Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Month: September 2006 (Page 1 of 3)

Just What Does “Web Customer Experience” Mean, Anyway?

As analysts and consultants, we see the phrase “web customer experience” everywhere — in vendor briefings, supplier positioning statements, service offerings from integrators, RFPs issued by enterprise adopters. With such ubiquitous use, just what does “web customer experience” mean these days?
We all have web experiences when buying music, paying bills, booking travel, accessing our corporate intranets. We all have stories about experiences that are good, bad, and just plain ugly. What separates the experiences that satisfy from those that don’t?

On October 12, we address this issue in a web event on content relevancy as the core requirement for good online experiences. In a panel discussion format, Jeff Ernst (FatWire), Bryant Shea (Molecular), and Paul Sonderegger (Endeca) talk about what it takes to serve up relevant content that satisfies customers while meeting the needs of the business.

We’re also exploring content relevancy in a Gilbane Boston session entitled “Creating High-Value Customer Experience” on Thursday, November 30.

Whether you’re attending the webinar or the conference, we invite your questions and comments on good online experiences and the role of content. Send mail to or post a comment to this entry.

It’s Composition User Group Season

I’m a firm believer in the value of user groups. I think that they are most valuable when the user community has enough energy to manage them independently from the software publisher. This is rare and getting rarer in the composition software industry.

In the absence of an independent user group, and not to be confused with same, many vendors sponsor User Conferences, which are great opportunities to mingle with other users and see presentations on “real life product implementations” albeit under the watchful eye of the vendor.

A number of vendors have their 2006 user conferences coming up in the Autumn:

Today and tomorrow GMC Software Technology will be hosting its 1st Annual International User Conference in Prague, the Czech Republic. No word yet on plans for another US based user conference. (Prague is gorgeous this time of year – wish I could go!)

Isis Papyrus will hold their Users Conference on October 2 and 3 in Dallas. (I’ll actually be presenting at that event on some of the latest trends in composition tools that are of interest to the print service bureau market. Look me up if you’re there)

On October 16 – 18 in San Diego Document Sciences will hold their annual conference, now dubbed “xCelerate North America 2006.”

Exstream Software will hold their Annual User Conference in Lexington Kentucky from October 22 – 25 and is currently blasting the user community with printed and electronic invitations to attend. I think I could paper the cafeteria with the invitations my firm has received! (Yes, we’re registered – please stop!) They will also be holding a User Group meeting during the event.

If you are aware of any other upcoming user conferences, please post.

If you are currently evaluating composition tools, user conferences are a great way of getting information somewhat independently from the sales rep. If there is an actual user group meeting at the conference, this is a great way of gauging customer satisfaction and vendor responsiveness. I highly recommend attending user conferences when shopping for products.

If you don’t have the opportunity to join a user group or attend a conference, some other good resources are the various product communities on Yahoo Groups as well as the always “infotaining” UK based site run by Mike Gatiss.

In all of these forums please let people know what you REALLY think about the products you use. If you don’t air the problems, the vendors don’t fix them and the next guy gets sold the same problems. Some firms are hesitant to publicly reference any shortcomings in the products they purchase, as if the problems reflected on them instead of the vendor. Every product has room for improvement and every software user can probably learn something new about the products they own.

Connect! Share! Learn! ‘Tis the season.

ECM/BPM: More Than Simple Workflow Update

For those of you interested in the conversation about defining more than simple workflow, the WS-BPEL 2.0 Specification public review period started on September 10 and ends November 9. (HTML version)

Microsoft architect John Evdemon is the co-chair of this OASIS committee and has all related links for the specification on his Loosely Coupled Thinking blog. Bruce Silver’s BPMS Watch, Ismael Ghalimi’s IT/Redux, and the BPEL section of ITtoolbox Blogs are good sources for perspective.

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