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7/29/2002
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Documentum To Release Collaborative Tools

The content-management vendor hopes to meet the growing demand for collaborative environments designed to work with content.

Content and collaboration are becoming increasingly intimate bedfellows, but one of the key players in content management--Documentum Inc.--has been absent on that front. Until now. The provider of corporate content-management systems unveiled plans Monday for two products that will create more seamless access to collaborative capabilities when working with content stored in a Documentum repository.

Team Center is a packaged application that will let customers deploy a collaborative environment designed specifically for use with Documentum's core content-management software. Collaboration Services will make it possible to access those collaborative capabilities within enterprise applications by exposing them via Web services or through an accompanying set of APIs. Team Center will be available by the end of September for $200 per seat. Collaboration Services is slated to ship early next year, and pricing has not been determined.

The move is an acknowledgment by Documentum that collaboration has become integral to the process of working with the unstructured data stored in content repositories that's connected to the structured data accessed through enterprise apps, CEO Dave DeWalt says. "We really see collaboration as the next set of services that content-management vendors will need to provide," he says.

The new offerings are an effort to catch up with the competition, Delphi Group analyst Hadley Reynolds says. Documentum, he says, has been perceived as weak in creating collaborative-content tools, especially in comparison with innovators such as OpenText, NextPage, and Groove Networks. Reynolds says that until now, collaboration simply was "not in Documentum's DNA." But he also says that existing customers will benefit from not having to deal with third-party collaboration vendors and training employees on additional user interfaces. Says Reynolds, "This will be well-received by their own customer base."

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