Software // Information Management
Commentary
11/28/2007
11:13 AM
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Oracle Hasn't Wasted Time on ECM Middleware

In the wake of Oracle's acquisition of Stellent, enterprise content management (ECM) was firmly on the agenda at Oracle OpenWorld. Or rather, Fusion Middleware was firmly on the agenda, and ECM was discussed as an integral part of it... Stellent the brand is no longer. The acquired functionality has already been repositioned and in some cases rearchitected as a set of services...

It was easy to get lost in the maelstrom that was Oracle OpenWorld. With more than 45,000 visitors, it takes over San Francisco each year. Its "appreciation" parties are legendary - this year three simultaneous stages featuring Billy Joel, Stevie Nicks, and Lenny Kravits - and made it clear (as if it were necessary) that Oracle is an industry giant.

In the wake of Oracle's acquisition of Stellent, enterprise content management (ECM) was firmly on the agenda. Or rather Fusion Middleware was firmly on the agenda, and ECM was discussed as an integral part of it. The Stellent acquisition was very different from the (admittedly much larger) acquisitions of Siebel and PeopleSoft, as they have continued as separate stand-alone business groups and products (albeit now running on the same middleware and platforms). Stellent the brand is no longer. The acquired functionality has already been repositioned and in some cases rearchitected as a set of services that coexist with other standard functions such identity management, security, integration, and BPEL.What has also changed is that ECM within Oracle has now been logically separated into three approaches: UCM (Universal Content Manager - core ECM and WCM), URM (Universal Records Manager) and IPM (Imaging and Process Management). This somewhat follows Stellent's own original product structure, but has been fleshed out a bit further, with for example IPM ported to Java and now employing the Oracle Content DB repository (better suited to very large volumes and archiving needs). The DRM technology that Stellent had acquired from Sealed Media has now been rebranded IRM (Information Rights Management) and seems to be finding a welcome reception elsewhere in the middleware stack. CMS Watch will of course be examining and detailing these changes in much more detail in the updated ECM Suites Report, but suffice it to say Oracle has not been slow out of the blocks in repurposing the Stellent assets.

For me the big takeaway is that the old story that "ECM is moving to the infrastructure" is now becoming more of a reality. And it is a move that has huge implications for the rest of the ECM market, a move that is being followed by IBM and responded to by EMC, and in their own way Microsoft. Without doubt 2008 is going to be another year of change for ECM, with growth and innovation driven by the huge database vendors - a good thing, since although we have seen plenty of change in the industry, we have seen precious little innovation in recent years.

Oh and by the way, I was asleep by 8:30pm (age and time difference) and gave my ticket to the party away. Unfortunately I gave it to somebody who rather unnecessarily spent 30 minutes the next day telling me how amazing the festivities were...

Alan Pelz-Sharpe is a principal analyst at CMS Watch. Write him at aps@cmswatch.comIn the wake of Oracle's acquisition of Stellent, enterprise content management (ECM) was firmly on the agenda at Oracle OpenWorld. Or rather, Fusion Middleware was firmly on the agenda, and ECM was discussed as an integral part of it... Stellent the brand is no longer. The acquired functionality has already been repositioned and in some cases rearchitected as a set of services...

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