Paul Maritz keynote

May 10, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Posted in EMCWorld | Leave a comment
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Notes from Paul Maritz vmware keynote

2 types of ‘journey’ happening
IT journey
User journey. Moving from device-centric to infomation centric experience

Focussing on IT journey in this session.

CFO/CIOs are asking questions of IT
Why?
Too complex !!!
Too brittle and expensive
Hard to measure
Need to Free up funds for app development (most IT budget goes on Maintenance and operations, not value-add like new app development)

Want and should be Measuring

Raised the idea of a ‘Rate card’, it is becoming possible to compare your metrics against industry standards (how much does it cost to provision a VM, provision GB of storage , etc)

Products in the VMWare stack to assist infrastructure layer:
VSphere
vMotion Apps + edge functions (edge = firewalls, antivirus, etc needed to make app work)
VcloudDirector, policies, metrics, self service
New product (no name mentioned) Custom analytics reporting, statistical based

Orgs are starting with private cloud and then moving to Hybrid model, this implies need for:
consistent interfaces, common platform.
They have some large Partners lined up with promise of 25 data centres (by end of year?)
Gives customers comfort

Transformation of apps
– developer led revolt against complexity (eg EJB) rails , django,etc
let the hardware sweat
– paas
– new data paradigms eg noSQL, big data

Cloudfoundry released 2 weeks ago

An open source PaaS
– framework, initially Spring, Grails, rails
– data layers
– cloud binding

Enduser access:
Horizon and MVP

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EMC World – Introducing Captiva 6.5

May 10, 2011 at 3:32 am | Posted in Momentum | 1 Comment
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This is my notes from Robert Frey’s Introducing Captiva 6.5. A number of people I spoke to today and yesterday were surprised that I was interested in Captiva. It’s probably true that ECM and its sexier cousin, Case Management, have the wider and possibly more interesting problems to solve. However capture projects have some compelling benefits too namely that they have the potential for short payback periods. Also many interesting content management projects don’t work without capture (we are still a very paper-based world).

  • 6.5 was released in March this year
  • The key focus was on Performance and Intelligence:
    • ‘Headline’ stats of 10M pages per day
    • Better (ie more automatic) deployment of certain features
    • Global capture

Performance

  • Undertook benchmarking
  • Used a simple 10 step process
  • Used multiple clients to ensure client requests were not the bottleneck
  • ‘Hammered’ Captiva server – identified and eliminated bottlenecks
  • Stressed that this is indicative only as performance depends on a number of variables ‘your mileage may vary’
  • There is a performance tuning guide on Powerlink
  • Key performance metric is number of tasks not number of pages
  • performance guide shows how to calculate tasks from the modules you have configured for your process
  • A sizing guide can help you turn this information into concrete capacity recommendations
  • Also some specific support for Documentum High Volume server e.g. can create Lightweight Sysobjects

Production Auto Learning

  • Applicable to Structure and Semi-Structured documents
  • 2 new modules for use in processes:
    • Dispatcher Collector
    • Dispatcher Supervisor
  • Use Case is as follows:
    • You have a new document type (say a new type of supplier sending you invoices)
    • This will exit from the classification stage as an exception that must be handled manually
    • Prior to 6.5 you would need a process to manually create the new template, test and release to production
    • Dispatcher Collector module ‘watches’ the operator during the manual classification stage and tries to create a new template based on the operator’s actions
    • new template is passed to the Dispatcher Supervisor, a UI step that allows a supervisor to view and approve the new template and if required release into production
  • Caveat: this won’t cover every single situation but it is another tool that can be used to reduce manual intervention.
    InputAccel Capture Flow Designer

  • A graphical design tool to replace the previous process designer very much in the xCP mould
  • Used drag and drop to build the process
  • Can drop down to code if necessary
  • Will be the strategic development tool going forward
  • Useful routing functionality to make it easy to send a processed document to different operators depending on e.g. language in the doc or security clearance required.
  • No extra charge – bundled with InputAccel
  • Image converter module replaces Image generator

Globalisation

  • Handles Asian languages
  • recognises around 130 languages

    Migration to 6.5

  • 5.3 life has been extended
  • 5.3sp3 and sp4 can be upgraded directly to 6.5
  • previous versions should upgrade to 5.3sp4 first
    Capture OnDemand

  • Rick Devenutti announced EMC OnDemand today
  • Captiva one of the products in the first launch
  • Take away the pain of system management -> can now concentrate on developing and supporting the business proceses
  • Should allow customers to innovate and differentiate faster (instead of dealing with system management problems)

EMC World 1

May 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Momentum | Leave a comment
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Just finished breakfast at EMC World so it’s time to think about the week ahead. As usual there is so much I could see but there just won’t be time to cover everything. This is my first time at EMC World itself which compared to Momentum is just huge. So what will I be looking at and why?

First the future of Documentum. Primarily this will involve visits to Jeroem van Rotterdam’s architecture sessions but I wonder to what extent it will permeate the other sessions?Jeroem gave a tantalising glimpse in Lisbon of the concept of a Next Generation Information Server to replace the venerable Content Server. This time we are promised a demo of NGIS! Also he will be discussing the new scalable architecture. Make no mistake this is Important stuff. Much progress is being made to make Documentum suite VMWare ready but that is not the same as cloud-ready despite some of the messages that will probably come out this week. Assuming this ‘cloud thing’ will be more than just a buzzword then these developments will be essential to the future of Documentum.

Next Captiva. 6 months ago at Lisbon I was pleasantly surprised at the progress made with capture technologies. Most of my previous experience was with old Kofax versions, with VB release code, separator sheets, operator-keyed keywords and metadata. Capture was usually labour -intensive. I’m interested in seeing document learning, automated metadata capture and advanced recognition technologies driving up the ROI to make many more capture projects possible.

The next item is xCP-this is more a watching brief but I’m interested to see to what extent xCP is positioned as more than just case management.

Finally Atmos. This is a bit of a new one for me but cloud-based storage will become more and more important. It makes sense to get an understanding of what EMC has to offer in this area.

Very exciting, now for Joe Tucci’s keynote!

Reflections on EMC World

June 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Posted in D6, Momentum | Leave a comment
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Pie, Alexandra, Lee and Johnny have all posted their thoughts on the key question raised by EMC World so I thought it was about time that I did so too.

Like Lee I wasn’t able to get to EMC World. Interestingly however I did experience much of it through twitter. Of course I didn’t get the first class, you-had-to-be-there type of experience but it was a significant experience nonetheless. Many people were tweeting during sessions and bloggers were putting up summaries of sessions almost immediately afterwards. What this meant was that not only did the facts come through but also some of the emotional reaction to announcements as well.

ECM vision required
I’ve watched (most of) the Mark Lewis keynote and I’ve read most of the blog summaries of the keynotes and other sessions. I have certainly been left with the following impressions:

  • EMC appears to be retreating from core content management as a selling point
  • As a corollary of the first point CenterStage is not getting the resources or attention it could
  • Case Management seems to have become an over-riding priority

That’s the impression – it may not be what Mark Lewis intended but that is certainly what comes across. Given the above it is hardly surprising that EMC don’t have a particularly inspiring Enterprise Content Management vision.

So what should/could an Enterprise Content Management vision look like. First off I don’t like the idea of buying a Content Management platform so the vision has to be more than ‘you have lots of information to manage so buy our software to solve your problems’. It certainly seems that core content management functionality has been commoditised so that you can get content metadata, versioning, renditions, full-text and metadata querying and basic workflow from anywhere.

But content management functionality is not Enterprise Content Management. ECM needs arise when an organisation scales (in terms of people, numbers of teams or document volumes) such that additional problems or obstacles arise. Some of these problems are stuff like archiving or large-scale ingestion. It’s easy to see why these types of problems fit well for EMC as a primarily hardware company.

Other problems seem to require more finesse. They would include things like:

  • discoverability – getting the right information to the right people
  • rich content – going beyond mere content and metadata
  • analytics – mining the information for enhanced value
  • Building knowledge communities – to turn data and information into knowledge
  • Incentives – providing some way of encouraging people to go to the trouble of making content available e.g. by tagging, writing blogs, contributing to Wikis and so on.

I would like to see EMC come out with something that shows how EMC might be the solution. That won’t solve all of these right now but I’d like to know, 3-5 years down the line, what their software might enable us to do.

CenterStage

One product that should be clearly at the centre (sic) of this strategy is CenterStage. For some reason this product seems to have lost management focus. It seems to have taken ages to get a GA release shipped and we are still waiting for some features that really should be there. However I think EMC should be proud of the type of product that is embodied in CenterStage and should be looking to push this as a major ECM product. I think it is much more than a simple Sharepoint competitor although that is how the marketing comes across.

One of the features of CenterStage that is not well sold is facets and in particular facets generated from analytical processing of content and comments. A facet is essentially a drill-down capability that allows the user to narrow down the results of a search. Obvious examples are the format of the document or the content size. This type of drill-down – based on author-supplied intrinsic metadata collected by any self-respecting content management system – seems so obvious you wonder why this type of feature hasn’t been standard in Content Management search for years.

However 3 other facets are available with CenterStage:

  • People
  • Company
  • Location

These facets are not based on metadata recorded by content authors, they are generated from a textual analysis performed on each piece of content by Content Intelligence Services (which utilises Temis Luxid as the text analysis engine). Since discoverability – getting the right information to the right people – is one of the key issues/problems in effective information management, enhancing content in this way is important.

This kind of content enrichment is not something that is provided out of the box by Sharepoint. This really never came across in any presentations I have seen and I only really got this after downloading and playing around with CenterStage. Of course it needs some further development to really make this feature great but I can’t understand why EMC aren’t shouting this from the roof-tops.

xCP and Case Management

I really want to believe that EMC don’t think that ECM and Case Management are one and the same. My initial impression from Momentum Athens (Nov 2009) was that xCP was a way of developing EMC content-based application using more configuration and less coding. Case Management was simply the first application area to get the xCP treatment.

I liked the implementation of ‘configure not code’ and it also appeared that a lot of effort and thought had gone into how to market this idea. It’s clear that a lot of resource has gone into Case Management, possibly at some expense to CenterStage, but I’d like to think that the xCP treatment will be passed on to CenterStage and other applications. I’d like EMC to show me this vision rather for me to assume all of this.

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