The In-House PROVIDER BASE by ProQuest


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           The In-House

        by Marc Solomon, PRTM, Inc.

40         SEARCHER ■ The Magazine for Database Professionals
                                                                                   THE IN-HOUSE PROVIDER BASE

                                            Users, users, users.
                                            Their needs, preferences, and experiences within the environments
                                            we build for them form the mantras, marching orders, and prior-
                                            ities around our enterprise search projects. Behind the feedback
                                            forms and slick interfaces, there is one universal response from
                             DATA-CENTRIC   users. They want content — not just any content, but content good
                                            enough to use — quality content. And for that, we need providers.
                                               Ten years ago in 1998, the enterprise content world was all
                                            abuzz about the adoption of big ticket, multimillion-dollar knowl-
                                            edge management systems: knowledge-based economy meets
                                            knowledge-managed practices. The early believers of the dot-com
                                            era sounded more like alchemists than mere IT evangelists, herald-
                                            ing in the harnessing of corporate brain power.
                                               How has the original promise played out in actual practice?
                                            How closely do content realities resemble the preaching of 10
                                            years ago? Are these systems as outdated as yesterday’s energy
                                            prices? Or did yesterday’s “flavor of the month” become a fixture?
                                            As it matured, has it become another information silo — one stop
                                            along the way for your go-to-market teams — or an indispensable
                                            tool for succeeding in those markets? Either way, how will content
                                            earn its keep in tomorrow’s business culture?

BASE                                        Users and Providers:
                                            Publishing Model
                                                Most of us end up as both users and providers. In the more tra-
                                            ditional publishing model, the content world continues to revolve
                                            around its many consumers in three ways:
                                                1. Data-centric: That wobbly mess of internal files in your dig-
                                            ital landfill whose importance is measured by the pain of losing
                                            them — not the joy of finding them.
                                                2. User-centric: That internal customer base whose fleeting sat-
                                            isfactions are grounded in the knowledge-seeking habits of Google-
                                            educated recruits — not in how they engage with the content tools
                                            and resources we provide them.
                                                3. Business-centric: You’ve heard the familiar mantra. It goes,
                                            “The right information at the right time to the right person.” You
                                            haven’t heard it? Go to any trade conference.

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