February 26, 2001, 3:56 PM — DEFINING WHAT a content management vendor is can be a perplexing task. The relative immaturity of the technology combined with fast-changing business requirements have prompted document management and e-commerce platform vendors to tout different feature sets, ranging from workflow to personalization.
Despite these fluid boundaries, enterprises are increasingly looking to purchase software packages, rather than build their own applications, to handle the explosion of content they face. InfoWorld's Executive Editor Martin LaMonica spoke to B.C. Krishna, the CTO of Burlington, Mass.-based content management vendor OpenMarket, about how the effective use of content is in and of itself a strategic application.
InfoWorld: Many content management applications first appeared on public Web sites. How has that evolved in the enterprise?
Krishna: What we find is that people are building applications derived from the need to manage content. In other words, content management is not the end goal. It's the first step in the process of putting together any business application.
There are two approaches. One is, "I've got bunches of content to manage and I need to go home early." The other approach to managing content is, "Information is central and strategic to me."
[For example,] if I were a publisher, my business would depend upon the proper management of information. As a business, my end goal of managing that information is to ensure that I have my brand represented -- the proper content represented. My business depends upon advertising, so I need to make sure that the content works for my audience and the advertisers go there.
We follow the second approach to content management, selling to companies for which the management of information is a strategic value proposition. We do not fall into the category of companies for which the immediate pain point is managing Web site pages so that people can go home early.
InfoWorld: Isn't it typical that companies have several systems to manage their content?