We are excited to be welcoming Kathleen Reidy to Alfresco as our new Director of Market Strategy! Kathleen joins us after almost 6 years at The 451 Group. Here, in her own words, is why Kathleen decided to make the jump to Alfresco:
After working as an analyst for a number of years covering content management and collaboration markets, I’ve recently joined Alfresco in a marketing strategy role. I’ll be helping to define and articulate Alfresco’s market positioning and keeping an eye on what is happening in this rapidly shifting market.
So why did I choose to join Alfresco, and why now?
I’ve always been kind of a geek about information management (which led me, once upon a time, to a degree in library science) and so I never considered going very far afield from content-oriented technologies. But this is also a wonderfully fascinating time to be involved in content management, as the very definition of what it means to ‘manage’ content is changing.
We can all agree that mobile devices, and tablets most specifically, are having a huge impact on how content (and I am mostly interested in enterprise or business-oriented content) is accessed, used, shared, stored and retained. Tablets can make content more usable and more accessible wherever you are – but also are just plain fun to use. If engineered right, tablet-based apps can actually help get more corporate content under management – and thus make it more useful and more valuable to the organization.
The cloud is an enabler in the world of mobile file sharing and mobile content management but it shouldn’t be an either-or situation. All the work I have done over the years as an analyst and a practitioner tells me that not all corporate content is going to the cloud. Putting some content and apps in the cloud can make some things that have always been hard much easier and that is a good thing for enterprises. But all the other complexities in business processes, compliance requirements and data protection concerns don’t go away.
So back to my original question – why Alfresco and why now? I’ve followed Alfresco since 2006 – I started as an analyst at The 451 Group at about the same time Alfresco first shipped a product. I have watched the company disrupt the ECM market with its open-source model and it has been hard for even a cynical analyst to argue with what Alfresco has done technically with its platform. Alfresco’s support for open standards and extensibility are even more critical in the enterprise market than the open-source model, in my opinion.
But it was Alfresco’s approach to mobile and the cloud that convinced me – Alfresco has embraced both, and in a very real way, with a business-oriented cloud service for file sharing and content management. This is not just Alfresco saying that you can deploy its software in “private clouds”, or that a 3rd party service provider can put up a multi-tenant offering for customers (though both of those are also possible with Alfresco). No, Alfresco is now truly a file-sharing and document-management app in the cloud, with slick mobile apps – and mobile apps that are open source, so IT or third-party developers can make them what they want them to be.
But like I said, not all content is going to go to the cloud - so the clincher for me was the upcoming sync between Alfresco on-prem and Alfresco Cloud environments (coming early Summer 2012). Enterprises are going to be hybrid (they already are). How will content management support that? How can you make content available to users on all of their devices? How can you share it with external parties? How do you secure that sharing and ensure shared files get pulled back in for long-term retention? How do you get content in the cloud as needed for particular use cases, but keep what you want on-prem? And keep the two in sync? How do you make sure content enables corporate business processes and is retained according to internal and external regulations? Alfresco is unique in being able to answer all these questions for enterprises regardless of where they want their content and or their ECM platform to live.
It also probably goes without saying (though here I am saying it) that Alfresco as a company is a great place to be. The management team is experienced and knows how to build a business, and they are already doing it. The pivot to the cloud is an aggressive but dead-on expansion of the company’s overall market opportunity – not a shift away from any of Alfresco’s existing principles or customers.
So here I am. I’ll still be thinking like an analyst and blogging and tweeting about the market and about Alfresco. Wish me luck and stay tuned!