The true value of CMIS

True value of CMIS

In this post, I delve into the true value that CMIS will dish up to the ECM world.

Improve Interoperability

John Newton wrote a blog once called “Irrational Exuberance on CMIS?

In it, he describes how he…

… believes CMIS can transform the ECM industry, allow for significant growth and spawn whole new companies and markets.

John was on the CMIS panel at AIIM and relates how others on the panel didn’t have the same enthusiasm for CMIS as he did.

(Before I go any further -if your asking “What the heck is CMIS?”, I recommend you click on this link and read what Wikipedia have to say about it.)

True Value of CMIS

I agree with John’s comment in his post – CMIS isn’t going to expose all the functionality of the various ECM systems, but it will improve interoperability, and this will be BIG.

A document management’s repository will now be accessible.

Not only through the client for the specific enterprise content management system, but also from other enterprise content management systems.

Is there a hidden agenda?

This is great news! I am really stoked about this. I think that it has great advantages. 

However, the cynical part of me looks at this, and thinks “Hmm..”. Why? 

Because the cynical part of me understands that Microsoft was one of the first companies involved in the CMIS initiative. 

And if you were trying to sell a wonderful new system such as SharePoint, one of the biggest hurdles for companies will be the fact that a lot of companies will have many, many documents stored in costly, established Content Management Systems.

Dumping one for the other?

The fact is – SharePoint is a great application. It provides a wonderfully customizable, familiar user interface, and is great for collaboration. It is also quite good at being an ECM system (beginning with SharePoint 2010, it started to show some real teeth).

But companies are unable to just dump their existing ECMS (which usually meets the particular requirements of the business grandly) and switch to a new Microsoft product.

There is usually too much tied up in licence costs, as well as processes, and the cost of a migration is something that cannot be taken on without a great deal of planning, and soul-searching.

If there was a way, however, that SharePoint could “easily” talk with the existing ECM in a friendly way, it suddenly becomes a lot more attractive. A SharePoint interface could be created that allows users to work in a way that is

A SharePoint interface could be created that allows users to work in a way that is familiar while connecting to content stored in the existing, built-for-purpose ECM system. The value of Microsoft’s application has increased.

And further to this, with CMIS, there is the opportunity for new applications that can take advantage of the ability to interoperate with multiple disparate Enterprise Content Management systems.

This means that the repository will no longer be the silo.


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