EMC in the cloud



OnDemand is EMC’s new cloud offering. It is initially available for Captiva, Document Sciences, and Documentum, but in 2012 it will be extended to xCP and SourceOne. It will provide organizations with a great deal of flexibility in the way they provision applications, as it will enable them to choose between public and private clouds. They can also choose between the cloud, on-premise installed applications, and a combination. EMC sees this offering as a way of enabling smaller organizations to deploy the Documentum enterprise content management (ECM) platform – something that might be cost-prohibitive with the on-premise version of the product. However, Ovum believes EMC will have its work cut out if it is to persuade smaller companies to deploy a solution deemed high end and complex, and therefore not suited to the requirements of small companies. A quick win for EMC is likely to come from enterprises gradually adopting hybrid solutions of on-premise and cloud systems as a way of extending ECM access beyond traditional knowledge workers.

EMC must sell the benefits of its cloud solution to the SME market

EMC built its cloud architecture on its VMware virtualization and RSA security software. This has enabled it to take highly architected systems such as Documentum and provision them for the cloud. According to EMC, running the cloud version can reduce the implementation time from six months to approximately two hours. This makes the solution ideal for running a proof of concept (POC) before deciding whether to implement Documentum, Captiva, or Document Sciences across the enterprise. EMC has endeavored to make provisioning the necessary applications a simple process. The customer simply selects the applications from a list and provides details of users and other information.

This ease of implementation is also suited to the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market, which often does not have the expertise or budget to implement high-end, complex solutions the size and scale of Documentum. However, to exploit this market EMC will have to work with service providers that target those smaller organizations. It is unlikely that EMC will be approached by SMEs.

In general, smaller companies that adopt EMC OnDemand will continue to use the OnDemand version following the completion of a POC. However, if an enterprise then decides to deploy the solution as a licensed on-premise product, the existing deployment can easily be moved to the organization’s site. EMC anticipates that organizations will want to move back and forth between on-premise implementations and the cloud, and the service was created to allow for this. EMC provides experts to maintain and manage the system regardless of whether it was deployed as a private or public cloud. Organizations can either have the offering hosted in EMC’s data center or deploy it on site with EMC managing the system and providing support.

Because the take-up among the SME market will be gradual, EMC needs to sell the benefits of its OnDemand solutions to the enterprise market as a way of extending access to ECM throughout the enterprise.

Organizations need to carefully consider how they will use the cloud

The chances of large enterprises abandoning on-premise solutions entirely for cloud offerings in the near future are low. Cloud computing is much more likely to be adopted as a hybrid solution in which business-critical information is kept on premise and less critical content is stored in the cloud. It is also likely that key knowledge workers will continue to access ECM functionality via an on-premise installed platform. The take-up of cloud-based solutions such as EMC’s OnDemand services will be highest among ad hoc and casual users that require less functionality than knowledge workers. The advantage of cloud-based services to these kinds of users is that organizations only have to pay for usage of the system, rather than for licenses that may only occasionally be used.

Ovum does not believe EMC will initially gain a large market share of organizations implementing cloud-only ECM strategies. The biggest take-up will be among organizations adopting hybrid systems that incorporate a combination of on-premise and cloud-based ECM. The flexibility of the EMC offering will allow organizations to move content and user access between on premise and the cloud, so they are able to cater for peaks in demand as well as accommodate ad hoc users.

A big opportunity for EMC will occur when EMC OnDemand for SourceOne becomes available and organizations can offload some of their long-term archived content to the cloud, alleviating overflowing data centers. This will also provide an additional entry point and introduction to EMC for the SME market as it struggles with growing data volumes.



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