Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Month: July 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

Adobe to Acquire Day Software

Yesterday, it was announced that another CMS poster child of the late 90’s is to be acquired as Adobe Systems Incorporated and Day Software Holding AG announced the two companies have entered into a definitive agreement for Adobe to acquire all of the publicly held registered shares of Day Software in a transaction worth approximates US$240 million.

This follows Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture late last year and clearly demonstrates their intent in entering the web experience management (WEM) market place that we cover with interest here at Gilbane – as we anticipate they bring together the audience insight gained through the web analytics of Omniture and Day’s CRX content platform.  

This will presumably add momentum to Day’s own move into the WEM space with their recent product marketing strategy, as they have reinvented themselves to be closer to the marketer with recent attention paid to functionality such as personalization, analytics, variant testing and messaging around using their repository for marketing campaigns and asset management.   We await with interest firm integration plans. 

In addition Day are a longtime advocate of CMS repository standards (JCR and CMIS), something that is also close to our heart at Gilbane. This announcement has also sent tremors through the Open Source community, as they wonder about Adobe’s commitment to the Apache projects like Sling and Jackrabbit that Day have been so supportive of.    

Whilst Adobe and Day have been very quick to state that they will maintain Day’s commitment to these community projects, it’s hard not think that this commitment inside Day is cultural and we wonder whether this can realistically be maintained as the acquisition matures and Day is brought into the fold. 

The acquisition also raises questions about what this means for Alfresco’s two year relationship with Adobe that runs pretty deep with OEM integration to Adobe LiveCycle – and Erik Larson (Senior Director of Product Management at Adobe) has publically stated the intention to integrate Day and LifeCycle to create a ‘full suite of enterprise technologies’.  It will be important for the Adobe customers that have adopted the Alfresco based integration, to understand how this will affect them going forward. 

One other area that I am sure my colleagues here at Gilbane in the Publishing Technologies practice will be watching with interest is the impact this will have on Adobe’s digital publishing offering.  

As we’ve seen with previous acquisitions, it’s best to be cautious over what the future might hold. From a WEM product strategy perspective bringing Ominture and Day together makes a great deal of sense to us. The commitment to standards and open source projects is probably safe for now, it has been a part of the Day identity and value proposition for as long as I can remember and one of the most exciting things could be what this acquisition means for digital publishing. 

Let’s wait and see… 

Suggested further reading:

Adobe to Acquire Day Software

Adobe Systems Incorporated and Day Software Holding AG announced the two companies have entered into a definitive agreement for Adobe to launch a public tender offer to acquire all of the publicly held registered shares of Day Software, for about $240 million. Adobe’s acquisition of Day will strengthen the company’s enterprise software solutions with Web Content Management (WCM), Digital Asset Management and Social Collaboration offerings. Day’s lweb solutions combined with Adobe’s existing enterprise portfolio will enable customers to better integrate their global web presence and business applications, unlocking value across their marketing, sales and service processes. In addition, Day customers will be able to leverage more interactive application and document capabilities from Adobe AIR, Adobe Flash, Flex, Adobe LiveCycle and PDF. http://www.adobe.com/ http://www.day.com 

Leveraging Language in Enterprise Search Deployments

It is not news that enterprise search has been relegated to the long list of failed technologies by some. We are at the point where many analysts and business writers have called for a moratorium on the use of the term. Having worked in a number of markets and functional areas (knowledge management/KM, special libraries, and integrated library software systems) that suffered the death knell, even while continuing to exist, I take these pronouncements as a game of sorts.

Yes, we have seen the demise of vinyl phonograph records, cassette tapes and probably soon musical CD albums, but those are explicit devices and formats. When you can’t buy or play them any longer, except in a museum or collector’s garage, they are pretty dead in the marketplace. This is not true of search in the enterprise, behind the firewall, or wherever it needs to function for business purposes. People have always needed to find “stuff” to do their work. KM methods and processes, special libraries and integrated library systems still exist, even as they were re-labeled for PR and marketing purposes.

What is happening to search in the enterprise is that it is finding its purpose, or more precisely its hundreds of purposes. It is not a monolithic software product, a one-size-fits-all. It comes in dozens of packages, models, and price ranges. It may be embedded in other software or standalone. It may be procured for a point solution to support retrieval of content for one business unit operating in a very narrow topical range, or it may be selected to give access to a broad range of documents that exist in numerous enterprise domains on many subjects.

Large enterprises typically have numerous search solutions in operation, implementation, and testing, all at the same time. They are discovering how to deploy and leverage search systems and they are refining their use cases based on what they learn incrementally through their many implementations. Teams of search experts are typically involved in selecting, deploying and maintaining these applications based on their subject expertise and growing understanding of what various search engines can do and how they operate.

After years of hearing about “the semantic Web,” the long sought after “holy grail” of Web search, there is a serious ramping of technology solutions. Most of these applications can also make search more semantically relevant behind the firewall. These technologies have been evolving for decades beginning with so-called artificial intelligence, and now supported by some categories of computational linguistics such as specific algorithms for parsing content and disambiguating terms. A soon to-be released study featuring some of noteworthy applications reveals just how much is being done in enterprises for specific business purposes.

With this “teaser” on what is about to be published, I leave you with one important thought, meaningful search technologies depend on rich linguistically-based technologies. Without a cornucopia of software tools to build terminology maps and dictionaries, analyze content linguistically in context to elicit meaning, parse and evaluate unstructured text data sources, and manage vocabularies of ever more complex topical domains, semantic search could not exist.

Language complexities are challenging and even vexing. Enterprises will be finding solutions to leverage what they know only when they put human resources into play to work with the lingo of their most valuable domains.

XTRF to Integrate memoQ

memoQ 4.2, by Kilgray, was integrated into XTRF 2.0, the management system for translation companies and corporate translation departments. XTRF supports the work of translation departments in three fields: management and administration of all company activities, management of workflow and of the production process, as well as management of the translation process. The integration of memoQ enables managing complete translation projects including from the very beginning until the translation is finished. http://www.xtrf.eu/ http://www.kilgray.com

Transperfect Enters Into Merger Agreement With Ad-Com

TransPerfect, a large privately held language services and software provider, announced that it has completed a merger with AD-COM, a Montreal-based provider of technical translation services. The transaction expands TransPerfect’s presence in Canada, adding a Montreal production hub to the company’s three existing Canadian locations. AD-COM will become a division of TransPerfect and will continue to be led by Founder and President Claudia Cieri, who will join the TransPerfect senior management team. Cieri is a 20-year veteran of the translation and localization industry. http://www.transperfect.com/ http://www.ad-com.ca/

Into the Engagement Tier…

Recently I wrote an article for my blog – Taking the W out of CMS – exploring content management and content delivery as separate disciplines and this is a follow up to that article.

To summarize that article – firstly, to know me professionally, is to know that when it comes to the tribes of CMS folks, I am firmly in the WCM tepee.

Secondly, I disagreed the first time this discussion rolled around, as the millennium clicked over – we were all going to use portal platforms and content management functionality would be in our application server infrastructure (we don’t and it didn’t).

Thirdly, the difference between the systems we are building for tomorrow and then – our digital engagement activities were single threaded following a website groove and the end was very much the driver for the means.

For the mainstream CMS industry it was a web site centric world and in most projects and applications the term ‘CMS’ was interchangeable with ‘WCM’. Today we have a fragmented communication channel; it’s the age of the ‘splinternet’ (in this context, a term coined by Josh Bierhoff), delivering relevant content consistently to multiple places.

This not just devices – our websites are less the single and only web destination, folks consume information about our products and services from other web destinations like Facebook and Twitter (to name two). Plus, of course the needs of customer, consumer and citizen engagement means that we can chuck in multiple touch points, in e-mail, call centres and real life.

We used to get ourselves worked up about ‘baking’ or ‘frying’ content management/delivery applications, about decoupled systems that produce pages and dynamic content – but (as I said in response to a comment on my original blog post) today’s consumer wants super dynamic content fresh caught that day, prepared their way, hot off the griddle – Teppanyaki served to share – family style.

So, we have a new level of complexity and requirements for our systems to support our digital marketers and communicators. A level of complexity of requirements that sits between our content repository and our consumer, which used to be the section of the RFP that simply said “must produce compliant HTML”.

When talking about delivery of content, this is typically where our requirement starts to gain some uniqueness between projects.

The question is, so you have your well-ordered, neatly filed, approved content – but what are you going to use it for?

A requirement for an approval process supported by workflow is fairly ubiquitous – but if you are a membership organisation that engages its audience over email or a consumer packaged goods company with fifty products and a YouTube channel – your Engagement Tier requirements are going to be quite diverse.

This diversity in requirements means two things to me.

1. As an industry we are very good at understanding, defining and capturing CMS requirements – but how are we at identifying, understanding and communicating an organisations engagement needs?

2. If there are diverse requirements, then there are different solutions – and right now it’s is a blend of dynamic web content delivery, marketing automation, campaign management, email, web analytics (etc. etc.) – There is no silver vendor bullet – no leader, no wave, no magic quadrant – its different strokes for different folks.

It’s this that I want to explore, how do we define those needs and how do we compare tools?

So, into the Engagement Tier – my colleagues here at Gilbane challenged me to draw it. Hmm.. right now it’s a box of content, a big arrow and then the consumer.

I am going to need to work on that…

 

Blueprint Report Shaping Up, Coming Soon

We—the analyst team behind A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Systems to Re-Invent Publishing, David R. Guenette, Bill Trippe, Mary Laplante, and Karen Golden—have been working up a sweat, and it isn’t just because there’s a heat wave on in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. We’ve been heads down and glory bound in our efforts to finish up this whopper of a report.  We sincerely hope—indeed, strongly believe—that Blueprint will be of help to many, if only for its 39-page directory of book publishing-oriented vendors of technologies and services that can help make ebook and digital publishing more successful. 

This study provides a guide for book publishers to discover where they are this moment regarding digital transformation, while offering specific case studies and analysis of how book publishers should approach getting to where they need to be to take advantage next year, and in the years ahead. We knew going in that the study was an ambitious one, although none of us suspected in would be ambitious to the point of exceeding 200 pages, but, well, I suppose that is what can happen when you decide to look at the full range of publishing processes in relation to ebook and digital publishing. Not to mention an art program with over 60 figures, many of the results from our extensive Web-based survey.

We’re also excited about our case studies included in the study, filled with substance and capturing the voices of the subjects we interviewed, providing a conversational tone to these stories of real hands-on work being done in the vineyards of digital publishing. 

Hmmm… maybe the heat is getting to me.

We’re entering the final review stretch, so stay cool, and keep an eye open for the publication announcement.

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