Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Big Data and Content Management

There has been a lot of talk lately about big data. What is big data?

Big data is is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand commonly used software tools or traditional data processing applications. The challenges include capture, governance, storage, search, sharing, transfer, analysis, and visualization.

What is considered "big data" varies depending on the capabilities of the organization managing the data set, and on the capabilities of the applications that are traditionally used to process and analyze the data set in its domain.

Big data sizes are a constantly moving target. As of 2012 ranging from a few dozen terabytes to many petabytes of data in a single data set. With this difficulty, new platforms of "big data" tools are being developed to handle various aspects of large quantities of data.

Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. How does it apply to us and what we do in content management?

The sheer numbers, covered in most enterprise content management (ECM) analyst reports, also extend to all aspects of the information technology sector, prompting developers to create a new generation of software and technology or distributed computing frameworks in an effort to cope with this scalability phenomenon.

Content growth is everywhere. From traditional data warehouses to new consolidated big data stores, IT infrastructure must be ready for this continuing scale; it impacts the entire IT industry, especially ECM.

Content is getting bigger. Applications are growing more complex, challenging IT as never before. How will these changes impact content management technologies? It's difficult to predict exactly, but there are insights to be found and used to plan for the future.

ECM technology is evolving toward a platform-based approach, enabling organizations to make their own content-centric and content-driven applications smarter. Analysts, vendors and users all agree: The time for "out-of-the-box" CMS applications has passed. Now each project can meet specific needs and individual requirements.

Content and data, more often than not, come with embedded intelligence whether through adding custom metadata and in-text information or by leveraging attached media and binary files and it can be utilized, whether structured or unstructured.

This can be observed on many different levels across various domains. For instance, the arrival of what some have started to call "Web 3.0": the semantic Web and the related technology that promotes intelligence out of raw content through advancements like semantic text analysis, automated relations and categorization, sentimental analysis, etc. -- effectively, giving meaning to data.

More traditional ECM components, such as workflows, content lifecycle management and flexibility, demonstrate much of the same. Smart content architecture along with intelligent, adaptive workflow and processed or deep integration with the core applications within information systems are all making enterprise content-centric applications smarter and are refining the way intelligence is brought to content.

In short, content is getting smarter on the inside as much as on the outside.

In fact, such disruptive phenomena as Big Data or the new semantic technology on the scene are huge opportunities for enterprise content management solutions. They are bringing new solutions and possibilities in business intelligence, semantic text analysis, data warehousing and caching that require integration into existing content-centric applications, all without rewriting them.

As a result, Big Data and smart content will push more of enterprise content management toward technical features such as software interoperability, extensibility and integration capabilities.

These developments will also demand a clean and adaptive architecture that is flexible enough to evolve as new standards arise to bridge CMS and semantic technologies, as well as connectors, to a back-end storage system or connectors with text-analysis solutions.

This underscores the advancements made in the development of modular and extensible platforms for content-centric applications. Taking the traditional approach of employing large enterprise content management suites that rely on older software architecture will make it harder to leverage these new and nimble opportunities.

In order to get the most value out of smart content and refine methods of dealing with Big Data, enterprise content management architects must incorporate a modern and well designed content management platform upon which to build, one that not only looks at end-user features but stays true to the development side. Enterprise content management will not be reinvented; Big Data and smart content are evolutions, not revolutions, in the industry.

I will continue on this subject in my future posts.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Optimize Web Experience Management

Leading enterprises strive to acheeve higher levels of customer engagement through online channels, and this means they must easily, quickly and cost effectively provide fresh, personal, relevant content anytime, anywhere, on any device, through a consistent and dynamic user experience.

Traditional web content management system (CMS) solutions are no longer sufficient, and a richer and broader range of capabilities that enable web experience management - managing and optimizing the site visitor experience across the web, mobile apps, social networks and more - must now be leveraged in this new era of engagement.

The Need for Web Experience Management

Over the last few years, the Internet has undergone a tremendous amount of fundamental change in its landscape - socia1, personal and mobile.

1. Social - The Web is becoming increasingly more social and much less anonymous. The power of sharing can enhance or destroy brands in seconds.

2. Personal - While the Internet is continuously expanding in terms of ubiquity, at the same time it's becoming much more local and much more personal in terms of user experience.

3. Mobile The growth of mobile access to the Internet is rapidly expanding to the point where access from tablets and phones will soon exceed that from desktops and laptops.

The very way we communicate with customers is changing, and when fundamental change like this occurs, those who recognize the change and move quickly to adapt will benefit the most.

A New Era of Engagement

Each of these trends reinforces the others and fuels further adoption and innovation. It is these technologies, the behaviors and capabilities they foster that have brought us to a new era which Forrester calls the "era of engagement."

Driving these trends are people - our friends, leads, customers, critics, and fans. This is our audience and the other half of the conversation, and in today's age of engagement, they want to participate and expect us to engage them on their terms, on their schedule, in the context of their location, in their language and optimized for their device. To effectively tackle this challenge of serving a mass audience with limited resources, enterprises require strategy and effective tools to help get the job done.

Web experience management (WEM) provides us with the tools to take on this otherwise daunting task. The capabilities of WEM allow you to create, manage and deliver dynamic targeted and consistent content across various online channels including your website, social media, marketing campaign sites, mobile applications, etc. It takes a lot more than a traditional Web CMS to meet these new demands.

Key Principles of Web Experience Management

To effectively implement WEM, enterprises must start with their business strategy and goals which should drive their messaging and engagement strategy and which in turn should drive their content strategy. In other words, the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities that businesses face should be considered first and foremost.

Too often organizations fail to do this by jumping straight into a technology selection without due consideration of the business drivers. Around this foundation, we wrap the fundamentals of basic Web content management. It is important to remember that content is still king. Business users and marketers need easy to use, yet powerful, content authoring and publishing capabilities.

They need rich content models that allow them to create engaging visitor experiences, to easily create new content assets, to quickly find and re-purpose existing content, and to preview content and the site visitor experience for all online channels.

Upon this foundation, an effective WEM solution provides a comprehensive collection of capabilities that allow organizations to create, manage and deliver dynamic, targeted and consistent content and visitor experiences across multiple touch points -corporate website, dedicated marketing campaign sites, mobile applications, social media sites, etc.

While WEM requirements are going to vary from organization to organization, some of the most critical features needed by essentially all enterprises include content targeting and personalization, mobile device support, faceted search and navigation, multi-channel publishing, integrated Web analytics, and campaign management.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Knowledge Management Applications - Coveo for Service and Support

In my last two posts about Coveo products, I described Coveo search applications - Coveo for advanced web search and Coveo for advanced enterprise search. Today, I will complete describing Coveo products with Coveo knowledge management application - Coveo for service and support.

With Coveo, knowledge required to solve cases faster can be found wherever it resides, within and beyond the knowledge base. Many companies are challenged with the proliferation of data, in multiple systems, communities, on-premise and in the cloud. Knowledge is everywhere and hard to manage.

Coveo solves this challenge by placing information from anywhere, related to the agent’s context, directly in front of them. Coveo technology automatically "reads" case information, established context, and instantly shows contextually relevant content and experts directly within the CRM such as Salesforce, or within a separate Insight Console. Coveo creates information mash-ups regardless of where the information resides, combined with advanced enterprise search and navigation abilities that bring your entire knowledge ecosystem to your agents.

Such knowledge availability decreases case resolution time, increases first contact resolution, and empowers lower level agents to become productive faster and to solve more complex cases. The results show dramatic impact on contact center capacity and customer satisfaction.


Solutions and experts from anywhere - Coveo automatically presents 360° views of customer, case, or product information and communications, as well as experts who can help. Using advanced data enrichment, solutions and customer insight can stem from multiple sources, across enterprise, community, and social content.

Advanced enterprise search and navigation - expanded views enable deep, broad, knowledge exploration for cases, securely, across any enterprise content.

United indexing - Coveo federates searches and mash-ups from cloud, enterprise, and social data securely and in real time—regardless of format or source. It indexes source data from Salesforce, SharePoint, databases, file shares, Exchange, Dropbox, Lithium, Gmail, etc.

Expertise finding - dynamically, through context and topics, from internal colleagues to external experts, Coveo locates people with experience relevant to each case and customer.

Customer is in the center - Coveo cuts across departmental and system silos and enriches cases with sales or engineering content, thus providing richer and more relevant customer interactions. Conversely, other departments benefit from information generated by agents to inform product development and sales.

Virtual interaction - consolidates all customer and prospect communication and interactions from any channel, bringing together opportunities, cases, transactions, e-mails, events, cases, calls, tweets, etc.

Customization - The intuitive admin interface enables customization of any objects and combinations of information, including custom fields.