Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Month: June 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

Collaboration, Convergence and Adoption

Here we are, half way through 2011, and on track for a banner year in the adoption of enterprise search, text mining/text analytics, and their integration with collaborative content platforms. You might ask for evidence; what I can offer is anecdotal observations. Others track industry growth in terms of dollars spent but that makes me leery when, over the past half dozen years, there has been so much disappointment expressed with the failures of legacy software applications to deliver satisfactory results. My antenna tells me we are on the cusp of expectations beginning to match reality as enterprises are finding better ways to select, procure, implement, and deploy applications that meet business needs.

What follows are my happy observations, after attending the 2011 Enterprise Search Summit in New York and 2011 Text Analytics Summit in Boston. Other inputs for me continue to be a varied reading list of information industry publications, business news, vendor press releases and web presentations, and blogs, plus conversations with clients and software vendors. While this blog is normally focused on enterprise search, experiencing and following content management technologies, and system integration tools contribute valuable insights into all applications that contribute to search successes and frustrations.

Collaboration tools and platforms gained early traction in the 1990s as technology offerings to the knowledge management crowd. The idea was that teams and workgroups needed ways to share knowledge through contribution of work products (documents) to “places” for all to view. Document management systems inserted themselves into the landscape for managing the development of work products (creating, editing, collaborative editing, etc.). However, collaboration spaces and document editing and version control activities remained applications more apart than synchronized.

The collaboration space has been redefined largely because SharePoint now dominates current discussions about collaboration platforms and activities. While early collaboration platforms were carefully structured to provide a thoughtfully bounded environment for sharing content, their lack of provision for idiosyncratic and often necessary workflows probably limited market dominance.

SharePoint changed the conversation to one of build-it-to-do-anything-you-want-the way-you-want (BITDAYWTWYW). What IT clearly wants is single vendor architecture that delivers content creation, management, collaboration, and search. What end-users want is workflow efficiency and reliable search results. This introduces another level of collaborative imperative, since the BITDAYWTWYW model requires expertise that few enterprise IT support people carry and fewer end-users would trust to their IT departments. So, third-party developers or software offerings become the collaborative option. SharePoint is not the only collaboration software but, because of its dominance, a large second tier of partner vendors is turning SharePoint adopters on to its potential. Collaboration of this type in the marketplace is ramping wildly.

Convergence of technologies and companies is on the rise, as well. The non-Microsoft platform companies, OpenText, Oracle, and IBM are placing their strategies on tightly integrating their solid cache of acquired mature products. These acquisitions have plugged gaps in text mining, analytics, and vocabulary management areas. Google and Autonomy are also entering this territory although they are still short on the maturity model. The convergence of document management, electronic content management, text and data mining, analytics, e-discovery, a variety of semantic tools, and search technologies are shoring up the “big-platform” vendors to deal with “big-data.”

Sitting on the periphery is the open source movement. It is finding ways to alternatively collaborate with the dominant commercial players, disrupt select application niches (e. g. WCM ), and contribute solutions where neither the SharePoint model nor the big platform, tightly integrated models can win easy adoption. Lucene/Solr is finding acceptance in the government and non-profit sectors but also appeal to SMBs.

All of these factors were actively on display at the two meetings but the most encouraging outcomes that I observed were:

  • Rise in attendance at both meetings
  • More knowledgeable and experienced attendees
  • Significant increase in end-user presentations

The latter brings me back to the adoption issue. Enterprises, which previously sent people to learn about technologies and products to earlier meetings, are now in the implementation and deployment stages. Thus, they are now able to contribute presentations with real experience and commentary about products. Presenters are commenting on adoption issues, usability, governance, successful practices and pitfalls or unresolved issues.

Adoption is what will drive product improvements in the marketplace because experienced adopters are speaking out on their activities. Public presentations of user experiences can and should establish expectations for better tools, better vendor relationship experiences, more collaboration among products and ultimately, reduced complexity in the implementation and deployment of products.

Godengo and Fry Communications Announce Partnership

Fry Communications, which offers print production solutions, and Godengo, provider of an online platform for magazine publishers, have announced a new strategic partnership. As part of the agreement, the two companies will cross promote each other’s services and work together on innovative, multichannel solutions to help publishers reach their readers in print and online. This partnership reflects Fry’s continuing commitment to provide its customers readily deployable and scalable digital publishing and workflow options, which now include mobile offerings through the ThumbMedia Group, rich media solutions through Trifecta Interactive Productions, workflow solutions through Aysling Digital Media Solutions, and Fry’s own Web-based buyer’s guides. http://www.frycomm.com/ http://www.godengo.com/

NuMobile’s Stonewall Networks Releases Xidget Toolset for XML Developers

NuMobile, Inc. announced that its subsidiary, Stonewall Networks, Inc., has released the Xidget toolset. Stonewall is working to have Xidget become a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standard. Xidget is a fragment of the eXtensible Markup Language commonly referred to as XML. Stonewall developed Xidget as a toolset that utilizes a subset of XML during the development phase of Stonewall’s core product Cornerstone. The Xidget toolset is used to handle graphical calls at the user level to and from the internet. Other enhancements will include improving the time during the design and development life cycle. www.xidget.com

Road Trip: Localization World Barcelona

Just back from the latest Localization World in beautiful Barcelona. Here are some quick highlights from the conference before they recede in the crush of day-to-day work.

The event continues to grow beyond its core audience of localization and translation professionals, attracting business and marketing managers from companies like Expedia, Fedex, and SAP. Of the practitioners attending our panel on global marketing communications, about half self-identified as marketing, the other half as localization managers supporting marketing. Hats off to conference organizers Ulrich Hennes and Donna Parrish for nurturing a program and venue that enables critical cross-functional interaction.

Speaking of our panel, we moderated a session entitled Global Marketing Communications: Bringing Order to Chaos. The core premise of the panel drew on the results of our 2011 study on multilingual marketing content, which revealed that the global content value chain for marketing content is very much in the formative phase. How are leading global companies making progress towards bringing stability and maturity to their globalization practices for marketing content? Speakers included Meritxell Guitart from Hogarth Worldwide, Sophie Hurst from SDL (speaking in her role as director of global corporate communications, not as SDL), and Amanda Lordan from Philips, who used a video to demonstrate Philips’ practice instead of just talking about it. Thanks to Meritxell, Sophie, and Amanda for sharing their experiences.

There was — finally! — a broader recognition of the position we have long taken regarding localization as a key element of an integrated content value chain, not as a standalone function that happens in a back office or black box. We were happy to see a session on CMS/TMS integration presented by Intel, for example, and references to eliminating language afterthought syndrome throughout the conference. The notion that a localization strategy is essential to mainstream business success was a consistent and prominent theme throughout the conference. Music to our ears, of course.

We left the conference with insights into what’s emerging as the new primary driver for investments in content globalization strategies, practices, and infrastructure. In 2011, it’s all about velocity — enabling the organization to operate effectively in an age of rapid change. While there is still much talk about audience engagement and customer experience, the tremendous pressure to deal with velocity was clearly top-of-mind for all attendees. This topic will be featured prominently in our analyst coverage in the weeks to come.

All in all, a great opportunity to spend a few thought-provoking days looking at the current state of content globalization and gleaning insights into what’s next, with the backdrop of a drop-dead gorgeous city as an added bonus.

Read more: https://gilbane.com/category/globalization-localization/

North Plains Releases New Version of TeleScope Digital Asset Management System

North Plains, LLC announced version 9 of their Digital Asset Management (DAM) system TeleScope, a release focused on helping companies build and manage the digital asset platforms. TeleScope 9 securely connects everyone who needs to work on, distribute, or use digital content no matter where they are. The major enhancements to TeleScope 9 to achieve this include: An HTML5 user interface designed to be easily usable by anyone, at any point in the digital asset lifecycle. Drag and drop of files accessed in TeleScope via a browser directly into desktop applications, simplifying and speeding critical manual editorial or distribution tasks; TeleScope Orchestration, a user-friendly visual workflow engine; Multilingual enhancements to fully support left-to-right and right-to-left language presentations, as well as the ability to see asset metadata in two or more languages side-by-side for international distributed teams. TeleScope is available as either software-as-a-service (SaaS) or installed on premise. http://www.northplains.com/

OpenText Announces New Release of Social Workplace

OpenText announced the availability of the next major release of OpenText Social Workplace, an integrated social collaboration environment. OpenText Social Workplace is available through either SaaS or on-premise deployment. It designed to help teams form quickly and collaborate effectively with minimal training or technical support. The latest release has a number of new features including optional integration with OpenText ECM Suite 2010 for comprehensive records management and governance, chat, and important additions to the wiki editor, among others. http://www.opentext.com

Nuxeo and Hippo Team Up to Provide ECM / WCM Solution

Nuxeo, the Open Source Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform company, announced a technology alliance with Hippo, a vendor of commercial Java Open Source Web Content Management. The two companies have built an ECM/WCM connector based on the OASIS CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) standard. Both Nuxeo and Hippo are open source, Java-based, CMIS-compliant platforms. The Nuxeo/Hippo connector benefits from a high degree of flexibility and ensures that content coming from other sources within the organization can be integrated into both platforms. Based on the CMIS standard, the connector allows for content from a Nuxeo-based ECM application to be accessible on a Hippo-based website. This eliminates the need to duplicate the information, and maintains the content history, validation workflow, versioning, and associated metadata. The connector is currently available as a service offering. http://www.nuxeo.com http://www.nuxeo.com http://www.onehippo.com/

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