Posts tagged "enterprise cms"

Really Strategies Introduces Cloud Book Publishing and Workflow

Publishing as a Cloud Service

RSuite Cloud is a hosted content management and publishing solution for publishers to create, manag, and distribute single-source content to multiple channels. The software-as-a-service product augments the company’s existing on-premise RSuite publishing platform. Really Strategies representatives said,

We are excited about our ability to scale with this solution and the new scheduling flexibility that we could never have dreamed of in our old environment."

The cloud-based platform allows customers to ramp up content management and publishing capabilities without significant resource or financial investment.

RSuite Cloud integrates with Microsoft Word. Users can import documents into the system and convert the files to XML for web-based copyediting and automated page composition. The solution also supports production workflows to generate page proofs and eBook drafts for content review and approval. Rsuite is pre-configured to publish print-ready PDF files, HTML output and eBook formats.

Customers with a global audience will appreciate the platform’s language translation tools. The system can publish in 70 languages, including all major European, Asian, and bidirectional languages, and supports content localization. Other features of the platform include:

  • Browser-based editorial corrections
  • Secure access and version control
  • Search
  • Production to multiple formats such as print, eBook readers, web and iPad

Existing users of the Rsuite platform should be aware that the product focus of the cloud platform is books, not all publishing products (such as journals, newsletters and magazines, for example) like previous offerings. 

Getting the Cloud Publishing Solution

RSuite Cloud is available now. Really Strategies configures the system for customers and charges no initial setup fees. RSuite Cloud is available on a per-user license or pay-per-page model. The pay-per-page model allows customers to obtain the software free and pay for final pages published from the system. Users can publish unlimited PDF proofs with no proofing charges. The cost of publishing finalized pages starts at US$ 1 per page. Users can also create eBooks on the platform for US$ 100. 

As in many other industries, we will see traditional publishing models affected by the emergence of flexible cloud-based solutions. Savvy publishers will incorporate the cloud into their publishing process to reduce costs and streamline their workflow processes for editors and authors.

2010 Open Source CMS Market: Drupal Trails Joomla!, DotNetNuke Challenges

Water&stone has released their annual Open Source CMS Market Share Report. Who is dominating the open source web content management space? And who managed to move ahead of other contenders? Find out here.

The Report

2010 is the third year that water&stone has published the Open Source CMS Market Share Report. The report is non-commercial and released under an open license, unlike similar work from other industry firms. This year’s report began with thirty open source systems but ten were eliminated due to current market position. Water&stone assess the remaining twenty systems on metrics related to rate of adoption and brand strength. Using this data, the report defines market leaders.

The report uses multiple data sources to draw conclusions. In addition to a survey, which water&stone conducted with over 5000 responses, other metrics included:

  • Product downloads
  • W3Techs’ analysis of technologies used on the top one million websites in Alexa’s rankings
  • BuiltWith’s technology rankings
  • The number of developers offering services in the technology on Elance and Guru
  • The number of books in print for the platform
  • Google page rank

Using a multi-faceted approach minimizes the likelihood that the outcome is biased toward a single factor and hopefully quiets the inevitable cries of, “But what about…” that will come from supporters of platforms that did not rank as expected. The firm was also very careful to note cases where their methodology might have resulted in a skewed outcome.

The Good

WordPressJoomla! and Drupal, three of the most well-known open source CMS platforms, remain decisively in control of the market. In metrics such as number of installations and shares of Facebook
posts, these three clearly dominated the field.


water&stone 2010 CMS survey - installations


share of Facebook posts

In fact, in almost every measure, there is little indication that the leadership of the top three platforms is being challenged in the near future; but this is the internet — we could all be surprised.

As for the leader of the pack, WordPress managed to take the lead in a number of key metrics. They included:

  • Search interest
  • Daily website traffic
  • Daily unique visitors
  • Daily page views
  • Downloads

In terms of technology specific results, Liferay leads the Java WCM market, followed closely by Alfresco. DotNetNuke is the leading platform for the .NET market, although newcomer Umbraco is quickly narrowing the lead. The report also lists Concrete5 and Umbraco as solutions that are gathering strength in the market.

The Bad

The report identifies the following platforms as struggling to maintain market share:

Using metrics like Google's search query interest, water&stone concluded that these projects are showing negative market trends.


Google search interest

The Ugly

Jahia and phpWebSite, which were included in the 2009 version of the report, were removed from the top twenty list for 2010. Textpattern and Xoops may also want to take note — the 2010 report notes the two as at risk systems.

In its second year making the at risk list, Textpattern's downward slope has continued into 2010. The report found low adoption rates, little growth in third party support, poor search engine visibility and low brand familiarity for Textpattern.

The results for Xoops did not look much better. Xoops finished last in many important metrics like downloads and installations while leading negative indicators like abandonment rate.

The Open Source CMS Market Share Report is likely a valuable source of information for any organization evaluating CMS tools. However, readers should be careful to consider their unique needs to determine if the conclusions are applicable. For example, small firms overwhelmingly dominated survey responses; larger firms may have radically different challenges.

Have you read the full report? How did your favorite CMS system fare?

Editor's Note: See how your favorite open source CMS fared this year compared to last year.

Apache Software Foundation Divorces JCP over Irreconcilable JSR Differences

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) today announced its resignation from the JCP (Java Community Process) Executive Committee (EC). This comes in only a day after Java SE 7/SE 8 specs (JSR-336 and JSR-337 respectively) were officially approved by the JCP despite the ASF, Eclipse Foundation and Google voting against.

Evil Plans and Stirring the Pot

The conflict goes back to 2006 and, most recently, has been around Oracle's (who acquired Sun Microsystems - the inventors of Java) refusal to grant a Java TCK (technology compatibility kit) license to the open source version of Java called the Apache Harmony project. Apache has objected to the restrictions over Harmony and threatened to leave the JCP. Since then, the differences has not been ironed out.

JCP is responsible for selecting which technologies to approve as official Java specifications. Just like it happened in the past with the near and dear to our CMS hearts JSR-170 and JSR-283. The JCP is supposed to foster an open specification process and protect the open licensing structure.

However, the are fears that Oracle is taking control over the JCP, which is supposed to be an unbiased and independent body. Oracle wouldn't agree to grant a Java compatibility license for the ASF's Harmony project.

This may indicate that Oracle is trying to keep a tight reign on any alternative implementations of Java other than their own version, while backing the OpenJDK open source version of Java.

No Harmony in the Java World

With these restrictions on distribution, the Apache Software Foundation decided to leave the JCP in a post published today, saying:

By approving Java SE 7, the EC has failed on both counts: the members of the EC refused to stand up for the rights of implementers, and by accepting Oracle's TCK license terms for Java SE 7, they let the integrity of the JCP's licensing structure be broken.

The Apache Software Foundation concluded that JCP is not an open specification process and that "the commercial concerns of a single entity, Oracle, will continue to seriously interfere with and bias the transparent governance of the ecosystem."

Since it is not possible to protect the rights of implementers and to distribute independent implementations of JSRs under open source licenses without the fear of litigation from Oracle, Apache decided to express its disdain for JCP with an immediate resignation and removal of all official ASF representatives from "any and all JSRs."

One can only wonder (or be slightly depressed?) about what kind of implications this development may bring on the content management industry. Many Web CMS and Enterprise CMS products are Java-based. Many of them are open source.

While many large enterprise are comfortable with Oracle and Java as their language of choice, many of them also use open source technologies like Apache Tomcat and the likes. Above all, Apache has a reputation of bringing innovation to the table with its projects. Innovation is not the prime factor that drives the money-making machine that is Oracle.

As we discussed before, Oracle may have a considerable impact on the industry, from many different angles. Not many of them were without controversy. Care to share your thoughts?

Dealing with CMS Obsolescence

As a consultant, I don’t often get to enjoy the fruits of a successful project. I get a good handshake and a nice project wrap-up party. After that, I usually move on to the next client, often to solve the same problems, with some new wrinkles, all over again. I do like to stay in contact with several clients and over the years, there is one challenge that they are rarely prepared to solve — obsolescence.

The Price of Success

Let’s take your generic enterprise content management system — this is CMSWire after all. Five years ago, you sat down, defined your content types, defined the content life-cycles and built out the core business processes.

Over the years, new types were added and new processes were implemented, but on the whole, it has been a reliable system.

On top of that, you have had some luck. The original software vendor has not been bought by a company looking to move customers to a different product or aiming to milk the software maintenance. Upgrades have been implemented on a fairly regular basis and they haven’t been nightmarish.

Now the system’s age is showing. Over time, meaningful new releases have become further apart. Meanwhile, there has been a gradual change in your requirements that didn’t track directly with the vendor’s enhancements. Some examples that I’ve seen the past few years include:

  • Progressing from managing content to capturing the content.
  • Supporting significantly more users in the organization over a wider area.
  • Sharing information with external partners.

These are all problems. All in all, it is a pretty pickle. There are two basic approaches you can take to attacking this problem.

Just Start Over

This always has lots of appeal at first blush. A fresh start with new technology can be very exciting. The techies love to play with the latest technology and management can point to the shiny new toy that they brought into this world to solve the problem.

Of course it is never that simple. Remove from consideration all of the content that may have to be migrated and just look at the embedded business rules.

There is a lot of business knowledge tied up in older systems. Outside consultants/experts may come look at an older system and start pointing to how things can be better if they only use their products instead.

Theoretically, their assertions may be correct. The issue is that you have to make things dramatically better for the users to accept the new solution. Do not underestimate the ever-present danger of a key feature not being available in the new system. What you may view as something that needs to be listed as a key requirement, the user may just assume that feature is a given and not even mention it. That lasts until the user realizes it isn’t in the new system.

Let’s consider the enhancement route.

Bonus Features

An alternative to a full replacement is acquiring new technology that can enhance and supplement the current system's capabilities. This can be as straightforward as adding a new search engine, to something more obscure as compression software for content.

A common challenge in larger organizations is budgetary politics. Management may see the problem and wonder why the existing system can’t do what they deem to be core features of an Enterprise CMS. Management tends to react in one of three ways:

  1. Decide to live with it. Why spend any more money? The system has been good enough for years. Why not a little longer?
  2. Replace it. Take on the previously discussed challenges and bring in a new vendor that does it all.
  3. Go with the Golf Solution.

Let me explain that last one. The Golf Solution happens when someone in management is socializing with someone and they share, at a very high level, the basic problem. The response they hear is: “Oh, my company can fix that.”

This leads to an actual meeting where it is agreed that the suggested solution is the answer to the problem. Shortly after that, the actual system team is brought into the discussion.

Now comes the tricky part. The components being proposed aren’t ideal. They may not even be on the shortlist of solutions. They do have one very critical characteristic though: management support and the budget that goes with it.

When faced with this situation, experience has taught me to just go with the flow. Make the focus learning about the proposed solution and educating the provider about the realities of the system they are trying to “fix”. What you will learn is that the solution provider doesn’t always want to implement at all costs. Use them to bring your system out of obsolescence and help your users get the most out of their system.

With the above said, eventually you will have to break down and take the replacement route. But remember, there is nothing wrong with making your existing investments sweat a little if they are still solving your business needs.

Oh, and like everything, your mileage may vary.

OpenWGA 5.2 Adds Support for CMIS, Social Media

OpenWGA (newssite) went open source a couple of months ago, but the updates haven't slowed down. With its latest release (5.2), you now have support for CMIS and social media.

OpenWGA is a 100% Java CMS by the German company Innovation Gate Gmbh. OpenWGA is a relatively new addition to the open source family of Enterprise CMS but it is a veteran in the content management market. They offer enterprise-level features and probably their dual-licensing scheme (i.e. open source and free is just a part of it, while the more valuable features are in the paid commercial license) is one of the reasons why they are not as popular as many other enterprise-level content management systems. OpenWGA doesn't lack features and appeal as this latest release demonstrates.

There are many new features in OpenWGA 5.2, the most notable being the included support for CMIS, new social plugins, video streaming and the new editor scheme in the Developer Studio.

CMIS as a Client and a Server

The support for CMIS is one of the major features in this release because CMIS is such a hot topic. CMIS support means that as a client, OpenWGA can access content in any CMIS repository (i.e. Alfresco) and display the content within an OpenWGA site/portal. As a CMIS server, OpenWGA will be able to provide access to the contents within the OpenWGA repository to any CMIS-enabled client.

The bad news is that CMIS-functionality is available only for the paid (i.e. Enterprise) version, so if you are running the free version, you won't be able to use CMIS.

New Social Plugins

The new social plugins are the latest improvement in OpenWGA and unlike the CMIS functionality, they are free Enterprise 2.0 plugins. The plugins are OpenWGA Wikis, OpenWGA Blogs, OpenWGA Forums and OpenWGA Photos. All of them can either be used as stand alone applications or can be integrated into other web projects.

Maybe these features appeared a bit late because many other Web and Enterprise CMS have them since the beginning of time but having in mind that OpenWGA isn't Drupal or WordPress and it doesn't have a huge community of developers, the delay is easy to understand.

Video Streaming

Video content is frequently to be found on an CMS and this is why it is good if the CMS is able to stream videos. The tricky part with streaming videos is that they require the so called “accept ranges” (an HTTP technology that chunks the video in portions, so that the browser can download a portion and play it rather than download the whole movie at once, which with huge movies and/or slow connections might take ages). Now OpenWGA 5.2. includes such support for video streaming.

A New Editor Scheme in the Developer Studio

Schemas have always been part of application design and they make the whole process much easier. Starting with OpenWGA 5.2, you will be able to use schemes. You can use predefined content type settings, content items, language definitions and website areas. All this functionality is included in the free OpenWGA Developer Studio.

These new feature additions make OpenWGA a good choice, especially if you are obsessed with programming languages and wouldn't trade Java for PHP, Perl or .NET.

We'll Always Have (Gilbane) Boston

Remember that heartbreaking scene from Casablanca? Well, we won't have Paris, but we will have Boston and Gilbane Boston to get together and do the industry talk. Won't be as dramatic as the Rick-Ilsa exchange, but definitely fun and informative for all of you content management professionals. 

Now, now… Here's looking at you, kid. Do you have #gilbaneboston on your calendar? Here's why you should and what to look forward to.

The conference for content management professionals will last for two days. You can still get a free Technology Showcase Pass that includes two Keynotes, nine Product Labs and full access to the exhibit area, as well as the conference reception on December 1.

Here's a peek into what to expect from the conference:

Wednesday - December 1, 2010

  • Opening keynote session with Marie Williams, Senior Director, Web Innovation, Global Online Services, Hilton Worldwide; Keith Cook, Global eBusiness Officer, ACE Group and Aaron Hill, Senior Director, Online Strategy & Services, SAS
  • Product Labs starting at 11:00am
  • Second Keynote — Industry Analyst Debate "What’s Real, What’s Hype, and What’s Coming" — with Hadley Reynolds, Director, Content & Digital Media Technologies, IDC; Stephen Powers, Senior Analyst, Forrester; Scott Liewehr, Senior Consultant, Web Content Management, Gilbane Group; Tony Byrne, Founder, The Real Story Group; Kathleen Reidy, Senior Analyst, 451 Group
  • Expo area and networking - 10:00am to 6:00pm
  • Reception, technology demos, networking - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

Thursday - December 2, 2010

  • Product Labs starting at 8:30am
  • Day-long conference sessions
  • Lunch Reception, Technology Demos, and Networking from 12:30pm to 2:00pm
  • Expo Area and networking at 10:40pm to 2:00pm

And here are some helpful links:

See you in Boston!

Why is GRC an Important Topic?

In May, I wrote about the fact that there is no commonly accepted definition of GRC. While it is understood that the acronym stands for Governance, Risk Management and Compliance, each consultant and vendor — to the consternation of practitioners — seems to use a different definition to explain the meaning of GRC. As important as defining GRC is the question, "why talk about it at all?"

Defining GRC

I suggested the definition developed by the Open Compliance and Ethics Group (OCEG). In its GRC Capability Model, Red Book 2.0 (April 2009), OCEG defines GRC as a “system of people, processes, and technology that enables an organization to:

  • Understand and prioritize stakeholder expectations.
  • Set business objectives that are congruent with values and risks.
  • Achieve objectives while optimizing risk profile, and protecting value.
  • Operate within legal, contractual, internal, social, and ethical boundaries.
  • Provide relevant, reliable, and timely information to appropriate stakeholders.
  • Enable the measurement of the performance and effectiveness of the system.”

Putting it even more simply and focusing on the essence of GRC, it's how you run the organization to optimize results. To do this on a sustainable basis, you must manage risks and ensure compliance.
I prefer this definition for a couple of reasons:

  1. It has credibility, as it is independent from any single vendor or service provider. It was developed by a team with representatives from practitioners working within organizations as well as software vendors and business consultants. (Full disclosure requires that I tell you SAP is a charter member of OCEG, and I am an OCEG Fellow).
  2. GRC is not about technology. It is about certain business issues, common to organizations of all forms (public and private, for-profit and not-for profit), in all industries, and all geographies. This definition takes that business perspective.

(Editor's Note: You can read more on the topic of GRC from Norman Marks, starting with What is GRC?)

Why Talk About GRC?

There are two primary reasons why a discussion around GRC has value.

1. The Inter-relationship of Governance, Risk Management and Compliance

Leadership at OCEG talks about something they call “Principled Performance”.

Principled Performance™ is a management discipline that enables an organization to clearly define its principles and goals, determine how it will address risks and uncertainties, and grow and protect value. Achieving Principled Performance™ demands the clear articulation of objectives and the methods by which you will establish and stay within mandatory and voluntary boundaries of conduct while driving toward those objectives.

They have linked the drive towards optimized performance to the management of risk, while emphasizing the importance of remaining in compliance with laws, regulations and society’s expectations for conduct. Who can argue that unbridled focus on rewards without consideration of risks and obligations is unacceptable — and unsustainable in the long term?

The need to relate performance, risk and strategy is further illustrated by several problems that became evident during the financial collapse and economic crisis:

  • The failure to link strategy and risk. While companies may have had risk management processes, they didn’t always adjust strategies when new risks emerged or risk levels changed. In addition, not every company included the consideration of risks, and how they would be managed, in setting strategies and operating plans.
  • The failure of board and executive oversight of risk management. This has been well-documented. Boards have not been focused on risk management, and in some cases the level of risk was not effectively communicated to either top management or the board.
  • A failure to embrace risk management, making it instead “something you do on Fridays”. Too many organizations have implemented periodic risk assessments, but have not made the consideration and management of risk part of their daily business life. Risks change far too quickly for quarterly attention.

2. The Problem of Fragmentation and the Need for ‘GRC Convergence’

Too often, organizations have multiple groups responsible for the various functions and processes involved in GRC. The groups operate in silos, don’t share information and have a multiplicity of frameworks and systems.

The result is not only inefficiency (including redundancy) and likely gaps in coverage, but also a failure to get a clear view of organizational risk levels. This holistic view of risks is necessary if management and the board are to steer the organization and make appropriate decisions based on complete, accurate and timely information.

GRC convergence is about eliminating the silos and fostering coordination. Some talk about ‘federated GRC’, describing how the various groups responsible for different aspects of GRC work in a collaborative fashion — for example, using the same risk language and measures — to optimize overall processes and results.

A GRC Mindset

Technology can help address each of these business issues. For example, risk management software can be integrated with software solutions for strategy management. The same risk management solution can be used by IT, Finance, Supply Chain, Legal and others.

But, before technology can be an enabler, there has to be what I would call a ‘GRC mindset’: the acknowledgement that there is a need to optimize performance through managing risks, while staying in compliance. Performance needs to be principled if it is to be optimized and sustainable.

That’s the value of talking about GRC: it involves looking at how the organization is directed and managed, and recognizing and then resolving the issues of inter-relationship and fragmentation.

Knowledge Management - Where Does the Enterprise CMS Fit In ?

Caveat emptor is Latin for ”buyer beware”; this gem of wisdom has been passed down to us from Roman times, and in some ways it’s an example of Knowledge Management (KM) in action — a nugget of ‘knowledge’ that countless generations have found to be valuable, and so passed on by word of mouth, clay tablets, scrolls or more recently books and websites!

When you consider your organization's KM strategy in the context of your content management and collaboration environments, then I would re-iterate “buyer beware”, particularly the be wary of any vendor who wants to sell you an “end to end” knowledge management solution.

I would suggest there is no such thing as a “KM system” as in a single piece or suite of software, in the mold of “one ring to rule them all”.

It's Your Knowledge Management Strategy

Your KM environment and your KM strategy, if you have one at all, will be highly contextual to your particular organization; and should reflect its strategic aims, goals and objectives. I believe that to achieve a ‘knowledge enabled’ enterprise requires massive HR input. KM needs to be built into appraisal and career development systems, organizational learning and individual learning and development and even compensation systems.

However, KM initiatives often seem to fall back on implementing some new technology in the hope that it will provide a silver bullet solution. I do agree that good information management does provide a solid bedrock for KM, and so it appears do many others as content management, collaboration and enterprise search are often cast in the silver bullet role.

A few years ago in a keynote at Information Online in London, David Gurteen spoke about the failure of “KM1.0”. He suggested that having to add certain documents into a DMS, or put information into a Knowledge Base system was mostly doomed to failure as these were onerous additional tasks, outside of an individuals core work flow.

He suggested that the use of Web 2.0 tools could produce an era of KM 2.0, where easy to use tools would allow knowledge workers to see the relationships between disparate pieces of information, and make links between information and people.

To me this is part of the utility Enterprise 2.0 frameworks, such as Prof. McAfee’s original SLATES and Dion Hinchcliffe’s extension of into FLATNESSES model. You can use these frameworks to assess products in an attempt to understand what they might bring to your more pragmatic KM efforts.

Knowledge Management Tools

Returning to the importance of context, for a global pharmaceutical (a highly regulated industry) KM is not the same as it for the U.S. Army (who brought us modern variants of After Action Reports and Lessons Learned). So what tools you will need will depend on your contextual requirements, and the output of your requirements analysis, but it may include one or more of the following:

Document Centric Collaboration

For example, MS SharePoint Team sites, EMC eRoom/CenterStage or Lotus Quickr are workspaces for collaborative information creation and editing, using tools such as blogs, wikis and forums to add context to documents, which enables individuals to process information and develop knowledge.

view of docs sorted on status.JPG
A view of a SharePoint document library

Conversation Centric Collaboration

Blogs, micro-blogs for activity streams — think Yammer — and open discussion forums enable conversations across divisional boundaries, solicit ideas and enable information sharing and even knowledge sharing via narratives (use of blogs as a story telling tool).

Enterprise micro-blogging with Yammer

Document and Records Management

Good information sharing is a basic building block of a knowledge enabled environment and a lot of any organization's information is locked up in unstructured content / documents (up to 80%).

Ideally your DMS / EDRMS / ECMS will provide good facilities for managing the all important metadata which improves the findability of such content, but also add the E2.0 features such as rating and comments, and standards such as CMIS with related API’s to ensure we can access this information.

Messaging, Including Email Archiving

An enormous amount of operational information and intellectual capital is still locked up in email messages, archived in an Outlook PST file in an individuals local hard drive!

Web Content Management Systems

How does your intranet ecosystem fit into your KM environment? Whether it’s a simple WCMS hosting a corporate home page — focused on news and navigation — or an ultra-sophisticated highly personalized portal, you have to understand how your intranet sites are required to support KM, and plan and procure accordingly.  See Toby Wards recent article on Social Intranets.

Personal Profiles and Staff Directories

Linking people to information, providing additional context e.g. “Fred also worked on these projects……..” and allowing relationships to be discovered between people and between people and content items.

personal profile page.png
A personal profile page in ThoughtFarmer

Enterprise Search

Could this be the closest component to the ‘one ring to rule them all’? Unified Information Access is a term used by Forrester to describe enterprise search systems which allow users to discover pertinent information wherever it is stored.

Enterprise CMS Enables Knowledge Management

The diagram below is one I created when working for a client, and discussed on my blog last year. It does not suggest Enterprise Content Management as a technology platform (Documentum, OpenText or FileNet for example) but as a strategy for managing unstructured information, leading to better information sharing, which in turn enables KM:

Where an ECM strategy fits within a holistic view of KM

Finally I would like to enumerate the varied systems that composed the KM environment at one organization I worked at, just to further illustrate my point about no one system being able to do everything:

  • EMC Documentum 5.3 (now at 6.5) for EDRM and DAM
  • OpenText LiveLink 9.2 for DM
  • EMC eRoom Enterprise – content centric collaboration
  • WordPress – enterprise wide blogs
  • MediaWiki – enterprise wiki platform
  • In-house developed CMS for intranet sites
  • Drupal – replacing the in-house CMS, and integrated with Documentum
  • Various staff directory systems linked to HRMS
  • Corporate Intranet home page (portal) – linking it all together and providing directories of blogs, wikis and eRooms
  • Enterprise Search – Ultraseek, EMC Documentum Enterprise Content Integration Services (ex-AskOnce) federated search and they were procuring an Enterprise Search solution when I left.

So, which vendor sales person is going to tell me that their one system provides every feature and does everything that all those above can do ?

About the Author

Jed Cawthorne, based in Toronto, is a Senior Specialist in the Knowledge Management Group of a major Canadian retailer. He has a keen interest in information management, knowledge management and IT security and writes on Enterprise Content Management and related subjects on his blog at

Mobile App Revenue to Hit US$18.9 billion by 2014

Number crunchers Juniper and other research firms estimate big numbers as Internet use switches from the desktop to the smartphone.

Mobile Commerce is the Place to Be

It would appear logical that a lot of desktop activity is switching to the mobile space as smartphones become evermore capable. So the estimates by Juniper that demand for mobile access to Web 2.0 applications and services will hit US$ 18.9 billion in 2014 sound pretty reasonable. That figure was followed by a US$ 17 billion estimate from Getjar on the value of mobile apps in just 2012.

With workers and consumers both heading mobile, Juniper reckons that presence and location features and mobile Voice-over-IP (VoIP), will be the primary market driver. In fact, a second piece of Juniper research, published today, reckons that the presence segment will be worth US$ 6 billion alone, covering geolocation and social web services.

On the consumer side, app stores and social gaming-gone-mobile will eat up staggering amounts of cash. Such is the drive towards mobile, that a third report, from Canalys, reckons that some 65 million smartphones will be sold in the U.S. this year. This will bring the smartphone from vocal, but significant, minority to a market leader over the majority of feature phones currently in use.

Who Will Be In the Money?

With all these statistics flying around, the big question is, who will be raking in most of this revenue? On the hardware side, clearly BlackBerry from RIM and Apple's iPhone, but the reports expect Android to start claiming some of the share. On the software side, those making a major presence in the major app stores will gain.

Joomla Admin Mobile and Squarespace have an early start in the mobile CMS space (on Apple's store at any rate), but there is room for a lot more action and major players will be revving up their services in the near future. Certainly it will take some creativity and effort to produce a slick method of managing sites from a 4" screen.

Trouble in Store

Among all the hype and big numbers, it is important to consider the downside. As users and enterprises are finding that 99.9% uptime for a funky cloud service isn't the same as 100% uptime, they will find themselves struggling to connect and having to revert to old-fashioned laptops and networks, as backup plans for areas where service is patchy, or signal quality is poor.

Perhaps the major drive to mobile services won't start for a few years when LTE and other 4G mobile networks are up and running. This does give larger enterprises and developers the time to come up with the right solution. At the same time this will allow smaller, agile, developers to make their mark. All developments we will follow with interest.



Vorex Packages Project Management and Human Resources in a Web Based Suite

There’s a new enterprise resource planning tool on the block. Vorex, a developer of on-demand and licensed ERP and business solutions based in Dallas, Texas, has launched what it’s calling the “most comprehensive ERP solution.”


An Integrated Web-based Suite

Combining project management, human capital management (HCM) and human resources, expense tracking and billing in a single integrated web-based suite, this SaaS solution aims to do what all ERP tools aim to do: increase efficiency, profitability and client satisfaction.

In Vorex’s case, they have bundled the most common business process management tools so as to alleviate the inefficiency of managing functions individually. Accessible from anywhere, it can be managed remotely.

Human Resources

Human resource administrators will be able to manage benefits, open enrollment and update information. With an employee skills database, project managers can identify and assign team members to clients or projects based on documented skill sets.

In the next year, users can expect to see additional modules designed to help business manage on-boarding and off-boarding functions, performance evaluations and goal setting.


Management & Billing

Vorex integrates expense management and invoicing/billing functions within its client management system. Individual consultants and project team members can record project-related expenses. Most of the functionality is now automated from expenditure requests to automatic routing protocols, while project managers can compare actual expenses to the project budget, in real-time.

Performance and Profitability

Now that human resources and project managers can streamline their workflows so as to manage their staff and clients efficiently, company and project managers can see which employees, projects or clients are the most successful and profitable. They can configure access control protocols to ensure the security of all employee and client data is protected.

Built on industry-standard Microsoft .NET technology and SQL databases, HCM ERP is highly reliable. Vorex can cover businesses of every size and budget can with three deployment options:

  • On-premise installation with on-premise data storage: companies can host the core database on their own servers;
  • Full license with co-location: companies can host their data on Vorex’s highly secure and redundant servers;
  • Subscription-based SaaS delivery: smaller businesses can host their data with Vorex.

By being able to streamline every aspect of the human assets management for businesses of any size, HCM ERP automates the entire lifecycle of each employee so that time, energy and success can be maximized.