Protected: Windows 8 Is on the Way, so is SharePoint 2012

January 31, 2012

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Getting the Most out of a New SharePoint Deployment

January 31, 2012

Christian Buckely of Axceler provides some insights on deploying a SharePoint system in your organization, namely what to avoid, for overall collaboration software success. In “Where Not to Begin with SharePoint,” Buckely advises to bypass automating Human Resources activities if you’re looking for big innovation. While automating expense reports or vacation requests is a good playground to learn the SharePoint technologies, getting the most out of your enterprise search investments requires expansion into new business information ground.

Your strategy should be to focus on those areas that will drive value to the business first. Quickly routing expense reports, while wonderful to your accounting team, is not adding tremendous value to your business. Email will work fine for a few more weeks while you focus elsewhere. SharePoint deployments should (like everything else) follow the 80/20 rule: focus your efforts and deliver functionality to the 20% of your organization who will be doing 80% of the workload in SharePoint. Find those teams that **need** productivity solutions, and build to their requirements first.

Identifying the areas in your business that will benefit the most from SharePoint features is a sure way to get the bang for your buck right off the bat. After working on organization needs, you can then focus on providing some ‘want’ features, like automated birthday reminders or vacation request forms.

SharePoint is a powerful platform that continues to grow, but we also know some out-of-the-box features can be lacking. To add rich value to your system while also providing an easier experience for your users, consider an intuitive solution like Fabasoft Mindbreeze. Their out-of-the-box solution gives you information pairing, mobility, and a more powerful search in a user-centered environment:

Fabasoft Mindbreeze Enterprise understands you, or more precisely understands exactly what the most important information is for you at any given moment. It’s a center of excellence and simultaneously your personal assistant for all questions. The information pairing technology brings enterprise and Cloud together.

Consider their full suite of products and solutions at Fabasoft Mindbreeze.

Philip West, January 31, 2012

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IBM Watson Fights Cancer in 2012

January 31, 2012

All Things D recently reported on IBM’s new super computer Watson in the article “Seven Questions With IBM’s Manoj Saxena About Watson and Cancer.” 

According to the article, IBM is planning on using Watson as a reference tool to assist human physicians in the treatment of breast, lung and colon cancer.

The write up provides readers with the text from an interview between All Things D and Manoj Saxena, general manager of the Watson program at IBM, to talk about what Watson will — and won’t — be doing in helping doctors treat humans with cancer, and what that might mean for the future of medicine.

In response to the question, will Watson be directly involved in treatment? Saxena replied:

Watson doesn’t make the decisions. It’s a physician’s assistant. But before it becomes that, it has a lot to learn. Out of the box, Watson has the knowledge of a first-year medical resident. That is where it’s at today. With Cedars-Sinai and Wellpoint, we’re going to teach it all about cancer during the next six months.

Watson still has a lot to learn to be able to be utilized to solve the problem of cancer. After utilizing the super computer in the medical field, IBM plans to apply Watson to financial services. We look forward to more public relations about Watson, the smart search system. It would be interesting to have an online demonstration using the IBM patent corpus or Wikipedia content. Talk is one thing. Test queries are quite another.

Jasmine Ashton, January 31, 2012

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Selecting the Right Enterprise Search System for Your Business

January 31, 2012

Companies looking into enterprise solutions will likely be overwhelmed by the variety of options available and may not know the first place to start when considering which product is the right fit for their needs. Susanne Koch’s recent presentation “The Landscape of Enterprise Search” on highlights some of the recent trends in enterprise search and offers advice on how to navigate through the difficult process that is understanding and choosing the appropriate enterprise system for your business. According to Koch:

Recently, many enterprise search vendors have improved the usability, performance, and functionality of their systems.

The presentation discusses several trends that are surfacing in enterprise system development and which vendors are developing these trends. For instance, Koch points out that Endeca is combining structured and unstructured data into their enterprise system to simplify search capabilities, and Microsoft is including integrated social functions to increase searchability.

With so many options available, it’s extremely important for companies to do their due diligence before deciding on an enterprise solution. And take a look that the full presentation for additional information and a suggested list of questions to ask.

As Koch suggests in her presentation:

Allow time and resources to go beyond what you, the buyer, think you want and find out what you really need.

For more information about the study to which Ms. Kock refers, click this link.

Stacey Duwe, January 31, 2012


Chomp Takes App Search to the Next Level

January 31, 2012

As the app business is exploding in growth with over a billion app downloads a month a new service has been created by some of the Silicon Valley’s greatest minds and investors. The article, Chomp Leads in App Search During Move to ‘Appification’, on Infotech News, praises the young company for leading the masses in the ‘appification’ of the world.

Chomp, created in 2009, as an answer to the growing problem of app search provides an open source mobile app search for all the apps available to mobile customers on both the iOS and Android OS. Over the last few years as better developers have been incorporated into the company more precise searches are being conducted.

With this technology Chomp is pioneering in search app advertising. Of this new angle on app search the article says,

The new program, which is currently in private beta, allows developers for the first time, to bid on keywords or phrases which will deliver their ads when uses search on those terms within an app search engine. Chomp Search Ads is the only way to match app ads to the most relevant potential customer, resulting in quality ad matching for both the advertiser and the consumer.

As the app industry continues to grow and more and more app developers are making apps available on multiple operating systems the need for the regular Smartphone user to be able to search efficiently increases. Thanks to services like those offered by Chomp we will undoubtedly see an increase in the applications of such technology like the targeted advertising.

Catherine Lamsfuss, January 31, 2012

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European Conference for PLM Innovation

January 31, 2012

We read about the PLM Innovation 2012 Conference and got a bit excited about the news.

The article lists confirmed speakers from a variety of industries from healthcare to automotives.  The topics are bound to provide some very innovative discussions.

The program has   mix of keynotes and workshops and other educational events  that should broaden the knowledge base. Oleg Shilovitsky will be participating on a panel that discusses the future of business models.

Topics include:

  • Open source vs. Proprietary vs. Cloud
  • Pros and cons
  • Evaluating TCO
  • Legal ramifications

So mark your calendars for this February European event. If you prefer to explore some innovative approaches to PLM right now, head over to Inforbix and check out how they are using the iPad for some interesting delivery mechanisms.

Constance Ard, January 31, 2012

Exogenous Complexity 1: Search

January 31, 2012

I am now using the phrase “exogenous complexity” to describe systems, methods, processes, and procedures which are likely to fail due to outside factors. This initial post focuses on indexing, but I will extend the concept to other content centric applications in the future. Disagree with me? Use the comments section of this blog, please.

What is an outside factor?

Let’s think about value adding indexing, content enrichment, or metatagging. The idea is that unstructured text contains entities, facts, bound phrases, and other identifiable entities. A key word search system is mostly blind to the meaning of a number in the form nnn nn nnnn, which in the United States is the pattern for a Social Security Number. There are similar patterns in Federal Express, financial, and other types of sequences. The idea is that a system will recognize these strings and tag them appropriately; for example:

nnn nn nnn Social Security Number

Thus, a query for Social Security Numbers will return a string of digits matching the pattern. The same logic can be applied to certain entities and with the help of a knowledge base, Bayesian numerical recipes, and other techniques such as synonym expansion determine that a query for Obama residence will return White House or a query for the White House will return links to the Obama residence.

One wishes that value added indexing systems were as predictable as a kabuki drama. What vendors of next generation content processing systems participate in is a kabuki which leads to failure two thirds of the time. A tragedy? It depends on whom one asks.

The problem is that companies offering automated solutions to value adding indexing, content enrichment, or metatagging are likely to fail for three reasons:

First, there is the issue of humans who use language in unexpected or what some poets call “fresh” or “metaphoric” methods. English is synthetic in that any string of sounds can be used in quite unexpected ways. Whether it is the use of the name of the fruit “mango” as a code name for software or whether it is the conversion of a noun like information into a verb like informationize which appears in Japanese government English language documents, the automated system may miss the boat. When the boat is missed, continued iterations try to arrive at the correct linkage, but anyone who has used fully automated systems know or who paid attention in math class, the recovery from an initial error can be time consuming and sometimes difficult. Therefore, an automated system—no matter how clever—may find itself fooled by the stream of content flowing through its content processing work flow. The user pays the price because false drops mean more work and suggestions which are not just off the mark, the suggestions are difficult for a human to figure out. You can get the inside dope on why poor suggestions are an issue in Thining, Fast and Slow.

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Chasing Revenue: Dreams into Dollars Redux

January 30, 2012

More than 20 years ago, I wrote an essay for Online Magazine, published at the time by Jeff Pemberton, a former New York Times executive. The title of the write up was “Dreams into Dollars.” The main point was that anyone involved in electronic information could see that eliminating the middle men (disintermediation) and near real time information dissemination (gravity free processes) could make a lot of money. My interest in search has been informed by my wrestling with the problems of finding digital information. Once produced, if one cannot fit a document, that document for most purposes does not exist. The more time between content creation and one’s looking for that information object, the greater the likelihood is that the content is gone forever. Now a Babylonian clay tablet does not share this characteristic.

The problem, I pointed out, was that most online products and services lost money. Only a few would turn a profit because the business models from pre-digital businesses looked as if they were congruent. Flash forward to 2012 and the lessons of the past are being relearned and presented as new ideas.

I don’t pay much, if any, attention to the azure chip consulting firms. I did note that a popular commentator does and thinks about their implications. Navigate to “Reconsidering Gartner’s Cycle of Hype.” The article points out that the middle of the pack consulting firm’s chart which purports to explain how hyperbole rises and falls around a technology product is wrong, off base, and out to lunch. To support this assertion, the article offers:

In fact, just about every innovation I know of has to make it through the wilderness before it gets anywhere close to a hype cycle. The wilderness is the term for the years (or decades) that a founder/entrepreneur/artist/technology must spend being ignored and unfunded before the breakthrough of overnight success occurs.

I agree.

What I found interesting was an article in the allegedly new media savvy Guardian, one of the UK’s “real” newspapers. The article is “The Self-Epublishing Bubble.” [The link was flakey, sometimes rendering and sometimes not. You are on your own, pilgrim.] The long article, which helpfully cites an economics essay “Financial Instability Hypothesis,” a working paper published as gray literature in 1992. If you overlooked this analysis by Hyman P. Minsky, snag it at this link.

“The Self Epublishing Bubble” summarizes what looks to me like a variant of the Gartner hype cycle debunked by “Reconsidering Gartner’s Cycle of Hype.” The Guardian article makes a compelling case that self publishing (probably like this blog) is a dead end. The implication is that once the self epublishing bubble explodes, there will be opportunities for traditional publishers to get back in the game.

Here’s a snippet I jotted in my Dollar General ruled notebook:

The “Lender in the Last Resort” cannot really step in to save the “investors”, as these are the hundreds of thousands of hopeful and now-disappointed first-time epublishers. Instead, the government (if we’re lucky) steps in to bail out the publishing industry, and to regulate the digital companies that created the bubble in the first place. Or the government could continue to subsidise these companies, as it does just now, and in so doing create the next bubble.

Now that is a fascinating hypothesis. The only hitch is that the few publishing outfits for which I have current information facing stagnant or declining revenues and razor blade thin profits. My hunch is that the hype cycle and the self epublishing analysis are roughly equal in long term value.

Oh, try and search for the article “The Self Epublishing Bubble” and the Guardian’s Web site times out. Your mileage may vary. That search function may be a commodity, but at least corn in a can sort of works.

Stephen E Arnold, January 30, 2012

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The China Market: Apple and Google

January 30, 2012

Quote to note: I read the Fast Company story “Apple Could Sell 40 Million iPhones In China…” The guts of the story is an estimate—probably crazy—that Apple will sell beaucoup iPhones in China. Here’s the snippet I jotted down in my paper notebook:

Apple will seek out tie-ups with China Telecom and China Mobile to sell up to 40 million iPhones in China alone in 2013.

Underneath this estimate I wrote, “Are these 40 million phone sales which Google has lost?” Interesting question related to the notion of getting a nation state to change how it runs its railroads. I think some of them crash, but 40 million is an interesting number, if accurate. Can Google get back into China? One hopes.

Stephen E Arnold, January 30, 2012

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Spam Attack from Info360 and Real Story

January 30, 2012

I am fascinated with the machinations of conference organizers adapting to the iPad era.


I was invited to Info360? The name did not resonate, so I browsed the spam message, a portion of which is included in this blog post.

So what’s an Info360? On the surface, it seems to be mostly about an azure chip (maybe a very pale azure?) consulting firm and a gaggle of jargon. Here’s an example of what’s on tap in June, which the spam assures me is amazing:

  • Big data and analytics
  • Cloud infrastructure.
  • Content management basics, records management, and Web content management (presumably different from “basic” content management and not a subset of content management)
  • Data capture
  • Enterprise collaboration
  • Mobile business
  • SharePoint
  • Social business

In short, this is an umbrella conferences covering a multitude of topics. The Info360 program is, I believe, the Association of Image and Information Management’s event.

These “one size fit all” conferences contrast with more focused start up showcase events or focused technical events such as the Lucid Imagination Lucene Revolution program.

More and more umbrella conferences are “pay to play” talks. Programs are often little more than product and marketing pitches.

What should a person do who is seeking information about a specific topic in the laundry list in the spam message sent to me? My suggestion is to look for a specialty conference close to home.

Email marketing, at least for me, spam is a turn off. When the spam uses words like “amazing” and “real”, I tune out. I may be taking steps toward a certain blindness by ignoring spam about conferences, so your mileage may differ. Search is not on the program. That’s probably a plus because search is certainly no buzzword like “big data” or “mobile business”, whatever that means.

Stephen E Arnold, January 30, 2012

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