New Leap Platform & Documentum 7.3 by DELL EMC
The Dell EMC Enterprise Content Division (ECD), which is being acquired by OpenText, made a few announcements during its customer event Momentum, in Barcelona. ECD introduced the Dell EMC LEAP Platform, which is a content management platform featuring a deep set of enterprise-grade content services, Documentum 7.3, which is a new version of its enterprise content management repository, and another new version of InfoArchive, Version 4.2.
Rohit Ghai, President of Dell EMC Enterprise Content Division, opened his keynote speech at the conference by using mountaineering metaphors. He stated that the division had seen a need to go beyond “expeditionary” climbing to a more agile “alpine” approach; to “go beyond” enterprise content management to agile, partly cloud-based enterprise information management. Ghai added "a period of introspection in the EMC enterprise content division had revealed a need for cognitive analytics in the product suite and pointed to a need to expand the division’s team. It was this process that led to the upcoming ownership by Waterloo, Ontario-based OpenText and not a desire to move to Canada in the wake of the forthcoming US presidential election." In addition, Savinay Berry, Head of Product Management, Design and Business Development for LEAP and Documentum at Dell EMC, said in a media and analyst conference at the event: “Analytics has been our Achilles’ heel and OpenText has been doing interesting things there.”
LEAP was first announced at the EMC World Conference in Las Vegas as a suite of purpose-built, cloud-native apps that deliver enterprise-grade content management capabilities. combined with an intuitive user experience for diverse business use cases. With newly announced upgrades, Dell EMC aims to simplify app development and enable enterprise content management services in the cloud. The company claims that the new platform will extend value and capabilities of the Dell EMC Documentum content management family by addressing use cases better suited to the cloud and outside the firewall.
The LEAP platform, which is available now, provides a flexible micro-service architecture and easily consumable REST APIs that can integrate with existing systems requiring content services or new content applications, including:
LEAP Content Service enables customers to build enterprise content applications in the cloud with capabilities such as file uploads/downloads, versioning, folders, metadata attributes, content transformation, workflow processes and enterprise search. The Content Service also includes the administration APIs needed to run applications, including authentication, user, and role management.
LEAP Capture Service provides capture capabilities such as real-time automatic document classification and data extraction, image enhancement/processing, barcode recognition, and full-text searchable PDF creation. There is no need to set up any infrastructure as all is delivered through a standard RESTful interface.
LEAP Case Service powers the integration of the LEAP Courier application with LOB applications, ECM repositories, and systems of record. Future instances will expand case management beyond LEAP Courier to support all LEAP apps.
Hybrid Layer connects the LEAP apps and any other apps built on top of the platform to on-premises repositories and applications. It is designed to enable users to manage their content in place instead of migrating content to cloud repositories.
ECD also announced the general availability of two content management apps: LEAP Focus, which allows users to read and review content on mobile phones, and LEAP Express, designed to support digital approval workflows:
LEAP Focus is designed to improve the document consumption experience on mobile devices. With this app, the company aims to address to the frustration of "pinch-to-zoom" experience as it automatically reformats the document based on selected font size for the device as well as reduces the requirement to view documents on non-mobile devices. Focus works with documents in any repository including, Documentum, Google drive, Box and others.
LEAP Express is designed to allow browsing, access, search and approval of all content, no matter where it lives. The app captivates the latest design paradigms and security features such as touch ID. For now, the company recommends that Express works "better together" with D2, but a connection to other repositories in the future is on the company’s agenda.
One of the five EMC-authored apps were announced in conjunction with LEAP during the EMC World Conference was the LEAP Concert app, which enables the creation of a wide variety of documents in a collaborative but controlled environment. ECD just unveiled the Beta program for that. With LEAP Concert, Project owners can protect existing content, only allowing users to modify the individual sections that have been assigned to them and by approving all changes.
The company stressed that the EMC LEAP apps would be interoperable with existing content repositories, but engineered to work “better together” with the content management platform Documentum, which is one of the most widely used ECM platforms in the world. Speaking of which, ECD also just announced the general availability of the latest version of the Dell EMC Documentum Platform. The latest version, Documentum 7.3, is claimed to significantly reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and time associated with upgrades by creating easier delivery and deployment of new applications and enabling a cloud-first strategy.
Documentum 7.3 is focused on five key aspects to help reduce TCO:
Open source and cloud support
Continuous deployment and reduced downtime
Improved system performance and smaller footprint
Extending investment value
Last May, during the EMC World Conference in Las Vegas, ECD President Rohit Ghai discussed expected upgrade time and TCO savings based on early expectations for Documentum 7.3 and predicted reductions for infrastructure, database licensing, and upgrade efforts. Since then, the company has been closely working with the customers and experts in an effort to demonstrate the truth of the significant cost savings and benefits of adopting Documentum 7.3. Finally, today ECD revealed the key finding that “the new release not only meets the goals set for time and TCO savings but surpasses expectations in two out of three areas: 30-40% infrastructure savings (previously 30-40%); 70-80% database savings (previously 60-70%); and 30-75% upgrade time savings (previously 30-40%).”
Fred Baaij, IT Chapter Lead Archiving at ING Bank Netherlands, said: “As an existing ECD [enterprise content division] customer, we have always appreciated the power and breadth of Documentum, but while beta testing Documentum 7.3, we were pleasantly surprised to see the potential for significant cost and time savings.”
I would say that the most important feature of the new release is new open source server stack functionality, including Linux OS (Ubuntu, CentOS) and PostgreSQL database as it means that the open source availability can dramatically reduce the potential costs of ECM solutions, compared to the commercial software licensing such as Microsoft and Oracle. In order to provide customers access to a variety of cloud storage options, the platform will support cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platforms, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft Azure.
All 18 products within the Documentum family are now certified to work with the latest version meaning the upgrade should be seamless. Documentum 7.3 is in beta now and is expected to be generally available by the end of the year.
The final announcement was the new version of InfoArchive, Version 4.2, although the company announced Version 4.1 just last month. InfoArchive is an application agnostic archive product suite that preserves the value of enterprise information all the while helping customers accelerate their journey to the 3rd Platform of IT. The new version supports large-scale application retirement, optimization of production environments and facilitates application data integration and reuse, meaning the better capabilities for search and export for data managed by the InfoArchive platform. The search and export aspects of 4.2 aid in analytics, enabling customers to find and export the data they need for a given task.
Documentum has been giving up its industry leading position under the shadow of EMC in recent years, while OpenText has been generating the revenue growth through its acquisition strategy. With these new product upgrade announcements, it is now obvious that OpenText will keep enhancing what they have acquired. My question: “Is it only a matter of time for OpenText to take a leader position in the ECM space?”