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How To Channel Your ContentHow To Channel Your Content

Enterprise-content-management vendors make write once, publish anywhere a reality

InformationWeek Staff

October 24, 2003

3 Min Read

When considering an enterprise-content-management application for multichannel publishing, it's critical to look first at how your company communicates internally and with its customers, partners, and suppliers. Find areas in which content is created and updated repeatedly and is widely distributed. Then ask several key questions: Do your employees have trouble finding the information they need? Are there concerns about whether the information they're accessing is current? Is having the most current version of content a business-critical need? Think about not just traditional channels but systems as well. You may discover that your company's call-center knowledge-base application is likely to be a more rewarding channel than PDA or cell-phone delivery.

DoculabsFinally, preparation for multichannel publishing always takes a bit of work. In order to publish content to different systems, companies must configure the systems to accommodate their content-presentation needs. When properly planned for, though, multichannel publishing can have a dramatic impact on the freshness of information across all of a company's channels. Jeff Phillips is a senior analyst and Christine Klima is a technical editor at Doculabs, a technology consulting firm. Contact them at [email protected]. Illustration by Frank Frisari The Big Picture There are risks and benefits to using enterprise-content-management systems to facilitate content delivery over multiple channels Channel or format Benefits Risks Intranet or external Web site Communications kept current

I.T. resources no longer required for publishing to Web Feature-rich Web pages difficult to generate with available tools Wireless PDAs Provides information and applications to users and customers via personal devices Content not delivered as a true application that runs on a PDA operating system CD-ROM publishing Provides ability to distribute content on a CD or a DVD for offline viewing Commonly supports only Windows as operating system for destination CD Cellular phone or other WAP device Distributes content to any person with text-messaging-capable phone Adoption of cell phones as an information-retrieval device is minimal

Some phones support Macromedia's Flash format animations External database or repository Maps content repository fields to external database fields for use in other applications In most cases, custom interfaces to external data source must be written Application server Content can be delivered to external servers for additional processing and to add functionality before presentation Application server tags must be incorporated into any enterprise-content-management templates Syndication servers Content can be output in XML or other format for use in syndication Control of presentation left to receiving party Fax Delivers content to recipients without Internet connectivity or E-mail access Not ideal for delivery of large amounts of information and not possible to deliver rich media or interactive content Traditional print Content can be tailored for delivery to commercial printers or print-on-demand service providers

Content can be delivered to an external database and used by page-layout applications such as quark-XPress and Adobe FrameMaker Often problems with page-layout details such as text flow and typeface selection

Overall capabilities are limited; most print design and production workflows are complex Data: Doculabs

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