Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Day: January 5, 2007

Relevant Content and the Online Experience, Part 2

On February 1, FatWire hosts the second in a series of web seminars on enhancing online experiences with relevant content. Gilbane Group will once again participate in a lively discussion of a topic that will be top-of-mind for many organizations in 2007.
At the upcoming webinar, attendees will learn a few simple techniques for quick, easy experiments that illustrate the value of delivering content that’s relevant to specific audiences.

The idea for the February topic came from one of the polling questions that we asked during the first seminar in October:

What is your biggest obstacle to delivering a more relevant online experience?

The number one response (41% of attendees) was

We don’t have enough information about the needs and behaviors of our customers.

The next webinar in the series is designed to address this issue.

The webinar will also report the results of an online survey on the current state of customer experience practice, business goals and metrics, and factors influencing satisfaction with web interactions. Interested parties can take the survey here. FatWire is offering incentives for participating.

Details about registration for the February 1 webinar will be posted soon.
View the October 12 webinar on content relevancy and online channels in the FatWire archive.

Checking in on the ECM-BPM Intersection

2006 convergence and consolidation in the ECM market undoubtedly validated “the infrastructure players are moving in” expectations — in a big way. Press and analysis on IBM’s FileNet acquisition as well as Oracle’s Stellent acquisition is still ongoing. Not to be discounted, OpenText’s summer coup over Symphony in winning Hummingbird validates that pure-play ECM suite vendors will not simply fade away anytime soon. IMO, neither will many of the pure-play WCM, RM or DAM vendors, several of which are shrewdly riding the crest of SaaS.
And never to be discounted is Microsoft, whose vision for MOSS 2007 is to be “as pervasive as the Office suite.” The company is certainly turning up the volume in terms of positioning business intelligence/process management, content management and collaboration as synonymous.

So, is this “technology trio” 100% new and innovative? Well…not for customers of FileNet, whose BPM capabilities were more than likely the crown jewel for IBM’s successful pursuit. And not for customers of Adobe’s LiveCycle products, who benefited from a major product line upgrade in September along with the release of Acrobat 8. And not for customers of EMC’s Documentum Process Suite, who take advantage of “the automation of high-volume transactional processes and complex collaborative processes” according to product descriptions. And certainly not if you have been following our ECM-BPM intersection discussions.

Will ECM convergence and consolidation raise the market awareness and visibility of content-centric BPM?

More than likely. However, the ECM market certainly can’t take all the credit. Let’s not forget the achievements of BPM suite vendors in 2006, who continue in their efforts to bridge the divide between data-driven versus content-driven business process management. This is a tall order, given the need to overcome the holy grail of all “divides” — IT versus the business — especially given “do not cross” domains for skill sets such as process modeling.

Still, vendors such as Appian, Savvion, Intalio, and others tout ease of use and graphical process modelers targeted to business users. Vendors such as BEA (via the Fuego acquisition,) Lombardi, Ultimus, and Pegasystems stress support for interactive workflows, business-driven usability, and provide direct integration with selected ECM solutions (including Sharepoint.) Vendors such as Global360 provide baseline document and records management capabilities, but shy away from describing them as ECM capabilities. And most if not all BPM suite vendors provide case management support such as attaching and keeping track of documents for vertical-specific processes that require it.

Consider these examples as a sign of deeper capabilities and integrations to come or even more interesting — markets that merge in 2007.

Side note: examples are simply that, and not an exhaustive list. Feel free to comment or even better, we invite CTOs from any type of organization to weigh in on this and other subjects on our CTO Blog. Send an email to ctoblog@gilbane.com if you’d like to start contributing!

Google Search Appliance Adds Customization Features

Google announced new features for the Google Search Appliance that give enterprise customers the ability to customize search results for their individual corporate environments. The Google Search Appliance now also offers improved integration with Google services as well as additional content sources. New features include Results Hit Clustering and Source Biasing. Results Hit Clustering are groups of dynamically formed sub-categories based on the results of each search query. These clusters appear at the top of search results and help searchers refine their queries from possible ambiguous terms. For example, if an employee searches for “customer” on the company network, a set of categories could appear at the top of the results with groups of topics such as “customer support” or “customer contacts” to help guide the search. Administrators can customize the location and appearance of Results Hit Clustering within search results. Source Biasing enables administrators to assign various weights to search results on their corporate network, based on source or type of content. For instance, if a company has multiple Documentum servers, the site administrator can strengthen the content from the one primary Documentum server. The same is true for types of content. If a financial services corporation values content in .pdf form more than content in a word processing document, administrators can use Source Biasing to increase the weight of .pdfs in the search results. A menu-driven interface allows weak or strong increases or decreases, and requires no complex coding or scripting. The new version of the Google Search Appliance also adds improved integration with Google Sitemaps export (for simpler export of information about web pages available for crawling), as well as open source connectors for indexing content in SharePoint 2003 and SharePoint 2007. http://www.google.com/enterprise/gsa/

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