FileNet Expands ECM Capabilities

Enterprise content management specialist buys e-forms provider, adds "virtual content" capabilities

Costa Mesa, CA — April 4, 2003 — Enterprise content management (ECM) specialist FileNet has beefed up its offering with the acquisition of another provider in the ECM space and the debut of new capabilities for its flagship product line.

FileNet announced this week that it has acquired Shana Corp., a provider of electronic forms software, in a move to attain the needed technology and experience to address growing demand for enterprise forms management.

The purchase of Shana is an all cash transaction valued at approximately $8.5 million to acquire all stock in the provider.

Based in Edmonton, Canada, Shana is a privately owned corporation that was one of the innovators of electronic forms, or e-forms, software. Its customers include NASA, Liberty Mutual, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, General Electric, The Government of British Columbia, and The Boeing Co.

FileNet and Shana have been marketing an integrated e-forms solution for the past year through an OEM partnership, offering customers an integrated content and process-centric forms management capability. Building on this collaboration, FileNet expects that the new capabilities acquired from Shana will allow FileNet to address a spectrum of e-forms requirements, from general forms management and delivery to content and process-centric uses which require a more complex set of features and functions.

Additionally, the company rolled out virtual content management (VCM) capabilities for its FileNet P8 product line. With VCM, FileNet customers can access and use content stored in third-party repositories, including content management repositories from IBM, Documentum and Microsoft, among others.

"One year ago, we committed to expand our leadership in the ECM market by introducing new capabilities and making strategic technology acquisitions," said Lee Roberts, CEO and chairman of FileNet. "Our goal is to address emerging market demand for highly integrated, end-to-end ECM capabilities and distinguish ourselves with our comprehensive business process management offerings."

Roberts added that, with FileNet's enterprise application integration (EAI) and VCM capabilities, the provider can now offer its customers the ability to extend the value of their ECM investment by interfacing with legacy content management repositories and can support them in migrating from competitive offerings to the FileNet P8 architecture.

Over the past 18 months, FileNet has moved to expand its product portfolio and make selective technology acquisitions to deliver broader ECM capability. In January, the company launched FileNet P8, its new ECM architecture that combines content, process and connectivity capabilities with the goal of enabling better decision-making.

Mark Gilbert, research director at technology consultancy Gartner, said that content management systems are moving into a new era where they no longer stand alone. "Integration of content management systems with other enterprise applications and processes will be a key customer requirement in 2003 because important content often lives in these other applications," Gilbert said. "The value of integrated content, processes and connectivity cannot be underestimated in enabling companies to respond to changing market conditions, leverage windows of opportunity, minimize competitive threats and improve return on investment."

With the new VCM capabilities, users can access "virtual content" through the FileNet P8 Workplace and application development system. FileNet P8 Workplace is the company's user interface for ECM solutions that enables administrators, business analysts and end-users to create and manage business content and processes. VCM is available as an option to FileNet's P8 Business Process Manager, Content Manager and Web Content Manager suites.

"The ability for enterprises to leverage existing content in support of enterprise content management and portal initiatives is a growing need," said Karen Shegda, research director at Gartner. "Customers are beginning to demand solutions that enable them to seamlessly integrate content from their legacy systems and existing repositories to drive higher return on investment for e-business initiatives."