McNab also says that 94% of text messages are read, and 75% of these are read instantly. In comparison the average email open rate is between 3-10%. One of the key advantages that mobiles have over PCs is the fact that most people carry them in their pockets, no matter where they are and go. Other than a Pocket PC, a BlackBerry device, or any other similar technology platform, you’re less likely to – due their size and weight – always have your laptop with you, let alone your work or home PC.
Gartner also predicts that mobile phones sales will equate to 1 billion units by 2009. There is also expected to be a 16% increase in handset sales by the end of 2005 with a forecasted 779 million handsets being bought. The gradual uptake of 3G mobiles, the mobile broadband technology, also means that there will be more types and potentially richer, higher quality types
of content formats available, including voice data (e.g. Voice over Internet Protocol – VOIP – and standard mobile calls), other types of
audio, video, mobile TV and text available. This could also lead to more data being sent and received in greater file sizes, which could cause
mayhem from a data storage perspective and it could prove costly if mismanaged.
Enable your Employees
Beyond the mobile phone market, which is predominantly focused on the business-to-consumer sector, particularly where gadgets and gimmicks are concerned; there are some business advantages to be gained from 3G technologies like WiFi. Ilkka Kivimki, CEO of Wicom, for example, wrote in 3i’s iSight magazine in February 2005: “The rapid progress of Wi-Fi is enabling organisations to take mobility beyond specific mission critical areas of the business and potentially into the hands of every employee. 3G promises a faster, richer experience that will enhance existing wireless applications and provide the additional bandwidth to drive widespread use of mobile technologies.”
With this in mind, and with there now being 3 million subscribers to the Blackberry service too, according to a report in Information Age in June
2005, there will be more and more opportunities for businesses to change their working practices, and adopt remote working methods more often.
Kivimki believes that employees will increasingly demand access to a wider range of applications too, particularly as the changes and benefits of
remote working technologies, including the proliferation of home-based broadband, is providing them with the opportunity to work beyond the confines of the traditional workplace, creating new working cultures and practices.
The Push for Integration
The greater the number of applications available has led the market to push for the greater integration of these technologies. By making the management of such data a little more convergent means that managing it should become that much simpler. Search engines, like Google – which is very much a media company in its own right, are also part of the equation, helping to drive the world’s 972,828,001 Internet users to websites (source: http://www.internetworldstats.com), fixed and mobile portals in order to find the information they need. Thus this explains the continual growth and development of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) techniques, yet Google isn’t a solution that enables you to manage the various types of data and information.
On top of this, let’s not forget the data that resides on the many corporate databases around the UK and the globe. All of this amounts to a
terrific amount of data that must be managed appropriately, using the right solution for your business. What is emerging is a trend of consolidation towards Enterprise Content Management (ECM).
“ECM is a broad term that means many different things to many different people. Typically ECM implies the acquisition and management of both structured and unstructured content that is dispersed across a number of different repositories, often described as “information silos”. ECM technologies typically are capable of managing structured content, unstructured content, email, images, raw print data, and other digital assets.” (Source: www.cylogy.com/library/glossary.html).
The question though is: which one is right for my business? Many out there have learnt the lesson from the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) crisis that you can’t simply expect a solution to do everything for you without changing the way you work, and it doesn’t always come with a Plug
n’ Play capability. It may not always be the right solution for you, even though most CRM systems are very much integrated with a wide range of other
Even today, reports Silicon.com, the public sector’s CRM projects are failing to meet their expectations. In 2003 CRMGuru.com said that the
failures in the financial sector were also down to the following factors: CRM “is a very data intensive, complex business; the traditional financial services business model is product-centric as opposed to customer-centric; as large organizations, CRM typically requires significant investments for financial services companies; and the early movers in the industry
undoubtedly took on greater risks entering this new arena.”
Integration on the Increase
Enterprise Content Management is very much where everything is heading, and it has been increasingly the case in recent years. So it is now possible to deliver the same information and marketing message across a multitude of different channels. This has led to the steady rise of integrated marketing communications, or what IBM calls Open Planning. The integration of information communication technologies is also increasing the demand for access to a wider range of applications, even in the B2C markets.
So there’s a lot of noise out there, making it harder for companies to be heard. There’s so much noise that, for example, Britain has become the ‘top data swapper’ according to BBC News Online’s article, published on 30th September 2004. The report reveals that 55 gigabits per second of data or more are regularly passing through the non-profit London Information Exchange (LINX), which connects as a the UK’s 150 or so Internet companies through its servers in London’s Docklands. The statistics include data that passed through the exchange to other private peering systems.
Companies therefore need to develop a ‘passion for information management’ in terms of data storage, information management and content generally. To
be successful, to gain efficiencies and operational effectiveness, they must also have a clear understanding of how email, mobile, web, wireless and broadband technologies can facilitate the management of data and the delivery of appropriately targeted content. It should also be remembered that content management as become an integral component of CRM systems.
The Rise of Content Management
These technologies and the importance of managing documents, records, data, content, information are therefore on the increase, particularly as it has
now become a business to imperative to comply with legislation like Basel II and (where a company is working with an American firm or subsidiary) the
US Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The prerequisite to achieve compliance has given content management ‘Elevated status’, so Information Age claimed in July 2005. There is also an increasingly requirement to be able to store, search and retrieve the data of unstructured digital content, including digital
With Enterprise Content Management solutions forecast to continue to boom (a trend that is partly driven by the increasing integration of information communications technology), and with 18% of European IT managers expected to buy ECM systems, it could be possible to manage all of this in an integrated fashion through an ECM system. With compliance in mind, ECMs should also enable companies to better manage unstructured data such as emails and web content. More importantly, if companies implement such a system, they are thus less likely to find themselves down the same route a Morgan Stanley. The firm was fined heavily regarding a situation involving
its unstructured data.
ECM accounted for only 9% of the total market in 2003, reports InfoTrends in Information Age’s August 2005 edition. This forecast though for 2008 is much, much higher as it should rise to 32%, and 60% growth is hosted services is expected within the same period. Another report in the magazine’s ‘The Effective IT 2006 Report’, The ECM Imperative’ believes that the market will be worth $3.8 billion, and around 70-80% of the Fortune 5000 companies will be buying their solutions from a single vendor.
That’s Great, But How Do You Rise Above the Noise?
Companies need to implement a solution that delivers a return on investment that enables compliance to legislation, which helps you to manage information, content and data through the many channels. It must be a solution that is right for your business, and it also should be one with a proven track record. It also comes down to having the right procedures, processes and methods of prioritisation in place. Being innovative can also mean that you will be heard above the noise.