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Top 8 enterprise content management stories of 2011

Enterprise content management developments in 2011 included WCM, information governance, collaboration, search, social media and text analytics. Here’s a look back at the top eight stories of 2011.

The need at organizations of all sizes to efficiently create, store and share documents and other unstructured information has continued unabated, and 2011 was no exception. From emails to marketing plans and from corporate videos to requests for proposals, businesses have struggled to keep and reuse content. was there to keep IT and business professionals abreast of the latest news, developments and trends surrounding the enterprise content management (ECM) and collaboration technology market.  

We’ve seen some interesting developments around ECM, Web content management, information governance, collaboration, enterprise search, social media and text analytics this year. Here’s a look back at our top eight content management stories of 2011.

Oracle content management helps processing of human rights petitions
With a flood of 1,500 new requests for intervention in human rights violations coming in every year by handwritten letters, postcards, telephone calls and email, the content at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) piles up quickly.

Those pleas come in four languages from 35 different countries and nongovernmental organizations and get added to a backlog of 7,000 cases currently under review.

The IACHR turned to Oracle content management to unravel the chaos. The organization's processes had all been paper-based, and its 50 administrators and 20 lawyers kept forging ahead, trying to help people throughout the Americas as the paper piled up. It was easy to see the need for ECM.

SharePoint 2010 collaboration ISVs focus on workflow, analytics
With 125 million licenses sold, Microsoft’s SharePoint is the market leader for enterprise collaboration, but it doesn’t solve every business problem for every user. Instead, many users of the SharePoint 2010 collaboration platform rely on a host of independent software vendors (ISVs) to handle what SharePoint can't.

According to the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) report SharePoint – strategies and experiences,  the top three areas targeted by ISVs in 2010 were workflow, search and analytics, and security and rights management. They’re areas that Ryan Duguid, a senior product manager at Microsoft responsible for SharePoint enterprise content management (ECM), said continue to dominate ISV development interest.

As a result, the universe of SharePoint Partners and ISVs continues to grow. In North America alone, there are 1,000 ISV products for SharePoint 2010 and another 1,000 in development, according to Jared Spataro, Microsoft senior director of SharePoint product development.

Cloud collaboration, security on display at G20 Summit
While cloud security continues to be the top concern for those leery of cloud computing, one major governmental group has cast its vote for the technology, adopting cloud collaboration tools for its most important meetings.

After a month of rigorous testing, the Canadian government selected OpenText’s Social Workplace platform as the cloud collaboration tool of the Toronto G20 Summit, a meeting of the world’s largest economies focused on fiscal planning, in June last year. The group continued to use the collaboration platform at its November 2010 meeting in Seoul, South Korea.

“How much openness is enough to be open, yet making sure we’re managing security?” said Alex Benay, director of industry marketing and vice president of government relations at OpenText. “The dialogue could be open, but we probably don’t want President [Barack] Obama’s location disclosed during the summit.”

Content management market sees HP-Autonomy deal as potential game changer
Hewlett-Packard’s announcement that it would purchase Autonomy Corp. amid its plans to jettison parts of its personal computer business had some industry watchers asking about HP’s strategy and whether it could mean a change in the way data is collected and used.

HP said it would acquire the British enterprise search and content management software maker as it transforms its business by cutting back on tablets, including the TouchPad, and smartphones.

Combining HP’s well-developed sales channels and vast partner program with Autonomy's lineup of information management software products has analysts keeping close watch.

“It’s about time,” said Susan Feldman, research vice president of search and discovery technologies for Framingham, Mass.-based IDC. “This is a case of looking at what needs to happen in the enterprise as information becomes more and more central to the success of the enterprise today.”

Document imaging management missteps: Problems and pitfalls
It really seems like magic: Push the paper through the scanner and watch it appear on the screen.

Document imaging actually can be that easy when the process is properly planned for and executed. But document imaging management initiatives are often not as carefully planned or executed as they should be. Issues that are -- or should be -- readily avoidable still emerge.

Perhaps the most basic problem is that people can get so excited about the electronic path they’ve embarked on that they skip right over certain key fundamentals when they look at improving their document management strategies. As a result, they run into trouble and often find that the cost of getting back on track proves to be substantial.

Text analysis software, content analytics help fight crime
Hollywood cops and super spies use technology to capture the bad guys all the time. They prove themselves to be whizzes at search and make connections timed perfectly to the storyline. But more and more, real crime fighters and security experts are using text and content analytics to collar criminals.

For example, the Richmond (Va.) Police Department recently investigated a series of robberies during which victims were directed to lie on the ground. A pattern emerged in the phrase the robber used when addressing victims. Investigators searched on the phrase using a pilot version of text analysis software and connected a series of incidents that helped police establish the suspect’s modus operandi, leading to his arrest.

Natural language search has huge promise for police agencies,” said Colleen McLaughlin McCue, a consultant working with the departments of Defense and Homeland Security on using text and predictive analytics to stop domestic and international threats. She said while most departments have the ability to do key word search, cost and existing lack of skills “are holding departments back.”

Information governance’s next frontier: Social media data
Just as many organizations are trying to get their arms around new strategies and business processes for governing unstructured data, the so-called social Web is flooding them with a torrent of new types of information, making an already difficult discipline all the more complex.

In addition to unstructured content such as email, spreadsheets and documents, companies are now facing an onslaught of social media data, generated both internally and externally; for example, Twitter streams and blogs, wikis and Facebook posts. While social media technologies have the potential to foster collaboration and promote sharing well beyond the borders of a traditional enterprise, they also can transcend traditional information controls, making it far more difficult to manage and govern their use.

Perhaps even more vexing to businesses, according to analysts, is that these new data types open the door for potential leaks of sensitive or potentially damaging information, increasing risks in areas such as regulatory compliance, potential litigation and loss of intellectual property.

NPR's Web content management system governs a quarter million files
Redesigning the National Public Radio website for a better user experience meant accounting not only for video, audio, text and images from the parent organization as well as content produced by 764 member stations across the country, it required an overhaul of NPR's entire content policy.

“It turned into a behemoth of a project because a lot of the issues were more than skin deep,” said Zach Brand, senior director of technology for NPR. “We were also focused on a strategy of how to be more efficient about how to use our content.”

Managers understood early on that to accomplish what it wanted, NPR needed to look at a wholesale implementation of a web content management system.

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