ERP Strategies: New research

Reports on Web content management; ITs most profit-generating programs; managing partner relationships; and supply chain management
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Core tasks of Web content management

Manage the creation of the structure for the content and the Web site

Manage the content components through techniques, such as versioning, configuration, automated linking, and searching

Publish the content to the live Web site

Source: Ovum Research
Vendors fail to meet users' Web content management needs

Market for Web content management to reach $13 billion by 2004. But vendors need to improve their offerings.

Content may be king on the Web today, but managing content in the fast-paced Web environment is equally crucial. However, current software tools fail to provide complete solutions, and there is little awareness of the "big picture" among vendors. So says Ovum Research, a Boston-based independent research and consulting company, in a recently released report, "Web Content Management: Strategies, Technologies, and Markets."

"As more and more businesses turn to the Web, it is extremely important for them to develop a content management strategy," says Christopher Harris-Jones, lead author of the new report. "It is not just about what's on a company's Web site, but how the content attracts and maintains visitors. This requires management and tools that can automate this task in a manner that reflects the organization's business processes."

Immaturity of products combined with diversity of content, and the various types of sites found on the Web, creates a market with complex end user requirements. But vendors are more interested in putting the right "spin" on their marketing than in delivering the solutions required.

Vendors, from the established software provider to the up-and-coming start-up, need to develop product strategies that incorporate their core competencies while addressing user needs, says Ovum.

"Web content management is a point solution," adds Harris-Jones. "Vendors from document management tools, to e-commerce, to infrastructure software providers need to be clear about what they offer. They have to reduce the market confusion by addressing the business issues, not just the technology. Their solutions need to be more intelligent, and companies will need to develop partnerships to offer the functionality end users want."

As the market matures, vendors will not be able to rely on their past successes, thereby creating the need for enhanced customer support and services, the report adds.

For the user, Web content management involves a multi-faceted approach that involves understanding technology requirements and organizing their own internal organizational culture. "Web content management tools are not the answer to everything," says Harris-Jones. "Users need to understand their content and the effort involved long before selecting a vendor, keeping in mind that not all tool requirements come out of the same box."

This creates integration issues that both software vendors and end users need to address at the strategy level, before moving on to implementation that may require expertise not found within either organization. Thus, Ovum sees an increasing opportunity found in the services sector. Ovum also finds that the service market for Web content management tools will grow to $8 billion in 2004. This represents one and a half times the market for software and creates opportunity for everyone involved.

"The service sector will grow rapidly as organizations realize that it is not simply a matter of 'getting the technology going,'" concludes Harris-Jones. "Understanding business infrastructure and managing cultural elements will require a realization of such issues, especially in the business-to-business environment."

About the report

Web Content Management: Strategies, Technologies, and Markets, authored by Ovum analysts Chris Harris-Jones, Alan Pelz-Sharpe, and Clive Burrows, is available from Ovum now and costs $2695, #1595, EUR2555, and A$3795.

The report provides a model for addressing Web content management, and offers both end users and vendors with market overviews, development scenarios, technology trend analysis, and detailed case studies. It also includes profiles of leading vendors, including BroadVision/Interleaf, Documentum, Interwoven, and IBM, and provides forecasts on how the market and associated technologies will develop over the next five years.

For further product information call Ovum at 800-642-OVUM or visit http://www.ovum.com.


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