Hardware company mantra. Part I

Many people, I have worked with, insist that I have a following habit: if I want to prove my opinion I like to emphasise some “inaccuracies”, provided by opponent, and such amplification turns opponent’s opinion into a piece of dog crap. Let’s try do to the same with following statement:

The faith of Documentum has always been hanging around in limbo. However, it feels like this acquisition finally marks the end of the uncertainty about Documentum’s future. I am not saying this based on enthusiastic statements made by OpenText, I am saying this because the acquisition makes sense to me in many ways, and at least makes more sense than its situation with EMC. As we all know EMC is a strong hardware company, while Documentum is a software firm, and naturally, EMC didn’t support Documentum enough as it wouldn’t have served them to sell more storage. On the other hand, OpenText is a software company that offers a platform armed with a rich enterprise information management around its content management system. With this in mind, the ECD products such as Documentum, InfoArchive, and LEAP make this acquisition a natural fit. Besides these, there are also complementary products. For instance, the Life Sciences industry is considered Documentum’s strength, and OpenText already highlighted the values of having Documentum in its Life Sciences Solutions Suite that can immediately benefit both OpenText and Documentum Life.

which was provided in OpenText CMO on the Future of Documentum & ECM Trends

Well, I have no idea who had started to spread the “EMC is a strong hardware company” myth (my guess is: “The Departed” – Dave DeWalt and Documentum), but this myth is so strong that even IIG/ECD employees do believe in it:

moreover, even Documentum competitors were trying to take advantage of this myth: somewhen in 2010 OpenText sale was trying to involve us into OpenText business assuring that Documentum is bad because OpenText is “hardware independent”. So, let’s try to emphasise this myth (actually, it is how “hardware company” mantra sounds from my perspective):

During years Joseph M. Tucci was bringing together IIG/EGG stakeholders and was saying: you know, we are a hardware company, so you must do your best in proving this statement: you must provide poor support, create poor software and never ever write a correct documentation

Sounds ridiculous? Yes, it is how “hardware company” mantra sounds to me. So, why is this myth wrong?

First of all, it seems that the “hardware” epithet is used as an inappropriate antonym for “software”: when we are talking about “hardware companies” we actually assume hardware manufactures, but EMC do not manufacture computer hardware, actually their business is to combine OEM parts into storage unit and sell it at a higher price – it has nothing in common with hardware manufacturing. It would more correct to say that EMC sales do know how to sell storage units but have no idea how to sell software and services, but in this case I have no idea how this was affecting Documentum: EMC acquired a mature company, which already had its own employees and divisions. In my opinion “hardware company” myth was invented to hide some internal conflicts between Documentum stakeholders and EMC executives.

At second, what did forced IIG/ECD employees to provide poor software and services? Was it a “hardware company” title? Definitely not! I, being a professional, always do my best at my work, no matter what is the company title, because if I do not do my best I already not a professional – I do not need to get a bad reputation. The truth here is that ECD/IIG had failed to compete with new ECM players and the “hardware company” myth was so attractive in hiding their own incompetence that it was a crime to not exploit it.