Sunday, January 01, 2006

Things i will as see across various solutions

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None of the items included in this post should be of surprise and many of you are already engaged with me on these topics, but i intend on having more and more conversations and engagements that at one point or another touch the following (in no specific order):

- RSS>>
>>> RSS as a delivery mechanism across applications that we deliver. Our destination products are already RSS enabled for personal clipping and more and more companies are asking us to feed our authoritative sources into their RSS delivery mechanisms. Blog content and RSS media outlets provide additional value add to news that is being pushed out to the enterprise and we continue to incorporate it into our solutions

- Service Orientation (SO)
>>> Service Orientation is not simply about IT, although the SOA buzz clearly looks like it, but i see it more about the enterprise as a whole from business owners to end-users. Encompassing people, processes and technology, Service Orientation is an approach to managing all of the resources available by representing functionality as services that business users can use within their existing applications and providing rich, dynamic interoperability regardless of platform or programming language. When looking at Enterprise content (both internal and external), the folks that manage that content (or at least the access to the content) are looking at our expertise to help them. Our experience from having a business based on aggregation and relevant delivery of content (over 9000 source, in 22 languages and delivered to us in over 700 formats) to over 1.5 million subscribers has provided our consulting group with over 15 years of experience in advising our clients based on best practices and implementations of information strategies within many of our Fortune 500 global customers. I personally think that the most valuable service our consulting group can offer is our expertise. See my post on Enterprise Content Frameworks

- Search vs. Discovery>>>
>>> Oh yeah one of my favorites. Remember i am a librarian, spending three years learning about searching, Dewey Decimal, cataloging, taxonomies, information architecture and yeah that one course i had that focused on user interface design that thanks to the professor turned into more on data visualization and clustering.
So 'Search' is the act of looking -- before something is found. 'Discovery' is the finding and comes after the search. What if we could use technology to help searchers discover things by presenting results visually and taking advantage of clustering technologies, etc. You will see more of this from Factiva in 2006 and i promise you and that you and i will be talking about it!! Just remember 'Search 2.0'---

- Wireless Access>>
>> About three years ago i had a managing director at a global investment firm tell me that the 'desktop is dead' while fiddling with his blackberry. Wasn't surprising to me then as i was already addicted to my crackberry and certainly isn't to any of you today. Over the last two years our consulting group has delivered various custom applications with wireless delivery. Our destination products including our new SalesWorks product is wireless enabled and we are seeing more and more companies enable their internal systems like sales portals and CRMs. We have also been consulting with clients to devise wireless delivery information strategies that focus on relevant delivery models, user interface design and access points.

- Taxonomy>>>
>>>Certainly not new on my list or even yours but still as important and will continue to be so in our information intensive world. Our consulting group has over the years assisted clients in developing custom taxonomies (for both external and internal applications), instituting maintenance and governance models and implemented our own taxonomy into various enterprise applications. Hey it is what we do for a living so why not leverage that expertise with our customers? In 2005 Factiva launched Factiva’s new Synaptica Knowledge Management System (KMS) for building and maintaining taxonomies and thesauri in enterprise applications.

Going back to my thoughts on Web 2.0 applications, Folksonomies are also of interest as we build applications that leverage the authoritative systems of a formal taxonomy, yet provide flexibility to encourage participation by users.

- Media - video/podcasts>>>
>>> No doubt that integrating video and audio content like podcasts into a user’s workflow is going to happen more and more. For example we have some customers that handed out iPods to their workers in order to push self-learning tools and even executive messaging from HR, how hard would it be to have for example a salesforce subscribe to weekly industry highlights from top global sources or a internal corporate communication podcast of the company news? We also already have clients that include media file links within their daily news summaries and post video files daily on their portals. I think the trickiest part is going to be figuring out the copyright issues.

- APIs >>>
>>>Everyone has them hitting different parts of their services : Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Ebay and on and on and on. Opening the API store for business is what it seems like. Mostly in Beta but there are hundreds of very interesting applications that people have built already. How can enterprise applications that deal with distributing information to end-users leverage some of these APIs in combination with the Factiva APIs? I intend on learning more and already have some thoughts on how to leverage some of these search APIs for users such as corporate research groups that use a variety of tools to compile research reports for clients.

- Collaboration applications>>>
>>> Ok i am not that old but see it already; our new workforces are going to insist that our enterprise applications have similar functionality as their personal gadgets. Hiring top notch twenty somethings now a days is going to take more then a good starting salary and promises of advancement. Some companies are struggling with the hiring process and are using their innovated internal applications like collaboration portals (e.g. SharePoint) as a way to show how the company embraces technology and values individual participation for the good of the group. Most new young employees will already have RSS aggregated sites that incorporate all their personal and business views of the world. Enterprises need to deliver something that is either better or provides more value that they can not get from the 'outside'.

- Integration into desktop workflow applications like e-mail, calendaring Word, PPT.>>>
>>> Yes. Yes. Yes. What do we have already? Outlook calendaring- make an appointment with a client- allow smart tags to figure out who the company is and have a automatic email with the top news stories on that company sent to you one hour before the meeting. Very useful, especially for sales and executives.

What else? In the Sales, Strategic Account Plans (SAPs) tend to be a very time consuming task that involves manual copy and pasting from various websites and subscription services like Factiva etc. Well using our APIs (which by the way our Factiva Web Services are MSFT Information Bridge-compliant Web Services) we have a way to automatically update certain fields within a SAP (in Word, Excel or PPT) allowing sales people to spend time working on strategy, focusing on what the information means that they have in their SAPs and focusing on relationship building rather then on manually inputting data.
See my post "Company, Executive and Industry content integration- into more then Portals and CRMs?-- Email and calendaring applications, SAPs, etc."

There are a lot more things i have brewing in my head, many even a bit more abstract then any of the above that are based on 'reality'.....i am certainly looking forward to being in the middle of this.

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