eRoom, Documentum Team Up

Alliance is further sign of the convergence between collaboration and content management.

As the line between collaboration and content management in enterprises continues to blur, eRoom Technology Inc. is expected to announce by the end of the month that it is developing a packaged integration between its digital workplace technology and Documentums content management applications.

Known as eRoom for Content Management, the packaged integration will allow eRoom users to save content generated by their collaborative applications to Documentums content repository. Likewise, users will have direct access to documents from that repository for sharing and collaboration from within eRoom.

It is the first partnership eRoom has announced with a content management vendor, though separately, the company also announced an integrated offering with Epicentric Inc., that brings together eRoom team collaboration applications with Epicentrics portal and knowledge management software, the eighth such relationship eRoom has with developers in that space for a solution called eRoom for Portals.

Peter Loupos, vice president of drug information and approval information solutions at Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc., in Bridgewater, N.J., said his company has already built a working prototype of an eRoom-Documentum integration but welcomes the move by eRoom for the reliability and stability it would add.

Loupos is particularly interested in storing eRoom collaborative content for future use.

"We need to capture our intellectual capital and make it available for future activities," he said.

Earlier this month, Documentum announced a new collaboration offering, called Team Manager, as part of its Documentum 5 release. It includes free-form chat and discussion groups, instant-messaging integration, virtual whiteboards, online meetings and team project management.

Any content generated from these applications can be saved to the same repository that Documentums content management applications use, for archiving and publishing. While eRoom officials envision a complimentary relationship between the two products, Loupos said hell stick with eRoom for collaboration and Documentum for content management.

"Were very happy with the position of the two products as theyre used within our company today," he said.

Not all users of content management applications, though, are sold on the need for integrated collaboration beyond basic workflow tools and e-mail.

"A lot of these collaboration tools are a little bit of overkill unless you have a really huge [Web] site," said Jason Hoch, director of operations and business development at "I know it doesnt make sense for us.", based in New York, uses Divine Inc.s Content Management Server and takes advantage of the workflow tools built into that product to provide checks and balances for content as it moves through the development cycle. That and e-mail is as much collaboration capabilities as needs, said Hoch.

The same goes for Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, Calif., according to Mattice Harris, Web branch manager there. Harris oversees about 130 authors and another 40 editors using Interwoven Inc.s TeamSite content management application. The workflow engine in Interwoven sends e-mail messages on project status and assignments to users.

"Its easy for us to work together via e-mail," Harris said. "As our needs grow maybe well need more [collaboration tools] but right now thats enough for us."

Both eRoom for Content Management and eRoom for Portals are expected to be available during the fourth quarter.

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