EMC Partners With Hippo To Gain Customer Experience Management Foothold

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EMC and Hippo announced a partnership today in which Hippo, an open source web content management platform, will integrate with EMC Documentum, EMC’s enterprise content management software.

As with all good deals, each partner gains something. EMC fills in a missing piece in its content management arsenal without having to spend a lot of money. Hippo gains access to a much broader enterprise market and integration with other tools in the EMC family, while maintaining its independence.

As part of the agreement between the two companies, Hippo will become part of the EMC Business Partner Program for Technology Connect Partners.

For EMC Documentum, which is a long-established brand trying to fight disruption in the content management market, Hippo gives them a modern, open source web content management tool designed to help users manage customer experience.

Today’s web content management tools need to do more than simply create, edit and maintain web content, they need to help create a customized digital experience. The idea is to deliver content based on what you know about visitors such as the device they are using and whether this is the first-time or regular visitor. These clues help the system serve more individualized content for the right screen at the right time in the correct way, as opposed to treating every visitor as though they are visiting for the first time on a desktop computer. At its best, customer experience management mimics the best of brick and mortar customer experience (knowing your customers), while taking advantage of being digital.

Chris McLaughlin, CMO for the Enterprise Content Division at EMC, says Hippo’s products will help EMC customers deliver contextually relevant, digital experiences across all channels. “It makes content a differentiator by measuring which content matters and delivering optimal, personalized digital experiences based on this insight. Customers can create real competitive advantage by delivering value through content and applications,” McLaughlin wrote in an email.

When you combine that with other EMC products like EMC Documentum for managing access to that content and Pivotal Gemfire for advanced analytics, he sees a powerful combination of tools.

For Hippo, which is based in Amsterdam, and has a US office in Boston, the deal gives them access to a much wider market, as well as the massive EMC marketing and sales engine. And, perhaps more importantly it gives them enterprise street cred.

“The fact that they are willing to get into a partnership is a big deal. It’s validation, a stamp of approval that our product is enterprise capable,” Arje Cahn, Hippo CTO told TechCrunch. He said the company had that confidence all along, but the deal sends a message to the market.

Hippo was looking for a way to expand its US presence with some sort of partnership, although it didn’t necessarily expect that to be with EMC. “We were actively working on [increasing our US market]. This came along. It’s not entirely accidental, but it was a good fit because it allowed us to do that.” He added, they are are a particularly good match because of what EMC partner Pivotal, which offers open source big data and cloud platform services, brings to the deal.

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Cahn is thrilled with the potential of the partnership and what it brings Hippo, but he says that doesn’t mean his company is looking to get acquired. He say Hippo has a long-term product plan and just wants to see where the partnership takes them.

“We are not targeting acquisition at this time.” he said.

Hippo was established in 1999, but was a services company until 2008 when it began selling the Hippo CMS. It launched the enterprise version of the product in 2010. The company has bootstrapped all these years, and has received no funding to this point. Clients include Disney, Condé Nast and Randstad.

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