Wednesday, 17 February 2010

EMC and FatWire partner for Web Experience Management

I picked up on this yesterday via CMS Wire, you can see Barb Moshers article here: "EMC replaces their WCM with FatWires Web Experience Management"

EMC's press release is here:
EMC and FatWire Jointly Deliver Marketing Solutions for Web Experience and Brand Management

As we would expect of anything Documentum related, Pie has some cogent thoughts on the partnership on his blog here: "EMC admits it needs help, partners with FatWire". Pie also links to a blog posting be Lee at BMOC in his article.

So what do we think ? Well I have to concur with both Barb and Pie that this is largely a very positive thing. I have only worked with Documentum since 5.25, but back then Web Publisher was very much the red haired step child, starved of love and attention, never mind investment ! At the Open University when we were looking at how we would use Web Publisher, an un-named (for his own protection) consulting friend of ours called it a 'dog' and told us not to use it, even if we had paid for it.

Now to be fair, there have been more recent investment, and in the 6.0 to 6.5 releases Web Publisher has got better, but I still liked the title of Pie's piece - EMC admits it needs help. I know very little about the FatWire product to be honest, but I am aware that it has a good reputation. It certainly could not be anything other than an improvement over Web Publisher in many respects, but as it is also a move up from 'WCM" to 'WEM' it brings many new features such as integrated analytics.

Today EMC and FatWire held a webinar to flesh out a little of the detail in the press release and to show a demo of the FatWire product dragging in content from a Documentum repository, and I got to ask some questions of the panel, most of which were answered by Peggy Ringhausen, Senior Product Manager for WCM at EMC.

First I asked Peggy how far the relationship with FatWire goes with respect to deprecating Web Publisher. Peggy confirmed that the long term view is to move Documentum WCM to FatWire as the 'EMC Documentum Web Experience Management solution'. There is no end of life date for Web Publisher yet, and she noted that it will probably take around 3 years to end of life the old product line.

The current integration between FatWire and the Documentum repository is one way, with the Documentum content being the 'master copy' which can be 'shared' to the FatWire repository. This appeared to be seamless in the demo. Loren Weinberg of FatWire noted in response to a question that metadata is synchronised as well as the content item, and that synchronisation can be automatic (i.e. master content in Documentum is edited, then a copy is automatically moved to FatWire) or it can trigger a workflow so that FatWire content managers can make a decision on which asset to use.

Coming later this year as part of the move to integrate Documentum's Digital Asset Management platform underneath FatWire will be full bi-directional synchronization. This would allow UGC from a FatWire site to be archived in Documentum, or whole web sites to be archived for legal compliance reasons. Loren also called out the joint research efforts to be undertaken as the partnership moves forward.

All in all it was a useful webinar, and at some point the recording should appear on the EMC On-Demand Events page.

Why did EMC just not buy FatWire ? Well there is no need to make such an acquisition even if you can afford it, when a good partnership will suffice and as Pie noted in his article, its a good thing to seperate the content application from the content management platform. FatWire is free to develop and extend its platform at its own rate, with no dependencies on the rate at which EMC can develop the base underlying platform. However I do wonder that if at some point you could use FatWire without the need for the seperate FatWire repository that you need right now?

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