors

ECD will be support D2 configurations for My Documentum for Outlook, My Documentum for Desktop as well as the Documentum Connector for Sharepoint

Documentum Connector for SharePoint (Recent)

  • Advanced D2 configuration support
  • Check out to MS SharePoint
  • Check in a new file as a new version
  • UCF Replacement Option (Java-free client)

Documentum Connector for Sharepoint (Phoenix) Q4/2016

  • D2 Workflow (Advanced)
  • Capture SharePoint Audit Trail
  • Improved Federated Search
  • Docker

Documentum Connector For SharePoint (Futures)

  • D2 Recycle Bin
  • xCP

Documentum Platform 7.3

We presented this on the first day with Patrick and Tara – see full post. Keys include:

  • Stateless containers to make upgrades faster with Docker
  • Lower Cost of Ownership with Open Source stack and Simship
  • More REST Services and CMIS 1.1
  • Better together with Leap

When compared to last year’s roadmap, Documentum roadmap last year stated:

Bedrock – Targeted Q1 2016

  • Enhanced Trust and Security
  • Facilitated Upgrades/Scalability/TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)
  • Improved Content management – REST for Value Office Services
  • Certifications (PostGres Database, SQL server Express Support for non-production, Coud Foundry and Docker Support)

Bedrock has slipped 3 quarters to 4th quarter of this year.

In thinking (and talking to clients) about the Documentum platform, we would say the presentation, as well as the areas above might miss a “make the platform better” component but most were happy with a stability component.  In comparing with other ECM tools or previous roadmaps (2013 when Documentum 7 was released comes to mind), 3 years after 7.x was released, 7.3 announcement seems very minor with still no Documentum 8 on the roadmap.  We would state that the platform is in a support mode with new effort focused on Leap and InfoArchive.  For example, we would have loved to have seen a roadmap on xPlore updates (currently on Lucene 4.0 – Lucene 6.0 has been released and has several advantages and improvements.)

xCP

xCP 2.3 (Moonbow – Q3 2016)

  • Cabinets, Documentum Permissions
  • Java-free Content Transfer
  • New Border and Accordion Layouts
  • New editable data grid
  • Enhanced result list and button widget
  • DQL query with preview

Like Webtop and D2, we are not seeing much evolving with xCP with efforts on Leap.

Summary

In this presentation ECD continued with the trend of the past few years of posting release dates and features that were within reach.  Some quick thoughts:

  • Again, I liked the “lightning round” presentations of roadmaps, demos and questions that let us get a feel for the product managers as well as their products.
  • I liked the cadence of 1+ year out roadmaps. Priorities change and spending time predicting what things will look like 2+ years from now can be a waste of time.
  • Investment this year is going to Leap with just maintenance mode for Webtop, D2 and xCP and Documentum itself.

While last year we talked about Project Horizon having the potential to replace Documentum as the newer repository, ECD has focused on a new repository for Leap with connectivity to Documentum.  The approach makes sense as clients:

  • Don’t want to be forced to upgrade, replace or lose functionality.
  • Are not all sold on the cloud or multi-tenant approach.

Clients should look to stabilize their Documentum, Webtop, D2 or xCP interfaces while experimenting with Leap.

Let us know your thoughts below.

4 thoughts on “EMC World 2016 – Day 2 – ECD Roadmap and Vision

  1. Hey Dave,

    Thanks as always for the write-up. One small correction – Express supports browser enabled (desktop/web), iOS and Android devices.

    The confusion I think came across because the iOS support comes through a native iOS app, while the Android one is a hybrid approach.

    A.

  2. Thanks for the write up Dave. Your summaries and analysis is very valuable to those of us who can’t always attend the conference.

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