Real Story Group Blog posts by Apoorv Durga Copyright (c) 2015 RealStoryGroup.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.realstorygroup.com/ www.realstorygroup.com : Blogs en-us 07/29/2015 00:00:00 60 New roles for WCM technology in an age of wearables #wcm #mobile Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:48:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2876-New-roles-for-WCM-technology-in-an-age-of-wearables? In the good old days, WCM technology primarily served deliver content to a website -- hence the name "Web Content Management". At best, "multi-channel" referred to the ability to deliver content to more than one type of website; e.g., an Intranet and a public facing website.

Of course, things have changed drastically from there. You not only have to think of delivering content to mobile devices of varying sizes and capabilities but also to a number of other devices such as different types of hand-held devices, wearables, and other so-called IoT devices.

Use cases for WCM + Wearables

There are a number of use cases for which you might consider using a WCM for delivering content to devices such as wearables. In fact, if you are sending content to a website and also sending some snippets to, say a watch, you could consider WCM as a single repository instead of duplicating your content for each different target environment. Several news providers, such as CNN, ABC News, and others now support Apple Watch.

If you are aware of mobile middleware tools for creating and delivering mobile apps, however, you might wonder whether you even need WCM technology at all. Well, even if you are using mobile middleware, you'll still need a digital content repository from which mobile devices and wearables can pull information, regardless of middleware.


Figure: CNBC App for Apple Watch. Screenshot source: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/21/cnbc-apple-watch-app-launched.html

What to look for in your WCM

When considering using a WCM to deliver information to wearables (via middleware tools or otherwise), two very important aspects emerge:

  1. Capability to create, store, and manage content in a device-agnostic way
    You should be able to create content without any regard to the target device types. This means that the WCM should support a very strong separation of content from presentation so you can adapt content at the time of presentation. In addition, the WCM should have an above-average API for remote access to WCM content and services. It should also allow you to integrate with middleware tools of your choice.
     
  2. The WCM should be aware of the capabilities and limitations of specific wearable devices
    Your WCM should be able to make appropriate s mitigate the limitations and take advantage of device-specific capabilities. An obvious example of this would be the size of screen on the wearable, or availability of specific sensors on those devices.

Now, at first glance, these two requirements seem contradictory. The first one says the WCM should be device-agnostic and the second one says the WCM should be aware of device capabilities. However, both of them are needed if you want your WCM to be able to deliver content in a truly multi-channel fashion.

The marketplace

Different vendors have varying capabilities for targeting wearables, but most of them are rather rudimentary.  We will of course keep tracking them and let you know what we find, via our evaluation reports.

 

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New Advisory and Webinar -- ECM Survey Results #ecm Mon, 20 Jul 2015 10:28:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2873-New-Advisory-and-Webinar-ECM-Survey-Results? Real Story Group conducted an online survey in Q1 2015 to obtain practitioner perspectives on key enterprise content management software-related themes. The survey results included a cross-section of organizations that were drawn from a variety of geographies and industries.

This new advisory paper (subscribers-only) summarizes key results around system usage, how SharePoint is (and isn't deployed), on-premise vs. cloud, and mobility issues. The deck concludes with an analysis of how your peers would rate their ECM efforts against an industry benchmark.

For subscribers and non-subscribers, we are also conducting a webinar to share some of the highlights of the survey findings:

Date: July 22, 2015

Time: 12:00-12:30 PM EDT (16:00-16:30 UTC/GMT) (17:00-17:30 BST)

Register for the webinar

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EMC de-syncs from Syncplicity #ecm #Cloud Wed, 08 Jul 2015 10:22:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2870-EMC-de-syncs-from-Syncplicity? Private equity firm Skyview Capital is acquiring Syncplicity from EMC.

Acquired by EMC in 2012, Syncplicity is a cloud-based file sharing and sync service (CFSS), focused on enterprise customers. Some other similar services are Citrix ShareFile, Oxygen Cloud, Box (which now wants to move beyond CFSS), and host of other, mostly consumer-oriented services like Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, and others.

Here are some interesting tidbits from the release:

  • EMC's salesforce will continue to sell Syncplicity
  • Syncplicity will remain an EMC partner
  • EMC says it remains committed to Syncplicity’s growth
  • Syncplicity did quite well as an EMC business

So why is EMC selling it?

Customers have found a considerable synergy between Document Management/ECM products and CFSS services. As a result, a number of ECM vendors have built or acquired CFSS services. Alfresco, OpenText (Tempo Box), Oracle (Oracle Documents Cloud Service) and most other ECM vendors now have an offering. In fact, just last week IBM and Box made a big splash with their partnership.

So when every ECM vendor is going after this space, why is EMC seemingly giving up on this?

EMC says it wants to focus on its core infrastructure business and that Syncplicity is a “step away” from that. The company's presser also hints Syncplicity needed to be on its own to take advantage of a fast-evolving CFSS marketplace.

As our research subscribers know, Syncplicity differs from other ECM vendors’ CFSS offerings in a couple of ways. While most others focus on collaboration (with sync thrown in), Syncplicity’s strength lies in advanced synchronization services (for details, see our ECM Report). Syncplicity also has some good security and policy-related features for administrators that other tools lack.

However, as a stand-alone service, Syncplicity probably wasn’t lucrative enough for an EMC sales strategy that focuses on large deals. Moreover, customers who were not "EMC shops,” and other vendors will probably find it easier to deal with a stand-alone Syncplicity instead of EMC.

Is EMC really giving up on CFSS?

Even though EMC has divested Syncplicity, I don’t believe they have given up on CFSS services. In fact, in my opinion, they can’t, while they still sell Documentum licenses (and no, i’m not speculating that they are spinning off Documentum as well).

EMC has multiple other similar services in its arsenal. There’s VMWare Airwatch and then there’s Mozy. Sure, they target different use cases -- Mozy targets online backups and Airwatch is known for MDM/EMM -- but both of them have capabilities for file sharing and sync.

What’s the impact on Syncplicity?

Sure, it’ll get more flexibility and will be able to target customers who’d usually stay away from EMC. However, this is a very rapidly evolving marketplace and as I’ve written before, it will be very tough to remain a stand-alone CFSS service. Will they get acquired by another vendor in near future or remain with Skyview is something only time will tell.

What about you the customer?

If you are a Documentum-only customer but were evaluating Syncplicity, you must spend more time in due-diligence and get a committed roadmap from EMC in regards to future of integration as well as plans for potential alternatives. Finally, if you are evaluating CFSS services, remember that in addition to Syncplicity, you have several other enterprise-focused options, most of which we evaluate in our ECM Report.

Subscribers can also experiment with some permutations using RSG's RealTime vendor comparison tool.

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Liferay Partnering with Red Hat - Implications for the Portals Marketplace #portals #EntArch Tue, 23 Jun 2015 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2865-Liferay-Partnering-with-Red-Hat-Implications-for-the-Portals-Marketplace? Liferay and Red Hat have entered into a partnership to combine Liferay Portal with Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP). JBoss EAP is Red Hat’s key middleware/application server. As of now, the partnership is limited to EAP but Liferay says it will gradually expand to include integration with other Red Hat middleware products.

What does it mean for Liferay and Red Hat?

First, a refresher.

Red Hat has its own Portal product called Enterprise Portal Platform (EPP). EPP is based on the GateIn project, which was a joint initiative between Red Hat JBoss and French vendor eXo. Since both JBoss EPP and eXo platform were based on GateIn, functionally, both were quite similar in terms of presentation functionality. However, Red Hat’s differentiator was its middleware expertise and as a result, Red Hat integrated the core GateIn project with other JBoss tools and technologies, tested, and certified them.

This announcement puts curtains on EPP. Red Hat has stopped offering new subscriptions to JBoss EPP. Unfortunately for them, the EPP was never very successful. If you subscribe to our Portals research, you know that It lacked many key features and its development was rather slow. Incidentally, eXo (Red Hat’s partner in the Portal project) has also moved away from being a horizontal Portal product. Going forward, I'd expect Red Hat to focus more on selling middleware licenses to Liferay customers.

For Liferay on the other hand, this announcement pretty much leaves them as the last major open source player standing. The Portals technology marketplace is shrinking, and while IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft still provide plausible offerings in this space, overall it's becoming an oligopoly.

What does it mean for customers?

For Red Hat customers who invested in EPP, this is bad news. Red Hat will support you until March 2018, but effectively this is a dead product and you should start looking at alternatives. It's a lesson, too, that "open source" does not always mean more stable or durable.

While Liferay will seem like a natural alternative, there are some others as well. You should also carefully evaluate if Portal technology is still the best alternative for building what you need to build.

For Liferay’s customers, this won’t have an impact in the short term. Liferay has always supported the JBoss application server (among others), so no big changes there. However, as Liferay and Red Hat gradually improve the integration, their joint customers will see benefits in terms of integration with JBoss operations network and other Red Hat tools.

For detailed evaluations of all the key vendors and their major weaknesses and strengths you can subscribe to our Enterprise Portals Technology research.

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Should you consider IoT and Wearables in your Mobile Strategy? #IoT #Wearables Thu, 11 Jun 2015 08:35:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2860-Should-you-consider-IoT-and-Wearables-in-your-Mobile-Strategy? First, let's acknowledge that "Mobile" and "Internet of Things” (or IoT) are very large and quite separate technology domains. However, the way current market is evolving, I see some overlap, as shown in the attached graphic (click to enlarge).

At the intersection of Mobile and IOT

Wearables to a large extent fall under the rubric of IoT-oriented, connected devices. However, some fall at the intersection of Mobile and IoT, and you'll want to consider them as part of your overall mobile strategy.

Consider for example devices that are linked to your mobile phone or tablet in some way. Smart watches, such as Apple Watch, are a prime example of this category since you use your mobile phone to provide content and services (e.g., GPS) to the watch. Other types of wearables, such as activity trackers, require an app on your mobile phone for initial configuration and setup.

Besides the ability to be able to deliver content and services to these devices, another example is the ability to push information from these devices back to your mobile phone. Analyzing data from your morning bike ride on your phone, or getting a notification on your mobile app as you check out an exhibit in a museum, represent a couple examples here.

Tool support for wearables?

So as you evaluate tools for enterprise mobility, you should consider what kind of support they provide for phone-connected wearable devices.

Start with what kinds of devices they support. As an example, IBM’s MobileFirst provides some support for Apple Watch and Android wearables. Many other mobile app development platforms also support some sort of content delivery to wearables.

Note however that most of these tools consider wearables as an extension of your mobile device. While that is a good way to quickly scale up your device-delivery capabilities, it could also become a major limitation if you wanted to support wearables more generally.

In our Enterprise Mobile Technology evaluations, we're increasingly examining the wearables dimension. Meanwhile, you can download a research sample here.

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IBM renames Worklight and tightens WCM integration #cms #mobile Tue, 09 Jun 2015 10:46:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2859-IBM-renames-Worklight-and-tightens-WCM-integration? IBM’s mobile offering has seen many name changes in recent past. IBM acquired Worklight in 2012 and initially kept the name. Big Blue then renamed it IBM Worklight Foundation in 2014 before recently doing away with the Worklight moniker altogether. It's now "IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation."

Functionally, though, not much has changed. What you get is mainly a platform for building hybrid mobile apps based on Apache’s Cordova hybrid container. There’s support for other types of apps — notably mobile web and native apps, but conditions apply.

More recently, however, IBM has improved integration with their "Digital Experience" suite. What this really means is closer integration between IBM’s WCM and Mobile capabilities. So you can now create content in WCM and make it available, via services, to your mobile apps created using MobileFirst. In addition, there is a new interface/content authoring portlet for creating mobile content (an improvement, since current authoring portlets have major usability issues).

This is a useful capability and something I have discussed earlier, for example in this post.

So if you are already an IBM customer — meaning you have invested in IBM WebSphere Portal and WCM and have entitlements for MobileFirst — this is good news for you. But remember that while this combined solution can target a lot of scenarios, it remains a complex set of platforms. For most of you, it will constitute too many repositories, servers, and integration points, and you will need serious IBM talent to manage the setup. Also, for a lot of mobile scenarios, IBM WCM will probably be overkill. Fortunately, there are simpler WCM alternatives that you can consider.

We take a closer look at IBM’s MobileFirst in our Enterprise Mobile Technology evaluations. Mean while, you can download a sample here.

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Last chance to benchmark your ECM systems #Cloud #ecm Fri, 22 May 2015 12:28:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2852-Last-chance-to-benchmark-your-ECM-systems? We are currently conducting a customer survey on Enterprise Content Management and related aspects such as Document Management and Cloud-File Sharing & Sync (CFSS), including questions about cloud and mobile in an ECM context.

I'm pleased to report we're getting some very interesting insights from customers. If you want a copy of the final summary results, you need to participate -- but you'll want to do so right now, since the survey closes Tuesday, 26 May.

Meanwhile, here are some interesting (provisional) findings.

Traditional File Shares and Email still rule the roost

Okay, to be honest, a high prevalence of traditional file shares and email systems for document management wasn’t totally unexpected. However, such a high percentage is noteworthy -- even within organizations that have implemented more formal ECM systems.


      (Click to enlarge.)

 

Usability a major concern

Customers can use this survey to benchmark their own implementation against the ECM Maturity Model, a model that RSG co-created with other industry colleagues. Usability is one of several dimensions to compare yourself with peers. More than 50% of respondents found the usability of their systems lacking. How does your situation compare?


  (Click to enlarge.)

How to get the final results yourself

This is just a small sliver of the findings you can expect from the study, and doubtless the data will change when all the entries get tallied. FYI, we're seeing some really interesting trends on mobile and cloud, too.

If you are a customer of ECM technology and have not yet completed the survey, you can still participate (before Tuesday!) and receive a summary of the final findings. Here is the link to the survey.

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Mind the Overhead in Digital Marketing Suites #digitalmarketing #EntArch Mon, 18 May 2015 07:30:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2848-Mind-the-Overhead-in-Digital-Marketing-Suites? When a vendor acquires another product and puts (vendors will say "integrate") that tool within an existing “suite,” it usually comes with a key side effect: overlapping features across multiple products within the suite. You've probably seen this phenomenon before in the Portals, ECM and other marketplaces. More recently, this issue is surfacing in a big way in the Digital Marketing marketplace.

Multiple acquisitions add overlapping features

As an example, Salesforce has acquired many tools that are now packaged as part of their "Marketing Cloud." Additionally, Salesforce also created some of its own applications, such as Social Studio, which exposes functionality from those acquired tools, thus further increasing your options. So analytics is available across Radian 6, Buddy Media, and Social Studio. Similarly, publishing can be done from Buddy Media as well as Social Studio. Similarly, you'll find features for engagement in Social Studio, Buddy Media as well as in Radian 6.

Implications for your team

Salesforce and other suite vendors will argue that these are not overlaps. They’ll say multiple products target different use cases and therefore give you the ability to target a broader set of opportunities.

Even where this is true, you the customer will have to spend considerable amount of resources just to understand these overlaps and educate your colleagues on when to use what tool.

Again to take the example of Salesforce, Both Radian6 and Buddy Media provide features for social media analytics. Radian6 is a general-purpose social media monitoring and intelligence tool and provides broad capabilities for social media analytics. Buddy Media on the other hand, provides capabilities for monitoring to your own social presence, like your Facebook page, Twitter account, and so forth. The difference lies in focus; Radian6 is for broad social media, while Buddy Media is for your own specific social pages. Are those two different people in your enterprise?

This is just one example. With digital marketing suites from Oracle, Adobe, IBM, and others your team may also need to master multiple products -- many of which do very similar things -- to get the most benefit. You'll find this brings extra overhead to your processes, when you have to not only train people how to use different products, but then also educate them on the often subtle differences of doing similar tasks from different places.

In RSG's Marketing Automation and Social Technology report, we pay special attention to the suite vendors and call out these differences in greater detail. If you're already an RSG subscriber and would like to discuss this in more detail, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

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WCM in a Mobile-only world #mobile #cms Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:45:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2842-WCM-in-a-Mobile-only-world? While many enterprises debate between "Mobile on par with Web” and “Mobile-First,” some live in a “Mobile-Only” world. For some organizations (e.g., Uber), this makes eminent sense. For many others, such as Flipkart in India, mobile-only has become a strategic gambit.

The jury is still out as to whether or not this is the right approach for other types of organizations, but let's look at some system implications.  In particular, if all your digital engagement happens through a mobile device, do you still need a web content & experience management system (WCM)?

Multi-channel means a lot more now

The answer is a big "yes." However, those WCM tools need to have specific capabilities.

Many WCM tools have been tom-toming about their multi-channel delivery capabilities for a long time now. Earlier, multi-channel usually meant ability to deliver to multiple sites (e.g., public facing website and employee facing Intranet) or at best the ability to repurpose experiences using a simplified template to make it palatable on mobile devices.

However, channel has completely taken on a new meaning now. In an omni-channel world you not only have to address mobile devices of varying sizes and capabilities but also consider watches, bands, glasses, and interfaces still to come -- not to mention a plethora of distribution arteries.

More than WCM

First, recognize that for "mobile-only" -- placing all your bets on the mobile channel -- you will almost certainly need more than a WCM platform.

You'll also likely need specialized mobile delivery tools with capabilities such as mobile middleware, notifications, device adaptation and so forth to be able to service those devices.

What should you look for in a WCM platform

However, your WCM will still be the place where your editors and marketers will craft content and experiences for people in mobile environments.

Consequently, you'll want to look closely at a key set of capabilities in any WCM tool. At the very minimum, you should look for:

  • Ability to publish in a decoupled mode: you may need to push raw content out to mobile devices and not HTML streams, and therefore...
  • Availability of APIs that can easily publish to external applications, including native and hybrid apps
  • Ability to preview content on mobile devices: Content creators should be able to preview content as it would appear on mobile devices. And this preview should not be limited to 2 or 3 broad, generic categories (e.g., phone, tablet) but there should be facility to preview across a wide range of specific devices and potentially apps, too
  • Special workflows targeted at mobile delivery
  • Ability to decompose and target content and experiences for different devices without duplicating effort

We've been having some interesting conversations with our subscribers on this topic, and increasingly focus on mobile-specific capabilities in our WCM evaluation research. Download a sample and see for yourself.

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Call for Participation - Customer Survey on ECM and Cloud File Sharing #ecm #pmot Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:23:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2841-Call-for-Participation-Customer-Survey-on-ECM-and-Cloud-File-Sharing? Amongst RSG’s different research streams, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) has been one of our oldest coverage areas. Over time, the marketplace has evolved and our coverage now also includes cloud-based file sharing and sync services.

As you may know, RSG has always focused on feedback by end users and practitioners. We now invite you to contribute — this time in a more structured manner — via RSG’s survey on ECM and Cloud File Sharing technology. So, if you are involved in your organization’s efforts in ECM or related areas such as Document Management, Business Process Management, Document-centric Collaboration, Imaging & Capture, File Sharing & Sync and so forth, we will sincerely appreciate your participation in this survey. This survey assesses different issues like impact of cloud and mobile, common use cases, tools, vendors, and challenges faced by organizations like yours.

In return for your participation, you’ll receive a top-line summary of report findings when published, to contrast your experience with that of your peers.

Take the survey here.

The survey also has an additional question related to ECM maturity, based on the ECM Maturity Model. This is an optional question, but answering it can help you quickly benchmark your organization against the maturity model. Your responses, in return, will help us fine tune the model.

A note on privacy: We take privacy and discretion very seriously. All responses will be kept strictly confidential, and RSG will never publicly identify either you or your organization.

Please weigh in with your inputs and also help spread the word. Many thanks!

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Clouds vs Best-of-Breed in Digital Marketing #socialmedia #socbiz Fri, 10 Apr 2015 10:16:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2836-Clouds-vs-Best-of-Breed-in-Digital-Marketing? Do you remember the early years of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) -- when it was promoted as an all-encompassing technology consisting of Web Content Management (WCM), Digital Asset Management (DAM), Knowledge Management, Document Management, Collaboration and many other services?  Well, in the digital marketing space, those years are returning under a new guise.

All In One?

In the ECM era, we were all pitched "suites," mostly from large infrastructure vendors, that claimed to do everything you needed for information management. Major analyst firms often recommended you to establish a "strategic relationship" with (a.k.a., standardize on) one suite vendor so you could fulfill all your needs with a single product family.

It Was a Myth

Those "suites" typically cobbled together multiple products to give an impression of one single platform, whereas in reality, there were totally different solutions with different architectures, repositories, user management, administration, and so forth.

Also, the requirements for different use cases (e.g., web vs. document management) very different turned out to be quite different. Expecting one product to do everything could at best give you a compromised experience. Which is why, in the end several ECM vendors (e.g., Oracle, Alfresco, and Documentum) ended up removing WCM capabilities from their main document management platforms.

History Is Repeating Itself with Digital Marketing

We see the same thing -- the same hype -- getting repeated in the Digital Marketing marketplace. Many vendors are pushing Digital Marketing "Clouds" -- the new moniker for suites.  And the same cast of industry analyst shills are lining up to promote them on vendors' behalf.

As with ECM Suites, most Digital Marketing "clouds" are actually a collection of independent products, brought together via acquisition from multiple different companies. Vendors of course disagree and will point to how you can manage disparate functionality from a single dashboard. In reality, once you get into the applications themselves you'll find radically different architectures, disparate user and content repositories, different admin modules, separate security implementations, divergent licensing models, and diverse user interfaces.

Our Advice

Digital Marketing is a very rapidly evolving marketplace. Larger enterprises in particular often need fairly specialized services and not generic dashboards. For example, you may well require social media marketing features from one product but for social media monitoring, you might require a completely different offering.

While some Marketing Clouds have acquired companies whose products were well regarded in their respective arena (e.g., Radian6 for Social Media Monitoring), you should evaluate each product individually on its merit and not because it's part of a suite.

In other words: it's too premature to align with a single über-vendor here.

Fortunately, you have many options. You can always download a sample of RSG's hard-hitting vendor evaluations, or ask us for advice.

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Does Unlimited Storage from Amazon Challenge Box (and Everyone Else)? #Cloud #ecm Mon, 30 Mar 2015 10:36:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2832-Does-Unlimited-Storage-from-Amazon-Challenge-Box-(and-Everyone-Else)? To date, cloud file-sharing and synch vendors have priced their services in part on the amount of storage you procure, but this model has been under increasing stress. In a previous blog, I’d mentioned:

I suspect most vendors will gradually lower their prices to remain competitive, and I wouldn't be surprised to see unlimited (or very high) storage quotas becoming a norm in the near future.

Now Amazon has unveiled unlimited storage plans starting at $11.99 per year for photos and $59.99 for everything else. I suspect others, especially the bigger vendors, will follow soon. Does this mean smaller vendors such as Box and others have a reason to worry?

Should smaller vendors be worried?

Well, it depends.

For small vendors, it is difficult to match these bigger infrastructure players, and they can’t probably start offering unlimited storage as easily. They will of course work to remain competitive, and seek to find more innovative ways to differentiate.

And they are indeed building new features. Box, for example, is trying to evolve into a broader collaboration offering. Dropbox has also added a few collaboration features such as ability for users to add comments and security features such as ability to expire file links.

What should you the customer do?

Remember that storage is becoming a commodity. Going forward, focus more intently what you can do with technology. As an example, while Amazon offers unlimited storage, syncing files across desktop devices remains a weak point for that platform. So evaluate vendors carefully with respect to actual business services, while negotiating unlimited (or very high) storage quotas.

You have many options today, including more enterprise-focused vendors, many of whom we evaluate in our ECM and Cloud File Sharing evaluations.

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Webinar: Is Your ECM/DAM System Cloud Ready? #Cloud #trends Tue, 17 Mar 2015 21:29:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2826-Webinar:-Is-Your-ECM/DAM-System-Cloud-Ready? No ECM or DAM conversation is complete without a heated discussion about cloud services.

By “Cloud Services,” we mean to what extent can a particular solution get deployed in a cloud, by you, the vendor, or a third party. It's actually not always a simple proposition, but as enterprises seek to decrease infrastructure spending and free up IT resources, the cloud has risen to the forefront on many agendas.

Join me in this webinar (in partnership with DOCUMENT Strategy Media) for a review of key aspects that you need to consider while evaluating ECM or DAM in the cloud.

We will also examine various cloud deployment models, analyze variations of what vendors call a "hybrid cloud” and also look at a few more considerations that are relevant while considering Cloud-based models for ECM and DAM technologies.

Webinar Details

Registration: Webinar: Is your ECM / DAM Cloud-Ready

Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Time: 12:00-12:30 PM EST (16:00-16:30 UTC/GMT)

Hope to see you there...

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Box Unboxing into Content and Collaboration #ecm #box Thu, 12 Mar 2015 06:33:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2824-Box-Unboxing-into-Content-and-Collaboration? Box has been a popular vendor in file sync and sharing marketplace; however it now wants to move beyond that, fueled in part by new funding from its early 2015 IPO.

Box sees itself as a broader provider of content and collaboration services.  The vendor wants to become a content layer that licensees can use to build their own applications that access Box’s underlying services. This is a major shift and will have architectural implications going forward.

We explore Box's prospects and provide more details in a just released update to our ECM & Cloud File Sharing vendor evaluations. The new release also includes updates to our evaluation of OpenText, based on several customer inputs.

You can download a sample here.

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Using ECM platforms for Digital Asset Management #DAM #ecm Fri, 06 Mar 2015 13:21:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2822-Using-ECM-platforms-for-Digital-Asset-Management? Many of our customers -- especially those who have invested in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platforms from vendors such as EMC and Oracle -- ask us if they can use DAM offerings from these vendors for their Digital Asset Management initiatives. As always, the answer is: It depends.

In general, there are three types of DAM systems within an ECM suite:

  1. Where you use the general-purpose file management capabilities for your digital assets.  SharePoint and Alfresco work this way.
  2. Where the vendor has layered DAM services on top of their ECM repository.  EMC and Oracle do this.
  3. Where the ECM vendor has a completely separate DAM tool with its own distinct repository and workflow subsystem (essentially not using the underlying ECM platform).  OpenText and HP do this.

When should you use ECM-specific DAM services?

There are many advantages of using a general-purpose ECM platforms in categories one and two above. Some of these are good underlying services that an ECM repository provides, such as:

  • Metadata handling, taxonomy and related capabilities
  • Security infrastructure
  • Ability to create more complex business processes and workflows
  • Relatively more scalable in terms of handling large number of objects as well as in terms of deployment options

Besides these, an important advantage you get is the ability to use DAM in conjunction with other capabilities. This is handy, for example, when you want to manage digital assets along with documents or want to surface digital assets on same vendor’s Portal or WCM tool.

When should you look beyond ECM platforms?

In spite of what ECM vendors might say, managing audio and video assets is not same as managing documents. There are challenges related to file sizes, the nature of the files, and even use cases. So, If you are not already invested in an ECM tool, you will want to look at a broader marketplace, especially if you have some of the following requirements:

  • You want a stand-alone DAM offering
  • Your DAM solution need to integrate with a wider list of enterprise systems
  • You don’t want to just manage images but also want to manage audio and video assets
  • You need sophisticated DAM capabilities for these assets. These include capabilities for media processing, DAM and Media Asset Management-specific collaboration and workflows, and more advanced encoding and transcoding capabilities.

Need more details?

In a forthcoming advisory paper, we will explain these and other issues in more details. Plus in our  Digital and Media Asset Management report, we're expanding our reviews of ECM vendors’ DAM offerings.

Meanwhile, you can download a sample here or let us know if we can help.

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Is Your Enterprise Portal Ready for the Mobile World? #mobile #portals Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2791-Is-Your-Enterprise-Portal-Ready-for-the-Mobile-World? Of course, all portal vendors would answer "Yes" to that question. Many will point you to the fact that you can write a responsive Portal template that can show Portal content on mobile devices. But that’s really very basic.

When you evaluate enterprise portal technology, support for mobile experiences should be high on your list of criteria. Here’s a snapshot of what you should investigate.

Support for Mobile Web

A mobile website is often the starting point of the mobility journey for many enterprises. It entails developing a mobile-friendly version of your websites and applications and optimizing them for multiple devices and operating systems.

The assumption here, though, is that visitors primarily consume content, rather than really transaction-heavy scenarios. For supporting such a scenario, besides the ability to create responsive templates, a Portal tool should be able to provide capabilities to identify the device making the request and then based on the capabilities (and limitations of the device), it should be able to adapt the content, layout, and templates.

Support for Mobile Apps

In some cases, you will want to people to interact with your Portal via dedicated mobile apps. There are multiple ways to create these apps, but the key point to note is that you will most likely create these apps outside of your Portal environment (e.g., using a specialised tool). Now, even though the app resides outside the Portal environment, and probably uses a different technology, you still may want it to access content and functionality stored in your Portal.

In such cases, it becomes important that the Portal tool provides an easy way to access information as well as services programmatically (e.g., using an API), so you can use it within the mobile app with ease.

Portal as Mobile Middleware

You also need your Portal to provide middleware capabilities that are relevant for both the  scenarios above — i.e., for creating a mobile website as well as for supporting external mobile apps. These middleware capabilities include integration with external enterprise systems, integration with content management systems, reporting and so on and so forth.

So next time your Portal (or WCM) vendor says they can "do mobile,” you should evaluate their claims carefully. Meanwhile, vendor reviews in our Enterprise Portals Vendor Evaluation Report specifically review the mobile capabilities of all the major players.

If your organization doesn't yet subscribe to our research, you can download a complimentary sample to check it out.

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The inside scoop on hybrid-cloud DAM and ECM #Cloud #EntArch Mon, 16 Feb 2015 13:21:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2817-The-inside-scoop-on-hybrid-cloud-DAM-and-ECM? “Cloud” infrastructures can have many variations (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, and managed hosting), and within each of these models, a cloud deployment can be private, public, community, or a combination of one or more of these, also known as a "hybrid cloud."

Specifically, within the Digital Asset Management (DAM) and to some extent in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technology spaces, a hybrid architecture is perhaps the least straightforward. There are many reasons for this, but huge file sizes and security implications in particular become paramount. Consequently, you'll find broadly different approaches to implementing a hybrid architecture.

Below I'll review a couple common approaches.

Inside and Out

One approach is to have at least two DAM (or ECM) systems:

  • One an in-premise system accessible to your users inside your firewall
  • Another one on the outside, accessible to broader user base — your partners, and customers

In this approach, the two systems can be totally different tools or two instances of the same tool. You use some kind of a sync technique to copy your files (selectively, if required) across the two platforms (or two instances of the same platform). This is useful, for example for DAM scenarios where your internal users can collaborate internally on large-sized broadcast files, and when they are ready, the final file is copied to be shared with the outside world.

Some vendors (e.g., EMC) have acquired cloud-file sharing tools to offer this kind of functionality. The acquired platform is different from their traditional on-premise offering, but a sync service synchronizes files between them. On the other hand, some vendors (e.g., Alfresco, Microsoft) can deploy multiple instances of their platform across different environments, and then synchronize among them.

Variable Storage

Another hybrid approach involves using a single system that employs multiple storage options, often based on access and security considerations. In this approach, you typically use a combination of in-house storage and public-cloud based storage to selectively store files. Using this mechanism, you can keep a highly confidential set of files within your private cloud (or simply your own on-premise storage array), while allowing more generic documents to reside in the public cloud.

And More...

There are other alternatives as well, and as you can imagine, the use cases and scenarios for these alternatives will vary. Consequently, you will need to apply different technical skills, infrastructures, and architectures. You also probably need different governance and processes depending on these variations.

So when your vendor says they support “hybrid DAM” or "hybrid ECM," you should dig deeper and clarify what hybrid means in that context.

In the latest releases of Digital and Media Asset Management as well as other streams, we are looking closely at vendors' "cloud" approaches more closely.

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Enterprise Mobile Platforms Marketplace - What to expect in 2015 #mobile #trends Fri, 06 Feb 2015 10:52:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2814-Enterprise-Mobile-Platforms-Marketplace-What-to-expect-in-2015? The enterprise mobile platform marketplace consists of a plethora of vendors and tools, and many organizations struggle to identify the right set of vendors that are suitable for their scenarios. In our newest marketplace briefing, 2015 Enterprise Mobile Platforms Market Analysis, we provide a snapshot of trends in the current marketplace and explore key trends.

Marketplace

In our evaluations, we group vendors into three large categories:

Infrastructure Vendors: These are large, enterprise software vendors that have offerings across different enterprise use cases such as ERP, e-Business, CRM, digital marketing, and so forth. In addition to their broader offerings, these vendors provide capabilities for mobile application development and deployment.

Mobility Specialists: These vendors are "mobility specialists" because enterprise mobility is their core focus area. Most of them provide more advanced capabilities than the Infrastructure Vendors, but lag in terms of their integration with enterprise systems. These tools are more suitable if you have multiple complex mobile initiatives and don't want to be tied to one large vendor.

Niche offerings: These technologies don't pretend to offer full-lifecycle or even cross-platform support. They tend to be specialized app environments, something like a commercially supported mobile web framework, or a vendor with a very narrow focus (e.g., Corona on gaming).

Trends

Mobile application development is gradually becoming more "enterprise-y." Smarter organizations now treat mobile application development on par with enterprise application development; as a result, there has been a considerable impact on middleware approaches, cloud-based deployment, and development tools.

Reality Check

Finally, we provide an overview of the key players as well as a comparative analysis of the relative risks and opportunities associated with each vendor via RSG's "Reality Check" chart (above).

Unlike many other marketplaces, you can see in the chart above that vendors are reasonably spread-out, showing the marketplace itself is in flux, with vendors continually evolving their offerings. The full paper explains more.

Enterprise Mobile stream subscribers can download the full briefing here.

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ECM Marketplace - What to expect in 2015 #Cloud #ecm Mon, 19 Jan 2015 07:11:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2804-ECM-Marketplace-What-to-expect-in-2015? Going into 2015, the ECM and cloud file sharing marketplace comprises of two broad categories of tools/services, though they increasingly overlap:

  1. Traditional ECM vendors, which provide a whole range of services around document and enterprise content management. This category has two sub-categories:
    • Major ECM Platforms
    • Simpler Document Management (DM) Products
  2. Cloud-based File Sharing and Sync (CFSS) services, which excel in lightweight document management, collaboration, sharing, and sync services

These two categories might seem to be two distinct marketplaces, but you will find considerable overlap between CFSS vendors and ECM vendors. CFSS vendors have started to build traditional Document Management (DM) capabilities -- such as version control -- while ECM and DM vendors have built or acquired cloud-based file sharing, sync, and lightweight collaboration services.

Nevertheless, these two categories of tools tend to address different types of use cases. In particular, ECM/DM vendors are more suitable for advanced and complex scenarios; standalone CFSS tools make sense for many simpler scenarios. In fact, CFSS tools score better than full-fledged DM tools in terms of ease of use and the fact that you can get an implementation running with little system integration work.

In our newest marketplace briefing, 2015 ECM & Cloud File Sharing Market Analysis, we offer a snapshot of trends in the current marketplace. In particular, we explain the evolution of CFSS, the growing relevance hybrid ECM models, and how mobile, collaboration, and social will impact this marketplace.

Finally, we provide an overview of the key players as well as a comparative analysis of the relative risks and opportunities associated with each ECM vendor via RSG's "Reality Check" chart (above). Contrary to many observers, you can see in the chart above that we find product evolution proceeding fairly rapidly in this space; the full paper explains more.

ECM stream subscribers can download the full briefing here.

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Portals Marketplace - What to expect in 2015 #pmot #EntArch Fri, 16 Jan 2015 12:40:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2802-Portals-Marketplace-What-to-expect-in-2015? Portal technology continues to play an important role in many enterprise architectures. They are a better fit than other types of tools for enterprises that require:

  • Heavy aggregation and integration with external or internal applications
  • A dashboard-based user experience
  • Complex user management and segmentation/personalization at an application level

However, these benefits come at the expense of comparatively high complexity and greater infrastructure demands. As a result, we advise that you should consider portal solutions as platforms that should be extended to meet your needs, rather than as products that provide functionality out of the box.

Here's our Reality Check™ for portal technology, circa 2015.

In our briefing for RSG Portal Stream subscribers, the 2015 Portals Market Analysis, we offer a snapshot of trends in the current marketplace.

In particular, we look at impact of WCM and other "Portal-lite" tools on Portal tools, as well as how Portal tools are evolving with respect to Cloud and Mobile delivery capabilities.

Finally, we provide an overview of the key players as well as a comparative analysis of the relative risks associated with each portal vendor via RSG's "Reality Check" chart, that you see above.

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Analyzing the Analysts - Assessing RSG's 2014 Predictions #cio #EnSW Fri, 12 Dec 2014 08:40:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2798-Analyzing-the-Analysts-Assessing-RSGs-2014-Predictions? Every year, we make technology predictions about the various digital workplace and digital marketing technology marketplaces that we cover.  Earlier this week, my colleague Jarrod published our 2015 predictions.

In the interest of keeping it real, each year we review our predictions at the end of the year and see how we fared. Here are our assessments of our 2013, 2012 and 2011 predictions respectively.

And here's how we fared with our 2014 predictions:

  1. Ascent of the "Sanctioned Second-Fiddle" CMS
    Yes, this is happening big-time. Many organizations that we talk to have standardized on a second, relatively simpler Web CMS for those scenarios that require more agility (think microsites) in addition to their incumbent “enterprise” WCM platform for more complex scenarios.
     
  2. Delayed SharePoint 2013 Adoption
    Yes. But frankly, this was obvious based on past (SharePoint) history and given that best practices as well as a broader ecosystem for SharePoint 2013 are still evolving.
     
  3. Microsoft Backtracks on SharePoint in the Cloud
    No way.  Redmond has doubled down on the cloud for SharePoint.  However, they appear to be commiting to upgrading SharePoint on-premise at least through 2019.
     
  4. Enterprises Start to Own Mobile Experiences
    Another Yes. As enterprises mature and mobile becomes even more important, organizations are indeed focusing more on a broader "Mobile Experience Management" as opposed to just managing devices and apps. Our savvier subscribers are setting up mobile CoEs and beginning to treat mobile development on par with enterprise software development.
     
  5. Cross-Platform Mobile Compatibility Gets Worse
    Big Yes here. Cross-platform is not just about Android and iOS any more. It's also about other devices -- Google Glass, watches, other wearables, as well as other Internet-connected devices. Even within Android and iOS ecosystems, you have to deal with all kinds of differences based on screen size and capabilities. E.g., Apple upped the game by releasing much larger iPhone 6s to co-exist with iPhone 4x, 5x, iPods and multiple versions of iPads.
     
  6. Standalone Enterprise Portals Marketplace Becomes a Two-Horse Race
    Yes again. Nearly all serious enterprise portal shortlists that we've seen contain Liferay and IBM. eXo no longer wants to be a portal tool and other platforms are increasingly focusing on specialized use cases.  SharePoint, of course, remains the key stalking-horse here, but remains more focused on collaboration than integration.
     
  7. "ECM" Will Finally Die
    No. Perhaps this was an overstatement. Even main-frames aren't dead yet.  However, we do see a continuing trend towards applications rather than behemoth document management infrastructures.
     
  8. Digital Marketing Suite Backlash
    Halfway Yes. Adobe, IBM, Oracle, and Salesforce would have you believe they offer an integrated digital marketing stack but that's not the real story. Many of these suites still remain a collection of best-of-breed tools.  But we have not yet seen a customer backlash. Maybe this is one of those aspirational predictions: you should be concerned about the patchwork nature of these suites.  We do think a backlash is still coming, though, perhaps as soon as 2015...
     
  9. PaaS CMS Displaces SaaS CMS
    Yes. SaaS CMS players have mostly faded. Clearly Amazon is making the most money in web content and experience management these days -- simply by hosting traditional WCM tools.  Nevertheless, WCM customers continue to explore a range of hosting options, including good ol' on-premise.
     
  10. DAM and MAM Vendors Add Social and Marketing Features
    Yes, this has definitely happened.  You might not use your digital or media asset management system as your core social platform, but like nearly everyone else, DAM and MAM vendors have bolted on a variety of marketing and social features over the past year.

Okay, so that’s 7.5 out of 10 (Yes — 7 times, No — 2 Times, Partial Yes/No — 1). We give .5 for predictions that were partially correct. That’s not bad at all, in fact a bit better than last year.

Let us know if you'd like to understand any of these trends in greater detail or if you'd like to talk to us about any of the marketplaces RSG covers.

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Webinar Tuesday: ECM Marketplace Going into 2015 #trends #ecm Mon, 01 Dec 2014 16:02:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2794-Webinar-Tuesday:-ECM-Marketplace-Going-into-2015? Traditionally a relatively slow moving marketplace, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is now seeing a lot of activity, mostly due to developments in Mobile and Cloud-based technologies.

If you’d like to know what RSG thinks about this marketplace, join me for a fast-paced webinar tomorrow.

Date: Tuesday December 2, 2014

Time: 11:00-11:30 AM EST (16:00-16:30 UTC/GMT)

I'll provide a preview of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Cloud File Sharing (CFS) Marketplace, and provide a framework for you to evaluate the marketplace based on your own needs. Then we'll guide you through specific steps for selecting the best fitting document management or cloud-based file sharing tools for your enterprise.

During this webinar, you will gain an understanding of:

  • Trends as we go into 2015
  • How to evaluate ECM and CFS tools
  • Business scenarios, functional services, and technology services within the arena
  • The overall marketplace and its key players

Register here.

If you have any specific questions in the meantime, just tweet (@apoorv) and I'll try to address those in the webinar.

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Cloud File Sharing and Sync services in 2015 #Cloud #EntArch Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:27:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2788-Cloud-File-Sharing-and-Sync-services-in-2015? Cloud-based File Sharing (CFS) services first become hugely popular in the consumer marketplace. Services like Dropbox, iCloud, and Google Drive provide a very simpler way to sync your pictures (and other files) and share them with your friends. This simplicity of functionality and ease of use were the key drivers behind rapid rise of these services.

Evolution of Enterprise CFS Services

Naturally, people started to use these services in their workplace, and so a new category of services — with similar functionality but relatively deeper enterprise focus — was born. Some of these services are Box, EMC Syncplicty, Accellion, Citrix ShareFile, Oxygen, and Workshare (We evaluate these in RSG's ECM & Cloud File Sharing Report).

But Consumer and Enterprise Worlds Are Very Different...

As these services started to get widely used in organizations, there was a demand for additional “enterprise-y” features: integration with internal systems, security and enterprise controls, compliance, and so on.

Now, once you start adding these capabilities, you increase the very complexity that these products successfully avoided. And if you have to deploy a complex product, why not use a another complex product that you already have?

So ECM vendors started to build or acquire these capabilities. EMC acquired Syncplicity, while Alfresco, OpenText, Nuxeo, SharePoint, HP, Oracle, and most other ECM and Document Management vendors provide some sort of cloud-based file sharing and sync service.

Box, a major stand-alone CFS service provider is trying hard to expand its offering and wants to do much more than sync and share (more about this soon in a separate advisory for our subscribers). IBM is the only major ECM vendor without a CFS offering (and no I'm not speculating they’ll buy Box).

What’s Next for These Services?

Going forward, I believe there are two possibilities in terms of how standalone, cloud-based file sharing and sync services will evolve.

1) They’ll become a part of cloud infrastructure
The way ECM tools have traditionally provided repository services for other enterprise applications, these services could provide file-sharing as a service to other (mostly cloud-based) services. In a cloud-connected enterprise, file-sharing platforms will become comparatively easier to integrate and potentially serve as a repository for a variety of other, SaaS-based tools. I wrote about this earlier here and here.

2) Cloud file sharing and sync will just become a feature instead of a service
This will happen either because stand-alone CFS services will start building additional capabilities (a' la Box) or customers will increasingly use their existing ECM/DM vendors for file-sharing and sync services as well.

We will of course keep watching. Meanwhile, subscribers look out for the next release of ECM & Cloud File Sharing Report, which will have updated reviews of several of these services.

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Microsoft partners with OneDrive competitor Dropbox #ecm #Cloud Wed, 05 Nov 2014 14:16:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2781-Microsoft-partners-with-OneDrive-competitor-Dropbox?

What's the deal?

According to this announcement, you will now be able to edit Microsoft Office files from Dropbox's mobile apps, access Office files stored in Dropbox from Office mobile and web apps, and share files directly from Office apps.

But there's a caveat

You will need Office 365 licenses to be able to take advantage of this integration. Regular Office licenses won't do.

What's in it for Dropbox?

Dropbox has been immensely popular cloud-based file sharing and sync service, especially for consumer-centric scenarios. In fact, Dropbox has served as something of a bellwether in this marketplace, and continues to influence many other tools in terms of functionality.

However, Dropbox has presented difficulties within enterprise environments, especially those that require sophisticated controls and need to support complex business processes.

To be sure, the vendor's current offering for enterprises -- Dropbox for Business -- is now in its second incarnation (first one being Dropbox for Teams). But it still has functional limitations for use within enterprises, especially larger ones. for example, a subfolder inherits permissions from parent folder and you can't give a different set of permissions to a subfolder. This means it could become very difficult to create different sharing schemes when you have large number of people, teams and folders.

Perhaps this partnership with Microsoft will help give Dropbox an additional push within the enterprises. If you're a customer with large Office deployments, don't just ignore Dropbox's functional limitations because it now comes with a "Microsoft partnership" badge.

Another interesting aspect here is that Microsoft already promotes its own cloud-based file sharing and sync service known as OneDrive. In spite of that, they went ahead and partnered with Dropbox. This seems indicative of the continuing power and autonomy of the Office team as Redmond's key profit driver.

Finally do remember...

... that a lot of other cloud-based file sharing and sync providers also provide some level of integration with Microsoft Office applications, mostly via exposing their storage as a set of WebDav folders that you can directly access from client applications, including Office applications.

So if you are considering this combination, make sure you evaluate enterprise considerations such as Integration, Security, Administration, and so forth besides this linking of Office and Dropbox. Our ECM & Cloud File Sharing vendor evaluation research can help you here.

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