Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Month: February 2008 (Page 3 of 4)

FatWire Acquires Future Tense Solutions

FatWire Software announced that it has acquired Future Tense Solutions, its Australian-based reseller. Prior to the close of the acquisition, Future Tense had exclusive rights to sell and distribute FatWire products throughout Australia and New Zealand. With this acquisition, FatWire gains a presence and direct access to customers in the region. Nigel Trinca, managing director of Future Tense, assumes the role of vice president of FatWire Australia and Future Tense co-founder, Bill Prescott, also joins the company. Future Tense Solutions was founded by a team of former Open Market colleagues who worked with FatWire’s product, Content Server. http://fatwire.com

SDL Buys Idiom: Not an “I”, now an “A”

Integration versus Acquisition, that is. Certainly the latter does not preclude the former. And we expect that it will most certainly not.

SDL and Idiom are making a strategic industry announcement with this move, with both obvious and subtle impacts on both the translation and content management industries. Most obvious is the influence it can have on the impact of integrating workflows, a year-long discussion we’ve having with the Gilbane community. Bringing more visibility to the Global Content Lifecycle and hopefully, more conversation on adding value throughout is a positive event. Ramifications on the state of content management interoperability, LSP neutrality, and market uptake for Idiom’s deep investment in the SaaS approach will be more subtle impacts, which will be important for our community to understand.

We’ll keep you posted as always, but note today’s facts:

  • This is not SDL’s first foray into merging the translation and content management technologies, demonstrated by May’s Tridion acquisition and the more recent investment in Trisoft, strengthening an already “deep” partnership albeit with no public announcement. Tridion caught the attention of marketing content management professionals; Trisoft should have caught the attention of techcomm content management professionals. Idiom will capture the attention of both.
  • As we discussed in Gilbane Boston 2007, organizations that understand the impact of multilingual communications on efficiency, brand, and revenue are moving globalization strategies upstream to “bake in” quality at source content creation. One of my favorite quotes during our Quality at the Source session was from Richard Sikes from the Localization Institute, who reminded our audience that “the whip cracks loudest at the farthest end.”
  • The acquisition announcement will trigger more conversation on topics included in our 2008 Globalization Wish List, in particular the idea of “closing the gap.”

See our post on the main Gilbane analyst blog. And stay tuned.

SDL acquires Idiom

SDL continues to execute its growth and expansion strategies with today’s announcement that it has acquired Idiom for approximately $22 million US. The current plan is to operate the Idiom business as an autonomous unit under the direction of Idiom CEO Mike Iacobucci.

The acquisition raises all kinds of questions, of course. Idiom is one of the companies with big potential to bring innovation to the language services industry, which has been ripe for change for some time now. More resources to execute could mean more value for customers sooner. Will the Idiom technology (and SaaS offer) reach its full potential as an agent of change under SDL? What about the impact on buyer choice — how will the acquisition affect companies coming into the market? Stay tuned for analysis of these and other key questions coming out of today’s news.

Read our perspective on Gilbane’s Globalization blog.

Traction for eBooks?

Steve Paxhia noted during a meeting the other day that the kindle is indeed still on back order, though as far as we know there are no definitive numbers out on how many they have actually sold. Still, unless there are extraordinarily problems with their manufacturing or supply chain, they have to be producing and selling a healthy number of them. In another meeting last week, someone actually said, “I will read that on my Kindle on the flight back.”
Then today, via Slashdot I learn that science fiction publisher Tor is giving away free eBooks in association with the launch of their new website. Science fiction is another market, along with romance, that has been good for eBooks, and this kind of wide-scale marketing strikes me as a logical next step.
UPDATE: Evan Schnittman of Oxford University Press is making maximum use of his Kindle and thinks it beats the SkyMall catalog any day.

Here and There

  • Over at eWeek, Jim Rapoza looks at the most overhyped technologies of the century, and XML isn’t one of them.
  • At IBM developerWorks, Elliotte Rusty Harold speculates on the future of XML. He’s bullish on XQuery and Atom, and he declares the end of markup-centric editors.
  • Speaking of being bullish on Atom, check out Mochilla’s Atom-based API for premium content.
  • Geoff Bock sends along news that Microsoft’s push to get OOXML as a standard is being scrutinized by the EU.
  • Also on the OOXML front, IBM and Microsoft seem ready to go toe to toe. More perspective here and here.
  • Have you ever thought you should be able to take DITA-encoded content and pump it through InDesign? You are not alone.
  • If you follow the Apache Software Foundation or other technical listservs at any level of interest, you just have to try Mark Logic’s MarkMail application where you can ask questions like, “Who from Microsoft chimes in on the XML schema list at the W3C?“.
  • I’m not the only one to think that part of Microsoft’s interest in Yahoo is driven by Yahoo’s impressive efforts in wireless technology, which have XML at their core.

JustSystems Announces DITA Maturity Model Co-Authored with IBM

JustSystems, Inc. announced the availability of the “DITA Maturity Model,” which was co-authored with IBM and defines a graduated, step-by-step methodology for implementing Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA). One of DITA’s features is its support for incremental adoption. Users can start with DITA using a subset of its capabilities, and then add investment over time as their content strategy evolves and expands to cover more requirements and content areas. However, this continuum of adoption has also resulted in confusion, as communities at different stages of adoption claim radically different numbers for cost of migration and return on investment. The DITA Maturity Model addresses this confusion by dividing DITA adoption into six levels, each with its own required investment and associated return on investment. Users can assess their own capabilities and goals relative to the model and choose the initial adoption level appropriate for their needs and schedule. The six levels of DITA adoption include: Level 1: Topics – The most minimum DITA adoption requires the migration of the current XML content sources; Level 2: Scalable Reuse – The major activity at this level is to break down the content in topics that are stored as individual files and use DITA maps to collect and organize the content into reusable units for assembly into specific deliverables; Level 3: Specialization and Customization – Now, users expand the information architecture to be a full content model, which explicitly defines the different types of content required to meet different author and audience needs and specify how to meet these needs using structured, typed content; Level 4: Automation and Integration – Once content is specialized, users can leverage their investments in semantics with automation of key processes and begin tying content together even across different specializations or authoring disciplines; Level 5: Semantic Bandwidth – As DITA diversifies to occupy more roles within an organization, a cross-application, cross-silo solution that shares DITA as a common semantic currency lets groups use the toolset most appropriate for their content authoring and management needs; Level 6: Universal Semantic Ecosystem – As DITA provides for scalable semantic bandwidth across content silos and applications, a new kind of semantic ecosystem emerges: Semantics that can move with content across old boundaries, wrap unstructured content, and provide validated integration with semi-structured content and managed data sources. http://www.ibm.com, http://na.justsystems.com

Search Behind the Firewall aka Enterprise Search

Called to account for the nomenclature “enterprise search,” which is my area of practice for The Gilbane Group, I will confess that the term has become as tiresome as any other category to which the marketplace gives full attention. But what is in a name, anyway? It is just a label and should not be expected to fully express every attribute it embodies. A year ago I defined it to mean any search done within the enterprise with a primary focus of internal content. “Enterprise” can be an entire organization, division, or group with a corpus of content it wants to have searched comprehensively with a single search engine.

A search engine does not need to be exclusive of all other search engines, nor must it be deployed to crawl and index every single repository in its path to be referred to as enterprise search. There are good and justifiable reasons to leave select repositories un-indexed that go beyond even security concerns, implied by the label “search behind the firewall.” I happen to believe that you can deploy enterprise search for enterprises that are quite open with their content and do not keep it behind a firewall (e.g. government agencies, or not-for-profits). You may also have enterprise search deployed with a set of content for the public you serve and for the internal audience. If the content being searched is substantively authored by the members of the organization or procured for their internal use, enterprise search engines are the appropriate class of products to consider. As you will learn from my forthcoming study, Enterprise Search Markets and Applications: Capitalizing on Emerging Demand, and that of Steve Arnold (Beyond Search) there are more than a lot of flavors out there, so you’ll need to move down the food chain of options to get it right for the application or problem you are trying to solve.

OK! Are you yet convinced that Microsoft is pitting itself squarely against Google? The Yahoo announcement of an offer to purchase for something north of $44 billion makes the previous acquisition of FAST for $1.2 billion pale. But I want to know how this squares with IBM, which has a partnership with Yahoo in the Yahoo edition of IBM’s OmniFind. This keeps the attorneys busy. Or may-be Microsoft will buy IBM, too.

Finally, this dog fight exposed in the Washington Post caught my eye, or did one of the dogs walk away with his tail between his legs? Google slams Autonomy – now, why would they do that?

I had other plans for this week’s blog but all the Patriots Super Bowl talk puts me in the mode for looking at other competitions. It is kind of fun.

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