The Gilbane Advisor

Curated content for content, computing, and digital experience professionsals

Tag: CMS (page 3 of 10)

Researching Enterprise Search System Integrators

When looking at job postings on the Enterprise Search Engine Professionals Group on LinkedIn shows positions calling for developers with specific programming skills or knowledge of specific products. It may be a faulty assumption, but it appears that enterprises on the path to a new or upgraded search application implementation are paying less attention to the other professional skills needed on a successful team.

Knowing how to implement, tune, administer and enhance search outcomes has more to do with understanding business needs and content management than writing code. You need the expertise of content management professionals who understand the importance of (and how to leverage) metadata. You definitely need people who know how to build and maintain the controlled vocabularies that make metadata valid and valuable within the context of your organization. These professionals are not traditionally found in IT groups; they are more likely to come from a business function, or information science background, preferably with a deep knowledge of the enterprise and how it works.

Integrating content management systems (CMS), digital asset management (DAM), taxonomy, thesaurus or ontology management with enterprise search applications means understanding much more than coding. However, having a tight relationship with IT is imperative for good integration of components. In small and medium organizations it is rare to find experts across all areas and that is where a new breed of system integrators are bringing the most value as noted in the post in December, 2011.

As promised, here are some tips for finding and qualifying the right integrator for your organization. The first step is to identify service providers to consider. Use three principle discovery techniques:

  • Simple searches for “system integration providers”, “search integration”, “software” or “software integration” are all explicit phrases to use in web search engines
  • Vendor listings and directories such as those published by Information Today, and AIIM or “buyers’ guides” associated with specific product groups.
  • Conference exhibitors and conference attendees (consultants and vendors) who may attend or present but not exhibit at conference where the focus is a content management topic.

Next, qualify those you have discovered:

  • Scour their web sites by digging into links to Case Studies, Customers, Partners, and Press Releases. Each of these may lead to information about who the vendor has done business with and for, and the nature of their engagements.
  • Test-drive any public sites they have implemented and take a look at how their own web site has been implemented – How easy is it to find information on their own site?
  • Talk to people at professional meetings or in academic institutions who might have knowledge of system integrators and learn about their relationships, success and failures they have experienced. Talk to those vendors you trust and value that are suppliers of non-software products and find out companies they may have observed or encountered at their other clients. They can be a great source of “intelligence.”
  • Talk to people at their named client sites (non-referred if possible)

Five keys to purposeful and successful selection are carefully evaluating:

  • Fit for your industry and organization: cost, vertical experience, gap completion (providing competencies you lack).
  • Fit with your permanent staff: common communication behaviors, collaborative aptitude, willingness to teach, and share.
  • People who have done something as close to what you need for another organization, and will let you talk to their client before the project begins.
  • A service provider that understands the project, staging, and need for a clear exit goal (being able to clearly define what success will look like at the end of the project before they leave the scene).
  • What we commented on in the first paragraph on jobs for search engine professionals; scout potential service providers’ professional skill set to be sure they have people on their staffs who know more than just writing code.

Armed with these few guidelines as a checklist, you are ready to begin your search for a system integrator and solutions provider that suits your organization.

Mark your calendar for Gilbane Boston 2012!

Gilbane Boston content management and technologies conference bannerIt is time to mark your calendar for Gilbane Boston 2012. We will be back on Boston’s waterfront adjacent to the new “innovation district“, at the Intercontinental Boston Waterfront. The dates are November 27-29, 2012.

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.

Gilbane Boston 2011 Announces Sponsors and New Keynote Format for 8th Annual Web & Enterprise Content Management Conference

Annual Conference Helps Attendees Evaluate the Latest Solutions to Reach and Engage Customers and Foster Collaboration with Customers and Partners

Boston, MA – September 27, 2011 – The eighth annual Gilbane Conference Boston (http://gilbaneboston.com/) to take place November 29 – December 1, 2011, at The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA today announced that EndPlay will be the Diamond sponsor of the upcoming conference and Alfresco, CIGNEX and Liferay are this year’s Platinum sponsors. Atex, CrownPeak, OpenText, Percussion, SDL, Sitecore and Telerik are all Gold sponsors. For more information about these companies go to (http://gilbaneboston.com/exhibitors_sponsors.html)

Gilbane Boston also announed today the Opening Keynote presenters and a  new rapid-fire format. Keynote presentations, moderated by Frank Gilbane – President, Outsell’s Gilbane Services & Conference Chair will be limited to 10-15 minutes with 5 minutes for Q&A. The new format is designed to inspire, provoke, and provide perspective on the big issues, trends, and shifting foundation of technologies, digital strategies, and channels for communication and engagement. Panelists include Christos M. Cotsakos, Ph.D. – Founding Chairman, CEO & President, EndPlay, Inc.; Christer Johnson – Partner, North American BAO Advanced Analytics Leader, IBM Global Business Services; Georgiana Cohen  – Manager, Web Content and Strategy, Tufts University and Co-founder, Meet Content; and Maureen Chew – Chief Applications Officer, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

“In today’s business environment, every organization has one thing in common: the need to engage with multiple customer and partner communities,” said Frank Gilbane, conference chair and moderator of the keynote session. “This year’s keynote and new format share the timely theme of connecting with global customers and colleagues with marketing, product and enterprise content using web and social technologies.”

In addition, the event features six in-depth pre-conference workshops, a main conference program providing in-depth coverage of trends and technologies organized in four tracks: Customers & Engagement, Colleagues & Collaboration, Content Technology, and Cross-Media Publishing, a Technology Showcase made up of the leading vendors offering the latest tools and solutions and many networking opportunities.

For information on keynotes and entire conference program, visit:http://gilbaneboston.com/conference_program.html

IT, marketing, other and business professionals interested in attending the conference may register at: http://gilbaneboston.com/registration_information.html
Technology solution providers interested in exhibit or sponsor opportunities should visit: http://gilbaneboston.com/exhibitors_sponsors.html
Follow the conference on Twitter
http://twitter.com/gilbaneboston

About Outsell’s Gilbane Services
Outsell’s Gilbane Services provides analyst & consulting services focused on content technologies. Whether it involves web content management, digital marketing, multilingual content, enterprise search, enterprise social media, publishing, XML, or related technologies, we can help you make vendor-neutral well-informed decisions. We work with the entire community of stakeholders including investors, enterprise buyers of IT, technology suppliers, and other consultant and analyst firms. We have organized over 70 educational conferences in North America and Europe. Information about our widely-read newsletter, consulting & advisory services, reports, white papers, case studies and analyst blogs is available at https://gilbane.com, http://www.outsellinc.com/gilbane

About Lighthouse Seminars
Lighthouse Seminars’ events cover information technologies and “content technologies” in particular. This includes content management of all types, digital asset management, enterprise content management, web content management, enterprise search, web and cross-media publishing.

Contact

Lighthouse Seminars
Jeffrey V. Arcuri
508-759-8180
jeff@lighthouseseminars.com

OnBase 11.0: ECM Software for Higher Education

Hyland Software has changed the capabilities of ECM software for colleges and universities with its latest software release, OnBase 11.0. More than 1,800 additions and enhancements were made in Hyland Software’s OnBase 11.0. These changes include‚Äî Configurable SIS integrations; Transcript capture and transfer credit evaluation; and Cross-browser support. http://www.hyland.com

Joomla! 1.7 CMS Released With Enhanced Security Tools

Joomla, the popular open source CMS (content management system), announced the immediate availability of Joomla 1.7. Key updates in the new version include pre-defined search options, a new defense against form manipulation, language specific font settings and more. In addition, the entire Joomla open source community overhauled the development lifecycle for its CMS to make future release dates more predictable, and enabled users to more easily contribute content and migrate to the latest version. The development of 1.7 is a collaboration by thousands of Joomla developers and millions of everyday users. http://www.joomla.org

Nuxeo Releases New Version of Open Source Document Management Software

Nuxeo, the Open Source Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform company, released a new version of Nuxeo Document Management and Nuxeo Enterprise Platform today. Nuxeo DM 5.4.2 offers a host of usability and social features to make the user experience even smoother and more streamlined. Key contributions highlight the value of community involvement in the strategy of continuous innovation for the Nuxeo platform. The release of Nuxeo DM 5.4.2 and its underlying platform, Nuxeo EP, demonstrates execution on a vision of ongoing innovation, community engagement, and open standards support, delivered to content management application architects and developers. Driven by community feedback, many of the new features and enhancements improve usability of the application, using state-of-the-art technologies and standards, such as OpenSocial, OAuth, HTML5, WebDAV, and CMIS. The new WSS connector was contributed by Nuxeo partner Gagnavarslan, an ECM solution provider in Iceland. The Nuxeo and Gagnavarslan teams collaborated to integrate this new component after passing the Nuxeo QA process. With this connector, the Nuxeo repository can be mapped as a drive under MS Windows or Mac OS X. Other contributions include ongoing enhancements for the OpenSocial integration from customer Leroy Merlin. It now supports the GWT OpenSocial container, making the dashboard faster, and providing more gadgets and layout options. In addition, the Nuxeo platform is now completely integrated with OpenSocial and fully supports OAuth, allowing for external gadget integration in Nuxeo DM, and the use of Nuxeo DM gadgets in external containers, such as iGoogle. OAuth support ensures control of which services are used and the scope of data shared between applications. While the GWT container is well equipped to manage dashboards, a new light OpenSocial JavaScript Gadget container offers a quick and easy way to add an OpenSocial gadget to a content template in Nuxeo DM. Other highlights of Nuxeo EP and DM 5.4.2 include: HTML 5 Drag’n’Drop; New system properties for the CMIS interface; Improved User Interface layout; Content Views; and Facets. Nuxeo DM 5.4.2 is available with no license charge, download options include an installable application for Windows, Linux or Mac environments, as well as a pre-configured virtual appliance for VMWare or VirtualBox-compatible environments. Nuxeo DM can also be previewed instantly with an online trial version. http://www.nuxeo.com

Understanding the Smart Content Technology Landscape

If you have been following recent XML Technologies blog entries, you will notice we have been talking a lot lately about XML Smart Content, what it is and the benefits it can bring to an organization. These include flexible, dynamic assembly for delivery to different audiences, search optimization to improve customer experience, and improvements for distributed collaboration. Great targets to aim for, but you may ask are we ready to pursue these opportunities? It might help to better understand the technology landscape involved in creating and delivering smart content.

The figure below illustrates the technology landscape for smart content. At the center are fundamental XML technologies for creating modular content, managing it as discrete chunks (with or without a formal content management system), and publishing it in an organized fashion. These are the basic technologies for “one source, one output” applications, sometimes referred to as Single Source Publishing (SSP) systems.

smart technology landscape

The innermost ring contains capabilities that are needed even when using a dedicated word processor or layout tool, including editing, rendering, and some limited content storage capabilities. In the middle ring are the technologies that enable single-sourcing content components for reuse in multiple outputs. They include a more robust content management environment, often with workflow management tools, as well as multi-channel formatting and delivery capabilities and structured editing tools. The outermost ring includes the technologies for smart content applications, which are described below in more detail.

It is good to note that smart content solutions rely on structured editing, component management, and multi-channel delivery as foundational capabilities, augmented with content enrichment, topic component assembly, and social publishing capabilities across a distributed network. Descriptions of the additional capabilities needed for smart content applications follow.

Content Enrichment / Metadata Management: Once a descriptive metadata taxonomy is created or adopted, its use for content enrichment will depend on tools for analyzing and/or applying the metadata. These can be manual dialogs, automated scripts and crawlers, or a combination of approaches. Automated scripts can be created to interrogate the content to determine what it is about and to extract key information for use as metadata. Automated tools are efficient and scalable, but generally do not apply metadata with the same accuracy as manual processes. Manual processes, while ensuring better enrichment, are labor intensive and not scalable for large volumes of content. A combination of manual and automated processes and tools is the most likely approach in a smart content environment. Taxonomies may be extensible over time and can require administrative tools for editorial control and term management.

Component Discovery / Assembly: Once data has been enriched, tools for searching and selecting content based on the enrichment criteria will enable more precise discovery and access. Search mechanisms can use metadata to improve search results compared to full text searching. Information architects and organizers of content can use smart searching to discover what content exists, and what still needs to be developed to proactively manage and curate the content. These same discovery and searching capabilities can be used to automatically create delivery maps and dynamically assemble content organized using them.

Distributed Collaboration / Social Publishing: Componentized information lends itself to a more granular update and maintenance process, enabling several users to simultaneously access topics that may appear in a single deliverable form to reduce schedules. Subject matter experts, both remote and local, may be included in review and content creation processes at key steps. Users of the information may want to “self-organize” the content of greatest interest to them, and even augment or comment upon specific topics. A distributed social publishing capability will enable a broader range of contributors to participate in the creation, review and updating of content in new ways.

Federated Content Management / Access: Smart content solutions can integrate content without duplicating it in multiple places, rather accessing it across the network in the original storage repository. This federated content approach requires the repositories to have integration capabilities to access content stored in other systems, platforms, and environments. A federated system architecture will rely on interoperability standards (such as CMIS), system agnostic expressions of data models (such as XML Schemas), and a robust network infrastructure (such as the Internet).

These capabilities address a broader range of business activity and, therefore, fulfill more business requirements than single-source content solutions. Assessing your ability to implement these capabilities is essential in evaluating your organizations readiness for a smart content solution.

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2020 The Gilbane Advisor

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑