EMC adds Facebook-like capability to Documentum

The company plans to integrate social collaboration tools into the newest version of its enterprise content management suite. But how useful is it to the enterprise?

EMC is mixing Facebook-like functionality and features into the newest version of its Documentum enterprise content management product suite.

The storage company said its goal with Documentum 6.5 was to bring the usability of today's most popular consumer tools to enterprise content management. Documentum Centerstage Essentials, one of the new products featured in the release, is a social collaboration tool that allows for shared team workspaces, guided search and other content management services.

"It's geared toward the knowledge worker that needs a collaboration tool when working on presentations and documents," Andrea Leggett, senior product marketing manager at EMC, said. "They need to route things around, get approvals, get comments, start discussions and collaboration, not only with internal peers, but also with external partners."

Continuing on the theme of bringing Web 2.0-based elements into the corporate environment, EMC also unveiled its Documentum Media WorkSpace tool. The "rich-media" interface allows users to find, compare, markup and share video files and images.

"Not only can we do relevance rankings on images or video just like you'd have on Amazon.com when looking through their products, but we can also allow you to search by those conditions," Leggett said.

The Media WorkSpace tool is similar in nature to technology offered by Octopz, which gives users the ability to synchronously view and markup a variety of digital media documents such as video, images, animations and 3-D models. The Web-based software - which even allows users to place comments on a single video frame - runs in a Flash-enabled browser and allows for collaboration via built-in text, voice and video chat.

Gregory Kosinski, director of product marketing at EMC, said the fact that Media WorkSpace is fully integrated into its Documentum platform gives it a strong edge versus other standalone media collaboration tools. He said the tool is more focused on larger enterprises that need to manage a range of content to support their media assets as opposed to the creative professional.

"Our products are more focused on bigger enterprises, like a consumer goods company for example," Kosinski said. "They might have a larger creative staff and they're managing not just images, but lots of other information about new products that they might be launching. They have to manage the label, the collateral that goes out with it, and the advertising campaign."

IDC Canada analyst Vinay Nair said whether or not companies look at the smaller solutions will depend on how much risk they are willing to take.

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