Archive for June 2010
As my colleagues inside IBM have known for a over a week, I’ve decided to leave IBM to pursue other professional opportunities. Before I put out some blog posts on my future, I wanted to use this opportunity to look backwards at how far the ECM business has come with respect to discovery and content ananlytics over the last 5 years.
I came to IBM as part of the acquisition of a small enterprise search vendor — iPhrase Technologies. We joined up with a product team inside IBM building a product called “Information Integrator OmniFind Edition” to attack the enterprise search market. Though we were grouped inside the Content Management organization, we really went about our business independently relative to our ECM brethren, focusing on the search solutions, leveraging content analytics technologies for ‘concept searching’.
1 year later, FileNet joined IBM and we began to try to apply our search and discovery technologies to ECM centric business scenarios. As we began to collaborate, one of the first things that struck me about ECM, was the treatment of the documents. In enterprise search, documents were something to be cracked open by definition — how else to search it?
Yet the ECM world had a tendancy to treat a document as an ‘object’ –objects to be handled and managed. It struck me as digital paper shuffling where the expectation that ECM was for readying the document for someone with 2 eyes to read it and use it (and don’t get me wrong, it was challenging paper shuffling — billions of objects, large scale scanning — tough, tough problems).
Within this context we set down a path of applying analytics technologies to ECM. Our first step was to weave IBM’s content classification product within the ECM architecture, applying it to compelling scenarios in email archiving and records management. Next, we brought to market an eDiscovery solution built with analytics at its core. These first two steps were exciting but focused attempts at bringing about a better solution to specific ECM problems with content analytics, especially in the information governance market.
Then last year, IBM brought made generally availabile our Content Analytics platform. This third step is especially gratifying. Content analytics technologies have moved being an isolated technology, separate from ECM to delivering insight about businesses by leveraging the text inside of documents — the insides of these objects.
The embrace and adoption of content analytics is especially gratifying for me personally. Though I had but a small role, the change inside IBM ECM and externally amongst customers, analysts and others is stark relative to when I joined IBM. Content is no longer simply an ‘object’ to be managed — its an asset to be leveraged and this is a striking difference. I am confident that in the coming months and years this will increasingly become the accepted attitude and approach in ECM.
On that note, I want to thank folks for reading this blog on the topics of content classification and content analytics. For folks who are interested in more writing on information lifecycle governance, Craig Rhinehart continues to write on this topic at his blog.
Since my professional life will take me away from content analytics in the near term, I expect that this blog will start to reflect the new paths I’ll be following on my professional, post-IBM journey.
I hope you’ll continue to read as my journey takes these exciting new steps.