Interesting things about ECM

2010/05/27

Oracle UCM 10gR3 Premier Support Ends Dec 2012

Filed under: Oracle UCM, Stellent, WCM — Tags: , — Anthony Fast @ 1:37 pm

Oracle announced that the premier support for Oracle UCM 10gR3 ends dec 2012.

Release GA Date Premier
Support Ends
Extended
Support Ends
Sustaining
Support Ends
Oracle Universal Content Management 10gR3 May 2007 Dec 2012 Dec 2015 Indefinite
Oracle Universal Records Management 10gR3 May 2007 Dec 2012 Dec 2015 Indefinite

Source: http://www.oracle.com/us/support/library/lifetime-support-middleware-069163.pdf

Note that Oracle UCM 10gR3  is the current release!  (See http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/content-management/downloads.html)

Overview for all Oracle Enterprise Content Management Releases

Source: http://www.oracle.com/us/support/library/lifetime-support-middleware-069163.pdf

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2010/03/05

Should Oracle be on your Web CMS shortlist?

Filed under: Oracle UCM, Performance, Security, Stellent, WCM — Tags: , — Anthony Fast @ 1:58 pm

Source: http://www.jboye.com/blogpost/should-oracle-be-on-your-web-cms-shortlist/
August 31st, 2009 by Janus Boye

Oracle is among the largest global enterprise software vendors and like IBM and Microsoft, Oracle entered the CMS marketplace via an acquisition (Stellent in 2007). Oracle Universal Content Management (UCM) is based on the original Stellent product now fully rebranded, much improved and leading the market according to IT analyst Gartner. Does this make Oracle an obvious and safe candidate on your Web CMS shortlist?

We find that Oracle UCM does not come up often in standalone Web CMS selections, which is why it did not appear on our 2009 CMS Shortlist. According to Oracle sales pitches, the product has experienced increased adoption in recent years. As the Oracle customer list is very long and Oracle is known for upselling to the install base and for including UCM in larger deals, this sounds plausible.

Depending on your specific requirements, there are several reasons which might make Oracle a meaningful inclusion on your shortlist.

  • Oracle has continued to invest engineering resources in the product and made several recent improvements to the WCM part of UCM including usability, personalisation and accessibility.
  • As a large software vendor, you may already have a strong existing relationship with Oracle. If this the case, your stakeholders will probably appreciate getting a proposal from Oracle.
  • If you have a strong requirement to manage non-web content, eg. documents, this will play well with the product’s strengths.

Before you go ahead and add Oracle UCM to the shortlist here’s a few bullets for your consideration:

  • License and implementation cost will require a serious budget. The starting price is either US $115k  per-CPU or $2,300 per system user. Moreover, Oracle implementation partners are not known for attractive hourly rates.
  • Usability might have been improved, but still existing customers on the newest version of the product are so frustrated with poor usability that they publish commentaries like Oracle, can you improve your poor usability please? by Mark Morrell at BT.
  • You will need to learn the proprietary “Idoc Script” language for Site Studio until 11g release comes out.
  • UCM is a complex product and will be overkill for many scenarios.

Oracle is planning to release the much-anticipated 11g version of Oracle UCM later this year, which we look forward to studying closer. In the mean time, consider talking to Oracle on getting more information about what’s coming.

Comment on this article by Kas Thomas August 31st, 2009 21:49, Source: http://www.jboye.com/blogpost/should-oracle-be-on-your-web-cms-shortlist/

I would add another precautionary bullet point, having to do with the rights model. Study the UCM roles and rights model carefully and compare it against your requirements; that’s my advice. Maybe @bex or someone with deep UCM experience can educate me here, but I find the UCM rights model a tad unconventional. It defines a security group as a collection of files (not users). It maps rights to roles, then users to roles. Each security group is accessible to appropriately privileged roles.

If you create more than 50 security groups, system performance (initially at the admin level, but eventually at the user level) begins to take a hit, at which point Oracle suggests you turn on a feature called Accounts, which is a more granular, hierarchical permissions model. But if you choose to enable “Accounts,” you can’t go back to a non-accounts-enabled model without losing data (according to Oracle’s own documentation).

The whole thing seems a bit scary to me, but maybe that’s because I don’t understand it, which is not infrequently the case with things that scare me.

2009/10/12

Are you getting ripped off by your Oracle ECM consultant?

Filed under: General, Oracle UCM — Tags: , — Anthony Fast @ 8:24 pm

Source: http://stellentexperts.blogspot.com/2009/05/are-you-getting-ripped-off-by-your.html

Its absolutely maddening! A couple of days ago I’ve got a call from Alex. He was too busy to help out a client and wondered if I could help them out. I asked what do they need done. Guess what? Yet another new Oracle ECM client was badly burnt by a large consulting shop.

First they paid $250/hr plus travel and accommodation for a consultant to come on site for two weeks and “design an implementation approach”. What they ended up getting for over $25,000.00 is a copy of their own technical architecture document with a few pages of Oracle “Planning and Implementation Guide” plugged in. That’s all! Like that wasn’t enough?

The client proceeded anyways. They invested in the Content Server licenses and needed ECM up… Another month and a 25% of their budget later they had a few requirements workshops done and a requirements gathering template partially filled in. They’ve seen a PM, BA, an ECM consultant and an architect. No results! Isn’t that NUTS?

That amount was sufficient to have their environments rolled out and users trained in ECM but all they got is a couple of useless documents. What a rip-off!

I understand that replying to an RFP costs money but why the client has to pay for it?

If any one of you tells me another story like this – I’ll be banging my head against the wall and screaming until my neighbour comes back from their night shift and stops me! I cannot take it anymore! Can’t you guys see who you hiring?

OK, I understand that frustration doesn’t help much so let me give you a few red flags look for

  • Forced methodology. When consultant “recommends” very insistently that you have them produce a document or other “artefact” because its required by their methodology – be sure to question that and get your own independent assessment of what kind of return will you’d be getting on this investment.
  • Withholding knowledge. Unless you plan on retaining the consulting shop indefinitely, put very specific controls in place regarding the knowledge transfer. Be sure that consultants are ready and willing to explain every step they take and help your full time staff to follow by their footsteps. Verbal promises on behalf of the sales team are usually not enough to get that in place.
  • Unnecessary consultants. Before authorizing a team of consultants to start working on your project – are you sure you understand what every one of them is doing? Are you sure you will be getting value for what you pay for EACH ONE of them?
  • Inflated estimates. This one hardly needs any explanation. As long as you don’t have in-house Oracle ECM expertise – you are completely at they mercy as far as the estimates are concerned. They are free to double and triple the time things actually take and you won’t even know when to object.
  • Weak or no guarantee. Typical 30 days guarantee when consultants fix the bugs you find after the project is complete – is not much help:
    • Does it protect you from the project taking five times longer then they promised?
    • What about the one that delivered five times less then you expected where everything over and above the out-of-the-box Content Server deployment is a “Change Request” and costs extra?
    • Also – do you seriously expect them to fix bugs FOR FREE at the same pace they did when they were paid? Come on! Those developers were reassigned to another project a week before your last payment came out!

Hope those will make you a little more prepared to deal with not-so-honest consultants or minimize your losses if you already have one of these by your side.

Can they still cheat you?

Well, now that you will be noticing the “tricks of the trade” it will be harder for them to do but many will continue to get away until you have an in house Oracle ECM expertise … and – despite of what they tell you

– you actually can get good working knowledge of Oracle ECM in just a few days and

NO – it won’t require sending your people for an expensive several day course.

For starters, why don’t you get a “sandbox” copy of Oracle ECM on your laptop? You can get an easy, step by step instructions here and simply play around with it. Online help, combined with information from this blog should get you pretty far, pretty fast.

I’m working a complete set of FREE or very LOW COST training materials to get you the knowledge you need as quick and easy as it is humanly possible – you can check out my video courses at stellentexperts.com. And, of course, keep an eye on this blog.

That’s all for now,

Best,
Dmitri

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