Job Scheduling Serves Universal Business Models
Documentum, a leading provider of enterprise content management (ECM), has over a decade of experience providing solutions to create, manage, deliver, and archive unstructured content. Building on these strengths, an increasing challenge for Documentum’s Global 2000 customer base was how to leverage the value of a powerful enterprise content infrastructure to benefit partners and other external constituents. Anticipating and envisioning customer requirements has been a hallmark of Documentum’s success in industries from manufacturing to financial services. Perceiving this need to enhance their ECM solution over the entire content management process, Documentum stepped ahead of their competitors to provide another advantage to their customers.
Across the country from the Documentum’s Pleasanton, California, headquarters, a private company in Boston called Boxcar Software had developed software for content exchange — for aggregating and distributing content. In January, 2002, Documentum acquired Boxcar and shortly thereafter rolled out a new, fully integrated product offering for content distribution — Documentum Content Distribution Services (CDS). With the release of CDS, Documentum was able to meet customers’ requirements to leverage and extend their ECM system to external partners and customers. An organization using Documentum to produce a Web site or manage product documentation could now repurpose that content and provide it to key partners, suppliers, resellers, customers, and other external entities, even other groups in the same company.
At its heart, CDS provides automation and control of the distribution of enterprise content to business recipients, or “subscribers”. Content providers and subscribers jointly use CDS to configure content distribution relationships, increasing operating efficiency, opening up new revenue streams, and ensuring compliance through regulated, recorded activity. Companies using CDS can access any type of content in Documentum and other common repositories and automatically distribute it to any destination, at any time, and in any format they choose.
To facilitate the demanding scheduling needs for content providers as well as subscribers, Boxcar had licensed Flux from Sims Computing. Flux is a lightweight software component that provides time-based, event-driven, and file-driven job scheduling. Flux’s J2EE compliant API fits easily into Boxcar’s and now Documentum’s standards-based architecture, and provided developers with an easy methodology for job scheduling, without requiring additional training or coding. As such, Flux is a natural choice for CDS.
The type of automation enabled by Flux, said Dan Stevenson of Documentum, is essential to today’s business model. “A big drawback to homegrown systems is they can’t easily automate the exchange of content,” he said. “Content distribution is crucial to our customers, and with automated scheduling, a content provider can be assured that the entire ‘digital supply chain’ from their repositories to their subscribers’ systems will be efficient, controlled, and easy to maintain.”
According to the Yankee Group, an industry analyst firm and early customer of CDS, Documentum’s software ensures that their “valued customers have the latest research at their fingertips.” The Yankee Group provides customers with new research and information on a daily basis. Instead of trusting in an unpredictable delivery method, subscribing customers can tell Yankee exactly what they want and get the resulting content delivered in an automated and reliable manner.
The significant flexibility CDS grants content providers and subscribers — for scheduling, formatting, and delivery methods — is a big plus for the Yankee Group. “Allowing customers to customize how they want to receive information from us enhances our competitive advantage,” they said. “We look forward to offering new and different services as a result of this solution.”
And though customers of companies using CDS will get their fair share of the benefits of automated, asynchronous, time-sensitive content delivery, internal business systems will also see benefits.
Fairchild Semiconductors, another Documentum customer, said “CDS offers great value to organizations looking to ensure its customers, partners, and suppliers receive, and have access to, the most accurate content, especially in a company such as ours that manufactures and distributes many new products. CDS provides numerous cost efficiencies and could be used across numerous initiatives throughout a company.”
From research to manufacturing to financial services to media, business today relies upon the immediate availability of important information. Communication needs to occur as the information is available, not simply when the IT staff can send it out. Providing broad range, long-term solutions for a multitude of markets, Documentum is using automated content distribution, including job scheduling technology from Sims Computing, to stay ahead of the pack.