Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Month: September 2008 (Page 2 of 3)

New Gilbane Study Indicates Growing Demand for Enterprise Rights Management

Increasing awareness, growth of technology adoption enables Gilbane Group to create landmark study of current ERM practice

Cambridge, MA, Sept 16 – Gilbane Group, Inc., the analyst and consulting firm focused on content technologies and their application to high-value business solutions, today released the industry’s first reliable picture of enterprise rights management adoption in its new study, Enterprise Rights Management: Business Imperatives and Implementation Readiness. The growth in the number of companies adopting or planning to adopt means that for the first time, enough data exists to produce a study that is meaningful for users and vendors alike. As a result, Gilbane Group’s new report presents the most comprehensive publicly available research on the ERM market ever undertaken.

ERM: Business Imperatives and Implementation Readiness is backed by qualitative and quantitative research on general awareness of ERM, the current state of ERM deployments or plans to deploy (or decisions to avoid the technology), and target applications. According to study data:

  • Protecting confidential information from leaking outside the organization is the primary motivation driving ERM adoption.
  • ERM is becoming important for supporting information usage regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley (accounting) and HIPAA (healthcare).
  • Apart from regulatory compliance, client/customer communications and financial processes are other types of business processes involving confidential information that are the most prevalent for ERM implementations.
  • 55% of ERM implementations are integrated with content management solutions (including knowledge management and groupware/collaboration).

“The study reports increasing awareness of the significant risks associated with information leakage and the business processes that are most vulnerable. Our research shows that companies are taking more focused steps to address those risks, including implementation of enterprise rights management,” said study leader Bill Rosenblatt, Senior Analyst, Gilbane Group, and President, Giant Steps Media Technology Strategies. “At the same time, infrastructure obstacles to implementation are eroding. This is making it easier for companies to adopt solutions, which is certainly good news for ERM vendors.”

“The study confirms the steady growth in the ERM market that we have been experiencing ourselves over the past few years,” said Dr. Kyugon Cho, CEO of, one of the study’s Platinum Sponsors. “Moreover, the survey respondents cite a breadth of applications for ERM that go beyond what we have seen from our own customers. This makes us even more optimistic about the future of ERM.”

“This study reinforces GigaTrust’s focus on adding the types of extensions and enhancements for ERM that meet customer requirements and speed deployments. With these findings we think Gilbane will also help spur adoption as organizations see that their situation is not necessarily unique and that there are solutions out there to meet their needs,” said Brad Gandee, VP Product Marketing and Management at GigaTrust, also a Platinum Sponsor of the Gilbane study.

Gilbane Group’s study methodology included a survey of over 200 senior IT, security, and content management professionals across a range of vertical industries, conducted in cooperation with the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The research also draws on in-depth case studies on ERM deployments at six multinational companies; the case studies are included in the report.

Enterprise Rights Management: Business Imperatives and Implementation Readiness is available as a free download from the Gilbane Group website at The report is also available from study sponsors EMC,, GigaTrust, and Microsoft.

About Gilbane Group
Gilbane Group Inc. is an analyst and consulting firm that has been writing and consulting about the strategic use of content and information technologies since 1987. Clients include organizations of all sizes from a wide variety of industries and governments. Gilbane works with the entire community of stakeholders including investors, enterprise buyers of IT, technology suppliers, and other consultant and analyst firms. The firm has organized over 50 educational conferences in North America and Europe. Its widely read newsletter, reports, white papers, case studies and analyst blogs are available at

Welcome Karl Kadie, Senior Analyst

I am happy to announce that Karl Kadie has joined us officially as a Senior Analyst. Karl has actually been working with with Leonor and Mary in the Content Globalization Practice for 6 months as a Contributing Analyst, and was a co-author of our recently released report Multilingual Communications as a Business Imperative: Why Organizations Need to Optimize the Global Content Value Chain. Karl has been a great addition to the team, and will continue to focus on content globalization.
Karl’s bio can be found at , and his email address is: and his phone extension is
Welcome Karl!

ROI Blueprint for Structured Content

Mary has blogged about our series of webinars with JustSystems on “Developing a Strategic Roadmap for Structured Content.”
Today’s first webinar provides an in-depth review of widely-adopted best practices for structured content, with a goal of enabling the attendees to become prepared to conduct a self-assessment of their own structured content practices. Today’s webinar also unveils the interactive ROI blueprint for structured content that we developed in conjunction with JustSystems.

MicroLink Launches MicroLink Autonomy Integration Suite for SharePoint

MicroLink announced the release of MicroLink Autonomy Integration Suite (AIS) for SharePoint 2003/2007, which consists of six web parts that integrate Autonomy’s Data Operating Layer (IDOL) server with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). This integration allows SharePoint users to leverage Autonomy’s information discovery capability and automated features in a unified platform. MicroLink’s Autonomy Integration Suite for SharePoint consists of custom web parts that create more efficient access to the search capabilities of Autonomy’s IDOL server from within SharePoint. With interfaces familiar to SharePoint users, AIS helps organizations to process digital content automatically, share data and synchronize with other data webparts. AIS comprises Search and Retrieval, Agents, Profiling, Web Channels, Clustering, and Community Collaboration. AIS also improves expertise search and incorporates full document level security. Key Features of AIS: Federated search capabilities for SharePoint, enabling customers to index and search all content across the entire enterprise and repositories inside and outside the SharePoint environment; Custom Web Parts that enable access to the capabilities of Autonomy’s IDOL platform from within Microsoft’s SharePoint Portal Server; Data connections for each web part that allows data sharing and synchronization between parts; For the end user, a singular interface that is consistent with the SharePoint user experience.

Controlling Your Enterprise Search Application

When interviewing search administrators who had also been part of product selection earlier this year, I asked about surprises they had encountered. Some involved the selection process but most related to on-going maintenance and support. None commented on actual failures to retrieve content appropriately. That is a good thing whether it was because, during due diligence they had already tested for that during a proof of concept or because they were lucky.

Thinking about how product selections are made, prompts me to comment on a two major search product attributes that control the success or failure of search for an enterprise. One is the actual algorithms that control content indexing, what is indexed and how it is retrieved from the index (or indices). The second is the interfaces, interfaces for the population of searchers to execute selections, and interfaces for results presentation. On each aspect, buyers need to know what they can control and how best to execute it for success.

Indexing and retrieval technology is embedded with search products; the number of administrative options to alter search scalability, indexing and content selection during retrieval is limited to none. The “secret sauce” for each product is largely hidden, although it may have patented aspects available for researching. Until an administrator of a system gets deeply into tuning, and experimenting with significant corpuses of content, it is difficult to assess the net effect of delivered tuning options. The time to make informed evaluations about how well a given product will retrieve your content when searched by your select audience is before a purchase is made. You can’t control the underlying technology but you can perform a proof of concept (PoC). This requires:

  • human resources and a commitment of computing resources
  • well-defined amount, type and nature (metadata plus full-text or full-text unstructured-only) to give a testable sample
  • testers who are representative of all potential searchers
  • a comparison of the results with three to four systems to reveal how well they each retrieve the intended content targets
  • knowledge of the content by testers and similarity of searches to what will be routinely sought by enterprise employees or customers
  • search logs of previously deployed search systems, if they exist. Searches that routinely failed in the past should be used to test newer systems

Interface technology
Unlike the embedded search technology, buyers can exercise design control or hire a third-party to produce search interfaces that vary enormously. Controlling for what searchers experience when they first encounter a search engine, either a search box at a portal or a completely novel variety of search options with search box, navigation options or special search forms is within the control of the enterprise. This may be required if what comes “out-of-the box” as the default is not satisfactory. You may find, at a reasonable price, a terrific search engine that scales well, indexes metadata and full-text competently and retrieves what the audience expects but requires a different look-and-feel for your users. Through an API (application programming interface), SDK (software development kit) or application connectors (e.g. Documentum, SharePoint) numerous customization options are delivered with enterprise search packages or are available as add-ons.

In either case, human resource costs must be added to the bottom line. A large number of mature software companies and start-ups are innovating with both their indexing techniques and interface design technologies. They are benefiting from several decades of search evolution for search experts, and now a decade of search experiences in the general population. Search product evolution is accelerating as knowledge of searcher experiences is leveraged by developers. You may not be able to control emerging and potentially disruptive technologies, but you can still exercise beneficial controls when selecting and implementing most any search system.

Social Media is bigger than a blog

Social media has crept into all sorts of enterprise applications, and is certainly an important component of all of the areas we cover, including content management, enterprise search, multilingual applications, and authoring and publishing. So rather than discussing social media in isolation, we’re going to focus more on covering social media in context, which means in whichever of our blogs (or conference sessions) it makes sense. You can use our site search to find discussion about social media from Geoff and our other analysts and contributors.
Check out Fred’s entry posted on our main blog earlier today on “Integrating Traditional Documentation with Social Media”

Integrating Traditional Documentation with Social Media

The design brief is simple: integrate the outgoing supply chain that takes corporate product or service documentation out to users with the social media that may arise to address those same products or services. The benefits are also clear: leverage user experience, interest, and advice to everyone’s advantage.

After that, it gets confusing.

Corporate structures are brand-directed and very controlled, while social media is uncontrollable, individualistic (if not anti-brand), and hyperbolic. That’s why we love it, but how could a corporation trust it with their babies?

What does integration mean in this context? If you hire someone to help with social media, you may lose the integrity of independence. If the social media is independent and you endorse it, do you taint it? It’s likely to change rapidly, so how can you keep your position up to date? If you just react to it, how is that different than focus groups? I’ll argue that integration means, somehow, placing social media into an iteration loop in the documentation supply chain.

The scariest scenario is bringing independent outsiders to your breast and having them blast your new release. On the other hand, they’ll do that anyway, so the question is how quickly you’ll respond, and how? Who said “Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer?”

But let’s draw a distinction between unaffiliated commentators and those who are working in companies that are your customers. The former are always going to be less controllable, while the latter will likely cooperate with a cross-company integration. Just as an enlightened company will look to incorporate social media into its communications strategy, its customers will be exploring social media for its user-centric focus as a means of improving its own business practices.

Let’s assume that when social media is being practiced by independent outsiders, it will be a matter of chance whether their behavior is consistent with a corporation’s goals. When it works because all of the stars have aligned, as has happened at moments for Apple, Google, and even IBM and Microsoft, then it can be great. At other times, it may be ugly. Perhaps it’s just too early to draw those people too close.

But when the audience is composed of social media practitioners at client companies, then the field is open to all forms of social media: blog, wiki, twitter, IM, and other practices. For example, it’s easy to imagine deploying a documentation set via a wiki that issuing and client companies can both update, perhaps with a dedicated editor at the source company to keep brand, message, and metaphors consistent. That leaves the challenge of how that material gets integrated back into the supply chain so that it can feed the next release…

These are early thoughts, and tools such as wikis are low-hanging fruit. How will the less document-centric media be integrated? What new forms of relationship will develop around these practices? How can this be extended to independent outsiders?

Cerego Introduces iKnow! Intelligent Social Learning Platform

Cerego announced the North American beta launch of iKnow! iKnow! helps people to “learn faster, remember longer, and manage their memory for a lifetime”. iKnow!’s patented learning algorithms generate personalized learning schedules that improve the absorption and recall of chunks of learning content called “items.” Combining cognitive science and neuroscience with the social nature of the web, iKnow! lets users remix the web for the purpose of learning. iKnow! measures memory strength and generates a personalized learning schedule optimized for each user. The iKnow! platform is a collaborative network that will allow learners all over the globe to leverage and remix content produced by the community. As a demonstration of its social learning platform, iKnow! currently offers a set of tools and content for English speakers to study Japanese, with support for other major language pairs to follow within the year. Users soon will be able to upload any kind of learning content into the system – language and otherwise – and Cerego will open its learning APIs to the developer community. This will let third-party developers take advantage of the system’s memory management capabilities and build custom applications tailored to specific domains.

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