The Gilbane Advisor

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Category: Publishing & Media (page 3 of 34)

The future of tablets

The future of tablets isn’t what analysts thought a year ago, or even last fall.

The market for PCs continues to decline (but at a slowing rate: IDC, Gartner), yet tablet growth is also slowing forcing many analysts to scale back their forecasts. Smartphone growth is slowing as well.

There is a lot of discussion, mainly from an investor point of view about why: saturation, price points, supplier market share, etc., that are relevant for both business and consumer markets. Recently the focus has been on iPads because of Apple‘s earnings call but the trend is not limited to Apple.

Why aren’t tablets taking more share away from PCs?

Given the phenomenal growth of tablets the last few years, their computing power, and the large overlap of general use cases shared with PCs (email, browsing) it did seem that tablets were on track replace PCs in large numbers. But the use case overlap was not large enough to support the forecasts. Tablets are tweeners, fighting for space between the superior communications of smartphones and greater productivity of PCs. Being in the middle is not normally a desirable spot for a product, but tablets excel at information and entertainment consumption and this middle is a pretty big and happy place to be.

What do we use PCs for? For years we have been using PCs for some combination of productivity, information / entertainment consumption, and communication. PCs were largely designed and most useful for productivity, whether business or personal, and that’s why we bought them. As PCs evolved and became capable and appealing for information/entertainment consumption and communication we bought more of them. And at some point whatever motivated us to buy a PC, our actual use of them flipped – we now spend a higher percentage of time using our PCs for information / entertainment consumption and communication than we do for productivity. And of course this is the domain of tablets and why they have taken as much of the PC market as they have.

But tablets are simply not as good as PCs for a large number of productivity applications. Until they are this will act as a governor on tablet growth and allow for a shrinking but still large market for PCs.

In The iPad Is a Tease Jean-Louis Gassée points out that:

So far, Apple’s bet has been to keep the iPad simple, rigidly so perhaps, rather than creating a neither-nor product: No longer charmingly simple, but not powerful enough for real productivity tasks. But if the iPad wants to cannibalize more of the PC market, it will have to remove a few walls.

I would say Gassée’s post is from the point of view of a user who would like to replace his PC with an iPad but can’t, that this is a larger cohort than enterprise users or even power users, and that this is the best way to think about the productivity penalty portion of slowing iPad sales.

What would make a significant dent in the iPad’s productivity penalty? Microsoft Office support alone is necessary but not sufficient. A better solution for text entry than accessory keyboards, smooth and rapid app switching, and easy file access would each make a big difference. See below for links to other thoughts.

There is also a maddening and ironic side effect of using iPads for industry applications where they are productivity enhancers. For example, I used to be able to choose between an iPad (mostly research and entertainment) and a laptop (mostly work) for most trips, but a couple of my current projects include working with apps that only run on the iPad. I can’t be productive without having both an iPad and a laptop. Even in the office I often need both within reach. Unfortunately this situation is likely to get worse as more iOS, (and Android!) productivity apps appear.

Watch out for smartphones

Benedict Evans suggested another avenue for inquiry in a tweet:

.@asymco @gassee posit: slow iPad sales are worse news for the PC market: implies phones can take the greater share of PC use cases

— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) April 21, 2014

I don’t know Benedict, but I picture him smiling devilishly as he composed that tweet. As well he should have.

The more types of computing devices there are the more complicated figuring out use case fit is going to be.

The future of tablets

The future of tablets seems promising in the near term since neither PCs nor smartphones can match their information and entertainment consumption experience and tablets will get better at aiding productivity. The better they get the more market share they’ll take. And of course we haven’t seen all the new industry apps where the tablet form factor and interface is a net productivity advantage.

On the other hand, the right kind of user interface – perhaps a high resolution holographic interface not dependent on form factors for projection – would free us from our quaint categories of PCs, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, glasses, and be truly disruptive. Once computing power and user interfaces become independent of physical size all bets are off.

Further reading on iPad growth:

The iPad’s Curse — Ben Bajarin

iPads and Tablet Growth – Benedict Evans

Don’t Give up on the iPad – Ben Thompson

How Apple Could Continue to Own the Enterprise Tablet Market — Tim Bajarin

The Astonishing, Disappointing iPad – MG Siegler

 

Multichannel content management

Meg Walsh at Gilbane 2013In Marketing technology landscape explosion and CMS evolution we looked at two of the major themes of December’s Gilbane Conference. The third major theme that we asked speakers to respond to in our spotlight series was the challenge of multichannel delivery:

What is the best overall strategy for delivering content to web, multiple mobile, and upcoming digital channels? What is the biggest challenge? Development and maintenance cost? Content control? Brand management? Technology expertise?

The best overall strategy and the biggest challenge are the same: creating and managing content that can be optimized for each channel and device including those not anticipated. In short, true Multichannel Content Management, or MCM if we can deal with yet another acronym (Yaa!). Of course the “multichannel” is only necessary for emphasis because “web” content management has been dominant for a few years, and “enterprise” content management was hijacked by the document management interests early on. Perhaps soon, “multichannel” will be redundant and just plain old “content management” will suffice.

Multichannel content management is really hard. Organizations have been implementing such “single source publishing” or “create once, publish everywhere” systems for many years, but the difficulty and cost prevented most from taking it on and forced others to give up even knowing it was the right thing to do.

Multichannel content management is still hard, but it was one thing to hesitate when there was only one extra channel – now there are n+1 channels, the cost equation has changed, and you can’t build a sustainable digital experience without solving this problem.

Organizations who successfully built multichannel content management systems in the past were largely those with direct access to technologists, for example technical documentation, product support, engineering, and R&D. Marketing organizations, aside from a few with large global presences and big brand asset management problems, mostly stayed away – technology and cost were fearsome, and organizational structures and agency dependencies also created barriers. Staying away is no longer an option. Reaching today’s consumers requires an n+1 distribution strategy.

In her keynote presentation, Marriott’s Meg Walsh inspired the audience with her discussion of their distribution and scale challenges and the necessity for a strategy based on adaptive content that is device agnostic – in other words, a multichannel content management capability. She shared a wonderful quote from Jonathan Perelman, VP, Agency Strategy @Buzzfeed, “Content is King, but Distribution is Queen, and She wears the pants.”

Note that Meg’s role is very much that of a marketing technologist. She ran the content management practice in Marriott’s sales and marketing group before moving to Marriott’s IT organization to take responsibility for technology platforms to support the sales and marketing activity.

We’ll be covering much more of what one attendee called “Real Multichannel Content Management and publishing” at this year’s conference, and would love to hear from more marketing organizations that are making the Distribution Queen happy.

Speaker Spotlight: Frank Schneider – Multi-modal interface essential to mobile customer engagement

In another installment of Speaker Spotlight, we posed a couple of our frequently asked questions to speaker Frank Schneider, VP of Customer Experience Solutions at Creative Virtual USA. We’ve included his answers here. Be sure to see additional Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference.

Frank Schneider | Gilbane Conference

Speaker Spotlight: Frank Schneider

VP Customer Experience Solutions

Creative Virtual USA

 

Is there a “Marketing Technologist” role in your organization or in organizations you know of? Should there be? What should their responsibilities be?

As technology becomes the backbone of every organization, it forces the cross pollination of roles, especially now between marketing and IT. With a shift towards data-based marketing and new relationships forming between marketing, sales and customer service, the advent of the “Marketing Technologist” is real. This shift is fueling the need for marketing automation, sales enablement, content management, knowledge management and even translation. Marketing Technologists have emerged as the perfect conduit between platform adoption and management, and the traditionally non-technical roles of sales, marketing and customer service.

With customer service becoming the new marketing and marketing’s ability to directly influence the sales pipeline, Chief Marketing Technologists are sprouting up as the perfect solution to balance a variety of needs including marketing and CRM software, content marketing, social and mobile, data and analytics, web and app development, ad networks and customer engagement programs. From social media monitoring to SEO analysis to translation management and ecommerce, Marketing Technologists are fast becoming the “must have” in every organization that is competing in a global economy.

Do you think “web content management” should be the hub of digital experience management implementations? If so, should it have a new name to match an expanded role? If not, what should be at the center?

Content marketing is evolving to become the center of digital strategy. Consequently, every organization should endeavor to employ the new role of Chief Content Officer or some derivative thereof. Managing the ebb and flow of content and messaging via multiple channels has created the need for a more comprehensive content strategy across departments and media. Channel management between web, social, and mobile have not only created opportunities to deliver messaging, but an urgent need to provide fresh material for public consumption.

Organizations must take cues from traditional publications hiring copy editors, writers and reviews to constantly curate fresh content that furthers the company’s mission, corresponds to the marketing goals and satisfies the needs of their audience. However, you do need someone leading the charge – a person that understands the mission of the content team, rallies the resources and takes ownership of getting it done. Furthermore, they need the tools to get it done. Now more than ever, technology will play an ever increasing role in how content is aggregated, curated, manage and delivered.

What is the best overall strategy for delivering content to web, multiple mobile, and upcoming digital channels? What is the biggest challenge? Development and maintenance cost? Content control? Brand management? Technology expertise?

A proper macro level strategy for content delivery across multiple channels should be comprised of several key elements.

  1. Consistency. Whether it be call center agents looking for an answer or policy or a customer checking a web page, the right answer, right messaging, and proper branding should be pervasive and consistent, no matter the medium or device. Nuanced variable can be in play in regards to format, UI, and design, but at the end of the journey, customers need to feel that your content delivery allowed for a seamless experience.
  2.  Correct and Compliant. Along the lines of the first element, “correct” can mean many things. First, the item must incorporate content that is not just correct in regards to the answer from a company perspective, but answer precisely the question the customer has (in regards to what began the content search or inquiry). Furthermore, this correct answer must incorporate personalization factors; in other words, the answer must be particularly right for that customer or that profile of customer. Lastly, content must be compliant… from HIPPA, to SEC guidelines, to CPNI… content delivery must adhere to compliance guidelines will protecting the interests of both consumer and business.
  3. Automated and seamless. Content delivery across all channels must be deployed with a strategy towards, and enabled by technology and tools for, automated cross pollination and management of content. The idea of multi-channel strategy, that is, the ability to deliver in multiple channels (web, mobile/tablet, call center, IVR, social/community, branch), must mature from brainstorming strategy to refined omnichannel capability. An ominichannel content delivery system allows for authentic smart delivery of content, no matter the channel or modality.

Catch Up with Frank at Gilbane

Track T: Re-imagining the Future: Technology and the Postdigital Experience

T1: Are You Leveraging All the Mobile Technologies Required for Competitive Mobile Engagement?
“Come As You Are: Multi-Modal Interface is Essential to Mobile Customer Engagement”
Tuesday, December, 3: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

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Responsive Design and the Future of Digital Experiences

Digital experience designers are familiar with the approach of responsive design even if they haven’t used it. If they have used it they know it is not quite as easy as it first sounds, and the popularity of responsive design courses suggests there is a still a lot of learning going on. But even if you don’t need to understand the code, if you are a marketing manager you need to know what you can expect responsive design to accomplish and what level of effort it entails.

C2. Responsive Design and the Future of Digital Experiences

Tuesday, December, 3: 2:40 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.

Responsive design has been around since the early days of the browser wars, but as mobile channels grew it became both more important and more complex. Gone are the days when new digital channels, form factors, and other device characteristics can be anticipated and digital strategies need to reflect this new reality. This session will provide multiple perspectives on what responsive design can do, what its limitations are, and what its future challenges are.

Moderator:
Tom Anderson, President, Anderson Digital

Speakers:
Scott Noonan, Chief Technology Officer, Boston Interactive
In Koo Kim, Senior Manager, MOBEX, NorthPoint Digital
Scrap the Big Launch, Fly a Kite: How to Create and Maintain Control of Smarter Mobile Apps with Real-Time UI Updates, A/B Testing, and Personalization
Christopher S Carter, General Manager, aLanguageBank
Are You Prepared to Create Content for the Internet of Things?

 

Multi-channel Publishing and Content Reuse

We’re big believers in the potential for learning from colleagues in other industries. There are many shared challenges crossing vertical boundaries not always obvious because of different vocabularies, and often a gem can be found in the variety of solutions, or an idea can be sparked by a slightly different lens on the problem. The publishing industry’s influence on computing and digital experiences goes way back and is especially applicable horizontally – markup languages, style sheets, electronic type – and of course multi-channel publishing. This is why we have usually included a publishing track in our conferences. This session looks at how a couple of publishers have dealt with some thorny multichannel publishing issues.

P2. Multi-channel Publishing and Content Reuse

Tuesday, December, 3: 2:40 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.

In this session two publishing organizations report on projects that involve moving publications and existing content from print to multi-channel digital. Business Insurance, part of Crain Communications, implemented a digital publishing strategy that supports interactive digital content and content reuse across print, Web, iOS, and Android, all based on HTML5. Wolters Kluwer Health now creates textbooks with versions for print, multiple eBook formats, and integration with Learning Management Systems and other advanced learning tools. As part of their multi year initiative they report on a recent project where they implemented round tripping between XML and author-editable Word documents, and discusses the technical and organizational problems they solved.

Moderator:
Tom Brown, VP, Multichannel Solutions, HP

Speakers:
Dave White, Chief Technology Officer, Quark Software Inc.
Case Study: Transforming Print Content into Mobile and Web Apps
Ken Golkin, Technical Project Manager, Wolters Kluwer Health
and
Niels Nielsen, Managing Director, Avalon Consulting, LLC
Long Cycle Reuse in Textbook Publishing: Cracking the XML–>Word–>XML Round Trip Nut

 

How Should Your CMS Fit into Your Mobile Strategy?

There are many answers to this question, but the right answer for you will depend on what other components make up your digital experience management system, how they integrate with other enterprise systems, the types of content and apps and mobile platforms you need, existing developer expertise and tools, and so on. CMS and DXM vendors have to work through the possibilities with their customers and partners so are a valuable resource for helping you think through some of the options.

T5. How Should Your CMS Fit into Your Mobile Strategy?

Wednesday, December, 4: 9:40 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

As analysts will tell you, web content management systems are now, or should be one of the core components of a larger digital experience management strategy. There are lots of questions about what this means in practice, but this session focuses specifically on how your content management system(s) can or should support your mobile presence. Should your CMS manage all mobile content? Should that include apps as well? Is mobile content delivery by the CMS active or passive? Where does the delivery layer reside? Is data incorporated by the mobile app or by the CMS? Should you create a separate system just for managing mobile content? Should your WCM mind its business and stick to the Web? Should your other CMSs stay with whatever enterprise applications they support?

Moderator:
Marc Strohlein, Principal, Agile Business Logic

Speakers:
Ian Truscott, VP Product Marketing, Content Management Technologies Division, SDL
Loni Stark, Director of Product, Industry Marketing, Adobe

 

Content and User Experience Design for the Internet of Smart Things – Gilbane Conference Spotlight

There are many reasons to be excited about the Internet of Things, a content channel is not usually considered one of them. In fact, the mere suggestion of a need to support one more digital channel is enough to cause many execs to consider a career change, never mind n additional channels, and n is the future.

Many internet things don’t and won’t need to prepare content for direct human consumption, but many will – cars and watches and glasses are just the beginning. The variety of form factors, display technologies, and application requirements will present challenges in user experience design, content strategies, content management and data integration. The session we are spotlighting today will focus on the user experience design challenges, of which there are many.

T7. Have You Talked To Your Refrigerator Today? Content and User Experience Design for the Internet of Smart Things

Wednesday, December, 4: 2:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. – The Westin Boston Waterfront

The web is dead. Or is it evolving into the Internet of things? If so, how can we harness the emergence of smart and app-enabled devices, appliances, homes, cars and offices into the digital gene pool? Four senior executives in experience planning and strategy, technology, creative and user experience will provide a point of view on the Internet of smart things and answer key questions, including the following, using real world examples:

  • How can your smart washing machine, refrigerator and dishwasher be mated with intelligent apps, CRM, and dynamic content management systems to create real-time marketing and ecommerce experiences?
  • What happens to content strategy and management as app-enabled “playthings” become essential to your work and family life?
  • What do we do as video baby monitors become digital caretaking, developmental tracking, medical monitoring, and product ordering parent-bots?
  • What is the optimal customer experience for using voice to simultaneously integrate and operate your car, your mechanic, your GPS, your iPod, your radio, your tablet and your smartphone?
  • What best practices are needed for creative designers, content strategists, marketers, and user experience designers to create engaging Internet of smart things experiences?
Moderator:
Doug Bolin, Associate Director, User Experience Design, Digitas
Panelists:
Michael Vessella, Vice President, Director, Experience Design, Digitas
Michael Daitch, Vice President, Group Creative Director, Digitas
Adam Buhler, Vice President, Creative Technology / Labs / Mobile, Digitas

 

Microsoft Discontinuing eReader

Microsoft is discontinuing Microsoft Reader effective August 30, 2012, which includes download access of the Microsoft Reader application from the Microsoft Reader website. However, customers may continue to use and access the Microsoft Reader application and any .lit materials on their PCs or devices after the discontinuation on August 30, 2012. New content for purchase from retailers in the .lit format will be discontinued on November 8, 2011. http://www.microsoft.com/reader/

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