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Portals News & Analysis

The New Age of Intranets: Publishing and Content

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The evolution of intranets is happening even as you read this. Last month we took a look at the role planning and corporate communications play in this New Age of Intranets. Today we'll tackle content.

One of the great hassles with intranets is managing and updating content. It can kill what is an otherwise successful intranet. During the planning phase, clients will propose dozens of great ideas of what types of content to be shared. The hard part comes in with obtaining that content -- creating it, approving it, getting it posted -- on a regular basis.

Publishing is critical to the ongoing success of an intranet. When employees consistently see good, valuable and recent content, your site becomes sticky and you will achieve a better return on your intranet investment. Let's take a look at what this requires.

Plan for Migration Success with Search

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Migrating a website or an intranet to a new CMS or new information architecture comes with considerable challenges. Automated tools can support the process, but almost inevitably a great deal of discussion and work will need to take place around specific areas of the site. Having information management policies and strategies in place goes a long way in helping to define content quality, metadata and a taxonomy for the new site. Moving file shares and other repositories into a cloud storage and application environment such as Google Drive has emerged as another requirement.

Effective search will play a vital role in adoption if the migration results in any changes to the intranet structure, and will continue to do so until users have found their way around the information architecture (IA), new content types and repositories.

Open Source Jahia Raises $22.5M to Grow Enterprise Clients

Jahia is getting a $22.5 million cash infusion from Invus, a New York City-based investment firm, the Geneva, Switzerland-based open source content management system (CMS) vendor announced today.

The funds will help CEO Elie Auvray grow Jahia's customer base, especially in the enterprise space. Auvray told CMSWire the company plans to further develop its user experience platform to improve integration with third-party platforms — an apparent sign of more more technology partnerships to come.

Lose the Fat, Embrace Lean Portals

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In its recently published Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals, Gartner identified a number of trends.

Among the most important: the convergence of web content management (WCM) customer demands with lean portal functionality and social technologies. The concept of lean (as opposed to bloated) portals has gained traction recently, with lean portal vendors starting to work their way further up the Magic Quadrant.

Large vendors claim they can offer all the functionality an enterprise could want and more — what smaller vendors describe as "bloat." Lean vendors claim they can respond rapidly to changing business conditions and have enough functionality for any office or mobile worker.

Where's Marketing's Kevin Cochrane? Jahia Knows

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Remember Kevin Cochrane — the former CMO of Mindjet, the former CMO of Open Text and former vice president of digital marketing at Adobe? Guess where he’s just popped up — apparently just a day after leaving Mindjet? At open source Web Content Management (WCM) vendor Jahia.

As of today, Cochrane will sit on the board of Jahia. He will initially serve in an advisory capacity, although Jahia CEO Elie Auvray says that the role of advisor could grow as the company grows.

Smaller Firms Nip at the Big Dogs in Gartner's Portal MQ

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Gartner cited six trends in its Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals, including a convergence of portal and Web Content Management (Web CMS) needs across enterprises. In addition, long-time traditional, portal vendors and their bloated, unwieldy architectures are losing ground to smaller, lighter portal vendors.

As evidence of both trends, just look at the companies who made it into this year's MQ: Ektron, Jahia, Sitecore, Squiz and WordPress.

6 Trends Dominate the Portal Space, Gartner Claims

In recent weeks we have spent a lot of time talking about data search and discovery. While there are many ways of finding content, access through portals is still one of the major pathways. This week, Gartner has published what it believes are the top horizontal portal vendors in a market that is changing rapidly.

While there are many trends in play, one of the most notable, Gartner noted, is convergence of Web Content Management (WCM) demands through lean portals that are also incorporating social technologies in the enterprise.

HR Intranets Go to the Next Level

2014-09-September-Donkey-Kong-Real-Life.jpgSince the early days of intranets, people-related processes and transactions have been one of the main use cases for the intranet. Employee self-service has helped to save real money with intranets improving processes, allowing employees to view payslips, book annual leave, select training and much more.

Too often, however, the HR section of the intranet feels more like a collection of links to other systems than a coherent and consistent digital experience. Leading organizations are now choosing a different path, by focusing on extensive integration with other systems to elevate the intranet user experience around HR processes and transactions.

This not only improves efficiencies and reduce costs, but also makes the employee aware of critical HR information around pay and benefits, recognition and more.

Intranet Search: Where Documents Go to Die or KM Enabler?

2014-23-September-Lost-and-Found.jpgOrganizations look at search, its use, management and funding in different ways. My colleague who runs our organization's corporate intranet noted that although he isn't the business owner of “enterprise search” for the organization, employees go to the intranet, see a search box and assume that the intranet team is responsible for search.

Startup Offers Free Collaboration Option for Any Web Page

Just as Microsoft blends Yammer into Office365, a startup is offering a free service to add a Facebook-like collaboration tool to any web page.

Lifestreams Technologies, a 2-year-old company based in New Haven, Conn., said the widget can be used on any intranet or public-facing website by adding a snippet of code to the html.

"Most websites today are relatively static," said Peter Prosol, business development director for the 10-person SaaS firm. "You'll find pictures and images and text, but it's more or less as it is. It doesn't change much. But adding a timeline to your site ... it lets you be more dynamic, add new content, refresh and be a little more interactive and engaging to the user."

Real Estate Firm Scales Up Its Global Marketing Efforts

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By 1985, two years after Gary Keller and Joe Williams set up their first realty office, it was already the largest brokerage in Texas. Today, Keller Williams is going global, raising significant technology challenges in marketing, business process management and governance.

At the center of that tornado is Cary Sylvester, the company's Austin-based vice president of technology, communication and innovation -- a long, but accurate title considering everything on her plate as the company expands to six far-flung locales: Vietnam, Turkey, UK, Indonesia, South Africa and Germany.

"You can tell there's no specific region we've targeted," she explained. "Once we find the right people, and if their culture is one that will really embrace and adapt to our models, and they want our models, that's the country we'll go into."

Blending Social Collaboration and Intranet Publishing

2014-02-July-Bicycle-Blender.jpgThe reports are in again -- intranets are not dead -- which is always a relief to hear. Part of the rumors of its potential demise stem from the many shapes and forms that intranets can take, which includes the rise of the social intranet over the past five years. Even this term means many things to many people and does not necessarily mean all elements are built on the same platform. On the other hand, some organizations try to build a full intranet out of a social collaboration platform such as Jive, which does not necessarily work very well.

Gartner Execs Redefine 'Integration' and More

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There was lots to learn at the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit this week, including the definition of "integration."  Thought you knew that one? Wrong.

Managing Vice President Susan Landry and Research Vice President Jeffrey Mann kicked off the conference by boiling-down the overused buzzwords of enterprise technology to just four bon mots: engagement, digital, content and integration.

They gave a unique spin to each. For example, they said that engagement is what happens when employees actually use workplace apps to do a better job. And content isn't just a stack of documents. It's a reflection of what your company thinks.

Digital technology isn't about digitizing everything in sight, but leveraging digital technologies to reinvent your business.

Gartner's 4 Magic Words for IT

2014-05-May-Susan-Landry.jpgDo your eyes glaze over when you see all the IT buzzwords thrown at you today? Sure they do.

Like anything involving language, words tend to lose their meaning when use too frequently or improperly. It can be a particular problem when complex topics overlap as they often do at the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit running through Wednesday in Los Angeles.

In an effort to combat that, two Gartner execs boiled down the challenges facing today's IT managers to just four words, setting the stage for the 2,000-plus attendees attending the show in the JW Marriott. Managing VP Susan Landry and Research Vice President Jeffrey Mann focused on engagement, digital, content and integration while refining the meanings of those words to apply to today's context.

Why are those words more important than all the other techno-babble terms floating around? "Because they are bigger for a reason. They matter," said Mann as he and Landry began their keynote presentation.

We've Got the Scoop on Enterprise Mobility

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Maybe your employer doesn’t know what you’re up to on the mobile devices you use for work, but we do.

OK, we admit it, we’re not talking specifically about you, and our knowledge isn’t first hand.

But we did get a peek at the findings of the world’s first report focused purely on enterprise mobility, cellular data and trends. It was brought to us by Wandera, which provides a mobile Data Gateway aimed at ensuring a productive and secure mobile Internet experience for businesses.

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