How Do You Compete With EMC, IBM and Oracle? Generis’ Secret: Get Close To Customers

Building a business on a product that replaces and supplements standard features on an already expensive software product doesn’t seem like a winning business strategy, however when you actively listen and respond to what prospective customers want, delivering features they actually find useful and use a lean development process with a few superstar developers, you can make it work. That’s been the secret for Generis Software. Its CARA user interface product for popular enterprise content management (ECM) platforms directly competes with the native UIs from the likes of EMC (Documentum), IBM, Oracle and even Microsoft. As part of some broader research into the ECM market, I recently had an extensive conversation with the company’s CEO and founder, James Kelleher. Kelleher, whose British accent and prior experience as a document management analyst at GlaxoWellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline) belie his origins, now operates Generis from Princeton, although when I talked with him he was back in the U.K.