Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: The Art of the Hybrid Cloud

Empired scopes hybrid cloud ECMS for Australian market

An enterprise content management system developed by Empired's New Zealand subsidiary, Intergen, will likely be offered on Azure.

Perth-based technology services company Empired is signalling a strategy shift for its cloud-based Cohesion enterprise content management system (ECMS).

Developed by New Zealand-based Intergen, which Empired acquired in October, Cohesion is one of three ECMS options on a non-mandatory all-of-government supply panel.

In New Zealand, Cohesion is hosted on the government's infrastructure-as-a-service platform, effectively making it a private cloud offering. In fact, Intergen chief executive Simon Bright said, delivering such a full multi-tenanted environment on SharePoint is "probably a world first".

Bright told ZDNet that Empired is now planning to offer Cohesion, which is built largely on Microsoft's SharePoint, in Australia. When that happens, however, it is likely to be deployed on Microsoft's Azure as a hybrid cloud service.

That architecture shift would allow organisations to store sensitive and confidential material within their own datacentres or private clouds while using compute power from the public cloud.

"We are doing work around what that would look like," Bright said, adding that in Australia, Cohesion won't just be targeting the government, but the commercial sector as well.

Bright said that while Cohesion was built primarily in SharePoint, it also uses third-party services, such as RecordPoint, to ensure that it meets the compliance requirements of New Zealand's Public Records Act.

It also includes tools to enable email collaboration and drag-and-drop functionality for file handling.

Last month, Intergen won its third government ECMS deal in New Zealand, when the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) inked a NZ$12 million, six-year contract to adopt Cohesion.

Deployment at MPI is now under way, with the system expected to go live in April, MPI's director of business technology and IS, Tracy Voice, said.

Another deployment, at New Zealand's Public Trust, is expected to go live in September.

Voice said MPI had reached a stage where it needed to refresh its document management capabilities and move towards enterprise content management. She added that the ministry had also just completed a rollout of Microsoft Office 2013.

The availability of collaboration tools within Cohesion was a major drawcard, she said. It also aligns with the government's cloud-first and common capabilities strategies.

Empired managing director Russell Baskerville said the MPI win cements the decision by Intergen management to commit substantial resources over three years in developing and positioning the Cohesion cloud service.

Announcing the MPI contract last month, Empired told the Australian Securities Exchange that such cloud-based services with proprietary intellectual property improve margins and build annuity-based recurring revenue.