INTEGRATING CONTENT WITH WORKFLOW: Learning from the pioneers
- Integrating content with end user workflow is climbing the list of priorities for many information providers
- Workflow systems demand the interaction of three components:
- Rather than simply demanding content, users want to be able to use the information they receive, to embed it into their day-to-day activities, and to work with it in an integrated fashion
- Information providers must re-position themselves away from being simply a provider of information to a provider of content and services
Benefits of integrating content into workflow for the information provider
- Strategic lock-in:
- Publishers? content becomes integral to workflow processes;
- Proprietary solutions provide a barrier to competitors.
- Competitive differentiation:
- Workflow is a naturally competitive environment - you cannot run two sets of workflow tools simultaneously.
- Providing integrated content and services enables the information provider to tap into value-based pricing models which could offer higher margins than simple data delivery.
- Cross-selling opportunities:
- Exploiting synergies between assets within a portfolio;
- New information services could be developed which integrate content from two or more disparate sources.
- New business services;
- New product development.
End user benefits
- Enabling greater efficiency, effectiveness and productivity through:
- Improving in-depth research;
- Searching multiple information resources;
- Providing information at the point of need;
- Improving current awareness;
- Less duplication of work effort;
- Sharing information and expertise;
- Customisation of service offerings;
- Cost savings.
Problems and issues
- Understanding how the end users of information work with it on a day-to-day basis, and designing systems to provide workflow efficiencies moves outside of the publishers? areas of core competency
- Building the technology to provide these services is the next crucial step
- Content ownership and control comes into question
Drivers of change
- Market developments: regulation and however, attitudinal change
- Difficulty in finding information effectively
- Feedback from users of other products
Identifying customer needs
- One on one discussions with end users
- Forum sessions with small selected groups of end users
- Pilot exercises during product development
- Larger-scale market research exercises
The products described in this report?s case studies experienced a range of issues surrounding the implementation process of creating the products in question:
- Leveraging traditional skills into creating a saleable product;
- Avoidance of ?spec creep?;
- Legacy data conversion;
- Finding the right balance for the product, between using new technologies and moving too far ahead of the customer base.
Pricing and business models
- In all cases the services were paid for on a subscription basis
- Pricing for the subscription package was determined either by the number of end users or by the amount of end user data which the product would be required to analyse
- Additional revenue streams included content, software and consulting services necessary for implementation
- Keeping the customer in the loop throughout the development process
- Finding the right technical partner (if one is necessary) is crucial
- Building on an open platform makes integration with the user content simpler and also enables the product to be spun off into other vertical markets without too much difficulty
- Undertaking product tes