IBM hopes to make its mark in the emerging content management market over the coming year by boosting its sales and marketing budget and releasubg a raft of new products.
Big Blue intends to double the sales force and services teams that deal with the sector, both of which it claims are already in the hundreds, and has increased its marketing budget eightfold.
Armando Garcia, vice president of content management at the IBM data management unit, said: "There's not really a leader in this market at the moment. Oracle doesn't play here and neither does Microsoft really. It's a very fragmented sector."
He added: "But 85 per cent of existing data is unstructured, the number of websites is doubling every six months, and the amount of content is doubling every 18 months and getting richer. So there's a definite opportunity for us to become a leader in this space."
The company believes that content management systems need to be able to deal with data creation and capture, storage and management, protection, search and access, and distribution.
As a result, it is coming out with Content Manager, a new brand and the first product of a family, by the end of March.
To create the offering, Big Blue is integrating its existing document management and multimedia portfolio, but will add other products. Content Manager will handle mainly unstructured data and undertake document, workflow and media asset management, including multimedia data and Web pages. It will be aimed mainly at large corporations.
But IBM also plans to release a low cost entry level version of the product for managing Web content. This will be aimed at Internet Service Providers and small to medium sized businesses with Web or ecommerce sites.
Garcia explained: "We want to provide a foundation that is not pricing us out of the market to exploit this exploding sector. We want to get in at the ground floor and Content Manager will be an extensible product family."
Over the next year, however, Content Manager will be integrated with IBM's Enterprise Integration Portal (EIP), which was launched in November and deals with structured data.
EIP is intended to provide organisations with the enabling technology to create an enterprise portal from which users can access data sources that reside both inside and outside of the corporation.
During the next 12 months, Big Blue will enable EIP users to categorise and personalise information and undertake expertise profiling. They will also be able to undertake federated searches of different data types and to access inhouse databases and applications as well as third party packages.
The enhancements will be provided throughout the year in a series of rolling betas, but the roadmap also includes several major releases. Users will be able to download the new functionality from IBM's website on a monthly basis.
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