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EMC has countered claims that the price of its enterprise-grade document handling software exceeds business value – by offering them as on-demand cloud services.

Customers tap into the content management services from whichever gadget is to hand by accessing an on-premise installation managed by EMC or an off-premise setup in a cloudy data centre. It is a hybrid cloud deployment model.

There are three services:

  • EMC OnDemand for Captiva for scanning and document capture;
  • OnDemand Document Sciences for automated document mailing; and
  • OnDemand Documentum for content management.

These run in so-called Virtual Cubes, which are software corrals fashioned using EMC, RSA and VMware components. The front-end to the VCUBEs is used by an OnDemand administrator, and each VCUBE can run one or more applications

EMC's Andrew Chapman, senior director for product management of the OnDemand products, said of the three base products – Captiva, Document Sciences, and Documentum: "They were not [originally] designed for the cloud and multi-tenancy." By running them in VCUBEs they are isolated from each other and operate safely and securely within a multi-tenancy environment.

The OnDemand infrastructure can contain one or several EMC and EMC partner products and is said to be completely portable from one data centre to another.

Customers can provision the services themselves, meaning an entire customer environment with multiple application instances for production, test and development. Captiva provisioning takes less than two hours and Documentum up to six. Chapman said that would probably come down towards two hours next year.

Customers will be charged on a consumption basis and get their service up and running much faster than a traditional CAPEX purchase-based implementation.

Melissa Webster, an IDC veep, said in a canned quote: "We think this could significantly change the total cost of ownership (TCO) equation for EMC's Information Intelligence Group products."

The IIG products have not been as popular with EMC's customers as many of its other products; EMC hopes that offering them as a cloud-based service will make them more affordable and their value will shine through. ®

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