IBM Weaves CM Into The Fabric Of Business

Apr 18, 2003

Web content management burns white hot these days, but for IBM it's not just about managing Web content, it's about managing all content--wherever it resides, in any format. Recently, I spent a day at the IBM Somers, NY campus for content management day--a media briefing on the latest version of Content Manager, renamed DB2 Content Manager with version 8.2. IBM also introduced management software intended to help customers digitally manage the entire lifecycle of their business information and integrate records management functionality into their existing business applications.

Industry experts estimate that employees spend as much as 35% of their time looking for information they need to do their jobs. The need to streamline access to essential business information is exactly the reason IBM has chosen to tightly integrate DB2 Content Manager with its middleware applications including DB2 Universal Database, DB2 Information Integrator, WebSphere Portal Server, WebSphere Application Server, Lotus, and Tivoli storage management software. This level of application integration demonstrates IBM's intention to create new business value on top of its existing database infrastructure. While most enterprise content still resides in stovepipe data stores, IBM has leveraged its 30-plus years of database knowledge in developing a federated database support system.

According to IBM, DB2 Content Manager allows users to better search and retrieve business information, replicate information faster, and more easily publish information to the Web for improved enterprise access. One IBM client, Coca Cola uses DB2 Content Manager to store more than a century's worth of its advertising and corporate icons. Employees in over 200 offices worldwide can access more than 9,000 still images, 7,000 text documents, and over 25,000 ads and corporate videos via the company's intranet. The digital archives are built on a foundation of DB2 Content Manager, Lotus Notes, and Lotus Domino software. The integrated system improves communications and collaboration by giving users a robust online research tool that can search, organize, distribute and share historical information.

Managing enterprise content in all its various formats is intensely complex. With 85% of the world's information unstructured and less than 10% in digital format, IBM is eager to tackle the shift from physical to digital format. Another IBM client, the National Geographic Society, uses an integrated solution for its new B2B site, ( which makes more than 10,000 signature photographs commercially available worldwide. National Geographic has deployed DB2 Content Manager and DB2 Universal Database software to manage the images; WebSphere Commerce for Digital Media; and WebSphere Application Server to serve the images up for sale over the Web. The entire site runs on IBM e-Server pSeries servers.

Aviva, the United Kingdom's largest insurance company, deployed Content Manager to streamline workloads by redirecting work from one office in the UK to another. Customer Service reps and back-office staff scan an average of 100,000 business documents into Content Manager daily, making documents instantly available at every Aviva office throughout the country. The content management platform supports 5,000 concurrent users as well as 50 million multi-page documents.

Version 8.2 boasts improved LAN caching and replication, allowing users to quickly replicate business information that is stored in digitized formats, in multiple locations. According to IBM, this results in reduced network traffic when searching, quicker response times, and improved scalability.

According to Meta Group, the enterprise content management market is expected to exceed $10 billion by 2004, with 95% of global 2000 firms deploying a content management solution during this timeframe. With over 9,500 customers using IBM's content management solutions and more than 2000 IBM employees in data management R&D, it's no surprise that content management is the fastest growing part of data management at IBM.