Multi-tasking the presentation away.

2 min read

I’m sitting in a presentation about a couple of new(ish) Documentum products. I’m streaming my thoughts while my colleague Andrew shows off My Documentum for Outlook and My Documentum Offline.

Because I know that there are going to be people that will see this and wonder what Documentum is, it’s an Enterprise level content management system. One of a couple of different systems that big companies choose when they need to manage documents.

The new clients look impressive, certainly there has been a lot of engineering put into building tools that are supposed to be easier to use, intuitive, and seamlessly integrated into the environment.

Being intuitive is something that content management systems have struggled with in the past. The basic product is taking away the familiar save to My Documents (or a Network Drive) and replacing it with a web interface.

It’s slower than just saving it to a Hard Drive, and while there are many benefits (such as version control), they’re often sacrifices that users feel are not worth it. That’s not even including lost productivity when the system isn’t working properly or the users haven’t been trained properly.

Being intuitive is something that can’t be overrated. Having the ability to work offline and have the application manage the synchronization in the background is a victory.

The changes to the interface compared to the existing Webtop and Application Connector product lines may cause problems for EMC and any clients that choose to implement it - There is a certain amount of cost associated with retraining users to the new system.

On the other hand its worth trialling (regular) users - we’re all to informed about how content management systems work to determine if it’s truly a friendly interface for people that aren’t familiar with content management.

Now back to the grindstone.