Are Enterprises Finally Waking Up To RSS? - InformationWeek

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Commentary
1/30/2008
03:32 PM
George Dearing
George Dearing
Commentary
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Are Enterprises Finally Waking Up To RSS?

It seems like yesterday I was downloading Newsgator's Outlook-friendly tool to quench my thirst for all the RSS subscriptions I could find.

It seems like yesterday I was downloading Newsgator's Outlook-friendly tool to quench my thirst for all the RSS subscriptions I could find.I wouldn't say it was like opening up my first browser, but it was certainly compelling having the ability to automatically receive web content without visiting a website. And more importantly, I didn't have to rely on email.

It's the email part that's become one of the biggest battle cries for companies like Newsgator, Attensa, KnowNow, and others vying for enterprise dollars earmarked for RSS services.

"It really gets down to a question of need to know versus need to respond", says Scott Niesen, Director of Marketing at Attensa. Attensa was one of the early companies that realized how RSS could be used behind the firewall to help manage the flow of content. Today, the company serves as part RSS strategist, part implementer, and part toolset provider.

Niesen spoke about some of their current projects and gave me examples of how two Fortune 100 companies are using their RSS infrastructure. Both clients, using Attensa's FeedServer platform, are creating customized RSS channels to deliver everything from HR updates to messages from the CEO. One of the slickest things he mentioned was how users are automatically unsubscribed to specific emails as as soon as they subscribe via RSS. Sign me up.

What's also interesting is how RSS technologies are being mashed up and integrated with other services. These days I can do much more with RSS than just subscribe to a blog. RSS can front-end applications, deliver secure data, and even replace that dusty old newsletter that can't get through the firewall anyway.

The next few years in the enterprise RSS space should move at light speed. The nimble providers like Attensa and Newsgator are destined to be snapped up and positioned as selling points within larger ECM and CMS suites. But they won't tell you they didn't enjoy the ride.

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