IBM maps its information-management plan

Updated CM products announced; future integration planned

IBM later this month plans to release updated versions of its DB2 content- and document-management products, featuring tighter integration among the portfolio. The move sets in motion Big Blue’s longer-term strategy to create an integrated information-management platform that supports customers’ mixed repository environments.

The updated content-management offerings include IBM DB2 Content Manager 8.3, DB2 Document Manager 8.3, and DB2 CommonStore 8.3. The goal of the lineup improvements is simplified information management that goes beyond traditional CM (content management), said Theresa O’Neil, IBM’s director of content management.

“We are simplifying information management, not just content management. IBM sees CM as a component of a broader information-management strategy,” O’Neil said.

One of the key market drivers is regulatory compliance, which requires enterprises to adopt automated records-management processes and apply policies across the organization.

To that end, the new 8.3 releases of DB2 Content Manager, Document Manager, and CommonStore are all integrated with the new version of IBM Records Manager, a move designed to automate the processes of records creation and management.

“This takes the onus off the end-user and ensures that those polices are applied consistently across organizations, regardless of the tools they are using,” O’Neil said.

In the 8.3 versions of DB2 Content Manager and Document Manager, workflow capabilities are enhanced with graphical tools that help end-users create workflows and automate business processes. Additionally, DB2 Content Manager gains XML features derived from Project Cinnamon, adding tools for the automated capture and management of XML documents in a common content repository.

IBM’s longer-term plan is to move away from point solutions toward an integrated portfolio approach to information management, O’Neil said. “[IBM’s] strategy is [to extend] integration and federation” across content, databases, repositories, and non-IBM platforms, she said.

Big Blue wants to pull together its separate CM offerings, and address real-world customer challenges brought on by mixed-platform environments, said Andrew Warzecha, senior vice president and group director at Meta Group.

“IBM has talked about multiple tools and products across their [CM] lineup. They have so many disparate offerings that run on many different platforms. It is nice to see there is a road map and that this stuff does come together,” Warzecha said.

IBM’s information management strategy for the future aims to create the ability to federate across different data sources, content sources, and systems, Warzecha said.

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