EMC adds Web 2.0 features to its content platform

FRAMINGHAM — EMC Corp. is upgrading its Documentum enterprise content management platform with several Web 2.0 tools and a software server designed to improve performance of "mass-volume applications," including archiving and transactional content systems.

The Version 6.5 release of EMC Documentum, announced Tuesday, features four new add-ons, including a Web page builder; a rich media interface for reviewing, annotating and sharing rich media files; a personalized client, giving users quick access to frequently used content; and new team workspaces.

EMC also unveiled its Documentum High-Volume Server, which it says offers "high-speed ingestion, batch processing [and a] lightweight footprint for metadata and data portioning," technologies designed to keep high-volume applications running smoothly.

EMC is just the latest vendor to hop on the Web 2.0 bandwagon, taking advantage of a trend in which businesses are using more interactive collaboration tools delivered over Web interfaces. Cisco, Microsoft, IBM and a raft of start-ups have charged into the Web 2.0 market as well.

With the success of social networking sites geared toward consumers, such as Facebook, Flickr and Del.icio.us, similar tools are trickling into the enterprise, notes Whitney Tidmarsh, vice president of marketing for content management.

"The appeal of those tools is pretty self-evident. It's just a great way to interact with people," Tidmarsh says. "I think IT has been cautious and to some degree fearful about what bringing social networking tools in to the enterprise might mean from a security and volume perspective."

The new Web 2.0 add-ons for Documentum will be available either for free or for a "nominal" fee that EMC did not disclose. Any charge would be in addition to that for the base platform. For 100 users, businesses can expect packages to start at $25,000 to $50,000, Tidmarsh says. A global customer with 100,000 employees could easily pay millions of dollars, she says.

The Web 2.0 add-ons include Documentum CenterStage Essentials, which features shared team workspaces and "guided search." EMC is giving customers the option of searching documents by keywords, authors, format type and other categories, similar to the genre- or album-based search capability of iTunes.

CenterStage will be available as a free online beta next month and will be generally available by the end of the year, according to Tidmarsh.

The other new Documentum products will start shipping July 31.

Media WorkSpace, another new item, will be available at no extra charge to customers who have a license for Documentum Digital Asset Manager, which uses a Web-based interface to manage digital content like product images, streaming video, logos, flash animations and presentations.

Media WorkSpace gives users a "highly personalized, dynamic and familiar way to view, find compare, annotate, review and share rich media assets," EMC states.

The final two new releases, Web Publish Page Builder and My Documentum, will both require an extra payment in addition to regular Documentum license fees. The Page Builder tool is an Adobe Flex-based Web authoring interface that gives nontechnical business users the ability to create attractive Web pages, EMC says.

My Documentum integrates Documentum with programs like Microsoft Outlook and Windows Explorer, "providing users with immediate access to the latest versions of content they use most often as well as allowing them to access and work on documents when they are not connected to the server," according to EMC.

This story, "EMC adds Web 2.0 features to its content platform" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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