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Digital experience at the ATF

Gilbane’s Digital Experience Conference

Washington DC April 28 – 29, Workshops May 1

digital experience networking

Like most larger organizations the ATF has many types of customers, employees, and partners. Building a modern digital experience that meets their unique requirements, while supporting consistent and continuous collaboration and operational flows is no easy task. Case studies like this provide valuable insight, and we are pleased to have the ATF’s Hadiza Buge join us to share their story.

B103. Breaking down the regs: DX at the ATF

Parsing through federal regulations can be challenging. It can be hard to know where to start and find what you need. That’s certainly true at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)… Learn how digital is helping the ATF better connect state and local law enforcement as well as firearms dealers, the public, and other constituents with mission-critical information and services… Regulatory updates are shared faster with law enforcement, and best practices around personalization and usability are helping the ATF drive better results for constituents… Learn how the ATF is leveraging open source tech and strategies more typical of marketing organizations — including journey orchestration, audience segmentation, and personalization — to deliver for all of its audiences.

Monday, April 29: 1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.​

Hadiza Buge, ATF

 

Hadiza Buge
Chief, Electronic Media & Communication, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Peter Durand, Acquia

 

Peter Durand
VP, Public Sector, Acquia

 

Learn more & use code FG19 for best available price

Diamond sponsors

Google Cloud
Gridspace
twilio
ZOHO

Platinum sponsors

SAP digital experience
Shufflr

 

Gilbane Conferences have been providing content, computing, and digital experience professionals with trusted content since 2002.

Federal government to spend $1.4 billion on web content management and infrastructure

Before we get to the spending mentioned in the title, there is some important background to cover. In an email to the Presidential Innovation Fellows program mailing list yesterday and a blog post with Small Business Administration Administrator Karen G. Mills last week, White House CTO Todd Park reported on the progress of a pilot program, RFP-EZ, to make federal government RFPs accessible to small businesses.

In addition to making it easier for small businesses to win federal contracts, a key goal is to save the government money since small business bids are typically lower than larger organizations’. Another significant benefit is that it makes it easier for agencies to purchase from innovative small businesses (since more are bidding). In the technology space especially, small businesses provide the lion’s share of innovation.

So how is this program doing so far? From Park and Mills post:

Applying agile development principles, the Fellows team designed RFP-EZ over a six-month period, publishing the platform’s code openly on GitHub. The team then launched the pilot by posting five relatively simple website development and database contract offerings, four of which were also announced via the standard government portal, FedBizOps. On a per-project basis, bids received through RFP-EZ were consistently lower than those received through FedBizOps—19% to 41% lower, and over 30% lower on average. Bids made through RFP-EZ also showed less overall variation. In addition, during the pilot period, RFP-EZ attracted more than 270 businesses that until now had never approached the world of Federal contracting.

Graph of RFP-EZ pilot progress

Ok, now for the spending. First of all, note that the OMB says the total 2014 Federal IT budget is $77 billion. If you haven’t seen it yet the OMB IT Dashboard yet it is worth a look, and you can download a spreadsheet that has details on spending by agency and project. Park and Mills also said in their post that:

According to Office of Management and Budget’s IT Dashboard, the Federal Government will spend more than $1.4 billion on Web Infrastructure and Web Content Management Systems in FY 2014. Based on 2011 and 2012 results, we can expect about half of these projects to be under the $150,000 “Simplified Acquisition Threshold” that would make them eligible for contracting through RFP-EZ.

This may not seem like a lot at first glance, but at $150,000 each it would mean 4,666 web content management systems or web infrastructure projects it would be fairly easy for small vendors and consultants to bid on in 2014.

Presumably the numbers came from the OMB IT spending spreadsheet, but since software category definitions are fluid, to say the least, doing your own analysis would be a good idea. While our community knows that, for example, “web content management” can include or be a component of a collection of digital marketing tools for engagement or experience management, marketing automation, etc. we can’t assume all federal budgeteers do – or did when the budgets were developed.

All of this is excellent news for a substantial number of the vendors, integrators, and consultants who participate in the Gilbane Conference. It is also great news for federal government conference attendees who can more realistically do business with smaller companies who have the latest technology.

To participate in the RFP-EZ program sign-up using the very simple web form.

New Gilbane Beacon on High-Volume Data Challenges

We’ve published a new paper on addressing large-scale integration, storage, and access of complex information. As Dale mentions in his entry over on our main blog, the paper frames the discussion in terms of challenges to Open Government initiatives. We note, though, that the exploration of obstacles to effective, efficient processing of high volumes of data and content is relevant across many industries.

We’re cross-posting here on the XML blog because the paper deals wtih XML content and the XML family of standards, including XQuery and XPath.

The Gilbane Beacon is available as a free download from Gilbane and from Mark Logic, sponsor of the paper.

Open Government Initiatives will Boost Standards

Following on Dale’s inauguration day post, Will XML Help this President?,  we have today’s invigorating news that President Obama is committed to more Internet-based openness. The CNET article highlights some of the most compelling items from the two memoes, but I am especially heartened by this statement from the memo on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA):

I also direct the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to update guidance to the agencies to increase and improve information dissemination to the public, including through the use of new technologies, and to publish such guidance in the Federal Register.

The key phrases are "increase and improve information dissemination" and "the use of new technologies." This is keeping in spirit with the FOIA–the presumption is that information (and content) created by or on behalf of the government is public property and should be accessible to the public.  This means that the average person should be able to easily find government content and be able to readily consume it–two challenges that the content technology industry grapples with every day.

The issue of public access is in fact closely related to the issue of long-term archiving of content and information. One of the reasons I have always been comfortable recommending XML and other standards-based technology for content storage is that the content and data would outlast any particular software system or application. As the government looks to make government more open, they should and likely will look at standards-based approaches to information and content access.

Such efforts will include core infrastructure, including servers and storage, but also a wide array of supporting hardware and software falling into three general categories:

  • Hardware and software to support the collection of digital material. This ranges from hardware and software for digitizing and converting analog materials, software for cataloging digital materials with the inclusion of metadata, hardware and software to support data repositories, and software for indexing the digital text and metadata.
  • Hardware and software to support the access to digital material. This includes access tools such as search engines, portals, catalogs, and finding aids, as well as delivery tools allowing users to download and view textual, image-based, multimedia, and cartographic data.
  • Core software for functions such as authentication and authorization, name administration, and name resolution.

Standards such as PDF-A have emerged to give governments a ready format for long-term archiving of routine government documents. But a collection of PDF/A documents does not in and of itself equal a useful government portal. There are many other issues of navigation, search, metadata, and context left unaddressed. This is true even before you consider the wide range of content produced by the government–pictorial, audio, video, and cartographic data are obvious–but also the wide range of primary source material that comes out of areas such as medical research, energy development, public transportation, and natural resource planning.

President Obama’s directives should lead to interesting and exciting work for content technology professionals in the government. We look forward to hearing more.

Gilbane Washington D.C. to Provide Venue for Sharing Best Practices between Government and Industry

The Gilbane Group, Lighthouse Seminars and CMS Watch announced that the second annual Gilbane Conference on Content Technologies Washington D.C. will take place at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C. June 5-6, 2007.

This is the industry’s most comprehensive forum for bringing together both government and industry executives to share content management best practices. The Gilbane Conference on Content Technologies will focus on concrete lessons learned and best practices for industry and government specialists alike. The Conference will be chaired by Tony Byrne, founder of CMS Watch, an authoritative, vendor-neutral source for comparative evaluations of content management and search technologies. Content technologies for managing documents, websites, and records have grown in utility and sophistication. New technologies can enable searchers to find and retrieve information on a scale unheard of just five years ago. In the meantime, emerging standards in industry and government are supporting greater content exchange and systems interoperability.

By attending The Gilbane Conference on Content Technologies, attendees will learn about: Enterprise Content Management technologies, business applications, and solutions; How to get your Content Management project funded; Best practices in content governance and web operations management; Content technologies and 508 compliance; New standards in content interoperability; Enterprise Architecture and Enterprise Content Management; Latest Search and text-mining technologies: beyond the hype; Comparative approaches for using XML to manage authoritative content; How different enterprises have successfully implemented records management solutions; What lessons can be drawn from hard experience; Role of new media technologies – blogs, wikis, and RSS; The future of web publishing; How non-profits, associations, publishing, and other firms are managing growing volumes of content successfully.

Speaking proposals are due January 29th.

Government 2.0

Just kidding!

But it was fascinating how much interest there was in blog, wiki and RSS technology at our conference in Washington last week. Just as in the private sector, there is both more use of these technologies than most people realize, and strong interest once people hear about what other organizations are doing with them. See conference chair Tony Byrne’s comments on this in his article for Intelligent Enterprise magazine about the conference.

XML, and search were two other areas of intense interest.

This was a very gratifying event: the conference attendees were 90% government, and they were deeply engaged in the use of content technologies.

Top Government Officials to Present at Gilbane Conference on Content Management Technologies Government

For Immediate Release:

6/5/06

New Session Just Added – WhiteHouse.gov: Utilizing Technology to Communicate the President’s Agenda Online; Free Technology Showcase of Content Management Solutions 

Contact:
Welz & Weisel Communications
Evan Weisel, 703-323-6006
Cell: 703-628-5754
evan@w2comm.com

Washington, DC , June 5, 2006. The Gilbane Group and Lighthouse Seminars in cooperation with CMS Watch, today announced that it has pulled together an all-star line-up of government executives set to share with attendees how they use content management solutions to help accomplish their missions at the inaugural Gilbane Conference on Content Technologies for Government. Taking place June 13-15 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC, this event also offers a free technology showcase where attendees can meet with leading content management vendors to see product demonstrations.

Speakers include executives from the GAO, FAA, NASA, FirstGov, Navy, Forest Service, EPA, OMB, World Bank, NPR, White House, GPO, International Trade Commission, Department of Energy, Social Security Administration, and many more.

Just announced, a new session titled “WhiteHouse.gov: Utilizing Technology to Communicate the President’s Agenda Online” presented by David Almacy, Internet and E-Communications Director, The White House, has been added to the schedule on June 15 at 3:30 pm EST. As the Internet continues to rapidly evolve, Federal government Web sites are constantly adapting to meet the needs of their visitors. The White House’s Internet and E-Communications Director will provide a brief overview of the White House Web site and discuss how technology is being used to assist in communicating the President’s message to a growing online audience.

Also on display throughout the event will be the Tera Byte 100 Lab.

— The Emergent Relationship Analytics Solution (TERAS) indexes and searches terabytes of multi-lingual, semi-structured text, extracts those pieces of content that are important to the analysts (names, phone numbers, addresses, company names, monetary amounts, etc), and uses the extracted metadata to enhance the categorization of documents and document components. Extracted entities are “marked” within the data so that they can be retrieved, and, the text data can be mined to identify indirect relationships. “Collection” metadata is captured and indexed by the system (e.g., the date/time that the information was collected), allowing temporal queries and retrievals. This very high speed and high efficiency indexing and retrieval system supports search operations across disparate data types. These search operations include fully integrated text and metadata search, as well as ontology-based text mining.

In addition to this special lab, several vendors will offer product demonstrations, including:

— “Aquilent provides Web presence and information management solutions for Federal agencies. On display will be case study examples of improving the user experience for FirstGov, USPS.com, and others agencies.”

— CM Pros is a membership organization that fosters the sharing of content management information, practices, and strategies. Join CM Pros today! www.cmpros.org

— CrownPeak is defining the future of content management with its cost-effective software services for Web content management and site search. Gain complete control over your web site management. www.crownpeak.com.

— Ektron will demonstrate CMS400.NET V6.0’s new features for creating and managing interactive websites and applications, including blogging, web analytics, polls/surveys, forums, content ratings, AJAX-enabled search, enhanced multi-site support and localization.

— eTouch Systems will launch eTouch SamePage Solutions for Government – industry’s first wiki supporting Section 508 compliance while delivering rich functionality and wiki ease-of-use with enterprise-grade scalability, security, and reliability.

— Idiom(R) Technologies optimizes the globalization supply chain by aligning global enterprises, language service providers and translators. Award-winning WorldServer(TM) software solutions expand market reach and accelerate multilingual communication with a proven platform for automating translation and localization processes.

— Mark Logic Corporation provides the industry’s leading XML content server. Mark Logic helps government agencies build custom publishing systems, integrate, repurpose and deliver content, and search and discover information.

— Percussion’s Rhythmyx CMS allows organizations to efficiently manage their Web and portal content, documents, and digital assets. Rhythmyx is rated in the Top 6 WCM vendors in the Gartner WCM MarketScope for 2005.

— Recognized throughout the industry as the fastest to implement and easiest to use, RedDot CMS and LiveServer extend usability, deliver more relevant content, and make site administration simple.

— Sitecore’s pure .NET web content management and portal software for growing and evolving organizations provides ease of use, flexibility and scalability, while seamlessly integrating with existing Microsoft platform investments.

To view the full conference program, visit: https://gilbane.com/gilbane-conference-washington-dc-2006/

About CMS Watch 

CMS Watch(TM) is an independent source of analysis and advice on content management and enterprise search. In addition to the freely-available articles on its website, CMS Watch publishes vendor-neutral technology reports that provide independent analysis and practical advice regarding web content management, records management, and enterprise search, and portal solutions. These reports help sort out the complex landscape of potential solutions so that project teams can minimize the time and effort to identify and evaluate technologies suited to their particular requirements. For more information, visit www.cmswatch.com.

About The Gilbane Group 
Gilbane Group, Inc. serves the content management community with publications, conferences and consulting services. The Gilbane Group administers the Content Technology Works(TM) case study program disseminating best practices with partners Software AG (TECdax:SOW), Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW), Artesia Digital Media, a Division of Open Text, Astoria Software, ClearStory Systems (OTCBB:INSS), Context Media (Oracle, NASDAQ: ORCL), Convera (NASDAQ:CNVR), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Idiom, Mark Logic, Omtool (NASDAQ:OMTL), Open Text Corporation (NASDAQ:OTEX), SDL International (London Stock Exchange:SDL), Vasont Systems, Vignette (NASDAQ:VIGN), and WebSideStory (NASDAQ:WSSI). https://gilbane.com.

About Lighthouse Seminars 
Lighthouse Seminars’ events cover information technologies and “content technologies” in particular. These include content management of all types, digital asset management, document management, web content management, enterprise portals, enterprise search, web and multi-channel publishing, electronic forms, authoring, content and information integration, information architecture, and e-catalogs. http://www.lighthouseseminars.com.

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Gilbane Conference on Content Management Technologies for Government Unveils Program

For Immediate Release:

5/9/06

Contacts:
Welz & Weisel Communications
Evan Weisel, 703-323-6006
Cell: 703-628-5754
evan@w2comm.com

Cambridge, MA, May 9, 2006. The Gilbane Report and Lighthouse Seminars in cooperation with CMS Watch, today announced its analyst and end-user driven conference program for the inaugural Gilbane Conference on Content Technologies for Government taking place June 13-15 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC. The conference program is divided into three tracks: Enterprise Content Management, Web Content Management and Enterprise Search & Discovery.

“We have put together a strong program that ensures every conference session leads off with a leading industry expert who can educate and provide big-picture perspectives, followed by a federal information manager explaining how they solved a particular problem,” said Tony Byrne, Conference Chair. “This way, the attendee learns both how to approach a content technology challenge as well as draw lessons from peers. And for maximum information exchange, we have avoided clogging the sessions with vendor marketing-speak. All in all, it promises to be a great learning experience for attendees.”

The following highlights several conference sessions taking place at the event:

Opening Keynote Panel: Industry Analysts Debate Current and Future Trends in Content Technologies

Government Keynote Panel: Key Issues in Federal Content Technologies

Enterprise Content Management Track

ECM and the FEA

The Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) comprises a collection of interrelated “reference models” designed to facilitate cross-agency analysis and the identification of duplicative investments, gaps, and opportunities for collaboration within and across federal agencies. This session will look at Enterprise Content Management in the context of the FEA. Inasmuch as there is no Content Reference Model, do the Business Reference Model (BRM) Service Reference Models (SRM) provide an adequate business framework for architecting ECM solutions? Could either taxonomy serve as an organizing principle for content in a production system?

The iECM Standard: what’s in it for you?

iECM, “Interoperable Enterprise Content Management”, is a proposed standard sponsored by industry trade group AIIM. The goal of the new standard is to produce a single set of functional requirements for process oriented web services that enable disparate enterprise content management systems, portals, and enterprise applications to interoperate – better enabling content to be exchanged, integrated, and managed securely between systems. Led by FAA enterprise architect and iECM co-chair Paul Fontaine, this session will look at how iECM can facilitate greater interoperability among content technologies within and beyond federal agencies.

Web Content Management Track

Building a successful business case for your agency CMS

Content management technology can help relieve overtaxed federal content managers and add value for the enterprise, but CMS implementations typically represent a significant, multi-year investment as well. Join a panel of federal managers who have successfully built a business case to justify the purchase of content management technology. Discussion will include business case justifications, anticipated efficiencies, and navigating the 300-B process.

Role of new media technologies in Government Part I: Blogs, Wikis, and RSS

New communications tools – blogs, wikis, and RSS – have proliferated in the past few years. In industry, many companies now employ these technologies for collaboration, knowledge management, and publishing applications, and innumerable vendors now market products based on these new technologies. Meanwhile, some government agencies have begun to experiment with these tools. Do these agencies only represent the experimental fringe, or are they early adopters of technologies that will soon be part of every agency’s bag of IT tricks? This panel will look at the actual implementation experience: when do blogs and wikis make sense, and when do they not? How do they fit into broader content architectures?

The future of the federal government web

Mired in the day-to-day operations of large, high-profile federal web properties, it’s easy to lose sight of long-term trends in government website management. In a lively look into the future of the government web, FirstGov.gov Senior Content Manager Sheila Campbel will identify key patterns and emerging norms, and leave participants with a peek at what the federal web landscape might look like 5-10 years from now.

Enterprise Search & Discovery Track

Enterprise Search: the federal experience

Google has made everyone pay more attention to search. But providing effective search capabilities across diverse enterprise information repositories represents a far more complex problem than indexing web pages and measuring link relevance. Join this panel of federal managers who have implemented different search technologies as they share lessons learned and advice for their peers.

To view the full conference program, visit: https://gilbane.com/gilbane-conference-washington-dc-2006/

About CMS Watch 

CMS Watch(TM) is an independent source of analysis and advice on content management and enterprise search. In addition to the freely-available articles on its website, CMS Watch publishes vendor-neutral technology reports that provide independent analysis and practical advice regarding web content management, records management, and enterprise search, and portal solutions. These reports help sort out the complex landscape of potential solutions so that project teams can minimize the time and effort to identify and evaluate technologies suited to their particular requirements. For more information, visit www.cmswatch.com.

About The Gilbane Group 
Gilbane Group, Inc. serves the content management community with publications, conferences and consulting services. The Gilbane Group administers the Content Technology Works(TM) case study program disseminating best practices with partners Software AG (TECdax:SOW), Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW), Artesia Digital Media, a Division of Open Text, Astoria Software, ClearStory Systems (OTCBB:INSS), Context Media (Oracle, NASDAQ:ORCL), Convera (NASDAQ:CNVR), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Idiom, Mark Logic, Open Text Corporation (NASDAQ:OTEX), SDL International (London Stock Exchange:SDL), Vasont Systems, Vignette (NASDAQ:VIGN), and WebSideStory (NASDAQ:WSSI). https://gilbane.com

About Lighthouse Seminars 
Lighthouse Seminars’ events cover information technologies and “content technologies” in particular. These include content management of all types, digital asset management, document management, web content management, enterprise portals, enterprise search, web and multi-channel publishing, electronic forms, authoring, content and information integration, information architecture, and e-catalogs. http://www.lighthouseseminars.com

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