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The top 8 enterprise content management stories of 2012

ECM trends in 2012 included social media, SaaS and mobile technology adoption. Here’s a look back at the top eight stories of the past year.

Organizations of all sizes continue to find new and more efficient ways to create, manage and reuse a breadth of unstructured information types held in their repositories. Increasingly, firms and not-for-profit groups tell us they are finding it important to be able to share information with partners. They also want to facilitate faster and more interactive communications with both their employees and customers.

The content management universe continued moving forward in 2012 with plenty of news about organizations that are beginning to develop enterprise social networking capabilities and rebuild websites to offer customers, partners and workers the information they need when they need it. And those were just some of the trends taking hold over the past year. kept track throughout the year and worked to keep IT and content management pros informed of the latest news, developments and trends surrounding the enterprise content management (ECM) and collaboration technology market. In the past year, SharePoint best practices and news surrounding the release of the latest version, SharePoint 2013, developments around digital asset management, web content management and the collaboration capabilities enabled by social media drew the greatest interest from our readers. Here’s a look back at our top eight content management stories of 2012.

Office 365 cloud product includes fully customizable SharePoint Online

By now, most content management professionals have heard of Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud offering. It comprises four distinct software products: Exchange, Lync, SharePoint (all hosted on Microsoft servers at datacenters around the world) and Office (which exists on users’ local PCs). One of its best features is that the collaboration platform, SharePoint Online -- based on SharePoint 2010 -- offers many valuable customization capabilities, according to experts and users.

Of the three cloud-based products, SharePoint Online offers the greatest opportunities to improve enterprise content management and collaboration through customization. Initially, you’re provided with little more than the base SharePoint 2010 configuration. From there, users can add options and customize several tools to fit many business needs.

First look: SharePoint 2013 adds applications, simplifies user interface

Now that Microsoft's next version of SharePoint has been available in beta long enough for those with the right lab environment to have dug into it a little bit, the time seemed right for a brief peek under the hood -- and collaboration expert Brian Posey has done just that. He poked and prodded and has revealed some interesting developments that make the soon-to-be released collaboration platform worth talking about.

Microsoft has built many new features into SharePoint 2013. Some of them include added capabilities in the software's embedded Business Connectivity Services feature set, improved claims-based authentication, a new e-discovery functionality and better support for mobile devices.

Hasbro toys with global enterprise digital asset management system

Mr. Potato Head turned 60 this year and Hasbro had big plans for the iconic children’s toy.

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He’s getting a makeover. He’s grown some legs and has slimmed down a little in anticipation of a global rollout and reintroduction. But while children will still be able to rearrange his parts, Hasbro is reworking its enterprise digital asset management system to make sure the television ads, packaging, videos and other assets tied to the toy do not get mixed up as it is distributed around the world.

Hasbro, based in Pawtucket, R.I., is in the middle of reinventing its rich media and digital asset management strategy to make sure its toys and games are universally and easily identifiable to its marketers, distributors and retail partners across the globe. It’s a key aspect of its overall enterprise content management (ECM) program.

Avoid these key mistakes for enterprise collaboration success

Communication within a company used to be simple: You walked down the hallway to talk to a co-worker, picked up the phone or banged out an email. But those methods become less effective as companies grow and employees spread out around the country and the globe. In addition, the amount of information that workers must sift through has increased exponentially in many cases, while the time allotted to digest and formulate it has significantly decreased. For a growing number of organizations, the answer to those issues is implementing an enterprise collaboration software initiative.

But a collaboration system must work -- the first time employees use it. Make a significant mistake when putting together an enterprise collaboration initiative, and it can fail, despite your best intentions.

Business case for enterprise social networks: Better collaboration

While social networking's success among consumers is well-documented, enterprise social media tools are still struggling to gain a foothold in organizations because of the confusion over how to best apply the technology to business operations and concerns that it could be a drain on worker productivity.

According to industry reports, including one issued last year by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, 2011 was a milestone year for social networking. According to Pew, more than half of all adults in the U.S. regularly turn to social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with family, friends and fellow professionals. In comparison, a Forrester Research Inc. report revealed that just 12% of information workers have access to enterprise social networks (ESNs), and only 8% of them use an ESN at least once a week.

Five questions to ask before investing in an enterprise social network

Your organization already values collaboration and communication, but with locations spread across the globe and no consolidated system for achieving full enterprise-wide collaboration, some changes are needed. Management is ready to deploy collaboration tools, perhaps using an enterprise social media platform to help employees share knowledge and work more quickly, efficiently and productively. Is an enterprise social network (ESN) the way to go?

To answer that question, consultants, analysts and users agree that organizations should first ask themselves a number of other questions. This article presents five key questions that arose from interviews with collaboration experts who said they need to be addressed before taking the plunge and purchasing an enterprise social network.

The future of email: Collaboration experts on new social media tools

Email is one technology that spurs a great deal of talk within the world of content management. The ubiquitous communication technology has inspired many discussions about how it will hold up against evolving enterprise collaboration software and new social media tools. Still, most organizations use email, and among workers it enjoys a comfortable familiarity that's hard to foster with newer collaborative applications. touched base with three experts to discuss the future of email and its implications for workplace. We spoke with Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research Inc. a Black Diamond, Wash.-based consultancy that specializes in Web, collaboration and social media platforms; Richard Harbridge, a senior SharePoint architect and evangelist at Portal Solutions LLC, a Rockville, Md.-based consultancy; and Kashyap Kompella, an analyst specializing in enterprise collaboration and social media trends at Real Story Group in Olney, Md.

Gartner Magic Quadrant Mobile social trends alter WCM market

Social media, mobile computing and the need to work with a wider range of business systems have altered the Web content management (WCM) market in the last year, according to this year's Gartner Magic Quadrant for WCM  released by the Stamford, Conn.-based research company.

Web content management systems are becoming central to business performance and WCM increasingly is the technology that ties together an organization's strategy, said Mark Gilbert, a Gartner content management analyst and co-author of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for WCM. That strategy might include such things as customer experience management, e-commerce, digital marketing and multichannel marketing. Web content management is helping organizations integrate systems aimed at optimizing their ability to increase their customer base.

"What we're seeing is really an evolution of trends that have been around for a few years," Gilbert said. "Web content management used to be about publishing content out to the website. Now it's much more about having real-time feedback about who's on your site."

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