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On our last day at Gilbane Boston 2011, we learned how to work together better to achieve better results and innovation. Remarkably, much of the conference emphasized people processes rather technology to improve the way projects are streamlined, websites are built and content strategies are aligned.

Mobile First, Web Second

Don’t get us wrong. The right technology matters, but even the most powerful technology can’t make people adopt better processes or become better educated about how to engage users. Sometimes it can even feel as though vendors improve their CMS platforms faster than the enterprise actually adopts the emerging technologies with which they can integrate. Are enterprise technologies evolving faster than the actual enterprise? Tom Wentworth, chief marketing officer at Ektron thinks so.

We sat down with Tom to discuss the session at which he presented earlier that day, Thinking Beyond the Website -- Mobile and Other Channels Deserve Your Attention Too. In it, he championed the idea of going mobile first. Companies spend os much time perfecting the website for the desktop experience, that they choose to ignore mobile channels, despite their growth and expectations among users.

For the companies that do deploy successful mobile sites, the difference is, according to Wentworth, that the company has a smart champion to drive mobile initiatives. For companies without champions, he says, it is a problem technology can’t solve. It’s an organizational problem that can only be solved by becoming more collaborative, open-minded and less siloed in their approach to meet the needs of their users. Users want access and availability. Focusing on mobile first provides both of these elements. And by ignoring mobile or by not providing a task-oriented platform, companies risk losing users' allegiance to their brand. 

He shares these thoughts in our bold statement video series.

The Quest to Convert Big Data

With so much talk about content strategy and the platforms designed to help publish it, the process of content migration often gets lost in the mix. Not at Gilbane. At the session, Don't be Scared of Content Migration -- But be Very Prepared!, Mark Gross, president at Data Conversion Laboratory talked about What to Expect from an Automated Conversion to eBook. We met with Mark to discuss the trends and outlook for content publishing, XML technologies and of course, big data.

If you’re in the content migration industry, it comes with job security. With the amount of data being continuously generated it is unlikely that all data will eventually be migrated across platforms. However, DCL is doing their best to keep up with the demands of the publishing industry.

Thirty years in the making, the concept of migrating content isn’t new for DCL. From traditional text book publishers to government technical manuals to library special collections, converting content into a more manageable, accessible platform is commonplace. But as data evolves, DCL aims to meet the needs of the casual publisher or the eager new author, who wants to successfully upload, convert and publish content that can be easily consumed via eReaders and mobile devices alike.

In fact, this week they launched a new suite of online services to streamline the processing or eBook conversion orders. The suite offers a one-book-at-a-time conversion services to EPUB and MOBI, which supports all popular eReaders devices. Authors can simply upload or mail in their hardcopy, view pricing options and submit their orders. It’s more than a self-publishing service, however. DCL includes quality control so as to guarantee that each converted text is proofed before it’s finalized.

For Mark, the future of content migration will have to accommodate the need to convert large amounts of unstructured data, from videos to social media updates and beyond. As for his bold statement, it’s all about structure, for if data can’t be structured, it can’t be used. And if it can’t be used, it will risk being lost to all.