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IBM builds on content management strategy

IBM is to target mid-sized companies with a scaled-down version of its Content Manager product.

The company is also integrating technology designed to bolster e-records management - which it acquired from Tarian Software in November - with its flagship CM product.

IBM will deliver a Tarian-based product in the first half of this year, which will possibly go to beta in March.

"The Tarian acquisition was a good one for [IBM] because that product is, essentially, an engine … designed to be integrated in with IBM's product. There aren't any big complex front ends that need to be dealt with," said Stephen O'Grady, an analyst at RedMonk.

The products reflected a wider push by IBM that includes boosting its research budget for future CM products and reallocating approximately 2,000 sales people from its data management group to its CM group.

Although IBM's CM strategy appeared sound from a server perspective, some analysts believed the company was missing important pieces on the front end, particularly a Web content publishing tool.

"Companies such as Open Market and Eprise have some good front-end, customer-facing tools that do a good job of handling web content publishing. So far, IBM has gone the partner route on those things, although they have made some strides with their portal product there,'' O'Grady said.

Some analysts estimated that the main focus for IBM's CM strategy in 2003 will be to simplify its replication and search capabilities and to achieve tighter integration with DB2.

"Working on these things will help [IBM] better solidify the back end and improve the overall quality of the offering,” O'Grady said.

Whereas IBM moving towards an integrated CM stack, other CM suppliers have been working to diversify content offerings to meet the growing need for integrated functionality.

This month Vignette rolled out Portal Suites, designed to provide an integrated platform for creating, managing, and deploying Web applications.


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