EMC rebrands CMA (aka ECM) to IIG

It seems to be acronym soup week, and though we can all be guilty of cooking this particular recipe at times, EMC is becoming a master chef.

This week the parts of EMC that involved Enterprise Content Management software (Documentum, Captiva, Legato etc) -- and were formerly known as the Content Management and Archiving division (CMA) --  decided to rename themselves and restructure as the Intelligent Information Group (IIG) division.  

All I can say is "Good Lord." It is of course up to the storage hardware giant EMC what they want to call themselves and their various divisions, but it really doesn't make life easy for buyers and end users of their technology. 

Every vendor we research and evaluate tries to tell us that they are unique, yet none of them are.  Each one does exhibit subtle and distinct differences that make it a good fit for one buyer, while a poor fit for another buyer.

Every vendor we research and evaluate tries to tell us that they don't really compete much with any other vendor.  This is patently untrue, as the many RFP's we advise upon so clearly inform us. 

But what is true is that every vendor wants to avoid the shortlisting process, and gain business via a non-competitive route. In some cases this is by selling a department on a SaaS option that sidelines the procurement and IT teams, with an entry price is so low that anyone can sign off. Or more commonly via a free bundling of ECM software into larger storage, application server, or database deals.  Only nothing is ever for free in business, and "free" deals often turn out to cost the most in the long run.

In rebranding to IIG, EMC is trying to to better position itself in the marketplace, away from the bastardization (thanks to SharePoint) of the term ECM, away from the old-fashioned sounding term Document Management, and avoiding the confusing GRC (Governance Risk & Compliance) term, and thereby attempting to carve out their own complete information management niche. 

I can understand why they might want to do that.  EMC has some excellent technology (which we evaluate in detail), but they have been hit harder by the SharePoint's commoditization of ECM, and by fierce competition from IBM and latterly Oracle at the higher end of the market (both of whom commonly try to avoid competitive selection processes themselves). 

But rebranding doesn't make life easier for buyers, who continue to struggle to simply make sense of this increasingly complex market. Sadly, as a result more buyers have unknowingly bought quite unsuitable technology to meet their needs, often via too-good-to-be-true bundled deals.

Our advice: never sidestep the competitive procurement process for any ECM or Document Management deal; always carefully compare and contrast one offering against another competitive offering.  Vendors might call themselves different names, and try to play in different markets, but you need to see beyond that and see the platforms for what they are -- expensive pieces of software that if used correctly can help you manage your enterprise documents better.  It's that simple.

Our customers say...

"The analysis of the current technology vendors and products is very comprehensive and it provides an excellent guide for potential purchasers to frame their functional, architectural and usability benchmarks."

Len Asprey, Director, Practical Information Management Solutions, and, Author, <i>Integrative Document and Content Management</i>

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