Salesforce.com has acquired EntropySoft, a French content integration and migration vendor. Some observers have speculated this is a way for Salesforce to enter the Enterprise Content Management marketplace.
I think a closer look could reveal a different rationale.
EntropySoft has developed a number of connectors (see the screen-shot below, courtesy of Google cache) for all kinds of systems including, ECM, Document Management, and Search tools. Many of these connectors were read-write, meaning they could read from a repository as well as write to it.
Such connectors obviously have many uses, such as migrating content from one system to another, accessing multiple document management systems simultaneously from a single interface, checking a file out from one system and checking it into another, federated search across multiple systems, and so forth. As a result, many other vendors found the EntropySoft connectors useful to bundle with their offerings (more about the impact on those other vendors in a minute).
For Salesforce, the move has obvious potential benefits. EntropySoft connectors (or perhaps more pointedly, new connectors the EntropySoft team can build) could link various Salesforce CRM and Social Media services to enterprise back-end repositories, for things like archiving and -- in the future -- potentially even hybrid storage.
But that's in theory. In practice, Salesforce applications have not played well with on-premise enterprise systems. The issues tend to revolve less around technology than Salesforce culture, so EntropySoft can't be considered a game-changer here.
It is also not clear yet if EntropySoft tools will remain supported for enterprise customers that deployed them for content migration or vendors that OEM'ed connectors. Past experience -- such as when Oracle acqured similar filters via Stellent, something Marc Benioff might recall -- suggests that when components like these go from neutral third-party to competitive platform vendor, it can be disruptive for the other vendors. And that means disruption for you the customer.
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Document Management (ECM) Evaluation Stream looks at... Alfresco ECM Enterprise
"Although the software itself is freely available for download, when you factor in the inevitable services work required for a complex application, along with the relatively steep maintenance and support fees that Alfresco itself charges, an Alfresco-driven project may be no less costly than a commercial competitor's offering...."
Learn the real strengths and weaknesses of major ECM vendors from around the world, in our Document Management (ECM) evaluation research stream.
Tags: Cloud File Sharing & Collaboration, Digital Marketing Technology, Document Management (ECM), Enterprise Search, Portals & Content Integration, Web Content & Experience Management, Big Data, Marketplace at Large, Software-as-a-Service
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