February 23, 2003 9:00 PM PST

Documentum adds collaboration tools

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Software maker Documentum, a specialist in content management products, is set to announce Monday the first products to integrate collaboration software the company recently acquired.

The new eRoom Enterprise product will combine Documentum's content management tools--which catalog, manage and reformat business content ranging from text documents to XML (Extensible Markup Language) data--with the browser-based collaboration tools made by eRoom, a privately held software maker Documentum acquired late last year.

The goal is to allow companies to use content management software as more than just a file clerk, keeping track of various types of content and repurposing them for different formats, said Whitney Tidmarch, vice president of product marketing. By providing a browser-based environment to view and manipulate that content, the eRoom component of the new package allows workers inside and outside the company to make better use of the content being managed.

"Our strategy as a whole has been to continue to broaden the types of content we allow companies to store in a universally accessible place," Tidmarch said. "Having an online meeting place or online virtual workplace where this kind of casual interaction can take place is something we haven't had, though. The eRoom software really fills in that part of the picture."

Documentum expects the combination of content management and collaboration tools will especially appeal to workers who have to deal with new corporate rules that govern how documents such as print reports and e-mail messages must be preserved, said Naomi Miller, director of product marketing for Documentum.

Combining content management and collaboration tools is a growing trend in the industry, said Nick Wilkoff, an analyst with Forrester Research. But the combination is most valuable to Documentum as a way to introduce existing eRoom customers to the benefits of content management.

"There's a big eRoom customer base that hasn't really gotten started with content management yet," he said. "Especially with the growth in corporate portals, there's going to be more overlap between collaboration and content management, and this gets them started on addressing that."


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