Mediasurface announced that it had entered into a partnership agreement with Cervalis, a managed service and hosting specialist. The new service allows companies to deploy the Mediasurface solution in a fully hosted environment, taking advantage of Cervalis’ enterprise class security and scalability with an extremely low set up and maintenance cost. www.cervalis.com, www.mediasurface.com
Adobe Systems Incorporated announced the immediate availability of Adobe Acrobat 7.0 software. Acrobat 7.0 provides users the ability to assemble documents from multiple sources, create intelligent forms, and collaborate on projects inside and outside the firewall. The Acrobat 7.0 family offers different functionality to address specific customer workflows. Acrobat 7.0 Professional provides more advanced control over engineering and design documents for technical and creative workgroups that rely on specialized software, including computer-aided design applications and publishing solutions such as Adobe Creative Suite. Acrobat 7.0 Standard is for business professionals in organizations of all sizes. Acrobat Elements is a license-only product that allows enterprises to put Adobe PDF creation capability on every desktop for more secure document distribution. Adobe also announced the immediate availability of Adobe Reader 7.0, including a public beta version for the Linux operating system. Adobe Reader 7.0 now offers the ability for users to participate in document reviews, have Yahoo! Search capabilities at their fingertips and interact with 3D objects placed in PDF. Acrobat 7.0 Professional and Acrobat 7.0 Standard for Microsoft Windows 2000 (with service pack 2), Windows XP Professional, Home and Tablet PC Editions, and Mac OS X v10.2.8 and v10.3, are immediately available in English. French, German and Japanese language versions are expected to be available in early 2005. www.adobe.com
Adobe Systems Incorporated announced the immediate availability of Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server. Tightly integrated with Adobe Acrobat 7.0 and Adobe Reader 7.0, LiveCycle Policy Server enables organizations to apply policies to electronic documents for added assurances of persistent confidentiality, privacy and accountability inside and outside the firewall. Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server enables organizations to manage document policies by determining who can view a PDF document, and whether the recipient can modify, copy, print or forward the document. Through integration with standard LDAP-based authentication and identity management infrastructures for centralized document control, the software provides assurances that only intended recipients can open a protected document. The permissions on these documents also can be changed or revoked, regardless of how many copies were distributed or where the documents reside. Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server is a part of Adobe’s Intelligent Document Platform for generating, collaborating, processing and securing intelligent documents in the enterprise. Together with Adobe LiveCycle Document Security software, LiveCycle Reader Extensions software and Acrobat, they enable more secure communications via electronic documents. Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server is available immediately starting at $50,000 U.S. www.adobe.com/security
Just before the Christmas holiday, AIIM announced some interesting research about how users view the connection between ECM and Business Process Management. Gaining access to the full-report requires (free) registration as an AIIM Associate Member, though AIIM has been highlighting a few items in the press:
- Users see limited connections between ECM and BPM technologies. Sixty-four percent of the respondents viewed ECM and BPM as two separate initiatives that intersect from time to time. They are seen as complementary and overlapping, but distinct.
- Users have varied implementation experiences with ECM and BPM technologies. End user respondents reported that more than 50 percent have undertaken BPM solutions to address departmental projects. By comparison,42 percent have undertaken departmental projects using an ECM solution. Interestingly, the survey found that only 11 percent of end users have deployed and implemented an enterprise-scale initiative using BPM technologies, while 17 percent have used ECM solutions.
- Users rate productivity and costs savings as extremely important business process drivers. End users cited increased productivity, reduced costs, and increased customer satisfaction as extremely important potential benefits of ECM and BPM technology solutions.
- Users view ECM and BPM implementation challenges comparable to other major software implementation challenges. More than 50 percent of end users surveyed state that the implementations of ECM and BPM technology solutions present exactly the same challenges or similar challenges to other major software implementation challenges.
- Users cite finance and internal/administrative business processes as important reasons for BPM implementation. BPM technologies could be used to address business processes across a variety of functional areas within enterprises, with finance, internal/administrative processes, and human resources as top beneficiaries.
This research spells out some of the market confusion I have been sensing over the last year or so. I think some vendors see BPM as the bigger market opportunity, and this seems to support that. It perhaps explains why Oracle’s content management announcement last month seemed to be part of a larger message about BPM.
While the AIIM users see “limited connections between ECM and BPM technologies,” I see a much stronger connection, but, as I have admitted in the pages of The Gilbane Report and elsewhere, I don’t think I have successfully explained that connection yet.