Quickly Developing Content Management Solutions for the Evolving Digital Enterprise
The EMC Enterprise Content Division has enjoyed great success for more than two decades, but the content management market is being impacted by two significant changes. First, the market is moving toward consumption-based pricing, replacing traditional perpetual pricing.
Second, enterprises no longer want monolithic content management solutions. Instead, they want more agility and flexibility in the way content is accessed, managed and delivered. There is also a significant push to adopt cloud-based, mobile-focused applications.
In response to these customer requirements, Jeroen van Rotterdam, Chief Technology Officer, EMC Enterprise Content Division, explained an investigation that began several years ago. The product team needed to find a next-generation, public cloud content platform. It needed to provide flexibility for the changing content management requirements of the digital enterprise. It also needed to support existing features, extend them to mobile business users for anytime, anywhere access, and provide a multi-tenant infrastructure.
Adopting Pivotal Cloud Foundry for a Multi-Tenant, SaaS Content Management Platform
In 2013, The EMC Enterprise Content Division became one of the earliest adopters of the Pivotal Cloud Foundry Cloud Native Platform. The cloud application platform became a core foundation for the architecture, powering a new multi-tenant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) content management application. The product team deployed the new platform, running entirely on Pivotal Cloud Foundry, into production in August 2014.
Recognizing that today’s customers prefer to access smaller content management applications with specific features and functions rather than one large full-featured application, the EMC product engineering team re-architected. Since then, the team has used the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform to run microservices and mobile components, enabling the agile, mobile-first strategy that customers want. Going forward, Pivotal Cloud Foundry will power all next-generation content management capabilities around process automation, collaboration, metadata management, and document capture that includes automated classification and indexing.
Greatly Reduce Development Cycle Times for Software Engineering Teams and Customer-Facing Apps
With Pivotal Cloud Foundry, deployment timeframes have been reduced by 75 percent, accelerating deployments from a month to a week, and there is room to reduce cycles further. The software development and deployment processes for the Enterprise Content Division are now highly automated with a full continuous integration and continuous deployment (CICD) environment. With the platform and a DevOps management approach, the development team can get features to market much faster, ultimately having a greater impact on business outcomes while reducing the time and cost of development. For a software company, there is a huge impact.
“Pivotal Cloud Foundry facilitates a hyper-agile environment that lets us deploy applications anytime we want,” says van Rotterdam. “We could have built it ourselves, but that’s an awful lot of work. We really don’t want to deal with managing a large-scale environment because we want to focus on what our strength is—our content-centric platform capabilities.”
Today, developers can push new application capabilities into production on a weekly basis. Originally the goal was bi-weekly upgrades, and management would have settled for quarterly upgrades. “The level of automation in our continuous deployment of infrastructure is phenomenal,” observes van Rotterdam. “The weekly schedule is much better than I expected, and it’s at a much lower cost as well.”
Improve Developer Productivity and Allocate More Time to Developing High Value Features
With Pivotal Cloud Foundry, the EMC Enterprise Content Division can have small continuous deployment team focusing on the whole migration and upgrade process. This allows the majority of the team to focus on application logic and the application architecture. Team members can spend time on developing application components and solutions that bring business value to customers.
Lower Total Cost of Ownership with a Single Environment for Multiple Tenants and Multiple Applications
Pivotal Cloud Foundry is a structured platform for greater agility and efficiency. It makes it possible to run a multi-app and multi-tenant deployment in a single environment, which is one of the economic drivers of applications. Additionally, Cloud Foundry provides significant advantages for operations teams and reduces operational expenses, such as extremely simple ways to scale horizontally. “Reducing total cost of ownership is very important for our business,” said van Rotterdam. He believes the approach will meet the growing need for public cloud and SaaS solutions to appeal to a broader market. When companies use this approach, the marginal cost to bring up a new customer for a new application is extremely low.
Van Rotterdam and others in the EMC Enterprise Content Division see the impact of Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Teams can now use automation to push new capabilities into production every week. From a competitive sales and customer satisfaction standpoint, this provides significant business value.
As this software platform moves toward an architecture with an application marketplace and microservices model, the product engineering team gains additional advantages. “This gives us the ability to re-factor our enterprise content management capabilities into bite-sized chunks,” says van Rotterdam. “We’re able to spin them off individually and scale horizontally for our customers. We think it’s the next big wave.”