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With the Dell purchase of EMC, what's the fate of Documentum?

As the Dell purchase of EMC continues to hum along, there are questions about the fate of EMC's less lucrative properties, including Documentum.

The Dell purchase of EMC for $67 billion raises questions about the fate of various pieces of the EMC portfolio. As discussed in part one of this podcast, Dell will go into significant debt to purchase EMC, so it necessarily need to sell certain pieces of the EMC landscape to fund $40 billion of debt.

In this podcast, Ron Miller, an enterprise technology reporter and SearchContentManagement contributor, discussed the fate of less lucrative pieces of the EMC fiefdom, including Documentum. Documentum, EMC's enterprise content management (ECM) platform, has long struggled in the wake of competition from other traditional vendors -- such as HP Autonomy, OpenText, OnBase by Hyland Software and Alfresco Software -- but also new cloud-only file-sharing entrants to the market, such as Box. Traditional ECM software vendors are struggling to provide the same flexibility and ease of use, while also offering data security.

Documentum is a "perfect example of something they would try to get rid of," Miller said. "From what I've heard, EMC has been trying to get rid of Documentum for a couple of years. Dell under pressure and trying to get rid of stuff, can it get a better price? Dell certainly has to be thinking, 'This is a piece we could get rid of,' regardless of what else happens."

Miller said that cloud disruption has not only made it more difficult for traditional server hardware vendors to make it, but also for application providers to compete with the flexibility and agility of the cloud environment.

"This switch to a cloud environment and a much quicker development cycle is beginning to catch up with some of these companies. It's not to say that some of these companies will be left standing when this is all over, but I don't think all of them can be left standing," he said.

Miller also addressed the question of whether another company might try to outbid Dell, where EMC has 60 days to entertain other offers. Miller thought it was unlikely.

"It's really hard to imagine that someone is going to pony up $67 billion and 1 cent. This deal is overvalued anyways, especially for a company that has to go $40 billion into debt," he said.

For more, check out part two of the podcast above. For part one, click here.

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This was last published in November 2015

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