IBM Strengthens Its Content Management Strategy

Company will use Aptrix technologies in its content development component for Lotus Workplace

IBM Corp. recently moved to enhance its portal, collaboration and content management strategies when it purchased Aptrix, a content management software provider.

Australia-based Aptrix is an IBM business partner; its content management solutions enhance Big Blue’s Lotus Domino, WebSphere Application Server, and DB2 Content Manager products.

According to Mike Loria, director of the advanced collaboration group with IBM Lotus, Big Blue will use Aptrix technologies to enhance its Lotus Workplace offering with a new component, Lotus Workplace Content Development.

“For lack of a better metaphor, three key legs to that [Lotus Workplace Content Development] stool would be portal and Web technology, collaboration, and content technology,” Loria comments. “Obviously, we already had the portal and the collaboration, but Aptrix gives us dynamic delivery of content … [that is] personalized and timely.”

In early May, Aptrix released Content Server Domino Edition 4, which is geared toward SMB (small and medium business) and enterprise customers. Aptrix also markets a Content Server edition for WebSphere.

Recently, companies have turned to content management servers to help them organize, store, and search documents, Loria said. Until now, WebSphere portal has offered only limited content management capabilities: “Within the portal, we had some basic content publishing services, but for the most part, we actually did not have a Web content management capability.”

Robert Lerner, a data warehousing analyst with Current Analysis Inc., thinks that picking up Aptrix was sensible. “Aptrix's Web content management technology fills a gap in IBM's content management capabilities,” he points out. “[The] company lacked strong Web content management capability, which was being provided by such third-party solutions as Aptrix's. Furthermore, the integration will help IBM meet the increasing demand for tightly integrated best-of-breed solutions that combine portal, content management, and collaboration, and enhance its ability to support its version of the On Demand environment.”

IBM has had a lot of success integrating many of its recent acquisitions, including integration software specialists CrossWorlds and Holosofx. In this case, Loria suggests, because Aptrix is already an IBM business partner developing solutions that support Big Blue’s products, the acquisition has been even smoother. “It’s somewhat simplified by the fact that they targeted our customers and our platforms, so if we were acquiring a company that really targeted a competitive platform … you certainly run into challenges.”

Current Analysis’ Lerner speculates that IBM has already largely completed the integration of the Aptrix technologies. “IBM was smart in announcing the availability of Lotus Workplace Content Development offering at this time. Among other things, the announcement signals that the acquisition is complete and that IBM has hit the road running with the technology.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.