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Vertical Views: How eight industries are using Presto to drive collaboration, productivity, and organizational effectiveness

In our information-driven world, success for many organizations is increasingly a function of how robust and accurate your enterprise knowledge is, and how efficiently employees can find and use it. We need the right data at the right time to do our jobs well.

That's something nearly all industries can agree with. In our experience working with thousands of organizations over the past 25 years, we've found success largely depends on being able to quickly find and act on knowledge assets.

The process for doing so varies across organizations, as does the way knowledge is managed, depending on the organization's needs, challenges, and pain points. However, we have found similarities among companies within the same industry, due to common factors they are all dealing with, such as economics, policies, and regulation standards.

Some of these organizations have used Presto to manage their knowledge assets. And while our team taught them the technology and how to use it, they in turn have shown us other ways Presto has become a crucial part of their business. Indeed, many of our Presto deployments are joint innovations.

So we thought, let's share what we've learned. Organizations using Presto today are laying the groundwork for other organizations that are interested in understanding how it can be used in their business, and whether it's right for them in the first place.

Most of our Presto deployments have focused around eight major industries:
  • Aerospace and aerocraft manufacturing
  • Biotechnology
  • Consumer goods
  • Engineering
  • Financial services
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Technology and electronics
We've put together our research and knowledge of these industries, identified pain points and challenges keeping business leaders up at night, and crystallized how social knowledge networks, specifically Presto, can and has addressed them.

We'll be rolling this out on the blog over the coming weeks in a new series, "Vertical Views." If you're part of one these industries, you'll learn how others are paving a new path to collaboration, productivity, and operational effectiveness with Presto. And even if you're not part of one of these industries, you'll gain a better understanding of how businesses are benefiting from Presto across the board.

I'm looking forward to kicking off this series and getting your feedback on what organizations like yours are doing with Presto. Check back soon for our first post, or bookmark this link to the series.

Computers in Libraries and SLA 2010 conferences in the queue for Inmagic

Spring seems really far away (at least here in the northeastern United States!), but it's actually just about a month over the horizon (woo-hoo!). We're planning to exhibit at two big conferences once the seasons turn. First up is Computers In Libraries (CIL) 2010 in Arlington, Va., in April, followed by the SLA 2010 Annual Conference in New Orleans, in June.

We've exhibited at both before. We always enjoy being able to meet with customers old and new at these conferences, see how things are going for them, and learn what more we can be doing.

We'll keep you posted as the details of our exhibitions start falling into place. But if you're planning to be at either (or both) of these shows, stop by our booths! We'll be in booth #220 at CIL and booth #412 at SLA. Stay tuned for more info!

2010's collaboration imperative: Where social technology and enterprise content collide

The editors of ITBusinessEdge invited me to contribute an article about my perspectives on business collaboration software. Specifically, how companies can enable faster, more cost-effective sharing, teaming, and learning among employees using social media technology inside the firewall. It's live on their Web site now, and you can hop over to give it a read.

For organizations interested in using social tools to cost-effectively improve collaboration, it’s crucial to connect the social technology directly to where collaboration occurs: enterprise content. I unfold this more in my article. Thanks to the editors for taking my piece.

MEET ME IN THE MIDDLE: Collaboration is on many business leaders' agendas

Info Pro-file: Ginger Richards on E2.0 buy-in and a world without e-mail


Is it possible? No more e-mail? In about 10 years, yes, says Ginger Richards. She's a Knowledge Management Specialist in Washington, D.C. We recently got acquainted with her for an Info Pro-file podcast.

We covered the bases in our interview, from what she's focusing on in her day-to-day, to how she sees Enterprise 2.0 affecting librarians, to her objectives for 2010.

In another decade, she sees our primary form of communication not as e-mail, but as forums and meeting settings where people can collaborate online in real time. She cautions, however, that weaning people off e-mail will be no easy task. It will be an E2.0 challenge of the future. But for now, the biggest hurdle around E2.0 is buy-in. Her advice?

"My approach is to communicate and follow up ... because the less informed they [employees] feel, the less power they feel they have in the whole process," says Ginger. "So it's keeping people posted about what is happening and how they're involved in it."

As Enterprise 2.0 tools and practices take hold, Ginger believes librarians have a crucial role to play: Be an advocate. She drills into it more in our interview.

Ginger was also a panelist at the Gilbane Boston Conference in December, and she reflects on the show and how her presentation went. She also talks about the importance of context and control when linking knowledge producers and knowledge consumers. Ginger explains that while we need to create metadata, we also need to control the process of adding it to core knowledge repositories.

Click play for all the details from Ginger.

More of our Info Pro-files are here, and more of our podcasts are here.

Gartner's social software predictions: Underscores roles of business and IT in enterprise deployments

Gartner published its five social software predictions for 2010 and beyond earlier this month. Certainly Gartner has a strong influence in the technology market, and its predictions has many of us thinking. For the most part, Gartner's on target with what are likely outcomes regarding the impact of social technologies on the enterprise.

We thought we'd add our two cents on some of its predictions, based on what we're hearing from our customers.

Gartner says: "Success in social software and collaboration will be characterized by a concerted and collaborative effort between IT and the business."

We say: This is no different than any other IT endeavor. Replace "social software and collaboration" with ECM, BI, CRM, and you see what I mean. Of course, there needs to be a concerted effort between IT and the business, but the success of social software and collaboration within an enterprise must be distributed more evenly across the organization.

For example, social knowledge networks (SKNs) allow non-technical business users to create and manage their own information access and content sharing environment.

They provide a low-cost stepping stone from network drives and wikis (minimal IT involvement, but limited capabilities), to larger footprint enterprise content management or enterprise search deployments (expensive and IT-dependent). This essentially allows more users to be engaged, business benefits derived more quickly with minimal IT support.

Meet the Team: Bob Warren, VP Products, on where Inmagic and Presto are heading in 2010


Inmagic's family continues to grow, and one of our latest additions is Bob Warren, VP of Products. Although we issued a press release to announce his hiring back in December, there's only so much you can learn about a guy from reading a few paragraphs about him.

So we thought we'd acquaint you with Bob through a podcast. Janelle stole him away from his desk for a few minutes to talk about the fresh perspectives and new ideas he'll be bringing to the team.

Roll the tape to hear them talk about what's on his to-do list for 2010, and what types of organizations he sees using social knowledge networks and Presto the most this year.

Bob and Janelle also discuss his predictions for how knowledge management will evolve inside the firewall, the biggest challenges to social knowledge management and Enterprise 2.0 adoption, and what Inmagic will be doing to help customers overcome those obstacles in 2010.

Warm welcome to Tony Florence, Inmagic's new Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development

Our team here continues to grow as we focus on building on business development initiatives. I wanted to welcome Tony Florence, our new Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development. We issued a press release today announcing the news, and I thought I'd share it here for anyone interested in learning more about Tony and what he'll be doing for us.

Top global news publisher drives collaboration and editorial production with Presto social knowledge network

Journalism's hallmark is uncovering the truth. And now, for one major global news publisher, uncovering the truth is powered by the "single source of truth" provided by Presto. The publisher, which puts out one of the country's top weekly news magazines, is using Presto to store, organize, and share research materials, archived articles, and other data crucial to its reporting and editorial production.

Presto serves as the publisher's research center. Journalists and editors are finding that Presto is helping to drive collaboration and improve organizational productivity, as they fully utilize its social technologies, such as wikis, blogs, social tagging, and ratings.

That's just a peek into the benefits the publisher is now realizing since implementing Presto. We've documented the publisher's complete story in a case study, which we welcome you to read, download, and share with colleagues.

The enterprise content management market break-down

Nearly all knowledge management professionals will tell you there is no universal definition for KM. It's too broad to explicitly define it or to agree upon a definition. Instead, we have individual ideas of what it means to us and our organizations.

In some respects, I think the same can be said of enterprise content management (ECM). It's another broad, umbrella term that's difficult to define. It seems the industry largely agrees it encapsulates a range of technologies, strategies, and methods for managing content that moves across the enterprise. It can be broken up in sub-categories, which can vary depending on who you're talking to.

For instance, in Ron Miller's assessment, these sub-categories include document management, Web content management, and business content management. Ron has been writing about this lately on Fierce Content Management. His most recent article talks about we're moving away from the umbrella term of ECM, and moving towards the idea of having different types of ECM to address various pain points. One in particular is information silos.

Global pharmaceutical company improves R&D collaboration, reduces costs with Presto

We have another client on the record. Our latest case study covers how one of the world's top 10 biopharmaceutical companies is using Presto to gather, organize, and manage its vast library of product and health information. We think you'll find the results compelling, and encourage you to give our case study a read. Feel free to download, print, and share it with colleagues. We have a few more case studies the the pipeline, and will be rolling them out on the blog soon, so watch this space.

Economy accelerating cost-effective collaboration solutions across sectors

There have been more 2009 recaps and 2010 predictions than you might care to count. However, Paula Hane's Review of the Year 2009 series (part one, part two) caught my eye on InfoToday. Partly because InfoToday is geared towards info pros in the library space, a community Inmagic has been a part of for more than 25 years.

But also because I think it's interesting that technology trends in a relatively niche market, such as the library space, are a fairly accurate representation of the broader enterprise market at large.

In some capacity, we're all dealing with the mobile Web, enterprise social networking, open source solutions, book digitization, cloud computing, information overload, etc. It just goes to show that the impact of two important e's of 2009 (economy and E2.0) do not discriminate, and have actually affected us all in similar ways: How do we do more with less; get creative to drive revenues; and use technology to improve people, processes, and competitive advantage?

In part two of Paula's series, again the "what's hot/what's not" is very apropos across industries. HOT: adoption of E2.0 tools, collaboration, and discovery. NOT: desktop PCs, e-mail, and fax machines. These issues can be seen in pharma, engineering, financial services, government, etc. AND in practices within those industries, such as competitive intelligence, marketing, product development, innovation, etc.

In general, we "want what we want, and want it now," no matter where you hang your hat. With mobile apps on the rise, there is a certain level of expectation about information access. Paula's series confirms that expectations are carrying over into the enterprise, where being held back by information silos, old technology, or antiquated business processes is no longer acceptable.

AIIM points out three-step approach to Enterprise 2.0 and collaboration strategies

Collaboration is the new enterprise manta. But it's important to take a hard look at all the buzz, and recognize what the real take-aways are. Bob Larrivee covered this recently on the AIIM Knowledge Resource Blog, asserting, "Collaboration, like ECM, is not purely a set of technologies that will inherently move an organization to collaborate. In fact we do not need technology to collaborate but it does make it easier and simpler. Collaboration requires a cultural mindset and managerial support that fosters one to be open and share information and knowledge."

I think this paints a three-step approach to an E2.0/collaboration strategy:

1. STOP. Identify your organization's business goals and requirements.

2. COLLABORATE. Foster a culture of sharing knowledge and collaborating. This starts in the C-suite.

3. AND LISTEN. Probably the most important of the three, understand collaboration means to your organization.

I think Bob is spot-on when he speaks of "a portal without purpose was a portal failed." How true with any technology, process, or business for that matter, as we saw with the Internet bubble. And even though people need time and experience to apply E2.0 and find their own way of collaborating, there still needs to be an end goal, or purpose to bring it full circle.


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