Welcome to the Content Management, Information Management and Document Management solution pavilion. Below you will find leading vendors and/or their implementation partners in Australia. Click on any vendors of interest to see a showcase of their relevant local case studies, thought leadership articles, recent news stories, and product and industry insights. Use the advanced search facility in the menu bar to search for relevant content across the industries and solution types that you are researching. Also check the iStart event diary for local industry events. All vendors showcased have local representation and actively support clients in Australia, and so will be glad to assist with your enquiries.
CRM / SERVICE MANAGEMENT OVERVIEW
There is no single agreed definition of Content Management – but the wider definition here embraces Content Management, Information Management and Document Management. Content management (also known as knowledge management), is a relatively new discipline, and if you ask the many suppliers of content management software they all have different definitions. It is fair to say that most people regard content management as applying solely or mainly to the management and delivery of web content. This is a very limited view, content management software covers a much wider area and can be categorized as follows:
- Web Content Management Systems – this was the first and is the most common use of the term “content management”. They are primary used to help manage websites and web content. In this context the word “content” refers to any resource used to build a website. Most of these systems are only concerned with managing the delivery of the website. The authoring and maintenance are done by other products.
- Document/File Management Systems – Document and file management systems are designed to manage whole documents and other files rather than the words and pictures inside them. They know little about what the files contain and treat them as a “blob” of data. They rely heavily on users defining and applying metadata to give them more information. In practice metadata is applied haphazardly making these systems little more use than the file system.
- Digital Asset Management Systems – very similar in nature to document and file management in that they manage files, but focus on multimedia so provide little or no functionality for text intensive files. They are used mainly to create a central repository for graphics, video, flash, and other multimedia files, and provide archive, search, and retrieval functions.
- Enterprise Content Management Systems – this is one of the latest categories in content management and does not have a clear definition. Most providers in this space are actually combining many of the other categories and calling it “Enterprise” as it provides a wider scope.
- Component Content Management Systems – rather than storing documents, they store and manage the content that is used to assemble these documents in small re-useable components. These components can be anything from a single word to many paragraphs or other components like graphics or links. Component Content Management can be regarded as an overall process for originating, managing, and publishing content right across the enterprise and to any output.
- Social Media content management – this category is emerging as many organisations use a central publishing tool to distribute content to their social media networks or those of their staff.
Distributing the job of managing web site and social content to non-technical staff can increase efficiency and also encourage staff ‘buy-in’ into what was previously seen as the responsibility of an outside contractor or the IT department. Content management packages are available within the reach of just about every business and they range from simple web-based rental services suitable for small business to packages designed for large scale collaboration or intensive e-commerce.
Before embarking on any web development project you should ask yourself what do you want a web site for? Is it to showcase your products and services as an online brochure, or are you planning something more substantial that allows you to conduct business online?
The more thoroughly you can answer these questions then the better the position you’ll be in to brief your web developer. The developer will then provide you with a proposal, which should show a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and a preliminary assessment of the cost.
Once you have signed off the proposal, your developer will prepare a site map that illustrates how the site will work. This should be detailed enough to give you an idea of how the content will flow, down to at least the third or fourth level of pages.
The best web developers will also give you a series of storyboards that clearly show how different parts of the site will look and how your web visitor will interact with you online. At this stage, your web developer should also give you an assessment of your technical (back-end) options and a firm budget.
You should spend time considering whether this assessment meets your needs. Changing it later will be costly and frustrating.
The design of your site will begin with a design brief prepared by you and your developer. Good web design is all about combining brand and image with online navigation. But remember the rule, form is less important than function; a sexy site is useless if people can’t get what they want within three mouse clicks.
Building the technical stuff is your developer’s job – the content is up to you. However a good developer will help you through this process. They may even write the copy for you (at a price).
On the web, content is king. As with design, there is no advantage in having a sexy site if the content is boring, trivial or irrelevant to your visitors. Bear in mind the attention span required to read your content online and respect the intelligence of your audience.
A good idea to consider is a “beta” launch of your site – give key customers access to a test version of your site, and modify it based on their suggestions.
Last but not least – make sure your launch date is realistic before you tell your customers – and then tell everyone. Don’t forget to gear your site for search engines – your developer should take you through this process. Never launch a site half built.
Doing business online no longer requires a huge investment by retailers, thanks to developments in template-based online stores which are based on packaged applications that are delivered over the internet.
As nearly all online stores will require the same functions: catalogues, order baskets, payment processing, content management and member management, it makes sense for those components to be created once and shared by all stores, with each store effectively ‘renting’ its own copy of the application.
The one area where it’s important for online stores to differentiate is their look and feel, and naturally retailers feel very strongly about their business branding. So the ability to create a unique ‘skin’ for each site is an important part of a template-based e-store offering.
Using the latest internet application technology, individual sites can be created within minutes of the retailer selecting a template and supplying graphics such as logos. Typically, retailers will pay only a modest monthly rental charge – and retailers require no specialist hardware or software, other than internet access.
Anyone who wants to sell products and services over the internet, or who wants customers to be able to research their purchases on the internet, should consider an online store.
These days, a web site should be a standard part of the promotional and advertising mix for every business, along a well considered content and social media strategy to take customers or prospects on a journey as your brand develops and evolves.
NEWS | ANALYSIS | RESEARCH