Oracle will catapult itself into the ECM (enterprise content management) fold next quarter by introducing “Tsunami,” its unstructured data management technology. Tsunami is targeted to lie in the heart of a major upgrade of the database giants Collaboration Suite software slated for early 2005.
Specifics surrounding Tsunami and its placement within Collaboration Suite, as well as Oracles E-Business Suite products, will be unveiled at OracleWorld in San Francisco in December. The technology will be available in product form in the first half of 2005, said officials at Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle Corp.
Swerving around traditional ECM approaches, Tsunami instead represents a pure “data management play,” which is a concept that leading ECM vendors such as FileNet Corp., EMC Corp.s Documentum, OpenText Corp. and Vignette Corp. have yet to truly achieve or capitalize upon, said Alan Pelz-Sharpe, vice president of software and services for London-based research firm Ovum.
Pelz-Sharpe, who has already seen the fledgling technology in action, says it competes much more along the lines of Microsoft Corp.s SharePoint collaboration toolset.
“[Tsunami] looks good. Ive seen demos of where [Oracle is] at, and I know the product. Its attempting to provide true enterprisewide data management, which realistically the niche [ECM] vendors obviously never achieved,” Pelz-Sharpe said.
“SharePoint of course has seen incredible success, and basically I think Oracle is trying to do the same thing but for very large deployments—their focus is delivering something very scalable with little effort.”
Pelz-Sharpe said Oracle plans to aggressively position Tsunami at lower costs for software license scenarios ranging from five to 50,000 seats. That could force EMC to juggle its Documentum strategy and keep in step with the software maker in pursuit of larger ECM deals, he said, adding that such a move could jeopardize the luxury of its existing high-end management customer base.
The Ovum analyst said EMC and potentially database vendor Sybase Inc. join large systems management entities IBM, Microsoft and Oracle as legitimate participants in the race to help customers get a better handle on unstructured data management.
In a move to accelerate its content management prowess, IBM last month announced plans to purchase privately held Venetica Corp. IBM says it will integrate the content management software companys technology to pull and manage data from external content sources and tools into its Universal Database DB2 Information Integrator product and other IBM offerings.