A healthy future for TRIM says Micro Focus

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”. David Gould, Senior Director, Secure Content Management Solutions at Micro Focus, used the famous Mark Twain quote to open his session on the future of the ECM platform formerly known as TRIM at Realize 2019, the company’s annual user forum.

Twain reportedly sent the quote in a cablegram from London to the press in the United States after his obituary had been mistakenly published.

The series of name and ownership changes to TRIM/Records Manager (RM)/Content Manager (CM) since it was acquired from Tower Software in 2008 have led to speculation about the future of Content Manager.

Gould told Realize 2019 attendees, “I’m here to say, with the greatest level of confidence that Content Manager is far from dead. And it’s way further from retirement than I am.

“Micro Focus, more than any other organisation since Tower Software, is fully committed not only to the maintenance of the solution but to the advancement of it as well. Content Manager is core to Micro Focus’ information management strategy and we now have more developers working on the product than any time in the past five years.”

Micro Focus has a large development team in Bangalore, India but the bulk of the CM development team remains in Canberra, led by Rory Kleeman who has been in charge since the foundation of Tower Software in the 1980s.

Gould revealed that CM Version 9.4, due out in August 2019, will have more than 200 customer enhancements, including enhanced SharePoint/Office365 integration, new data ingestion capacity and a revamped Web client.

Micro Focus undertook a survey of more than 170 Australasian users in 2019 which found that more than 80% desired better integration of SharePoint/Office365 with Content Manager.

“SharePoint on-premise is like the Wild West of enterprise technology, in the sense that no one deployment of SharePoint looks like another. Integration between CM and SharePoint is obviously desirable, but it’s not something we see a lot of organizations willing to take on themselves. While organisations may have the SharePoint expertise, or they may not have the product knowledge of CM to allow them to do it. Or vice versa.

“Most of our partners here do have that capability, and we encourage our users to exploit that because it opens up the ability to take the product from a few hundred users up to covering the entire enterprise. We are looking at new licensing models that will also help facilitate that.

“In the world of Information Management and Governance it’s really important that you collect all the information, not just a portion of it. Putting compliance on 40 or 50% of your information is no better than doing none of it really.”

Gould also announced plans to take one of the Azure-based cloud SaaS solutions for Content Manager, currently being offered by an Australian partner, and make it available in other parts of the world.

“We’re seeing tremendous demand for SaaS based CM in the Americas and in Europe. We are pursuing a major opportunity with this partner at a major global bank.

“I would anticipate over the next several months we will be making some significant announcements about our own branded SaaS solution for CM as well as that from current Managed Solution Providers in Australia such as Citadel, iCognition and Informotion,” said Gould.

“Moving CM to the cloud is happening all over Australia through our local partners, CM runs very well in the cloud today and our roadmap includes operational dashboards to give partners a better view into how the system is performing.”