Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Month: May 2010

Green Grow the eBooks, Oh

Perhaps it is the season when everything seems especially fecund, or perhaps I can’t resist abusing the lyrics of late, great Robbie Burns, but there is no “perhaps” about electronic book publishing’s astonishing pace of growth.

The Gilbane Group (a division of Outsell, Inc.), together with research partner BISG, is reaching out to the communities of book publishing professionals.  We invite you to participate in Web-based survey, a central research mechanism for our upcoming study A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Processes to Re-Invent Publishing. The study will be published in June 2010, and all participants in this survey will have full access to the full-length study through The Gilbane Group website.

At the just concluded 2010 BEA—Book Expo America—our research partner on our upcoming study, A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Processes to Re-Invent Publishing, delivered some facts and figures in a session there.  Kelly Gallagher, VP of Publishing Services at RR Bowker and BISG Reasearch Committee Chair, presented new research from The Book Industry Study Group on consumer attitudes toward eBook reading. According to the research, eBook sales went from 1.5% of all book sales in Q1 2009 to 5% in Q1 2010, with 33% of eBook buyers entering the market in the last six months. The survey was of eBook reading and purchase behavior from print book readers who recently purchased either an eBook reader or an eBook.

Outsell, Inc., our parent company, has also just published news about ebook market growth in education publishing. From the press release: “Outsell estimates the total global market for K-12 and post-secondary textbooks was $15.2 billion in 2009 and will reach $16.6 billion by 2012, representing a modest [compound annual growth rate] CAGR of 2.6 percent. Digital textbook products will fuel the market growth, with a CAGR of 25 percent, while revenues from print textbooks will decline by 1 percent.”

The Outsell report provides case studies of eight publishers’ innovations, including Pearson, Elsevier, Cambridge University Press, Macmillan, Flat World Knowledge, Cengage Learning, Chegg, and CourseSmart. It also provides potential market scenarios over the next 10 years and their likelihood of occurring, and strategies for publishers to “reclaim” revenues lost during a print-only era. To purchase the report, please visit Outsell, Inc. or click here.

Speaking in links, a reminder to all that we’re in the middle of collecting data from our ongoing survey of book publishing professionals, so if you’re one and you haven’t taken the 10-minutes to complete the Blueprint survey, click here. We seek to gain a clearer picture of ebook and related digital publishing efforts underway among the full spectrum of book publishers. Furthermore, the analyst team at The Gilbane Group seeks to identify a number of “pain points” or barriers encountered by book publishers when it comes to their developing or expanding digital publishing programs, including areas such as royalties, digital format choices, digital print decisions, and distribution problems.

So, it is Spring!  Take a survey!

Managing the Shift from Experience to Engagement

We have the honor of presenting at the popular Web Managers Roundtable meeting in Washington, DC, this Thursday, May 27. The general topic is managing global user engagement. Our talk explains why global companies need to rethink their web presence and shift investments from “world-class customer experience” to web experience management. What are the trends driving this fundamental shift, what are the implications for web managers, and how can you create competitive advantage by embracing it?

Our co-presenters are James Dianto, Senior Director of Content and Localization for Hilton Hotels and Andrew Draheim, president, Dig-It. The Roundtable is hosted by Hilton and sponsored by Hilton, SDL, Welocalize, Translations.com, and CapTech.

There’s still time to request an invitation if you’re in the DC area. Visit the event page for details.

Fujitsu and Bowne Form Strategic Alliance

Bowne & Co., Inc., a provider of shareholder and marketing communications services, and Fujitsu jointly announced today that the companies have formed a strategic alliance to integrate Fujitsu Interstage XWand into Bowne’s suite of XBRL solutions. Interstage XWand provides Bowne with a complete XBRL development platform, paired with validation technology that leverages the latest XBRL specifications. Fujitsu’s Interstage XWand software, combined with Bowne’s suite of XBRL solutions, delivers a comprehensive approach to SEC Year 1 and Year 2 tagging requirements for both block and detailed Notes tagging. Additionally, the alliance benefits Bowne’s investment management and international clients who need solutions to support the SEC mutual fund risk/return summary mandate, as well as new XBRL requirements in the United Kingdom, both of which go into effect next year. Fujitsu recently announced Interstage XWand Version 11, which includes a number of key enhancements such as detailed tagging, tagging within Microsoft Word documents, the ability to extend and customize in-house validation of reports before submitting them, and out-of-the box analysis support to allow clients to more easily conduct comparisons of financial data within their companies and across multiple organizations. www.bowne.com www.fujitsu.com

What’s Happening at Gilbane San Francisco

We’ve been providing regular updates on Gilbane San Francisco over on our dedicated announcements and press release blog, as well as on Twitter, but since not everybody subscribes to either of those, here is a quick summary for both conference attendees and technology exhibit visitors, with links.

Open to all:

  • Opening Keynote session with: Jeremiah Owyang, Partner, Customer Strategy, Altimeter Group & Daniel W. Rasmus, Strategist, Author, Listening to the Future
  • Industry Analyst Debate: What’s Real, What’s Hype, and What’s Coming with: Forrester, Gilbane, IDC, The Real Story Group (CMS Watch)
  • Technology showcase with 34 content management technology vendors
  • Sponsor Reception, Wednesday May 19
  • Access to Product Labs on Wednesday and Thursday

Conference options:

Follow the conference Twitter stream. The main hashtag is #gilbanesf. You can join (dm @gilbanesf) or follow the list of twitterers at Gilbane San Francisco.

Hope to see you there.

Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 Available for Business Customers Today

Microsoft has announced that the 2010 release of Office, SharePoint, Visio and Project are available to business customers worldwide. 2010 Releases are Available to Businesses after Record Beta Adoption: The beta programs for Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 were the largest in the products’ history, reaching three times the size of prior Office beta programs. As a result, 8.6 million people are already using Office 2010 and related products. In addition, more than 1,000 partners are already building solutions for the 2010 set of products. Office, Project and Visio will be generally available online and in retail outlets in the U.S. on June 15th. Microsoft’s Office Web applications will be available to all Office volume licensing customers, offering productivity technologies in the cloud. In addition, customers will be able to purchase a subscription to Office Web Apps as part of Microsoft Online Services, Microsoft’s cloud-based applications. Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 are available in 14 languages, and over the next few months, 80 more languages will be added. A live webcast further detailing this release can be viewed at 11 AM EST 5/12/10. www.the2010event.com

Search Engines – Architecture Meets Adoption

Trying to summarize a technology space as varied as that covered in two days at the Search Engines Meeting in Boston, April 26-27, is a challenge and opportunity. Avoiding the challenge of trying to represent the full spectrum, I’ll stick with the opportunity. Telling you that search is everywhere, in every technology we use and has a multitude of cousins and affiliated companion technologies is important.

The Gilbane Group focuses on content technologies. In its early history this included Web content management, document management, and CMS systems for publishers and enterprises. We now track related technologies expanding to areas including standards like DITA and XML, adoption of social tools, plus rapid growth in the drive to localize and globalize content; Gilbane has kept up with these trends.

My area, search and more specifically “enterprise search” or search “behind the firewall,” was added just over three years ago. It seemed logical to give attention to the principal reason for creating, managing and manipulating content, namely finding it. When I pay attention to search engines, I am also thinking about adjoining content technologies. My recent interest is helping readers learn about how technology on both the search side and content management/manipulation side need better context; that means relating the two.

If one theme ran consistently through all the talks at Enterprise Search Meeting, it was the need to define search in relationship to so many other content technologies. The speakers, for the most part, did a fine job of making these connections.

Here are just some snippets:

Bipin Patel CIO of ProQuest, shared the technology challenges of maintaining a 24/7 service while driving improvements to the search usability interface. The goal is to deliver command line search precision to users who do not have the expertise to (or patience) to construct elaborate queries. Balancing the tension between expert searchers (usually librarians) with everyone else who seeks content underscores the importance of human factors. My take-away: underlying algorithms and architecture are worth little if usability is neglected.

Martin Baumgartel spoke on the Theseus project for the semantic search marketplace, a European collaborative initiative. An interesting point for me is their use of SMILA (SeMantic Information Logistics Architecture) from Eclipse. By following some links on the Eclipse site I found this interesting presentation from the International Theseus Convention in 2009. The application of this framework model underscores the interdependency of many semantically related technologies to improve search.

Tamas Doszkocs of the National Library of Medicine told a well-annotated story of the decades of search and content enhancement technologies that are evolving to contribute to semantically richer search experiences. His metaphors in the evolutionary process were fun and spot-on at a very practical level: Libraries as knowledge bases > Librarians as search engines > the Web as the knowledge base > Search engines as librarians > moving toward understanding, content, context, and people to bring us semantic search. A similar presentation is posted on the Web.

David Evans noted that there is currently no rigorous evaluation methodology yet for mobile search but is it very different than what we do with desktop search. One slide that I found most interesting was the Human Language Technologies (HLT) that contribute to a richer mobile search experience, essentially numerous semantic tools. Again, this underscores that the challenges of integrating sophisticated hardware, networking and search engine architectures for mobile search are just a piece of the solution. Adoption will depend on tools that enhance content findability and usability.

Jeff Fried of Microsoft/Fast talked about “social search” and put forth this important theme: that people like to connect to content through other people. He made me recognize how social tools are teaching us that the richness of this experience is a self-reinforcing mechanism toward “the best way to search.” It has lessons for enterprises as they struggle to adopt social tools in mindful ways in tandem with improving search experiences.

Shekhar Pradhan of Docunexus shared this relevant thought about a failure of interface architecture and that is (to paraphrase): the ubiquitous search box fails because it does not demand context or mechanisms for resolving ambiguity. Obviously, this breaks down adoption for enterprise search when it is the only option offered.

Many more talks from this meeting will get rolled up in future reports and blogs.

I want to learn your experiences and observations about semantic search and semantic technologies, as well. Please note that we have posted a brief survey for a short time at: Semantic Technology Survey. If you have any involvement with semantic technologies, please take it.

Open Text Announces Rights Management Services for ECM Suite

Open Text Corporation, a provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software, announced Rights Management Services (RMS) for the Open Text ECM Suite designed to safeguard confidential and sensitive information from unauthorized uses even after it leaves the content repository. Though the content may be stored in a secure repository, once users have the right to read a document and save it on their local drives, the content becomes vulnerable. Open Text Rights Management Services lets organizations augment their strategies with protection that remains with the content. Rights Management Services works by enforcing content protection constraints for documents and other content based on rules such as “do not email,” “do not print” or “do not save locally.” The application then encrypts the content and the publishing license together. The content and rights remain encrypted during transport, extending security to wherever the content travels. When a recipient opens rights-protected content, a request goes to a rights management server to validate the user’s credentials and usage rights. Round-trip scenarios are also supported allowing editing and uploading of new versions that retain the rights management constraints. As a shared service in the ECM Suite, Rights Management Services are also available to any content application in the organization. Protection spans Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 applications as well as PDF, HTML, engineering drawing file formats, image files, ZIP, archives among others. Users can also read and protect content viewed on BlackBerry smartphones. The Open Text RMS solution takes advantage of the Active Directory Rights Management Service from Microsoft. Open Text is also partnering with both GigaTrust and Liquid Machines, to add support for specialty content types such as computer-aided design (CAD) files, Visio, Adobe PDF, graphic files, and many other file formats, plus rights management support for documents available via BlackBerry devices. Open Text Rights Management Services for the Open Text ECM Suite is available now. Partner offerings are also available now directly through the partners. http://www.opentext.com http://www.gigatrust.com http://www.liquidmachines.com/

Ask the Analysts about Content Technologies & Strategies

Or collaboration, enterprise social software, search, analytics, market trends, customer engagement strategies, intranet architectures, multi-channel publishing …, or a prediction one of us has previously made that was prescient or presumptuous.

To learn more about the analysts on the panel including links to their blogs and Twitter accounts click on their name below.

K2. Industry Analyst Keynote Debate: Industry Analyst Debate – What’s Real, What’s Hype, and What’s Coming – May 19th 4:00pm – 5pm, Westin Market St, San Francisco

We invite industry analysts from different firms to speak at all our events to make sure our conference attendees hear differing opinions from a wide variety of expert sources. A second, third, or fourth opinion will ensure you don’t make ill-informed decisions about critical content and information technologies or strategies. This session will be a lively, interactive debate guaranteed to be both informative and fun.

Panelists:

Rob Koplowitz, Principal Analyst, Forrester
Hadley Reynolds, Research Director, Search & Digital Marketplace Technologies, IDC
Tony Byrne, Founder, The Real Story Group & CMS Watch
Scott Liewehr, Senior Consultant, Web Content Management, Gilbane Group

How to submit questions:

http://gilbanesf.com

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