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Interview with Neil Araujo of Autonomy iManage – don't fear the Swiss Army Knife

We had an interesting phone interview with Neil Araujo, the new CEO of Autonomy iManage last week. Araujo was one of the original founders (and one of the original software authors) of iManage Inc back in 1995. Since then he has held a number of senior roles within both iManage and Interwoven – as well as taking time out to attend business school – before taking over the hot-seat as CEO on 2nd October this year.



Araujo says he believes one of the reasons why the acquisition by Autonomy has been so problem-free is that both Autonomy and iManage have “a similar culture, are both technology driven and share a common set of values”. This, he says, has not only resulted in a smooth integration of the Autonomy/iManage products but also has been achieved without any slippage on the core iManage product development roadmap.

But what about iManage's competitors and the continuing background buzz that one day Microsoft Sharepoint will emerge as a real challenger to iManage Worksite in the DMS space?

According to Araujo, while competitors seem content to merely add “fresh bells and whistles” to their DMS platforms, the addition of the Autonomy dimension has been a game-changing development that allows iManage to concentrate on the management of content in its broadest sense. And by 'broadest sense' Araujo points to the fact that not only have volumes of data increased significantly since 1995 but the nature of this content has changed, with documents frequently comprising less than 20% of the total content under management.

One area the business is now looking at is harnessing the Autonomy IDOL engine to help “better understand the meaning of documents” so rules can be introduced to automate more aspects of the document management process, such as automatically filing emails against the appropriate client matters.

“It is important,” says Araujo, “to recognise that IDOL is more than a search engine. It is actually an information processing platform – it has a potentially proactive role, a digital assistant that can drive productivity and efficiency to whole new frontiers. This takes iManage into the era of meaning based computing.”

In addition to efficiency gains, Araujo says these new developments have huge potential for helping firms deal with compliance issues by automating rules such as encryption – which in turn provides the addition of a risk management function.

“The bottom line,” says Araujo, “is we will see a more comprehensive approach to content management. There are greater volumes of data to deal with. There are new economic drivers. There is the whole risk management/e-discovery dimension. The market recognises we have this vision and are now moving the traditional DMS industry in a new direction.”

As for Sharepoint? Araujo says that while a lot of iManage users run Sharepoint as a portal, it is basically a collaborative tool – like Lotus Notes – and, as such, contains an uncontrollable element that makes it inappropriate in an environment where corporate governance and document lifecycle management is now so important. “Sharepoint,” says Araujo, “is like a Swiss Army Knife, it has a lot of useful tools in it but you wouldn't want to use it to cook a meal.”

10 replies on “Interview with Neil Araujo of Autonomy iManage – don't fear the Swiss Army Knife”

But you can use a swiss army knife to open a tin of dog food if you are feeling peckish.

Luckily iManage integrates with LexisNexis so your research functions like checking citations and sherpherdizing can be completely embedded and seamless too

Obviously the answer is yes …
They can also be used for removing verukas … hurts a bit though …

Ignoring that fact that Microsoft is coming doesn't sound like much of a strategy.

Just like when PC Docs ignored iManage, and we know how that turned out! Better for all of us.

I can not believe that “shepherdizing” is actually a real word.
But it's good to see that the LN machine keeps on churning out the corporate bullsh1t.

From Wiki:
The name derives from a legal service begun by Frank Shepard (1848-1902) in 1873, when Shepard began publishing these lists in a series of books indexed to different jurisdictions. Initially, the product was called Shepard’s Adhesive Annotations. The citations were printed on gummed, perforated sheets, which could be divided and pasted onto pages of case law. Known as “stickers,” these were literally torn to bits and stuck to pertinent margins of case reporters.
By the early 20th century, the Frank Shepard Company was binding the citations into maroon volumes with Shepard’s Citations stamped in gold on their spines, much like the ones still found on library shelves.[1]
Under the leadership of William Guthrie Packard, the company endured the Great Depression and continued to grow. It moved to Colorado Springs in 1948; in 1951, it adopted the name Shepard's Citations, Inc.[2]
In 1996, Shepard's was purchased by LexisNexis (a subsidiary of Reed Elsevier since 1994). ”
So it is a word. Albeit spelt wrongly.

Talk about pedalling an old story about SharePoint Portal Server 2001. Sure, SharePoint can become uncontrollable if you:
1. ignore access control
2. turn off version control
3. don't impose quotas
4. don't bother defining content types
5. don't encourage metadata capture
6. don't define audit policy
7. don't turn on retention scheduling
8. don't leverage the content organizer
9. don't leverage legal holds
10. well, you get the idea, don't define any form of governance strategy
Of course, if you take the same approach with iManage, Documentum, FileNet etc then you've got the same effect… as well as an environment that no one wants to work with.
I've just been to SharePoint Conference and it seems to me like its time the industry woke up to the value that SharePoint adds and dropped the FUD. It also seems like its time that companies took some accountability for treating SharePoint in the same way as any other ECM platform and put an appropriate governance plan in place before deploying.

Not to mention the integration defects that exist with iManage and many Office comonents…. or, that it takes iManage a good 12 months to integrate with whatever the latest version of Office is.
Sharepoint will take over, and then Google will take over sharepoint.

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