The strategy among many in the second tier of ECM – especially those who have built a war chest over the years – is to innovate their way out of trouble through a combination of R&D and acquisition.
Interwoven’s purchase of web optimisation firm Optimost is a classic example of this ’rewriting the terms of engagement’, with the new technology fitting comfortably in with the business-centric web content management (WCM) platform, in which the company specialises.
While Interwoven CEO Max Carnecchia admits there is a “transition in the market”, he insists that “We don’t see ourselves as competitors to SharePoint. SharePoint is a generic tool as opposed to a business tool.”
Carnecchia is keen to distance Interwoven from the upheaval in the ECM market. His take: if it helps the business, does it really matter what label you put on the tool? “ECM is an analyst term,” he says. “We built our value on understanding the business side, and business wouldn’t call it ECM.”
The company has highly specialised WCM tools for the financial and legal markets. These boast features such as secure management and sharing, legal search and thorough disposal of records.
The firm’s interests lie more in integrating acquisitions like Optimost into existing WCM platforms, and leveraging them with a services model.
Optimost is intended to “close the loop” by allowing marketing departments to create and test content within the WCM platform, using a software-as-a-service model, all without the “friction” of IT involvement. “Currently, marketing sees what’s possible, but doesn’t know how to get there,” Carnecchia says.