2023 KMWorld Media Kit Available Here 

Open source ECM platforms bring mobility to market

The strongest uptake of mobile capability is in high-tech, education, government and publishing, according to Fulkerson. “Having an open source business platform makes it easy to build connections and adapt them as needs evolve,” he says, “and the lightweight Web services architecture in MindTouch allows users to pull content and business logic from any application for delivery to a variety of formats, including mobile platforms.” In addition, the MindTouch solutions are designed so that business analysts can point and click to design applications in a much shorter time than would be possible with other collaboration products.

User demand is key

Ultimately, user demand will determine how quickly ECM products bring mobile applications into the mix. Vendors are likely to turn to third-party developers with expertise in mobile technology for those applications. “In general, we expect ECM vendors to focus on tailoring their core products for specific verticals,” Gingras says, “or in some cases, to go in the direction of providing a Web services business platform. Meanwhile, their partners will work out the details for delivery of content to mobile devices.

Smartphone market growing and changing

The market for smartphones, which enable mobile delivery of content, has grown steadily over the past few years, from 87.4 million in 2006 to 123.7 million in 2007 and 153 million in 2008. “The most widely used operating system for smartphones worldwide is Nokia’s Symbian,” says Michael Morgan, industry analyst for mobile devices at ABI Research.

But Morgan predicts a changing mix with the advent of the Android OS from Google. With just 2 percent of the market in 2008, Android could double its share in 2009 and grow to 10 percent within a few years. Meanwhile, the market share for BlackBerry from Research in Motion (RIM) continues to grow, reaching 15 percent in 2008 and 20 percent in 2009.  Morgan says, “We expect Windows Mobile to erode somewhat, along with Symbian, as users gravitate toward BlackBerry and Android.”

Content delivery for B2B  sales on the go

B2B sales, particularly at the high end, are driven both by events and by relationships. To be competitive, sales personnel need to mesh the two. Dow Jones Companies & Executive Sales, through its Enterprise Media Group, alerts sales and marketing staff to significant events that represent timely leads, and then uses social networks to identify individuals who could provide an introduction. Delivered via e-mail, the information is immediately accessible via mobile platforms or on the desktop.

Events may include a product launch, a new round of investments or a C-level management change. News feed services have informed clients about such changes for quite some time, but the flow quickly becomes a deluge. “We can mitigate information overload by providing very specific triggers, such as a change in the management of an insurance company within a particular zip code,” says Simon Bradstock, a VP and managing director with Dow Jones.

The social networking aspect combines several components that link the event to potential contacts for a sale. A database of millions of executives provides a set of relationships that can be inferred through work history and other associations such as corporate boards and universities. “Users can also import their own contacts from Outlook or Linked in, and those of participating co-workers,” Bradstock says.

“Today’s focus is on tasks,” he adds. “In the past, it might have been enough to collect content and make it searchable, but now the goal is to create an experience that lets users accomplish their goals.”

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