Back in 2000-01, when I worked for FileNet as their BPM evangelist, there were always rumours swirling around about someone bigger buying them out. Usually Oracle was named as the potential suitor, but never IBM as they were too directly competitive, particularly on the content management side. From FileNet’s press release (IBM doesn’t have one out yet as of 9am Eastern), the plan is to:
- Combine FileNet’s operations with IBM’s Content Management business in the Information Management unit. Since this is the area where they compete most directly, I suspect that this means that FileNet’s content management could eventually be subsumed into IBM’s Content Manager product.
- Integrate IBM’s BPM and Service Oriented Architecture technologies with the FileNet platform. This is an area where FileNet provides a quite different and possibly complementary product to IBM, so I think that FileNet’s BPM product could actually survive, get properly integrated with the IBM integration substructure, and become the product that it should have been years ago.
These are only my speculations as an outsider; I have no inside information and knew nothing of the transaction before it hit the wires this morning.
All in all, I’m still totally speechless.