Oracle responds to my UCM wish list

I had another call with Oracle to build on their initial response to my first call and my recent meeting with Oracle about my UCM improvements wish list.  This focused on the usability issues BT has with Oracle  UCM version 10GR3.

They have attempted to address the issues we have raised.  There are changes with 10GR4 and 11GR which Oracle claim will improve the usability of UCM.  However I’m not sure whether BT can justify the resources required to use UCM ‘well enough’ to gain these benefits.

I really want UCM to have simpler, fewer, features that mean user with little or no technical skills can easily use it for publishing content.  Oracle’s focus is also on improving usability but for the highly skilled technical minded people not the majority of users.

I’m not the only one with issues.  Look at the SWOT analysis on UCM the University of Minnesota carried out.

So, Oracle are making improvements.  Oracle have offered to pick up the outstanding issues not fixed by releases already completed with BT later in October.

So, continue to let me know of the issues you have that I can raise on your behalf by commenting, tweeting or emailing me.

6 responses to “Oracle responds to my UCM wish list

  1. Hi Mark,
    very impressive analysis of UCM by the University of Minnesota. Maybe you’re also interested in this article – The achilles heel of Oracle UCM – hyperlinks – http://webmonkeymagic.blogspot.com/2008/06/achilles-heel-of-ucm-hyperlinks.html

    Regards,
    Anthony

    • Anthony,

      Great post. It captures all that is bad about Oracle’s approach to usability with UCM. They just don’t seem to get it. I don’t know why as they are intelligent guys.

      Thanks,

      Mark

  2. Hi Mark,

    Let me begin with congratulating you for this excellent blog.

    Stellent was ok in the end of the 90’s for publishing documents in intranets but I’m afraid that’s all. Web publishing is not document conversion. It does a bit of everything part of their ECM offering but offers no clear differentiator. By the way how many large implementations do they have in real life?

    It’s a complex product, requires lots of efforts to implement basic scenarios (especially for the Web) and you can be pretty much certain that – because of its extremely poor usability – business users will refuse using it.

    As you said it offers no Publisher control. You can understand how those people don’t understand Web publishing since the solution doesn’t even have a Publish/Unpublish button, no dynamic control on links, no compound publishing, etc. Amazing! As mentioned by the SWOT analysis there are many functionalities that need to be added through customized services. Your system quickly gets overloaded and unmanageable. Debugging those services and priorities will make your developers so happy.

    Everything is controlled through metadata changes which is cumbersome as an end user experience (your users will have to love clicking 10 times to do basic things). It also lacks so numerous features mandatory for a proper Web publishing solution… As you said unfortunately those guys don’t get it. But they never did!

    They pretend to facilitate with what they call Open Web Content Management usability. I can only hope for you this is true but what they did is apparently separating content from presentation. How impressive … when others vendors have done it 5-10 years ago or so. I guess they were obliged to do it since the BEA acquisition for allowing xml fragment publishing and content/templating reuse. Actually this allows them moving from the 1 doc 1 page model which is a progress.

    Their sitestudio will make you feel younger like when using the first versions of frontpage ;-). So does the back office interface and especially the Admin one which kept everyone speechless.

    They communicate a lot on integrating with their own Oracle Applications which confirms its position as a Document Management solution. A universal repository allowing Oracle selling more database? How far does it integrate? Obviously the strategy is towards their own customers only.

    Coming back to your concern, what’s their vision for Web Content? Do they really want to improve drastically the usability of their solution? I bet this would require huge changes within the solution and a major rewrite effort in R&D. Be pragmatic Oracle won’t do it. Or do they simply try to keep a disappointed customer from making too much noise?

    I’m afraid they go for option 2 and eventually provide you with some enhancement that may partially answer some of your needs on a product that’s getting really old…

    I would conclude by a last question and maybe the most important: how key is Content Management for Oracle? Not the nice people you’re talking to?

    Good luck, you’ll need it !

    • Miyamoto,

      Thanks for your thanks about my blog. It’s appreciated. 🙂

      My overall aim is to improve the usability of applications from software vendors so they meet our usability needs without the need for customising.

      Because BT does a lot of business with Oracle it is easiest to highlight my concerns with their products such as UCM. I still hope it is option 1. My IT guys in BT and me are agreed on what we will do.

      Oracle’s offer to attend their Customer Advisory Council meetings to represent one of their top customers is a big step forward. Although I can’t attend the next meeting I do have a separate call to discuss matters.
      For Oracle UCM it is down to BT to upgrade to the latest version (10GR4) and Oracle to continue later this month to resolve the issues with usability we have raised.

      I’m naturally optimistic so hope that option 1 is the outcome.

      Mark

  3. Pingback: Comment by Miyamoto to Mark Morrells “Oracle responds to my UCM wish list” « Things you need to know about Oracle UCM

  4. Pingback: Comment by Miyamoto to Mark Morrells “Oracle responds to my UCM wish list” « Interesting things about ECM

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