Lexmark and the marriage of ECM and DOM

  • 18-Nov-2011

Perceptive Software, which was acquired by Lexmark a while back, has announced a new product for Document Output Management (DOM) called ModusOne. It is a separate product that can work with or without ImageNow, Perceptive's Document Management tool that we evaluate in our Document Management Report.

DOM and associated technologies -- such as Automatic Document Assembly, Document Automation, Document Composition, and others that we clubbed in our evaluations under Dynamic Publishing -- play very closely with ECM tools. The documents that are part of these sub-systems (such as Insurance Policies, Telephone bills, Quotes or Customer Correspondence) are or should be a part of broader business process. So you need to be able to apply library services to them (check-in/out, versions), take them through a workflow, declare them as a record, or archive them for long term.

In spite of seemingly close interdependencies between DOM and ECM, not too many Document Management or ECM vendors have really done a good job of offering a seamless solution for both. Some that do offer some capabilities are IBM, Microsoft, EMC (via its acquisition of Document Sciences' xPressions), Oracle (via its numerous acquisitions like Skywire and Docucorp), HP (it acquired Exstream), Pitney Bowes, and possibly a few others.

Adobe also has LiveCycle, although it is likely that it will be reducing its focus on LiveCycle in lieu of sexier Digital Marketing and Media sectors (more about Adobe's recent announcements in a separate post). In most of these cases, ECM vendors have acquired an external tool to offer these capabilities and as a result, there has not been a really close integration between their ECM repository and DOM tool.

We don't know yet if Perceptive does a better job but we'll keep watching. Mean while, if you are evaluating DOM-type tools, remember this advice from our advisory titled "Dynamic Publishing Systems -- A Technical Overview,"

Dynamic Publishing should not be considered as a standalone system. Content and documents that are within the scope of Dynamic Publishing are often subject to the same stages and processes as any other content, such as publishing workflows, version management, archiving and so forth. Hence, you should consider Dynamic Publishing as part of a broader content management initiative. It is very important that the DPS you select has basic ECM capabilities (repository services), or provides connectors to integrate with external ECM, search, and portal tools.

 We'll keep watching...

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