Two document management specialists, Mark Innes, managing Director, Documentum Australia and Christopher Lynch, managing Director, Interwoven Australia talk about their business strategies.
Documentum provides enterprise content management solutions as part of the information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy proposed by EMC Corporation.
Innes: Does your offering really help companies deal with compliance issues?
Lynch: Compliance means different things to different organisations, but in the area of managing e-mail, documents, and records in a seamless, centralised manner where you can easily capture, manage, and retrieve information, the answer is yes.
Lynch: What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
Innes: Quite simply, to continue EMC Documentum's market leadership in the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) space by being the only solution provider who can truly meet and deliver an organisation's enterprise information management requirements. We intend to do this by:
- Continuing to attract the best available talent in the market
- Working closely with our customers in delivering their information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy
- Raising the bar with our solution set and superior functionality
- Continuing to identify complimentary solutions and partners to provide unique customer value.
Innes: Interwoven doesn't have a business process management offering -- and your basic product has limited workflow capabilities. With customers needing to automate processes, will you be able to meet their demands to automate processes?
Lynch: Business process workflow solutions are indeed incorporated into our products. The WorkSite MP product has a workflow engine built into the product, at no charge. This workflow engine provides adhoc and detailed workflow capabilities, which is fine for most organisations.
Lynch: We have seen that you have had some staff turnover recently, is this due to the integration of EMC with Documentum?
Innes: EMC and Documentum remain employers of choice and continue to add staff due to our solid track record and financial position, and leadership in providing solutions that enable customers to manage their data across the information lifecycle.
In fact, EMC recently reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2005, achieving double-digit, year-over-year revenue growth for the eighth consecutive quarter. Total consolidated revenue for the second quarter was US$2.34 billion, 19 percent higher than the US$1.97 billion reported for the second quarter of 2004. Net income for the quarter was US$293 million, 52 percent higher than the US$193 million reported for the second quarter of 2004. Earnings per diluted share was US$0.12, an increase from the US$0.08 per diluted share reported for the year-ago quarter.
Innes: Interwoven tends to repackage older technology into new offerings. Why have you done this with Web Change Management?
Lynch: I disagree. Our technology is based on new platforms such as .NET and SOA. Interwoven WorkSite MP 4.0 is based on the J2EE platform and development of this product started in early 2001 timeframe. With the Web Change Management solution, the name change was reflected in the fact that customers did not understand the term or solution. It is not old technology rebranded. We renamed this solution to Content Provisioning Solution and people get this.
Lynch: Has EMC overtaken your business? EMC is a hardware company, has the value of your solutions been devalued with software being given away?
Innes: No. As I said earlier, EMC is the leader in enabling customers to manage their data across the information lifecycle. Only EMC can do this because it offers customers a unique blend of software and hardware. Documentum plays a key role.
Interwoven is a global provider of content management software solutions for the enterprise, powering more than 2700 organisations worldwide, including Air France, Cisco Systems, General Electric, General Motors, and Yamaha.
Lynch: We have numerous customers accessing information inside and outside their organisations interfacing with their external customers. For example, a number of our legal customers are allowing accessing of critical documents to speed up the contract management process while delivering greater service to their clients.
Lynch: Documentum has traditionally been strong in the financial service industry [FSI] and health sectors, what other sectors are you looking at?
Innes: Documentum has a strong presence across many vertical market sectors, not just FSI and health. No single vertical market represents a significant majority. Other vertical markets where we have a significant presence are government, process manufacturing (including oil, chemical, and mining), telecommunications, high tech, publishing, and retail.
Innes: Are your efforts on the local level to integrate Interwoven's recent purchases getting in the way of your ability to keep pace with market trends such as having a unified platform for content management?
Lynch: Not at all. Our customers have traditionally purchased solutions to address a specific business problem, whether this is for document management or Web content management. We are starting to see organisations look to integrate the various components together, mainly in the government sector, which we can address as part of unified SOA architecture.
Lynch: Documentum is known for document management [DM] solutions. What successes have you had on the Web content management side of the house?
Innes: Documentum has been the leader in defining ECM, so to claim we are only know for DM solutions is misleading. Web content management capabilities were released as part of our core functionality in 1998 and we have continued to expand the platform to encompass all areas of ECM.
Publishing of content to internal, external, and portal sites is a key part of many customers overall content management strategy and solutions. In fact, more than 1200 WCM customers, representing in excess of 500 of the Global 2000 use Documentum WCM to power their public sites, extranets, and intranets.
Innes: According to a 12 July report on Dow Jones, Interwoven issued an earnings warning and said five to 10 mid-sized deals failed to close in the second quarter. Can you address how the company is performing globally and in Australia, and why Interwoven is having such a hard time closing deals?
Lynch: Due to the greater level of US corporate compliance which Interwoven operates within, six international deals did slip as some of the details of these transactions were not finalised. Since that report was issued, however, these transactions have closed. Locally Interwoven is tracking well in its key verticals: legal, education, FSI, and government. Last quarter the company locally booked a number of large transactions including Spruson & Ferguson.Lynch: How real is your integration between your various solutions; for example, eRoom with your DM solution?
Innes: With Documentum 5.3, we introduced the industry's only true unified content management platform. A unified platform offers all key content services including process, content, and repository in a single platform. Other ECM solutions are loosely integrated solutions of separate repositories and services.
With the addition of collaboration and retention policy management to the core platform, 5.3 now offers this unified architecture. In specific regards to eRoom, an initial integration (eRoom Enterprise) was done within 90 days of its acquisition and has continued to be enhanced with each subsequent release.
Innes: Building on the last question, and since the company's profitability is in question, can Interwoven afford to keep investing in its products?
Lynch: The company, despite the slippage in deals, continues to operate profitably. The company has recorded four straight quarters of positive growth. On the question of investing in the solutions, we continue to invest in the products from a feature set and integration perspective. We have made specific moves with the opening of a development office in Bangalore, India, to accelerate our development efforts.
Lynch: How real is Information Lifecycle man-agement [ILM]? Is this a catchphrase that EMC has created which the rest of the industry has not embraced?
Innes: ILM is a philosophy that is embraced by our customers as well as industry analysts. In a report titled "ILM and ECM: The Confluence of Technology and Business", released in January 2004, Meta Group said: "In 2004 to 2006, IT organisations will increasingly connect the technical elements of storage management with the business requirements of content management . . . ECM applications provide the content knowledge to enable more intelligent and automated ILM."
Innes: Analyst reports have described Interwoven as being late to market and as still building-out an electronic content management platform. How can you focus on innovation when you are trying to get the basics right?
Lynch: Forrester, in its WCM Wave report [15 April, 2005], ranked Interwoven ahead of Documentum for External Web Site Solutions. This was based on the depth of the solution offering and our ability strategy, so the analysts view our position differently to yourselves.
Lynch: Are your customers really implementing ILM solutions?
Innes: Yes, case studies can be seen on the EMC Web site.
Innes: Interwoven relies on a bunch of partner integrations to meet critical needs related to enterprise content management, including partner offerings for integrating content. How do customers feel about needing to manage so many business relationships and different products to meet their electronic content management needs?
Lynch: I think we are talking about different things. Customers look to our partners to provide domain-level services expertise in tailoring the solution to their business. For example, Inform Systems [part of Alphawest], has a solid reputation in delivering additional services to the legal and financial services market on top of our product offerings. The customers welcome this as the SI understands their business and can deliver the right level of services to address their business requirements.
Lynch: Who do you think is going to win the NRL grand final?
Innes: Being a full-blooded Rugby Union supporter, I'm not all that familiar with League. But based on what I know, I would have to think the Broncos will take it over the Bulldogs this year.
Lynch: What type of car do you drive?
Innes: A Toyota V8 Landcruiser.
This article was first published in Technology & Business magazine.
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