HPE tackles policy-based governance

Addressing a recent user forum hosted in Melbourne by reseller and solution provider Kapish, HPE’s David Gould, WW Director, Software, Information Governance Solutions, outlined the upcoming name change for TRIM/RM, as well as a new features of the V9.0 release. Afterwards, IDM’s Bill Dawes spoke with David about the product’s future roadmap.

IDM: What once was TRIM is now Contents Manager. Why the new name change and what does it signify?

DG: The only reason we’re changing the name is that we want to really reflect the true power of the solution.  The Records Manager (RM) name I don’t think ever did the product justice from a business standpoint.  Even here in Australia, our partners say the value is around business process improvement.  Customers say it “Improves business process because I can find things faster.”

Even in Australia, not everybody would buy this solution because they want to do records.  They may want to do retention, they may want to do document management, or they may want to do enterprise content management.  We have to really make sure that the solution has a name that speaks to a broader sense of purpose.

I hope not to change it every three years, that’s not the goal.  But we want to get to a name that I think really more reflects what we do from a business perspective.

IDM: After the merger with Autonomy there was a lot of confusion over HP’s overall strategy. Has that settled down with the Worksite management buyout?

DG: We had a lot of confusion, because we had the Worksite product, we had an archiving product, which we still have, and there were a lot of competing interests within the HP software structure, which hurt our business in a pretty significant way.  Now we’ve recovered, we just came off a record year, which is great, and we’re seeing tremendous growth around the world.  But the thing that’s driving the growth now is we have an incredibly strong management commitment to the solution.  This whole notion of what we call the ‘enterprise content management suite’ using ControlPoint, Storage Optimizer, Structured Data Manager, that really allows you to get your arms around all content, and let Content Manager do its work.

What we have in Content Manager is this ability not only to do source-based retention, but event based and time based.  That makes the ability to keep information and manage information multi-dimensional, and from a governance perspective, from a defensible disposition perspective, a definability perspective, all those things really grow.

That records methodology is what differentiates our product globally.  Most archiving is what they call simple archiving.  You have a source where you take that content from and you put it into an archive for long term keeping.  But there’s not much you can do, you can’t really differentiate the information, there’s not a lot of granularity of how you can manage that content.   

The discipline that was invented here by the records management industry has really made our product differentiated globally.  And because of that we can manage information in a much more sophisticated granular way.

IDM: RM 8.3 was released late 2015, what can users expect from this 9.0 release?

DG: We really want to make sure that that web client is very fully functional so organisations don’t have to deploy desktop clients, which is an IT issue, and it’s also an upgrade issue, it’s a maintenance issue, it’s all those issues.

V8.3 helped us progress our cloud story, it helped us progress our SharePoint story.  Our only goal in that integration is to make SharePoint better, make it more compliant, and make it more manageable.  HP is one of the world’s largest users of SharePoint, so my view of that is very much focused on a how can we make SharePoint better.

The other piece where we did a lot of enhancement in 8.3 was the matter management, the ability to structure information differently into the system, and it’s not that we want to go after law firms per se, but the way lawyers have traditionally organised content is not around a standard file, it’s around individual matters.  From the perspective of a government agency, organising matters around a residence or a road or a park is the same thing.  If you can organise information around an address, or in the drug world around a submission, or a medical device, and then cascade your file underneath that, where that’s at the top of the hierarchy, that’s a very different way to manage information. 

For V9.0 we have worked on governance or policy based ECM, where policy drives the way content is being created, stored, managed and disposed. Our vision is to be able to actually ingest the actual statutory requirements of laws relating to jurisdiction as well as to specific real estate or tax laws into the system, use auto-classification to classify that content, and automatically put it in the right folder, as well as put it into the right retention cycle on an automated basis, as opposed to doing it today, which is being done manually.  It’s what we call ‘the last mile of retention’.  That is a big focus of the this release.

Organisations today want to unify content across the enterprise, but to do that they don’t have to have it all in the TRIM repository.  They can keep it in SharePoint, in Documentum, or in OpenText.  What we do have is this really strong capability to manage in place, so we’re not requiring companies to move their content out, but we can impose control out based on the compliance of the controls that you want to put on the content.

IDM: How has the product licensing changed for on-premise users?

DG: We’re trying to get into a cycle that allows us to continuously improve the product, but do it in a way that allows us to plan out a couple of releases ahead of time.  The issue there is what version do customers go to, because you’re releasing so quickly?  And one of the things that we’ve done here is we’ve changed for example our obsolescence policies, which used to be version based, now they’re time based.  So the 8.3 release which came out last November has a three year shelf life of active support through November of 2018, so a customer who’s making a decision on what version to buy a year from now, they know that that product has a three year shelf life on it of active support, with two years of what we call passive support.  All products will have seven years of life, three years of active support, two years of what we call passive support where we fix things that break, but we don’t accept enhancements on, and then two years of what we call self-support where customers can continue to get information on a version, even though it’s not currently being supported.  That’s a standard HPE software policy.