Thoughts on EMC's acquisition of Document Sciences

  • 7-Jan-2008

So EMC (read: Documentum) acquired Document Sciences. The announcement came over the holiday period, and has already been the topic of chatter in the blogosphere. It's an acquisition that makes perfect sense for EMC as they continue to reposition Documentum away from the traditional complex document management activities that established the firm, a market that is under attack from Microsoft and Open Text - and more into high value, transactional document management and archiving.

Document Sciences is a long established and well regarded firm that had a longstanding presence in the document output world, delivering software to manage highly complex, high volume publishing scenarios. It boosts the EMC portfolio, and sits nicely with the Captiva acquisition of 2006. Captiva was a dominant player in the capture/input market, and by some accounts now contributes more revenue to EMC than the core Documentum products do. In fact when looked at holistically, high volume transactional input, and high volume transactional output, together near perfectly compliment repository and industrial scale archiving products.

The storage centric, archiving / transactional document management story now being built by EMC positions them to play more strongly in the ever-changing ECM market. For a long time Documentum was a leader in ECM, but over the last 2 years they have lost their shine and momentum. Of course it will take time for the acquisitions to be absorbed, for the new "D6" version to be truly tested and worked out by the market, and for EMC to build a cohesive and comprehensive technical architecture across its product line. And so for buyers, EMC remains a turbulent vendor to deal with. But the moves they are making seem solid, and the prognosis looks good. It's a developing story that I will continue to cover in detail in the ECM Suites Report throughout 2008.

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