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.


Degradation of Documentum developers

About two months ago I was talking with my former colleague, and he was complaining that “modern” documentum developers fails to perform basic CS routines like creating/modifying jobs or acls using IAPI scripts – instead of leveraging functionality provided by IAPI/IDQL they are relying on functionality provided by Composer or xCP designer, and in most cases results what they get do not conform their expectations (just because both Composer or xCP designer are poor tools). What do you think what is the reason of such degradation? In my opinion it is caused by the fact that EMC has stopped to publish Content Server API Reference Manual

OpenText rep promised further stagnation of Documentum

Check comments for Maybe OpenText will add value to Documentum after all:


Erik van Voorden: Nothing will change for documentum users. They will still get that same level of support as under EMC. Only the company name has changed.

Unfortunately, I have no idea how to avoid involving a person I don’t know, but in my opinion a person, who have never worked before in ECM industry and doesn’t know his customers, may not make such statements, especially if this person is account development manager – sometimes, it is better to keep silent, and in case of Documentum and OpenText there are a plenty of reasons to do that – take a look how it is possible to turn single phrase into blogpost.

At first, EMC support was always poor (I would rate it as 2 out of 5), moreover, after 2013 it became inadequate (1 out of 5), claiming that you are going to keep support on the same level is a worst advertisement ever – as I posted previously, during last 10 years Documentum was loosing customers, and poor support wasn’t the least reason for that. Now, after acquisition, when remaining loyal customers expecthope to get improvements, you are claiming that nothing will change, nothing! No bugfixing, no documentation, no performance and stability improvements, nothing!

At second, acquisition is not just a change of name or label, different companies occupy different offices in different cities and countries, so, for ECD employees acquisition means either layoffs or relocations or supercommuting (after acquisition OpenText created about 300 new vacancies, and I doubt that they are trying to hire new employees, most probably they are replacing existing ones). It is obvious that acquisitions always have a negative impact on regional support activities, and it is stupid do not accept this obvious fact.

At third, the most worrying thing about acquisition is a fact, that OpenText have not yet named Documentum leads – it looks like OpenText do not want to promote anyone from “talented team”, but hiring a person from the outside world is large risk and challenge (especially if your glassdoor rating is 3.0): where are you going to find a person, who knows strengths and weaknesses of Documentum product stack, has a strong vision and able to manage your “talented team”? People typically prefer to leave sinking boat rather than trying to safe it. Interesting, what roadmap is OpenText going to present on April 28?