Network Managers Play a Growing Role
Network managers and other administrator pros are playing a growing role in content management. In the architectural planning phase, for example, network managers are often called in to determine bandwidth requirements, figure out ways to consolidate storage, and explore storage virtualization, reports Sal Sarkar, segment manager, Content & Knowledge Management, at Sun.
"You can put the content almost anywhere on the network," he elaborates. In addition to traditional servers and storage area networks (SANs), hardware choices include server clusters and hierarchical management systems (HMS).
At Tulane, participation by network managers has evolved over time, according to Britt. In the latest implementation of DocuShare, Tulane network managers determined user expectations, sized and evaluated network bandwidth, purchased servers, and installed the CM software.
Some Tools for Administrators, Others for Users
At the same time, CM software vendors are trying to ease administrative burdens by gearing some of their management tools to business users. "The latest version of DocuShare allows for multiple levels of administration," notes Tulane's Britt.
At Tulane, "content administrators" -- who are typically professional server administrators -- perform port filtering. They also write Visual Basic scripts for cleaning and rebuilding DocuShare's meta data indexes.
Other tasks, though, can be handed off to business users fulfilling the roles of "site administrators." Within the university, site administrators are responsible for adding new users, managing passwords for the CM system, and assigning meta data tags to content.
"Some of our tools are for systems administrators, and others are for end users," states James Rothstein, senior VP of marketing for FatWire, an ISV that produces administrative tools for multiple platforms. For Sun's emerging SunONE platform, FatWire's tools include workflow with approve/reject, check-in/check-out, metadata tagging, rollback, pre-built portlets, and "to do" lists.
Early leaders in CM have included specialists like Documentum, Xerox DocuShare, Vignette, FileNET, InterWoven, and Stellent. Overlapping the functionality of this sort of product are digital asset management (DAM) systems from companies like MediaBin and North Plain Systems, as well as video asset management (VAM) systems from vendors such as Virage.
Among major systems vendors, IBM pioneered with its introduction of DB2 Content Manager a number of years back. IBM's current CM customers range from large enterprises like Coca-Cola and the National Geographic Society down to mid-sized businesses like Genesys Health Systems.
Genesys, for instance, is using a health care application built by IBM partner Bluewave, which is integrated with DB2 Content Manager. Known as "The Wellness Connection," the application houses medical records, lab results, and other data from over 20 different clinical systems, says Genesys CIO and VP Dave Holland.