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12/13/2006
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Dashboard: Whither Content Management?

What's the latest direction of the enterprise content management market? That was the question mulled over during a keynote session at November's Gilbane Conference on Content Technologies.

With FileNet, Hummingbird and Stellent all snatched up in recent months, what's the latest direction of the enterprise content management (ECM) market?

Mulling over that question during a keynote session at November's Gilbane Conference on Content Technologies in Boston, four panelists all cited "integration with other applications" as important, but they disagreed on the right approach. Suggestions ranged from mashups to support for JCR (Java Content Repository) to Web services infrastructure.

Panelists also cited the growing importance of managing content delivery and customer interaction. "Everybody should have figured out how to manage content by now; the challenge lies in end-user experience," said Detlef Kamps, CEO of RedDot (a division of Open Text).

Indeed, customer experience is propelling new investments for features such as blogs and wikis, even if most enterprises haven't figured out how to manage content effectively. "Wikis are driving new expectations for user experience--to browse a Web site and make changes right there," said David Nelson-Gal, senior VP of engineering at Interwoven.

Discussing the recent mergers, the panel agreed the market increasingly has two camps. "I know the margin pressures, and absolutely: The industry is dividing between platform providers and solution providers," said Jared Spataro, a senior product manager at Microsoft and a former Open Text employee.

Sounds reasonable, but given the slow pace of integrating products and proving solutions, buyers should expect many vendors to straddle both camps for the foreseeable future. --Tony Byrne

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