I took the time last night to view the Oracle Executive Briefing on Oracle Content Management Strategy. This 88 minute marketing event was at times painful to slog through, but did provide some clues on Oracle’s new positioning for enterprise content management.
Positioning? Yes, positioning. I did not really see any solid new functionality from what was demonstrated to me at AIIM 2005 over a year ago. I think the positioning of Oracle Content DB and Oracle Records DB is a concerted effort by Oracle to distance themselves from the “collaboration” word. They are positioning these products as core infrastructure that leverages a clients current investment in the Oracle database.
The slides, demo, Analyst videos, and talk track throughout the webcast focused on these two add-on services layers on top of the Oracle 10g database. The way Rich Buchheim (By the way, Rich was a panelist on my AIIM Future of ECM session) described it:
“Content management out of the box (OOTB) for everybody in the organization along with a robust infrastructure that can support much deeper applications built by partners”
The OOTB capability is really focused on the most common business requirement (>70%) collaborative document creation and management…features according to Oracle, customers said they most need. But, they still are distancing themselves from the old moniker of “Collaboration Suite”.
Oracle included short vignettes from analysts Connie Moore from Forrester and Jeetu Patel from Doculabs. Connie stated that there are several reasons to put content in the database:
During the demonstrations the Oracle end user paradigm is based on using Windows Explorer and the “Oracle Drive” which must be deployed to the desktop rather than using the web browser as a primary interface. One feature that was nice was that advanced properties are accessible from Windows Explorer. This provides rich functionality including sharing set up and email notification which automatically grabs the URL and email addressed of the participants.
Records DB is used to establish the File Plan and the lifecycle management policies associated with the File Plan node. These properties/policies including lifecycle instructions can then be applied to a folder in Content DB. Oracle is making a point of saying all workflows interacting with Content DB and Records DB are BPEL workflows. The workflow is used to move through the milestones on the lifecycle.
The timing of this announcement is interesting. It looks like many of the same features available in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and the next version of Office 2007 are being announced and highlighted in these two products. I think Oracle is trying to trump Microsoft with a 2-3 month jump on releasing these two products. Although the strategy was announced and presented last week the following was on the website regarding pricing and availability:
“Oracle Content Database and Oracle Records Database are options for Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition. Both products are expected to be available within 60 days and pricing will be announced at or prior to availability. Additional information on Oracle Content Database can be found at http://oracle.com/database/contentdb.html. Additional information on Oracle Records Database can be found at http://oracle.com/database/recordsdb.html.”
The other interesting aspect of the webcast was that Tom Jenkins CEO from Open Text presented at the end of the program and talked about how Open Text intended to deepen the partnership with Oracle by leveraging Content DB as a repository for LiveLink. This is the very advice I have given to the other ECM vendors over the last year if they want to remain relevant 3-5 years from now. Don’t care which horse you pick (IBM, Microsoft, or Oracle) just pick one.
The following are links to resources related to these products”
White paper:Content Management for the Entire Enterprise (PDF, 166 KB)
Internet seminar: Managing Your Content in the Enterprise Database (18 min.)
Customer snapshots: Fiorde, M. Dias Branco, and Power Engineers
Video: Power Engineers Centralizes with Oracle Database (1 min.)
Launch webcast replay: Executive Briefing on Oracle Content Management Strategy (88 min.)
Press release: Oracle Announces Next-Generation Content Management Strategy (June 2006)
Press release: Industry Demonstrates Strong Support for Oracle Content Management Strategy (June 2006)
Press release: Oracle to Provide Infrastructure for OpenText Content Management Technology (June 2006)
InternetNews: Oracle Opens Content Management to The Masses (June 2006)
InfoWorld: Oracle unveils ‘content management for the masses’ (June 2006)
Internet seminar: Managing Electronic Records Securely in Oracle Database (15 min.)
Cohasset white paper: Managing Records Across the Enterprise (PDF, 836 KB)
Customer case study: Power Engineers