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J2EE Journal: Article

Alliances and Business Development

An interview with Steve Pattison

Steve Pattison, vice president of alliances and business development at Interwoven, talked to Jack Martin, editor-in-chief of WJ, about the enterprise content management (ECM) provider's relationship with IBM.

WebSphere Journal: All right. What does a typical day look like for you? What do you spend your time doing?
Steve Pattison:
I'm responsible for all third-party relationships, including those with systems integrators, and key technology partners, such as IBM.

WJ: You have industrial-strength products and solutions that are well respected in the space and you could have partnered with a multitude of companies. Why did you choose to partner with IBM?
IBM and Interwoven share a common vision for developing applications that are based on J2EE and service-oriented architecture (SOA) standards. IBM is committed to offering extensible and scalable middleware and infrastructure that makes our job of building industry-specific ECM solutions for business a reality for our customers.

WJ: A lot of people partner with IBM and some make a lot of sales and some don't. In your opinion, why is Interwoven doing so well with IBM?
I think a number of factors contribute to our joint success. Interwoven is unique in that we have a native J2EE architecture that allows us to interoperate with WebSphere. As a result, we're able to offer targeted ECM solutions that enable business users to address key content challenges, such as document management and collaboration, productivity, information and process overload, Web change management, brand management, regulatory compliance, and e-mail overload. Additionally, we have a number of OEM VAR customers who build content applications on top of our platform that run on J2EE application servers. Interwoven's business is greatly expanding in the OEM arena and our relationship with IBM has proven to be extremely valuable to that set of OEM VAR customers.

WJ: Why is that?
Customers are looking for superior function and scalability in content applications. For example, OEM customers will use our platform to build content-centric applications like contract management, project management, and client services management solutions. At the same time, these high-function applications are able to leverage the scalability and stability of the IBM WebSphere platform, which is well known to many of our OEM end customers.

WJ: How do you find interacting with WebSphere as a technology?
As a technology we've found the IBM APIs to be very easy to use, especially given the next-generation features of the Interwoven architecture. We've also found that IBM's support organization is consistently there for us in real time, which has been very important as Interwoven continues to push the envelope when it comes to J2EE technology.

WJ: What types of problems do companies have for which Interwoven would be the right choice?
Our customers purchase Interwoven to address specific business challenges that revolve around unstructured content. For example, in areas such as legal departments, where lawyers are working with contracts or other matters, Interwoven offers content applications that map to the unique end-user requirements of legal professionals. So far, the market has innovated greatly when it comes to structured or transactional process areas, such as accounts payable, sales and distribution, and inventory management. However, process areas such as legal, marketing, and engineering project management have historically been underserved. Interwoven is excelling in these types of high-touch content application spaces.

WJ: When a customer is using Interwoven with WebSphere, what is his or her ultimate goal?
Customers want content applications that offer both high function and scale. Working together, Interwoven and IBM help customers achieve this objective by offering industry-specific solutions.

WJ: Where do you see content management going in 2005?
In 2005, the movement is away from back office infrastructure that is sold only to IT, to specific ECM solutions that address the needs of business users across departments, enterprises, and industries.

WJ: Why is that? Why is content management headed in this direction?
The ECM market is headed in this direction because process areas, such as legal, sales, and marketing, have been underserved by technology thus far. In addition, regulatory compliance requirements, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, are mandating that organizations improve and organize key business processes with the support of an underlying content management platform. As our customers strive to find ways to deal with new regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley and Basel II, they need more than just a storage paradigm to resolve these regulatory pressures. Ultimately, what they need are content applications that support the day-to-day work of business users as they correspond with clients, manage key contracts, projects, and associated deliverables. Interwoven excels at offering these deep solutions designed for business users, providing exponentially more than just a file system.

WJ: Why do you excel there? That's a really tough place for companies. Why are you so good at it?
Interwoven built its product and solution suite to address specific end-user requirements. As a result, our applications are very user-friendly, have configurable workspace environments, and require less IT intervention than competing offerings.

WJ: Are you and IBM making joint sales calls?
Yes, we are. Interwoven has a very strong, long-standing relationship with the IBM software group as well as with IBM Global Services.

WJ: A lot of customers read our magazine. If they were interested in finding out more about your product, whom should they call or what should they do?
If they are OEM customers looking to build content applications leveraging our platform, they should contact Interwoven's sales channel, which can offer them the appropriate support and service. If they are customers who are interested in buying our solutions, products or platform, they should contact our worldwide sales organization. We have sales reps in every region across the globe.

WJ: And if they are IBM customers, could they call their client rep?

WJ: When does your product stop scaling, or does it?
Interwoven's platform is designed to scale and support the needs of the world's largest enterprises. Customers can feel confident that Interwoven's solutions running on IBM technology can meet their global requirements in 2005 and beyond.

WJ: When customers consider content management, what should they think about when they think Interwoven?
Customers recognize Interwoven as a leader in Enterprise Content Management. Interwoven offers a complete platform that provides highly functional and scalable Web content management, document management, digital asset management, imaging, records management, and e-mail management capabilities. We leverage this platform to innovate industry-specific solutions that meet the unique requirements of departments and industries. Solutions of this kind bridge the gap between content platform capabilities and what end users require to do their daily jobs more quickly, effectively, and productively for the overall organization.

Steve Pattison, VP of Alliances and Business Development for Interwoven, oversees all third-party relationships worldwide, including Systems Integrators, Technology Partners, and OEMs.

More Stories By Jacques Martin

Jack Martin, editor-in-chief of WebSphere Journal, is cofounder and CEO of Simplex Knowledge Company (publisher of Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal, an Internet software boutique specializing in WebSphere development. Simplex developed the first remote video transmission system designed specifically for childcare centers, which received worldwide media attention, and the world's first diagnostic quality ultrasound broadcast system. Jack is co-author of Understanding WebSphere, from Prentice Hall.

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