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3/12/2008
08:20 AM
George Dearing
George Dearing
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Oracle: They Do So Much But Can They Do Everything?

It's always a challenge for something baked into an enterprise platform to be as competitive as the pure-play providers. And in most cases, if content management is the set of applications you're trying to incorporate, it can be even more daunting.

It's always a challenge for something baked into an enterprise platform to be as competitive as the pure-play providers. And in most cases, if content management is the set of applications you're trying to incorporate, it can be even more daunting.When I caught up with Oracle VP of Product Management Andy MacMillan, I really wanted to get his take on how Oracle intends to make enterprise content management easier to digest for enterprise customers.

MacMillan, a former Stellent executive, talked about Oracle's ECM strategy one year after it purchased the assets of Web content specialist Stellent, a company that typically went head-to-head with the likes of Interwoven, Vignette, and OpenText.

"Coming into Oracle, we always liked knowing mission-critical applications were at the center of everything Oracle does," said MacMillan.

"The last year has really been instrumental for Oracle as we've continued to put the pieces of our content management infrastructure in place. With the Stellent acquisition, we not only have capabilities that complement each other, we have a complete ECM platform," said MacMillan.

MacMillan told InformationWeek that all of Stellent's functionality is now part of Oracle's Universal Content Management(UCM), a portfolio that includes web content management (WCM),document management and digital asset management(DAM).

And that's something that should pay dividends quickly, as many enterprise clients are eager to have an integrated stack to manage structured and unstructured content.

MacMillan added that web content management is one area where the larger vendors have a distinct advantage.

"In the Web content management(WCM)space, there's a shift going on from a rules-driven approach to more personalization. The large middleware players like Oracle have an advantage here. We already handle the data-rich applications that enable the way multichannel solutions are delivered," added MacMillan.

MacMillan pitched Oracle's ECM approach as a win-win for users and IT groups because customers now have the ability to tie together their social computing initiatives with traditional enterprise mainstays like authentication and records management.

"The challenge for a lot of organizations is integrating their Web 2.0 initiatives with things like identity management or other mission-critical applications. Companies can't have services running on an employee's PC-based server. Content across the enterprise not only must meet compliance requirements, it needs to scale and be accessible regardless of time, place, or device," said MacMillan.

Oracle has proven its enterprise-class capabilities in the past, now let's see if it can make ECM as bulletproof as its other enterprise applications.

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