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EMC announced its next-generation content delivery platform at EMC World, held in Las Vegas, between May 3rd and 7th. Named Project Horizon, it provides a multi-tenant, mobile-first cloud environment, on which sit pairs of small applications and corresponding micro services, or "Tiles," which expose individual content-centric functionalities that address very specific cases.

Departure from big ECM platform reflects the mood for smaller, more specific applications

Project Horizon is a big departure for EMC from the extensive ECM platform it has become associated with over the past few years. With one of the largest portfolios of ECM capabilities, its platform has often been criticized as being too complex and expensive to implement. By contrast, Project Horizon is built on Pivotal Cloud Foundry and will offer a choice of cloud deployments. The platform will also include a backwards-compatibility bridge to support Documentum-based solutions at a lower cost. The "Tiles" are designed to run either as standalone applications or to be integrated together to create solutions.

This is an important announcement for EMC. ECM vendors, after years of building up their ECM capabilities into large platforms to provide complete end-to-end information management systems, are now adopting a solutions strategy where they break their platforms down into more manageable chunks that address specific requirements, such as case management or web experience management. While EMC and other vendors have taken this approach with their existing portfolios, EMC's approach with Project Horizon is fundamentally different to anything that has been seen before.

Project Horizon has been designed to help enterprises drive their digital agendas. The marketplace will be managed by EMC and will include both EMC-built and partner-built apps and solutions. The first four "Tiles" to be announced are Project Jazz, a collaborative authoring and review app; Project Snap, for web and mobile capture; Project Shelf, which is team-based document collaboration; and Project Assent, which handles the collection and validation of data received from partners.

Ovum believes that this strategic change will serve EMC well in the long term, providing flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and simpler deployment, allowing organizations to add extra capabilities as needed.


Further reading

The Fundamentals of Core Enterprise Content Management, IT0014-003003 (April 2015)

The Fundamentals of Extended Enterprise Content Management, IT0014-003002 (April 2015)

2015 Trends to Watch: Enterprise Content Management, IT0014-002941 (September 2014)


Sue Clarke, Senior Analyst, IT – Information Management

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