Day and FileNet, reunited...under IBM

  • 2-Oct-2007

Sometimes a relationship ends, only to be rekindled later when the time is riper. Such is the case with Web Content Management (WCM) vendor Day Software and FileNet, now the dominant Enterprise Content Management (ECM) unit within IBM.

There's some history here. Back in 2002, FileNet acquired a small WCM vendor called eGrail, who was transitioning its product to Java -- a simpatico format for FileNet's emerging "P8" platform. Well, the WCM product turned out to be a dog, the boom busted, and FileNet went on happily selling very big Document Management systems running on very big iron. But when they discovered that enterprises remained interested in WCM even as pets.com was closing, FileNet realized they had a hole in their portfolio. This brought them to Day Software, purveyors of a well-regarded, Java-based CMS. The two companies worked together on some basic integration and FileNet salespeople got trained in selling Day's Communiqué product, in what I thought at the time was a pre-cursor to an acquisition.

Then lo and behold an even bigger fish -- IBM -- swallowed FileNet, leaving Day perhaps a little jilted. But today we learn that the FileNet team and Day are rekindling the romance. I think it makes sense technically. Even though there are far fewer use-cases for integrating DM and WCM systems than is commonly assumed, for some scenarios it can be quite important. And in any event, everyone is at least talking about integrating WCM with Records Management (RM) systems, and even if hardly anyone is actually doing anything about it, clearly there is a long-term opportunity here, inasmuch as FileNet develops RM tools, and Day does not.

Of course, these things are never straightforward, and there is another lass in the wings: IBM's own Workplace Web Content Management (WWCM) product. As Web CMS Report readers know, however, IBM has rather neglected WWCM, which seems to reside a bit uneasily between the Lotus and WebSphere groups right now.

Would it matter much if IBM ended up consummating the marriage after all by acquiring Day? Probably more so for WWCM customers than Communiqué customers. Day is a small company and I suspect would keep chugging on independently under Big Blue, but it could sap some energy from WWCM. If you are a P8 customer, this is probably good news in any case. In this marketplace, where customers are integrating content technologies with bailing wire and duct tape, more long-term integration options can certainly come in handy.

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