March 5, 2014
Few people would claim that clean up of any variety is their favorite task, but it seems all the worse when dealing with old SharePoint material. CMS Wire meets the challenge head-on in their recent article, “Clean Up SharePoint Legacy Content.”
The article begins:
“The idea of cleaning up legacy SharePoint content is daunting. Organizations often place cleanup under the ‘Nice to Do’ column as opposed to the ‘Must Do’ column. Why not leverage in-house resources? Legacy SharePoint cleanup is a perfect task for the Records Management (RM) department. Reviewing data and applying retention to it are two of our key responsibilities.”
While devoting resources to cleanup can seem impossible, the fact remains that old or badly organized material that lingers on a SharePoint infrastructure is damaging to workflow and efficiency. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and often covers the intricacies of SharePoint on his Web site, ArnoldIT.com. He finds that a clean, lean infrastructure improves user experience, so a spring-cleaning may be just the right thing for your organization.
Emily Rae Aldridge, March 5, 2014
March 2, 2014
I was traveling when the Wall Street Journal story “Watson Head’s Departure Raises Questions About IBM Moonshot” appeared. (This story may be behind the WSJ paywall, gentle reader.)
Nevertheless, I wanted to post my view of this interesting staff change. The main point of the story is that Manoj Saxena, once “head” of the Watson project, allegedly abandoned IBM Watson for greener pastures.
According to the write up, IBM said:
Creating an ecosystem of applications based on Watson is a linchpin of IBM’s strategy to turn it into a multi-billion business. Last fall, IBM announced it would open up the Watson technology to software developers in a bid to turn it into a platform much like Apple did with its App Store.
The article pointed out that 20 weeks ago, Manoj Saxena allegedly said:
“In my mind, this is the key to growing Watson to $10 billion,” said Saxena on the October conference call. “It is a tall order, but I think we can do it.”
Perhaps it is easier to assist IBM from outside the company? Perhaps someone in Manoj Saxena’s circle of acquaintances pointed out that it took Autonomy 15 years to generate about $850 million in revenue. IBM wants to beat this goal by a factor of 10 in five years?
Search and content processing are markets ripe with opportunities. From the user’s point of view, systems have become obsessed with graphics. But the precision and recall of the niftiest of today’s systems are not much better than technology available 20 years ago. In fact, some of the 20 year old systems are still in use and being sold today. Even Google is getting on towards 15 year old systems and methods for its Google Search Appliance.
My view is that if Palantir, IBM Watson, and Hewlett Packard are able to hit their revenue goals for their next generation technology—the market with money in hand is going to have to change significantly. Add in the pressure from outfits like Elasticsearch and once promising technologies like those from Coveo, Digital Reasoning, and Lexmark (ISYS Search). There are quite a few companies chasing after available deals. Even Kentucky teens are nosing into the chase. See, for example, http://bit.ly/1gM0j86. Even IBM’s non Watson units like i2 Group are likely to be competing for projects as well.
In a big company, one can get paid to research. When it comes time to sell, suddenly the job shifts from the “ideal” to the “really hard.” This Watson drama is one worth watching. In the case of Manoj Saxena, the better perspective is one from outside IBM.
Stephen E Arnold, March 3, 2014
January 28, 2014
I’m all for learning from the mistakes of others, and blogger Sergio Schuler shares some of his with remarkable candor in, “Startup Lessons Learned from my Failed Startup.” Of his attempted business, he writes:
“Two years ago, on December 2011, I was generating ideas for a business that would help team managers to not suck so much at managing their teams. I came up with this idea because I had some pretty terrible managers in my life. At the same time I worked for about 5 years with leadership development and had some pretty great teams and team experiences. Exactly January 1st 2012 I registered the domain teamometer.com.”
That seems like a good start; management can always use better tools. However, Schuler outlines some of the rookie moves that doomed his project. He began by trying to assess interest through his website, but mis-translated passing interest into probable sales. He also wishes he had researched user needs before developing his idea, and that expectations had been clearer when he brought in partners.
We were particularly interested in his take on using social media to build a brand. He tells us:
“I wrote a [darn] article every effing day. It made us jump to the first page of Google in several important keywords. How did that translate to sales? Zero. So the lesson is (unless your product is a multi-sided business like Facebook, where users are not paying customers) do not invest time and money to get more traffic. If you do, make sure to TALK to those people, because validating the product is more important than vanity metrics like how many likes you got on Facebook.”
A very good point—clicks are not, in themselves, communication; the goal is to better understand potential customers and help them better understand the product. As this entrepreneur found, courting clicks can actually be a time- and effort-sucking distraction. (We hate to say we told you so….)
Cynthia Murrell, January 28, 2014
January 21, 2014
I read a quite interesting article, “51 Startup Failure Post-Mortems.” The links in the story point to source documents. The article presents a summary of the principal take away from a crash-and-burn experience.
The lessons are fascinating and include:
- Spreadsheet fever; that is, making assumptions about how many customers a start up will capture and how much each customer will pay
- Users don’t want what the company is selling
- Misallocating time; that is, buying stuff, not selling stuff
- Management errors; that is, hiring, spending, marketing.
I recommend this article. I want to point out that none of the examples came from the deep pool of search-and-content processing failures. Outfits involved in information retrieval face some hurdles that put some spin on the problems outlined in 51 Startup Failure Post-Mortems.
Let me highlight three:
First, search is assumed to be over with Google the winner. Furthermore, most individuals assume that their search skills are quite good, even excellent. As a result, a new information retrieval vendor has to find a way to capture the potential customers’ interest. Indifference combined with a perception that the potential customer has good enough tools produces unconscious resistance to a new search system. Search is ubiquitous and works reasonably well for finding a phone number, a pizza joint, or news about a celebrity.
Second, search and content processing has a cash appetite that has continued to surprise innovators, entrepreneurs, and acquirers. As digital information becomes more plentiful, more resources are required to process the information. Search is expensive and over time only gets more costly. Even the “winner” Google is taking steps to control its Web search costs. Money is a problem for search vendors from Day One and continues to be a problem for the lifetime of the search vendor. Exponential information growth requires exponential investment in resources.
Third, search does not work. Sure, on the surface, a quick look at Bing, Google, or Yandex provides results that answer most users’ questions. However, when one tries to dig into a subject, search in its present form is often unwieldy if not broken. For example, research a topic through time and one finds that content is no longer available. Commercial databases are fraught with gaps. Free services skip content due to latency problems or a desire to process certain low hanging fruit. In short, finding information today is getting more difficult by the day. Online content is not comprehensive, but users assume search systems have “everything.” Wrong.
These three characteristics contribute to the quiet and often noisy failures of search and content processing systems. Search is so disappointing that marketers find it easy to over promise and the systems then under deliver. Some of the lessons about actual companies that have failed in the search sector appear in the Xenky profiles.
Perhaps the next version of “51 Startup Failure Post-Mortems” will tap into the search and content processing sector.
Stephen E Arnold, January 21, 2014
January 20, 2014
The release of SharePoint 2013 was the top headline in enterprise content management in 2013. But the release of a new product often creates more questions than it answers. For this reason, Search Content Management wrote the article, “The Top Enterprise Content Management System Tips of 2013.”
The article begins:
“It’s no surprise that some of the top ECM tips this year concern how to script in SharePoint 2013, new features in SharePoint 2013 and whether to migrate to on-premises SharePoint or whether to consider SharePoint Online. Check out SearchContentManagement’s top learning content on enterprise content management for 2013 below.”
Stephen E. Arnold, a longtime leader in enterprise search, is also the mastermind behind ArnoldIT.com. Topics like the new features of SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint on-premise versus SharePoint Online are issues he has also addressed this year. The verdict seems to be that while SharePoint is certainly the most dominant ECM system, it is also in need of the most customization to produce a product that aids productivity and increase efficiency.
Emily Rae Aldridge, January 20, 2014
January 16, 2014
Two items warranted posting on my white board.
The first was the somewhat ungainly local news service Patch. I noted this version of the action: “AOL Gives Up Control of Money-Losing Patch as Shares Rise.” Patch was invented by Tim Armstrong. AOL then bought Patch and hired Mr. Armstrong, a Xoogler. Or, maybe it was hired Mr. Armstrong and then bought Patch? Either way, the trajectory of Patch made clear that getting hired at Google and then becoming a real manager at a powerhouse like AOL were not congruent. Patch, according to Bloomberg, was “a pet project.” I assume it was like one of the old-school 20 percent free time projects except this one had an appetite for cash and served as a trigger for quite a bit of corporate explaining.
The second was the item I saw regarding another Xoogler’s management acumen: “He Was Fired: Here’s Marissa Mayer’s de Castro Buh-Bye Memo to Yahoo Staff.” Make that two Xooglers: the boss Xoogler at Yahoo Marissa Mayer and the number two at Yahoo, Henrique De Castro. I noted this passage:
During my own reflection, I made the difficult decision that our COO, Henrique de Castro, should leave the company. I appreciate Henrique’s contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavors.
Mr. de Castro will need a pick up truck to haul off his severance pay which is in the millions of dollars. Not bad for less than two years work.
The point is that some folks see getting hired by Google, flourishing in the Google greenhouse, and getting high praise from Googlers as the equivalent of management and operational expertise in the “real” world.
These two articles contain information that folks are mistaking Google employees with Google’s success. I would point to online advertising based on approaches developed by outfits like Overture as slightly more important.
My hunch is that AOL and Yahoo will generate further evidence about the management insights of Xooglers. Why are these Xooglers former Googlers anyway? Too bad I don’t have the energy to dig into the human resources angle. There are many azure chip consultants who can explain the why’s and wherefore’s.
Stephen E Arnold, January 16, 2014
December 25, 2013
SharePoint may be the flagship ECM (enterprise content management) system, but that does not mean that it is perfect. In addition, such a huge system means that users constantly have to keep up with the latest news and updates. Read more in the CloudTweaks article, “7 Essential Facts About SharePoint And ECM.”
The article begins:
“Pioneer enterprise content management systems like SharePoint can help in take up your business to the next level, but only if you use them correctly. Here are seven things you need to know about this leading web application platform featuring the Office suite, collaborative workforce software and more.”
A couple of common themes that run through this article are: 1) security is key and 2) complexity continues. Stephen E. Arnold of ArnoldIT.com is a longtime leader in search. He often covers SharePoint news and finds many of the same conclusions. While SharePoint is widely adopted, there are noted weaknesses, and users are always looking for the latest tips and tricks.
Emily Rae Aldridge, December 25, 2013
December 19, 2013
MarkeLogic has been working on the Healthcare.gov project (not going to touch that hotbed of live wires) and according to Database Trends and Applications the company has a new deal: “Applied Relevance Introduces Information Management Application Optimized For MarkLogic 7.” Applied Relevance developed Epinomy version 7 that is specially geared towards MarkLogic 7. CEO and founder of Applied Relevance George Everitt stated that Epinomy offers an advantage due to its tables, texts, and triples. This makes Epinomy prime for big data management, because of its approach to linking and tagging information, i.e. the tables and texts and then leveraging them with triple store technology for a high-speed experience.
“ ‘The table is the structured information, and it is the traditional BI kind” of information. Text is the traditional enterprise text kind of information. MarkLogic does both of those exceptionally well,’ said Everitt. ‘The third is triples – the metadata – the glue that holds those two together. What we provide with Epinomy is a way of creating and managing taxonomies, ontologies, and other data structures that are represented in linked data so that you can apply those to both the structured and unstructured environments, and get value from both of them using the triples as an underlying semantic mechanism.’ “
Information managers are given more control over their data by allowing them to build ontologies from scratch. Metadata and auto tagging will keep the data organized with quick retrieval and accurate search.
MarkLogic is mostly known in the publishing industry, which is riddled with unstructured data. The company has been gaining attention in financial services. Epinomy will give MarkLogic the boost it needs to prove that it can handle numbers as well as words.
Whitney Grace, December 19, 2013
November 13, 2013
We already knew that MarkLogic is good at search. Now the company is being recognized for its database management chops, we learn from “MarkLogic Featured in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems” at BWW Geeks World.
The press release tells us:
“MarkLogic has been positioned for its ability to execute and is the only Enterprise NoSQL database vendor featured in the report that integrates search and application services. . . .
MarkLogic is the only schema-agnostic Enterprise NoSQL database that integrates semantics, search and application services with the enterprise features customers require for production applications. This combination helps enterprises make better-informed decisions and create robust, scalable applications to drive revenue, streamline operations, manage risk and make the world safer. MarkLogic features ACID transactions, horizontal scaling, real-time indexing, high availability, disaster recovery, and government-grade security.”
CEO Gary Bloom does not let us forget his company’s search success. He points out that they also captured a place on Gartner‘s 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Search roster, and that they are the only company to be included in both reports. He understandably takes this achievement as evidence that MarkLogic is on the right track with its integrated approach. The company focuses on scalability, enterprise-readiness, and leveraging the latest technology. Founded in 2001, MarkLogic is headquartered in Silicon Valley and maintains offices around the world.
Cynthia Murrell, November 13, 2013
October 23, 2013
In the world of business process software, it can be tricky deciding which one to deploy at your organization. That is when one resorts to research and relying on opinions and experiences of others to help them make a choice. Forrester is always a great resource to turn to for business matters and in March 2013, they released “The Forester Wave: BPM Suites, Q1 2013,” detailing the top ten business process management vendors. Bitpipe archives the report.
Ten vendors were reviewed: Appian, Bizagi, Cordys, HandySoft, IBM, OpenText, Oracle, Pegasystems, Software AG, and Tibco Software. Each software has their positives and negatives, what is really interesting is if they are compatible with the leading data content managers, such as Kofax:
“All of the vendors in this evaluation can support the three most common use cases for BPM: dynamic case management, human workflow, and straight-through processing. However, this does not mean that all vendors must or can offer exactly the same approach or the same functional depth for each use case.”
They are Kofax compliant, which is wonderful because Kofax owns Kapow Software –the big data integration platform. Big data is one of the primary concerns of organizations and a business management software that does not have the capability to handle said processes is useless in a competitive market.
Whitney Grace, October 23, 2013