Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Year: 2011 (Page 1 of 19)

Making Search Play Well with Content Solutions

In keynote sessions at the recent Gilbane Boston Conference, three speakers in a row made points about content management solutions that are also significant to selection and implementation of enterprise search. Here is a list of paraphrased comments.

  • From Forrester analyst, Stephen Powers were these observations: 1. The promise has been there for years for an E (enterprise)CM suite to do everything but the reality is that no one vendor, even when they have all the pieces, integrates them well. 2. Be cautious about promises from vendors who claim to do it all; instead, focus on those who know how to do integration.
  • Tony Byrne of the Real Story Group observed about Google in the enterprise that they frequently fail because Google doesn’t really understand “how work gets done in the enterprise.”
  • Finally, Scott Liewehr of the Gilbane Group stated that a services firm selection is more important than the content management system application selection.

Taken together these statements may not substantiate the current state of the content management industry but they do point to a trend. Evidence is accruing that products and product suppliers must focus on playing nice together and work for the enterprise. Most tend not to do well, out-of-the-box, without the help of expertise and experts.

Nominally, vendors themselves have a service division to perform this function but the burden falls on the buyer to make the “big” decisions about integration and deployment. The real solution is waiting in the wings and I am increasingly talking to these experts, system integrators. They come in all sizes and configurations; perhaps they don’t even self-identify as system integrators, but what they offer is deep expertise in a number of content software applications, including search.

Generally, the larger the operation the more substantial the number and types of products with which they have experience. They may have expertise in a number of web content management products or e-commerce offerings. A couple of large operations that I have encountered in Gilbane engagements are Avalon Consulting, and Search Technologies, which have divisions each specializing in a facet of content management including search. You need to explore whether their strengths and expertise are a good fit with your needs.

The smaller companies specialize, such as working with several search engines plus tools to improve metadata and vocabulary management so content is more findable. Specialists in enterprise search must still have an understanding of content management systems because those are usually the source of metadata that feed high quality search. I’ve recently spoken with several small service providers whose commentaries and case work illustrate a solid and practical approach. Those you might want to look into are: Applied Relevance, Contegra Systems, Findwise, KAPS Group, Lucid Imagination, New Idea Engineering, and TNR Global.

Each of these companies has a specialty and niche, and I am not making explicit recommendations. The simple reason is that what you need and what you are already working on is unique to your enterprise. Without knowledge of your resources, special needs and goals my recommendations would be guesses. What I am sharing is the idea that you need experts who can give value when they are the right experts for your requirements.

The guidance here is to choose a search services firm that will move you efficiently and effectively along the path of systems integration. Expertise is available and you do not need to struggle alone knitting together best-of-breed components. Do your research and understand the differentiators among the companies. High touch, high integrity and commitment for the long haul should be high on your list of requirements – and of course, look for experience and expertise in deploying the technology solutions you want to use and integrate.

Next month I’ll share some tips on evaluating possible service organizations starting with techniques for doing research on the Web.

Up-to-Speed Reading for Gilbane Boston: Recent Publications

Looking to make the most of your experience at Gilbane Boston 2011? Want to be current on the latest content trends and technologies? Download our recent papers, some of which you may have missed.

Smart Approaches to Managing Mobile Learning Content. Just published! Why a content strategy rather than a project mentality is the only way to take full advantage of the business performance benefits and productivity gains that are possible with mobile learning. Listen to the webinar.

Magazines at a Digital Crossroads: eCommerce and New Models for the Future. Makes the case for a growing need for contemporary eCommerce platforms to support publishers as they experiment, win, iterate, and drive their businesses into the future. Listen to the webinar.

Content, Audience, and Targeted Messaging: The Virtuous Circle of Customer Engagement. Presenting marketing messages and advertisements that are relevant at the right moment to create the tipping point from engagement to conversion.

A Fresh Look at Web Content Management: Mastering the Core Capabilities of Contemporary Platforms. The core aspects of today’s WCM systems for anyone evaluating, or reevaluating, the WCM needs of their organizations. Listen to the webinar.

Addressing Digital Product Development Risks: Best Practics for Creating Strategic Outsourcing Relationships. Digital products fail for all kinds of reasons. Poor development does not have to be one of them.

Understanding Best Practices for Profiling, Personalizing, and Targeting Next-Generation Engagment. Develop a new appreciation for the power and value of contemporary personalization, and gain an understanding of how to realize its benefits within your organization.

Global Digital Engagement: Leveragng Opportunities to Increase Impact and Reduce Complexity. How to remove the mystery and anxiety of delivering high-value interactions that lead to engagement by improving the dynamics of each.

Collaboration to Business Transformation: Expanding the role of Enterprise Social Networks

Of course we think all of our conference sessions are not to be missed, but for those specially interested in enterprise social networks, and process transformation we’ve paired up AIIM President John Mancini, to share some of the research his organization is completing on this topic, and Mike Gotta, Senior Technical Manager for Social Software at Cisco, and ex Gartner VP & Research Director. Be sure to check this one out the latest trends in this area

C4. From Collaboration to Business Transformation: Expanding the role of Enterprise Social Networks

Gilbane Boston, The Boston Westin Waterfront
Thursday, December 1, 8:30 – 9:30

Effective collaboration initiatives often focus on process, information and technology. However the advent of enterprise social networking has expanded the scope of what’s possible, and it goes far beyond mere collaboration. This session will examine architectural building blocks that enable social networking, common practices to help overcome adoption hurdles, and governance and change management approaches. It will also contain a presentation of the work of an AIIM task force that has been building use cases and best practices relative to social transformation for 3 key value chains in any organization:

  1. sales and marketing;
  2. product design and innovation; and
  3. knowledge worker creativity and productivity.

This session will demonstrate why the time has come to move discussions of social business from the abstract benefits of “collaboration” to a richer focus on process and value chain transformation.

Moderator: Marc Strohlein, Principal, Agile Business Logic
 
John ManciniPresident, AIIM
Social in the Flow – Moving Social from “Nice to Have” to Process Transformation
Mike GottaSenior Technology Manager, Cisco
Enterprise Social Networking: Identity, Graphs & Social Objects

Informatica Delivers Data Parser for Hadoop

Informatica Corporation, the provider of data integration software, announced the immediate availability of Informatica HParser, a data parsing transformation solution for Hadoop environments. Informatica HParser runs on distributions of Apache Hadoop, exploiting the parallelism of the MapReduce framework to efficiently turn unstructured complex data, such as web logs, social media data, call detail records and other data formats, into a structured or semi-structured format in Hadoop. Once transformed into a more structured format, the data can be used and validated to drive business insights and improve operations. Available in a free community edition and commercial editions, Informatica HParser provides organizations with the solution they require to extract the value of complex, unstructured data. http://www.informatica.com

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