Monday, February 2, 2009

The competition in ECM and CMS is Google

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"DocuShare from Xerox is an ECM software product that is attractive to SMBs and larger companies alike because of its moderate cost and ease of use.

'DocuShare stores and categorizes electronic content into different collections, essentially replacing the paper-based file cabinet,' says Melinda Stoker, director of marketing communications for the DocuShare division at Xerox. 'It has robust functionality, ranks high in usability, scales well and enables organizations to automate business processes so paper is no longer required.'"
I would tread into these waters very, very carefully. It's not going to be other ECM's. Once Gdrive scales and someone figures out how to deal with security issues, this is on path for Google to grow past the advertising business into the next stage of "organizing the world's information." Docushare is in the "organizing the enterprise information" business. The enterprise is a subset of the "world." And enterprise walls keep disintegrating.

I just made up a future press release. I'm waiting for the event to happen so it can be released.
'Google Aps with Gdrive stores and categorizes electronic content into different collections, essentially replacing the paper-based file cabinet,' says 'It has the most robust functionality,the easiest of use and the largest network of server farms on the planet. It enables organizations to automate business processes so paper is used when needed, but not when not.' It costs between $25 to $100 per seat as a monthly service fee, with no installation costs and google servers replacing your IT overhead.
If you think this is never-never land, consider that the municipal government of Washington DC is moving to Google Aps. As I understand it the charge is $50/user/year.

If you can't beat 'em. Join 'em. That's the real reason for
Google it. Find it. Xerox it. Anywhere.
We have the most resilient, responsive global output engine on the planet. We make most of our money by supplying that network. We've invested a significant amount of money in Premier Partners and now have the social capital in place. As clicks increase our installed base will grow organically. Not because our boxes are better. But because joining the network means incoming clicks.

It might be a good opportunity before Google approaches Kodak or Heidelberg or vice versa and the slogan is:
Google it. Find it. Print it. Anywhere.

Kodak and Heidelberg own the offset print space, the way we own the formal enterprise space. Once Google figures out a strategy to replace adsense for Newspapers, they will figure out a way to deliver their ads in Print for niche markets.

Meanwhile in the digital printing space, it doesn't matter if cheaper boxes come to market. The boxes are going to get cheaper no matter what anyone decides. But, it's going to take the competition a couple of years to build our network. If they try to go into the enterprise space with department level printing, we should beat them pretty easily. The potential problem there is HP, Cannon, or Ricoh + IBM. Besides on I think we are doing very well with MFP, which are really the on ramp to the Cloud.

As for quality, the tech is good enough today. With the Igen4 and no heat fusing that's done on the output side. With great MFP's we have a nice place to start on the input side. Further incremental improvements are going to be a very, very tough sell at a price that makes anyone any money.

I just can't figure out why this doesn't pass the "why wouldn't we do it" test. The only thing I can imagine is that the signal from the many folks at Xerox who get this can't get through the noise at the C level.

Maybe someone should call someone. Or have coffee together. Or have a short conversation as they're going from this conference call and before the next conference call. Or forward a link with an email. Or . . . It shouldn't be all that hard for the company that organizes other company's knowledge bases.

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