Rising M&A Activity Beckons a Smarter Content Management Strategy

Martin Richards

Martin Richards

EMC Corporation’s Enterprise Content Division Senior Director of Energy Industry Solutions. Follow @MartinR_Eng

Merger and acquisition activity continues in the Oil & Gas sector, as value investors take advantage of “bargains” to round out portfolios and enter new markets. As noted in Oil and Gas Financial Journal in September, “in the current environment, as companies focus on capital productivity/efficiency, there may be a rise in mergers…as scale provides the opportunity to cut costs and boost efficiencies.” The IT implications include an opportunity to consolidate systems and ready for scale.

handshakeThe M&A process often sets multiple initiatives in motion that affect how you approach content management. Typically there are personnel changes as staff redundancies are ironed out, which means important organizational knowledge – including partner contracts and customer lists – must be carefully maintained. Systems are evaluated for integration, emphasizing the need for safeguarding business content and possibly requiring data migrations and consolidation. Most importantly, merger activities are driven to a timetable to ensure the acquired company’s value has a positive impact as quickly as possible. This may mean the new company’s ability to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) to more countries, or an opportunity to renegotiate supplier contracts based on a global procurement policy.

As we have witnessed numerous times from our vantage point as a content management provider, ECM systems and cloud services can deliver efficiencies at just the right time through the M&A event. Consider these three factors as you determine how to exploit merger activities for your competitive advantage:

1 – Company Culture – Decisions, Decisions

Just as initial due diligence efforts consider leadership styles and company cultures, so too must your content management strategy. Understand if the newly merged company style is top-down, with centralized decision-making cascading to Continue reading

Your Fastest Path to Collaboration – The Cloud

JD de Haseth

JD de Haseth

Director, Marketing — Cloud Services in the Enterprise Content Division (ECD). Follow @dehaseth at EMC Corporation
Director, Marketing -- WW Cloud Services @ EMC Enterprise Content Division

wireless technology and social media s_122301355Times have changed when it comes to executing work in today’s digital enterprise environment. For business to survive and compete, collaboration with strategic and transactional external partners is a table stakes core competency. Blockbuster drug discoveries or new power plant builds can involve dozens of specialists — all well beyond the company’sprotected firewalls — working together to earn their commercial prize.

Earlier this year, for example, Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development’s Outlook predicted “the way [contract research offices] conduct trials with partners may continue to shift,” including experimentation with “a number of outsourcing models to improve quality and reduce cost.”

In the energy sector, the rising cost of capital projects is prompting large engineering firms to collaborate across every level of a plant or energy infrastructure project, globally and locally. According to strategic management consulting firm AT Kearny, capital projects across industries “quite literally shape our world, with more than $10 trillion spent each year to develop the infrastructure that supports modern life — from bridges to hospitals, ports to gas fields.”

Already several years ago, the firm predicted the criticality of collaboration, as “companies and contractors alike noted a shift in the balance of power toward contractors, thus emphasizing the importance of improving contracting both within and across projects.”

Cutting Out VPN-Upstart Complications
Yet the IT technologies that need to enable this fluid exchange of expertise and resources can sometimes stand in the way of your competitive edge. In the content management space, the fastest path to quicker – yet still resilient – collaboration is often turning to a public cloud deployment model. No more 10-step processes to engage, accredit, verify, implement and troubleshoot virtual private network (VPN) access to core content for Continue reading

12 Years Running: EMC Named a Leader in Enterprise Content Management by Gartner Inc.

Patrick McGrath

Patrick McGrath

Head of Product Marketing, EMC, Enterprise Content Division. Follow @patrickiest at EMC
Patrick McGrath joined EMC to lead Product Marketing for the Enterprise Content Division. Patrick previously performed business model and platform consulting to crowdsourcing startups. He spent 12 years at UC Berkeley, responsible for the strategy and delivery of data and content services including: business intelligence, imaging/scanning, BPM, records, archiving, web content management, content management for research and museums; and collaboration platforms. Prior to UC Berkeley, Patrick held senior management roles within DigitalThink (an early SaaS eLearning company) and Documentum. The remainder of Patrick’s 30-year career includes consulting, business development, technical delivery and management within startups and established enterprises.

Successful organizations are transforming the way they work. Business interactions are now being optimized for end-users and customers, from the traditional approaches where interactions were optimized for back-office operations. Considering a digital-first approach is now essential for managing costs, achieving competitive advantage, and delivering superior customer engagement. At the heart of these initiatives are essential business practices such as Enterprise Content Management (ECM). It is therefore critical to select a technology partner that has the breadth of offerings and the right perspective to drive this vital business transformation.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management_20151021

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from EMC by clicking the graphic above. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Today, we are pleased to announce that EMC has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management. To be considered a leader, vendors need to demonstrate both a completeness of vision and an ability to execute, among other criteria*.

Even more impressive is that we have been recognized as a Leader in 12 out of 12 Gartner Magic Quadrants for Enterprise Content Management.

It is important to note that over the years, expectations of what constitutes a complete “ECM solution” have evolved. This is the result of continued innovation from established leaders, like EMC, who have not only built this market, but continue to advance it into the digital era.

We believe that our continued leadership reflects not only the full breadth of our offerings and the sustained success we have delivered to our customers for more than 25 years now, but also our compelling vision and strategy for next-generation ECM. This strategy includes an entirely new set of offerings for today’s digital enterprises and is being developed under the banner of Project Horizon. Project Horizon will deliver a modular set of services and productivity apps that will enable new content-based interactions both inside and outside the enterprise. These offerings take full advantage of major advances in security, mobility, cloud application delivery, collaboration and big-data analytics.

These apps are purposefully designed to work in concert with our existing Documentum and InfoArchive offerings. Rather than offering a new, monolithic, Cloud-based platform that will force existing ECM customers to migrate to an entirely new solution, we have taken a different path, one that builds on the legacy of EMC and offers immediate, incremental value and functionality to our customers. In isolation, Project Horizon’s content apps and services are incredibly compelling. Combined with our traditional offerings, they are invaluable.

Helping organizations move to new business models that will deliver competitive advantage has always distinguished EMC as an innovator and leader in Enterprise Content Management. This has never been more true than today. To learn more about EMC’s Leader position, download the Gartner report and also read a post from our President, Rohit Ghai, on the EMC Pulse blog.

*According to the report, “Leaders” have the highest combined scores for Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision. They are doing well and are prepared for the future with a clearly articulated vision. In the context of ECM, they have strong channel partners, presence in multiple regions, consistent financial performance, broad platform support and good customer support. They are very strong in one or more technologies or vertical markets. Leaders deliver a suite that addresses the demand for direct delivery of the majority of core components, although these are not necessarily owned by them, tightly integrated, unique or best of breed in each area. In our assessments we looked for demonstrated enterprise deployments; integration with other business applications and content repositories; incorporation of social, cloud and mobile capabilities; and vertical-process and horizontal-solution focus. Leaders should drive market transformation.

What’s Your Cloud “Personality Type”?

JD de Haseth

JD de Haseth

Director, Marketing — Cloud Services in the Enterprise Content Division (ECD). Follow @dehaseth at EMC Corporation
Director, Marketing -- WW Cloud Services @ EMC Enterprise Content Division

At a recent internal EMC team-building event, each person revealed their Myers-Briggs personality type. What’s fascinating about these revelations is how team members deepen their appreciation for how others think, behave and react. The knowledge and richer understanding of each person ultimately fosters a more efficient and effective means of communication with one another and an overall team environment, helping the business Man touching shapesucceed.

As I think about our customers making cloud decisions, a similar “personality type” exercise comes to mind. Instead of one individual, however, an understanding of your organization’s type can help map how and where a cloud approach for content management is most suitable. Consider how your organization makes approval decisions; how mature or brand new the process workflows are; how users access content and type of content; if your company places constraints on where date resides; and whether company policies allow for outsourcing; all of this is part of your company’s “type.” Bearing these factors in mind can help you approach content management cloud deployment choices more strategically for better success.

As EMC highlights our commitment to Total Customer Experience, the timing is right to discuss what’s happening in our ECM cloud space. After all, we embarked upon content management in the cloud based on customer needs to move faster, with less hassle, and Continue reading

Closing the Gap Between the Business and its Information

Sean Baird

Sean Baird

Sean leads Energy and Engineering Industry solution marketing and market development for EMC’s Enterprise Content Division. Follow @sean_baird at EMC

Throughout the Energy industry, we see a fairly common challenge facing businesses: while information is critical running the business effectively, access to it remains elusive. Information is often locked away in filing cabinets or accessible only through experienced subject matter experts. This creates inefficiencies, slowing down or making it more difficult for you to do your job, or worse, increasing the risk that errors are made.

Energy PlantWhile the latter increases the risk of extended shut downs or worse, very public and expensive accidents, the former is actually a much greater threat to organizations. Operational inefficiency is a constant drag on profitability, especially in the oil and gas industry with today’s lower oil prices. As organizations strive for operational excellence – and the efficiencies and cost savings that are derived from this goal – better control and access to information is usually one of the first and most important steps in these initiatives.

As we’ve discussed elsewhere, one considerable risk posed by the Big Crew Change is the loss of subject matter experts that are invaluable to basic operations. As these seasoned professionals leave the workflow, decades of experience and knowledge leave with them. We see many of our customers dealing with this challenge, and the desire to hold on to these experts leads to retention bonuses – increasing costs and delaying real solutions to the problem.

Further, in highly regulated Energy industries, an organization’s ability to respond to regulatory inquiries is directly related to its control and access to the Continue reading