Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Month: November 2007 (Page 2 of 3)

Web 2.0 BS Generator

If you are a speaker, exhibitor, or maybe just an attendee who wants to show off their Web 2.0 savvyness at Gilbane Boston in a couple of weeks, you can find some choice buzz-phrases to toss around here. A couple of my favorites:

“disintermediate A-list synergies”

“capture viral tagclouds”

“incentivize data-driven weblogs”.

The scary thing is, you can easily imagine how to explain what these might mean, possibly even with a straight face.

The Global Content Lifecycle: Increasing the Quality Quotient

In the Global Information Age, mere information availability no longer suffices. Today’s customer expectations demand relevant information that is culturally acceptable, appealing, and most important, understood. Delivering contextual, multilingual information – communications that make sense in the customer’s language of choice – is fundamental. Translation is a corporate requirement.

However, any company with a multinational revenue profile knows that fusing quality and translation is a significant challenge. Our take? Quality translation within the global content lifecycle can be elusive, but it is achievable. To learn more, download our latest whitepaper, “Quality In, Quality Out: The Value of Technology in the Global Content Lifecycle” and listen to the recording from the companion webinar hosted by Sajan.

We’ll also continue the quality discussion throughout Gilbane Boston’s Globalization track, particularly in the session, “Quality at the Source: Creating Global Customer Experience.”

Surrounding and Supporting Enterprise Search

In a week when the KMWorld and Enterprise Search Summit were running concurrently in San Jose, Microsoft made an enterprise search product announcement that was actually a well-kept secret for Microsoft. There was plenty of other new product news floating about the marketplace, too. Mark Logic, MuseGlobal, Cognos, SchemaLogic, and Brainware all had their own announcements.

Between November 6 and November 13, these five companies had interesting news to share. The announcements all related to leveraging enterprise content in tandem with search engines. This underscores a strong trend in software product deployment, specifically, that much of it is being rolled out in partnerships in highly heterogeneous environments. While Microsoft’s announcement about free Search Server 2008

Express establishes them as the last major software company to adopt search as a platform, the other technology announcements remind us that integration activity is a core operational consideration and even a necessity for gaining value from search.

In order to tie all the bits and pieces of content across the enterprise into a tidy bundle for simple retrieval, or in order for content to really bring value to solving business problems, it needs packaging. It needs to be packaged at the front end so that search engines can grab useful context and metadata for smarter indexing. It also needs to be well packaged at the output end to present results meaningfully for a particular audience or purpose.

Here is a quick look at what these five complementary technologies do for search plus a link to each of their latest announcements:

  • Brainware – combines data capture with a content extraction and distillation learning engine for enhancing categorization relevancy in preparation for natural language queries. It will be embedded in search for a leading enterprise library system, Sirsi/Dynix.
  • Cognos – a leading Business Intelligence (BI) software company is being acquired by IBM, whose search products are often paired with Cognos.
  • Mark Logic – is a company with an XML content server platform for managing or converting content in XML formats. They just announced MarkMail, a community-focused searchable message archive service, which stores emails as XML documents. Expect more from them on this front.
  • MuseGlobal – offers solutions that integrate content from multiple search engines. They just announced availability for presenting results in a fully unified and consistent format from multiple search engines in a SharePoint portal interface.
  • SchemaLogic – specializes in content and document type modeling, metadata and vocabulary management using SchemaServer. In the past two weeks they have announced integration with SharePoint to manage metadata. A webinar this week described the interplay with Documentum for document production and retrieval using the FAST search engine.

And what do the other enterprise search vendors have to say about the “surprise” Microsoft announcement? Comments ranged from “we knew it was just a matter of time before they announced” to “good for business, enterprise search is officially now a market.” To the first comment I say, “Not so fast.” For several years rumors have been floated about the imminent acquisition of any number of search companies by MS but nothing materialized. Yes, Microsoft was doing something about enterprise search but until last week “what” was still the question. To the latter I say, “We’ve had an enterprise search market for several years, Microsoft just wanted to be sure it was well established before joining the club.” That was smart of them; let others lay the foundation for a growth industry. It also looks like this is a leveling of the field with Google already playing in Microsoft’s backyard in the free office tools area.

Now the positioning really begins.

CM Pros Board Nominations and Executive Director Search

It’s that time of year again. Not only for our Boston conference, and the co-located Content Management Professionals Association (CM Pros) Summit, but for CM Pros members to nominate candidates for soon-to-be-open board seats. It is also a great time to join CM Pros, or at least to come to the Summit and find out what they are all about. The association is also looking for a new Executive Director. Here is the announcement from CM Pros:
Call for nominations
CM Pros is pleased to announce the call for nominations for election of the expanded board will be made at the Fall Summit on November 26, 2007. Nominations open on the day of the Summit and close on December 21, 2007. More information about the time line is available on the website.
The board is seeking enthusiastic candidates to run for four seats, bringing the board to 7 members. To qualify as a candidate, you must be a member ‘in good standing’ of CM Pros. This is an opportunity for anyone who is passionate about content management in its many forms to contribute to the continued growth of the organization.
In the words of one of the departing board members:
Ever wonder what it would be like to have weekly discussions with really smart people, about issues that you’re passionate about? What if those discussions helped shape the future of your professional organization? What if you could contribute your voice, your ideas, your creativity to those discussions and really make a difference? With the Board expanding to 7 members, there are opportunities for you to contribute and make a difference. It’s been a great adventure so far, and we’ve made tremendous progress, with more ideas and projects in the pipeline. We need good people to volunteer their time and talent to advance the profession and grow the organization. Think about it. Do it!
To nominate yourself or someone else who you believe would make a great candidate, contact the Elections Oversight Committee at elections@cmprofessionals.org before November 26th or just use the website after nominations open.
Search for a new Executive Director
In addition to board elections, there is another exciting opportunity-the next CM Pros’ Executive Director. The current ED, Scott Abel, will not be continuing in this role. As the organization matures, the board will refocus the tasks and responsibilities of the Executive Director to running a non-profit volunteer association and bringing stability to the organization as it grows. The board is seeking candidates who will initially work part time and can grow into a ‘Chief Administrative Officer’.
A search committee for the ED position has been formed, and a job description is being defined. The job posting will be available no later than November 12th. If you are interested in the position or know someone you’d like to recommend, please contact the search committee lead, Joan Lasselle, at secretary@cmprofessionals.org.
The board, on behalf of themselves and all CM Pros members, wants to thank Scott for his considerable contributions to CM Pros’ success in 2007.

CM Pros Board of Directors

email: board@cmprofessionals.org
web: http://www.cmprofessionals.org

“WCM and Portal” by Any Other Name, Still “WCM and Portal”

On a recent phone call with a Gilbane Group client, we were asked about the defining differences between WCM applications and portal applications. This question has two answers – a theoretical one and a practical one. In theory, portals provide a doorway (portal < Latin porta, gate) that, when opened, allows content consumers to view a particular set of content. The exact set of content to which consumers are exposed is (a) dynamic, and (b) controllable either by the application administrator or by the consumers themselves. Because the function of the portal essentially rests in this “doorway” or “frame” function, some customers see portal software as an empty shell or framework, with a set of underlying services, to which content-connected portlets can be added. WCM applications, on the other hand, theoretically provide all of the features and functions required to create, manage, expire, and archive content. This feature set typically includes authoring and editing tools for multiple content types, automated workflow, versioning, audit control, channel management, metadata management, library services, templating, access controls, personalization etc.
In practice, however, the feature sets of WCM and portal applications often overlap. One vendor’s portal product might provide the same feature as another vendor’s WCM application. Because portals are composite applications that expose component applications, this phenomenon also extends to products or modules such as ERP, CRM, search, collaboration, campaign management, etc. For this reason, depending on how vendors group features and functions in their product offerings, any given set of WCM or portal requirements may be satisfied by a variety of product combinations. One vendor’s WCM application may suffice. Another vendor’s portal product may also be a good fit. And a third vendor’s solution may include WCM, portal, and collaboration modules.
Because of this variation in vendors’ grouping and naming conventions, Gilbane clients should, during the technology selection process, seek solutions to their set of content management problems without becoming distracted by the exact names or number of modules or products required to provide the solution. Let vendors include whatever products they wish in their RFP responses, but hold them responsible for (a) satisfying every requirement, (b) identifying the modules that satisfy each requirement, and (c) giving a total price for all of the modules included in the response. In the end, “WCM and portal” by any other name is still “WCM and portal.”

More on SharePoint for ECM

Note: You can now view a recording of the Webinar on SharePoint and ECM.
I wrote a couple of days ago about the growth of SharePoint licensing and the impressive footprint it has in terms of end user licenses. One of the other intriguing things about SharePoint is how it has evolved in functionality. True to form, Microsoft first launched SharePoint as a sturdy but not overwhelming offering. Since then, they have built more and more functionality into the product, all the while bringing partners and developers into the mix to create a formidable ecosystem for the product.

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