What has happened to the old stodgy content management space?
One way that I think you can measure the coolness of an industry is to look at who is doing the entertainment at industry functions (I know, frivolous, but stick with me).
Let's be honest for a minute about the kinds of bands one would see at ECM user conferences in recent years. Gladys Knight and the Pip (yes, there is sadly only one Pip left). Earth, Wind, and Fire. Fortunately for everyone concerned, at least no one booked Bachman Turner Overdrive despite the potential attractiveness of a "Taking Care of Business with ECM" theme.
Well, judging by 2 recent user conferences I attended last month, the times they are a changin' (OK, I realize this is a dated reference).
I was lucky enough to go to Box's Boxworks conference and IBM's Information on Demand event. The bands? Third Eye Blind and train. Bands my kids like. Bands my kids have heard in concert. Clearly an inflection point. This ain't your Father's content management; content is cool again.
I can't think of two more different companies on the content spectrum than Box and IBM, and yet the coolness factor not only applied to the bands, but to the value proposition being articulated.
Box's focus on content management in the cloud is clearly striking a chord with those looking for file share replacements and document centric collaboration and simplicity of implementation. The 18,000 seat P&G implementation they announced represents something of a tipping point for me in terms of the viability and relevance of cloud-based content management. So too did the investment by Salesforce.com in the company. At the other end of the spectrum, IBM's extension of the Watson technology set into real applications and the broader case studies focused on the power of analytics and big data were, frankly, way cool.
All of this is not to say that Box and IBM are better or worse than any other solutions, because that's not my job.
But I am excited about what these events say about the coolness factor of content technologies as an industry and what these two user conferences indicate about the future -- in wildly varying content spaces. I'm doubly excited that a centerpiece of BOTH of these events was the work that AIIM did with Geoffrey Moore on Systems of Record and Systems of Engagement (http://www.aiim.org/futurehistory).
Social. Mobile. Cloud. Big Data. They are all reenergizing and redefining content management. Here are some of the themes we're teeing up for next year...
- Process Revolution: Moving Your Business from Paper to PCs to Tablets
- Big Data: Extracting Value from Digital Landfills
- Solving the SharePoint Puzzle: Adding the Right Missing Pieces
- Faster, Simpler, Smarter: Collaborating and Processing in the Cloud
- Social in the Flow: Transforming Processes
So get rid of those bell bottomed jeans. Download some of your kid's tracks from iTunes (they probably charged them to your account anyway) and get ready for the future of content management.
Speaking of cool, I'm keynoting OpenText's Content World November 16 (My peeps save $300 w/ code CW2011KEY - http://bit.ly/unc4le) and also running an Executive Social Business Seminar with Oracle in NY on November 10.
Have you signed up for the new AIIM Conference March 2012 in San Francisco? For solution providers, almost all the premium slots are sold - get moving! For attendees, mark your calendars!