Avoiding the Software Marketing Trap:
Understanding Lies and Near-Truths When Vendors Try
     To Sell You Content Managem...
The Rockley Group Inc.



                                    Summer
                                     2007




©2007, ...
The Rockley Group sample clients




©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
Are you looking for an XML Editor??
                I’ve got a great one:
                    Light-weight editor (not com...
The need for content management
A scenario – Insurance bureau
                Maintain 5 manuals in ~1000 individual Word files
                Files are ...
A scenario – Medical Devices Company
                Large volume of repeated information for similar
                prod...
A scenario – Telecom company
                Increasing dependence on web site for a communicating
                informa...
A scenario – Printer company
                Large number of products – short turnaround cycle
                Frequent fo...
The common problems
                “Can’t find information”
                “Takes too long to create content”
          ...
Choosing a CM
Success is in analysis
                Know what your needs are
                Understand your content lifecycle
        ...
Know your content life cycle
                Content creation
                Review
                Content management
  ...
Know your users
                Content authors
                Reviewers
                Publication staff
              ...
Know your content
                A content audit is an accounting of the information in
                your organization...
Understand the problems to be solved
                What is CM a solution to?
                If you can’t clearly identi...
Writing requirements
                Most RFP’s include a detailed list of requirements
                Vendors walk throu...
Requirements are good but…
                Scenarios/use cases are better
                A scenario/use case is an expres...
Solving the problem with CM
                Choosing a CM means matching the problem to the CM
                functionali...
Types of CM
                Component CM
                Document Management
                Web Content Management
      ...
CM Key features
                DITA, XML or Other?
                Granularity of access (files, elements)
              ...
CM Key features, cont'd
                Search and retrieval
                Archival
                Translation manageme...
CM Key features, cont'd
                Integration with authoring tools and publishing tools
                 (and a clea...
Now consider this advice
Understand the vendors motivation
                Their job is to sell software
                They sell it by positionin...
The answer will follow the question
                Ask your teenage son or daughter this question:
                   How...
Understand the value of the generic demo
                Generic demos are good when you want to learn about
             ...
Get a customized demo
                Describe your business process
                Provide samples of your content
     ...
Get real users in the demo
                Get the people who will use the system in on the
                demos
        ...
Understand what “we support”
                Does it mean “we can handle it”
                Or does it mean “we’ve create...
Understand what the tool was created to do
                Word (memos and letters)
                    Vs.
              ...
Get references
                Talk to people who use the software
                   Ask about the implementation process...
Ask about the less successful projects
                When you ask vendors for references, they give you the
            ...
Consider the intangibles
                Support and maintenance
                Partners
                Vision
         ...
Know what your organization can support
                What can you or your IT group reasonably support!!




©2007, The ...
Be realistic with your demands
                I need a full POC in 1 week !!!

                Be realistic with what you...
Consider getting some professional help
                IT might be able to help you out
                Consider consulta...
Best practices
                 Identify your goals and objectives.
                 Determine your pain points
          ...
Cont.
                    Evaluate the responses
                    Pick three vendors that most effectively meet your
  ...
Questions?

    Steve Manning

The Rockley Group Inc.


  www.rockley.com


manning@rockley.com
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Avoiding the Software Marketing Trap: Understanding Lies and Near-Truths When Vendors Try To Sell You Content Management Software

1,533

Published on

Presented at DocTrain East 2007 by Steve Manning of The Rockley Group -- It really is a buyers market in the content management software world. There are hundreds of software packages that call themselves Content Management Systems, from big, expensive enterprise content management systems to free open-source systems of various capabilities.

With so many choices, there has to be a system out there for you, right? But, how do you find it? With so many choices, the competition for your dollar is fierce and vendors are looking to close the sale. The effectiveness of your content management selection will depend on your ability to define the functionality you need in a content management system and to dig through the marketing speak of the vendors to find out exactly what their system offers. This session will equip you with the questions you need to ask initially and the questions you need ask to get to real truth.

Should be simple.

Now factor in that there are different categories of content management systems, like Web Content Management and Component Content Management, to manage different kinds of content like transactional content, business content, product content and persuasive content. They all have a slightly different emphasis on the functionality that is key to their role. You need to figure out if their functionality meets your needs.

Now factor in that there are over a thousand applications that refer to themselves as Content Management tools. That really makes it tough for the vendors. It means they have to make sure that they can get themselves clearly in your focus. They do so by playing up their “Wow!” features and hiding (or minimizing) their weaknesses. That sometimes means vague answers to your important questions.

This slide deck will help you to better understand:

* When you really need a content management system
* How to figure out what kind of CM you need
* Core content management functionality required
* The difference between optional and nice-to-have functionality
* How to dig through the marketing speak to get to the truth

Published in: Business, Technology
0 Comments
3 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,533
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
131
Comments
0
Likes
3
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Avoiding the Software Marketing Trap: Understanding Lies and Near-Truths When Vendors Try To Sell You Content Management Software

  1. 1. Avoiding the Software Marketing Trap: Understanding Lies and Near-Truths When Vendors Try To Sell You Content Management Software Steve Manning Principal Consultant, The Rockley Group Inc. manning@rockley.com
  2. 2. The Rockley Group Inc. Summer 2007 ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  3. 3. The Rockley Group sample clients ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  4. 4. Are you looking for an XML Editor?? I’ve got a great one: Light-weight editor (not complex) Low cost Supports DITA (maps, conrefs and specialization) Supports any kind of XML markup Easy to learn …. It’s Notepad!! ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  5. 5. The need for content management
  6. 6. A scenario – Insurance bureau Maintain 5 manuals in ~1000 individual Word files Files are assembled into manuals One individual (not a trained writer) who updates occasionally Headers/footers/TOCs generated manually Can’t find older versions of files (need to roll back changes) ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  7. 7. A scenario – Medical Devices Company Large volume of repeated information for similar products Related information for patient’s and physician’s manuals, but different language/detail No reuse, but plenty of opportunity Frequent updates to existing manuals for regulatory changes – changes not being propagated to all affected manuals Small tightly-knit staff of writers Short turn-around times ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  8. 8. A scenario – Telecom company Increasing dependence on web site for a communicating information, including streaming video Wide range of contributors (not trained writers) Some contributors my go two years between contributions Corporate branding very, very important Primary content: short news blurbs ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  9. 9. A scenario – Printer company Large number of products – short turnaround cycle Frequent format changes – FrameMaker Professional writing staff Heavy translation load – up to 28 languages Long turnaround times for translation – jeopardize ship dates Ship to translation dates fall before software freeze dates ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  10. 10. The common problems “Can’t find information” “Takes too long to create content” “Too many errors, inconsistencies, and gaps” “Too many people contributing” “Too many different formats” “Difficult to share/reuse information” “Too much duplication” “Can’t be sure I’ve got the right version” “Translation is too expensive” … ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  11. 11. Choosing a CM
  12. 12. Success is in analysis Know what your needs are Understand your content lifecycle Know you content and content needs ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  13. 13. Know your content life cycle Content creation Review Content management Publication and delivery ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  14. 14. Know your users Content authors Reviewers Publication staff Information technology ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  15. 15. Know your content A content audit is an accounting of the information in your organization A how content is used, reused, and delivered to its various audiences Understand how can be reused Create information models ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  16. 16. Understand the problems to be solved What is CM a solution to? If you can’t clearly identify what the problem is, you will not be able to pick the right solution ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  17. 17. Writing requirements Most RFP’s include a detailed list of requirements Vendors walk through this list and “tick” off what they can do Very difficult to understand how they can address the requirements (out-of-box, easy-to-use interface) What do the requirements mean in your context? ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  18. 18. Requirements are good but… Scenarios/use cases are better A scenario/use case is an expression of your desired goals and objectives and how you envision working in the future ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  19. 19. Solving the problem with CM Choosing a CM means matching the problem to the CM functionality that will eliminate the problem ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  20. 20. Types of CM Component CM Document Management Web Content Management Learning Content Management … ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  21. 21. CM Key features DITA, XML or Other? Granularity of access (files, elements) Segmentation/Bursting (level/flexibility of granularity) Module management (relationships, links) Metadata (customization, manipulation, application, inheritance) Access control (check-in/check-out) Version control Version linking (specific versions/current versions) Repository (data format, scalability) ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  22. 22. CM Key features, cont'd Search and retrieval Archival Translation management Staging and deployment BLOB management Workflow Audit trail Offline management Certification (by regulatory bodies) ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  23. 23. CM Key features, cont'd Integration with authoring tools and publishing tools (and a clear statement on what “integration” means) ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  24. 24. Now consider this advice
  25. 25. Understand the vendors motivation Their job is to sell software They sell it by positioning it as a solution to your problems Good vendors will walk away when they are not a good fit Vendors will rarely tell you if they are not the best fit. And your job is to find the BEST fit!! ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  26. 26. The answer will follow the question Ask your teenage son or daughter this question: How was school today? Ask a vendor: Do you support DITA? So ask specific questions: How does your system support DITA conrefs? And get a demo ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  27. 27. Understand the value of the generic demo Generic demos are good when you want to learn about content management But the generic demos usually focus on product strengths and hide product weaknesses It may look cool, but it won’t necessarily solve your problems ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  28. 28. Get a customized demo Describe your business process Provide samples of your content Ask for a custom demo that will demonstrate the specific support you need. ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  29. 29. Get real users in the demo Get the people who will use the system in on the demos Get them to ask their questions ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  30. 30. Understand what “we support” Does it mean “we can handle it” Or does it mean “we’ve created specific functionality for it” ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  31. 31. Understand what the tool was created to do Word (memos and letters) Vs. Frame (long documents) ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  32. 32. Get references Talk to people who use the software Ask about the implementation process On time? Painful? Unexpected issues?? Ask about support Timely? Effective? And what about training and documentation Effective? In existence??? ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  33. 33. Ask about the less successful projects When you ask vendors for references, they give you the good ones. Go ahead, put them on the spot and ask about the failures ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  34. 34. Consider the intangibles Support and maintenance Partners Vision Stability ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  35. 35. Know what your organization can support What can you or your IT group reasonably support!! ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  36. 36. Be realistic with your demands I need a full POC in 1 week !!! Be realistic with what you ask for Give vendors time to prepare But push them to show how they will support your business processes ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  37. 37. Consider getting some professional help IT might be able to help you out Consider consultants ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  38. 38. Best practices Identify your goals and objectives. Determine your pain points Develop a series of use cases to illustrate your requirements. Identifier your requirements Identify your differentiators for selection. Develop a weighting system for your requirements. Develop a list of vendors to investigate. Send out an RFI/RFP to selected vendors that includes your detailed criteria and ask them to respond to your questions. ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  39. 39. Cont. Evaluate the responses Pick three vendors that most effectively meet your requirements (best ranking). Ask vendors to use a sample of your content and create a content-specific demonstration for you. Narrow your selection further to one or two vendors. Conduct a proof-of-concept to test the required functionality and determine if the product meets your needs Purchase the product if it performs well in the proof-of- concept. ©2007, The Rockley Group Inc.
  40. 40. Questions? Steve Manning The Rockley Group Inc. www.rockley.com manning@rockley.com
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×