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Do You Really Need a Content Automation Platform?

| November 29, 2017 | Quark Blog Team


The increasing sophistication of online technologies and the mass adoption of smartphones, tablets, and social media have created more opportunities for organizations to engage with and enable their customers, prospects, partners, and employees.

At the same time, expectations for accessing business-critical, multimedia content at the right time and in the right place have increased exponentially. Traditional approaches to content are failing in this new era of communication.

Enterprise content management (ECM), digital asset management DAM, and other content-related solutions may each play a role in the content lifecycle, but in many cases they are not integrated, frustrating to manage, and don’t do a good enough job enabling collaboration and tracking changes and updates to content. The solution that solves these challenges is content automation.

When content automation is appropriate, the results are extremely valuable. Productivity goes up, time to market is reduced, your company can support more information products without adding resources, and you can improve the quality of your content for better customer engagement. In other words, content automation will have a transformational impact on your business.

Content automation is best deployed when your business or organization creates content that has one or more of the following characteristics:

Content automation is being applied to a wide range of business-critical content types across many different industries. Here are some examples:

To find out more about content automation and if it’s right for your organization, contact Quark or download the Beginner’s Guide to Content Automation to begin learning how a content automation platform can help your business.

Quark Partners with The Semantic Web Company

| November 6, 2017 | Sarah Rector

Quark is thrilled to announce our partnership with The Semantic Web Company, the leading provider of graph-based metadata, search, and analytic solutions. As part of our new partnership, Quark will integrate The Semanitic Web Company’s PoolParty solution with Quark’s content automation platform.

PoolParty is middleware that helps organizations manage corporate knowledge models, extract useful knowledge from big data sets, and integrate both structured and unstructured content. We’ll integrate PoolParty with the Quark content automation platform through a lightweight API, which will enable global businesses to enrich their content semantically. The integration blends narrative content with data to improve searchability and delivery.

Advanced Metadata Informs Content Delivery
Delivering content to the right consumers at the right time requires discipline and consistency around terms and labeling. Now with PoolParty, Quark’s clients can leverage advanced metadata features to further inform the delivery of information based on consumers’ specific requirements.

“Our collaboration with the Semantic Web Company and PoolParty brings together two best-of-class platforms and unlocks the business value of digital information like nothing else on the market today,” said Dave White, Quark CTO. “The integration of our solutions facilitates the most successful initiatives around content reuse and discoverability, semantic search, machine learning, enterprise data integration, and more.”

Andreas Blumauer, CEO of Semantic Web Company and product architect of PoolParty Semantic Suite added, “PoolParty provides tools for different roles as subject matter experts, information architects, knowledge engineers and developers. It is cross-functional teams that make dynamic content management happen. Quark end users will heavily benefit from semantically enriched content.”

Read coverage of the new partnership in KMWorld.

Sebastian Gabler and Helmut Nagy of The Semantic Web Company (PoolParty) join Quark's Jason Aiken in Washington D.C. for Taxonomy Boot Camp 2017.

Money Laundering Scandal Emphasizes Need for Better Procedure Management

| October 19, 2017 | Dave White


News breaking about the money laundering scandal in South Africa serves as a harsh reminder that even the most sophisticated organizations are susceptible to corruption. As the BBC reports, information has come to light that major global banks “may inadvertently have been conduits for laundered money.” The reports allege that £400M was illegally transferred through the banks by South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and an affluent Indian-born family.

How is this type of exploitation even possible? While it’s very likely the banks employ Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Software, which is developed to help prevent and/or report money laundering, it may not have been enough to raise flags about suspicious activity.

AML Software can help companies meet compliance and regulatory requirements mandated by global policing organizations, but it’s not enough to manage the thousands of policies and procedures banks must rely on to manage and react to daily activity.

If true that the banks in the scandal in South Africa were “inadvertently” a conduit, the implication is one or more of the following:

The only path that does not put banks at risk in this situation requires:

  1. Well-documented procedures that are up-to-date and provided in a timely manner
  2. Procedures that are easy to find and apply to the correct business transactions
  3. Consumption of procedures tracked through usage analytics and reporting, as well as frequent content and usage audits

If any of these three critical operating procedures processes cannot be proven by the bank, then the bank will likely be at risk even if there was intentional, individual employee negligence.

Global banking has some of the most complex and dynamic procedures of any business context and this story is yet another proof point that it’s not just about pushing files around a content management system. The content within policy and procedure files, how and when the procedures are used, and how easily the procedures can be associated with the appropriate business transaction is critical to the successful operations of regulated businesses.

But, it doesn’t require an enormous amount of complexity to ensure policies and procedures are effective. It’s time for global banks to adopt smarter and more automated content processes and move beyond simple word processing documents and PDFs. From content analytics, through contextual application of content, to AI and Machine Learning applications in content processing, Content Automation with Smart Content for procedure management is a requirement for modern businesses to be successful and mitigate costly risks.

8 Signs You Need Content Automation

| October 3, 2017 | Quark Blog Team

Content automation helps organizations modernize and streamline systems and processes for creating, managing, publishing, and delivering content. And the reality is…to stay competitive and meet customer expectations, most organizations need to go beyond enterprise content management (ECM). How do you know if your company is one?

While there are a variety of issues that drive businesses to implement a content automation platform, you may not appreciate you have a problem with your content process. Here are eight signs that suggest the time has come to leave your traditional content process back in the 90s, where it belongs:

1. It takes you so long to publish content that it’s nearly out-of-date by the time it gets to your customers.
2. You need to publish more without increasing the size of your team.
3. It is harder than ever to track who last updated your content.
4. There are too many errors in your regulated documents or they are out of date.
5. You need to find a way to reduce the cost of localization (or translation) of your content.
6. Your customers are dissatisfied with the inconsistency of content across your web, mobile, PDF, and print collateral.
7. Your employees have a hard time finding standard operating procedures.
8. You are spending too much time re-creating content that you know already exists.

Sound familiar? It might be time for you to think about a content automation platform for your business.

Contact Quark or download the Beginner’s Guide to Content Automation to learn more!

The Critical Value of Smart Content for Artificial Intelligence (AI)

| August 30, 2017 | Dave White

It’s the Rise of the Machines: Artificial Intelligence is here and our world is getting better every day! Except, not yet, not really, and not without a lot of work. But, hey, that describes all deployments of automation from digital assistants to paint robots.

So…what will it take to make artificial intelligence (AI) a reality? In my whitepaper “The Critical Value of Smart Content for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning,” I investigate the state of AI today and highlight the one factor that will allow us to move beyond digital assistants to more powerful implementations of AI. In the new whitepaper I cover:

Lastly, I’ll define the ideal description of content that should feed an AI system. It’s known as Smart Content, and it will help us all achieve the highest return on investment when implementing Artificial Intelligence.

To learn more, download the whitepaper “The Critical Value of Smart Content for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.”

About the Author
Dave White is Chief Technology Officer for Quark Software. An engineer by training with over two decades defining standards for content automation, White is on the forefront of technologies shaping the future of content. He works with customers and partners across industries to develop and implement transformative solutions for creating, managing, publishing and delivering business-critical content.

Adopting Content Automation

| August 2, 2017 | Suraj Renganathan

Now that you’ve conducted a content audit, designed your content strategy, and considered content management options, it’s time to adopt a solution. At Quark we advocate content automation for enterprise organizations that create content that has one or more of the following characteristics:

When content automation is appropriate, the results are extremely valuable. Productivity goes up, time to market is reduced, you can support more content products without adding resources, and you improve the quality of your content.

So, how can you identify potential content automation solutions and avoid some common pitfalls? As you get started on your content automation journey and weigh potential solutions you will want to consider the importance of the following aspects. Refer back to the results of your content audit and content strategy to outline the following requirements:

List how many authors, collaborators, and reviewers are a part of your content creation and review processes. Consider how this team may grow in the future.

List the systems your content operations currently interact with and the systems it will need to interact with. This will help determine how extensible your solution must be.

Security and Compliance
Make a list of regulatory mandates that your company must follow, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), the Sarbanes Oxley Act, and any enterprise privacy policies.

Ability to Create and Deliver Multi-Channel Output
Make a list of the type of content you create today and will need to create in the future to best interact with your customers, partners, and employees. Your content automation solution must support the range of output you list.

Share requirements in these areas with your selected content automation vendors and it will help you short list the software options. While evaluating the content automation solutions that make the cut, it is also important to be cognizant of and escape some common pitfalls. Some hazards to avoid:

Are you taking the next step to advance your content strategy? Contact Quark to schedule a discovery meeting and our team will help determine if content automation is right for you. You can also download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Content Automation today!

From Content Audit to Content Strategy

| July 12, 2017 | Suraj Renganathan

So, you’ve completed your content audit. Now what?

If you are new to the idea of a content audit, it is the analysis phase and the prep work required to identify and implement a successful content strategy. Read “8 Steps to Understanding Your Content” to learn how to conduct a content audit that will help you truly uncover the who, what, why, and how behind your content.

After examining the results of your audit you will have a better understanding of your content life cycle and the risks and challenges you need to address with your new content strategy. A closer look at their current content requirements and processes leads many enterprise organizations to confirm the urgency with which they must move away from ad-hoc content creation and management strategies.

Based on the findings of your content audit, the next step is to design your content strategy. Designing a content strategy requires a few critical stages, including:

Cataloging Information Products
To develop an appropriate content strategy you need to identify high-priority document types that will have the most impact when your content processes are improved. This includes defining the highest value improvements to be addressed, and estimating the qualitative and quantitative value of making those improvements.

Designing Information Models for Published Documents and Source Content
You’ve identified the high-priority document types and highest value improvements needed. Here you will identify specific end results as they relate to content type, order, occurrence, source, and how they can be developed in an improved content process.

Mapping the Information Design to Standard and/or Custom Information Models
This step requires codifying the analysis into actionable rules and structures that can help guide the selection of software that can apply those rules and guidelines.

Defining Style and Interactivity Guidelines
In order to improve consistency, brand coherence, and comprehension, in this step you plan how design and messaging elements will be managed and delivered across departments within your organization, as well as methods for ensuring adherence to brand rules.

The work you do throughout the content audit and resulting strategy will help your content better support your corporate goals – from improving customer satisfaction and speeding time to market to empowering internal teams with the right information at the right time.

Interested in tailoring a content strategy to your organization’s needs? Contact Quark and download the Beginner’s Guide to Content Automation.

Quark Releases the Content Automation Trends Report 2017

| May 17, 2017 | Sarah Rector

Today Quark released the Content Automation Trends Report 2017, a complete look at our second annual study conducted in conjunction with market research firm InfoTrends. This year we surveyed 252 businesses worldwide with respondents spanning a range of industry sectors, departments, and job roles.

As Quark continues to push enterprise content management (ECM) to the next level with content automation, we set out to gain insight on current practices for managing content throughout its life cycle, uncover challenges content teams face, and better understand technology spend and investment outlook.

Our findings confirm that while digital transformation is driving content initiatives for most organizations, content teams continue to struggle to meet the need for engaging, device-specific content. In fact, less than 20 percent of study respondents are confident their content is consistent across channels. This, along with other research findings, indicates a need for large organizations to move beyond basic file sharing and traditional ECM in order to remain competitive.

Key Findings

Download a free copy of The Content Automation Trends Report 2017.

Quark Named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Content Services

| May 17, 2017 | Quark Blog Team

Quark is thrilled today to announce that we have been named a Cool Vendor in Content Services for 2017 by Gartner. Quark is one of four companies included in the report for displaying innovative offerings in the realms of content creation, automation, integration, and protection that can extend how content is accessed across repositories in a secure and compliant manner.

Content Services is the new research category that replaces Gartner’s coverage of enterprise content management (ECM), as is noted in the blog article “The Death of ECM and Birth of Content Services.”

For more details, download the full Cool Vendors in Content Services report from Gartner, which also features ActiveWrite, Votiro, and Xillio.

About Quark’s Content Automation Platform
Quark’s content automation platform is comprised of a centralized component content management system along with fully integrated capabilities for creating, managing, publishing, and delivering multi-channel content. The platform enables the creation and management of content components that can be tagged, searched, updated, and reused across multiple channels throughout the content lifecycle. With componentized content – rather than static files – organizations can deliver business-critical content to the right audiences at the right time – automatically.

The world’s most recognized enterprise organizations choose content automation to dramatically improve processes for creating, managing, and delivering a range of content and content types, from standard operating procedures and product documentation to investment research reports, legislation, and more.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Garter’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

New Content Automation Trends Report Coming Soon

| May 10, 2017 | Sarah Rector

Last year Quark, in conjunction with market research firm InfoTrends, conducted the first Content Automation Study to learn more about content strategies, struggles, and successes among enterprise organizations. The results were eye-opening…and also very much in line with trends that have taken hold in the past year.

For example, our study last year found that more than 50% of respondents considered customer satisfaction to be the most important business initiative related to content for the year to come. We also found that 30% of respondents considered their enterprise content management (ECM) solution to be difficult to configure, while 25% reported their ECM doesn’t support automated content reuse and updating.

These findings and more reflect similar trends reported by analyst firms such as Gartner, which earlier this year replaced their coverage of ECM with a new category called Content Services. Here at Quark we continue to study the major content challenges faced by mid-to-large enterprise organizations, the need for modern ECM solutions, and increasing adoption of content automation.

In fact, next week at Information Energy we will release the Content Automation Trends Report 2017. Information Energy is an annual gathering of content, information management, and technical documentation professionals. This year’s event will focus on structured content, content automation, cognitive computing, AI (artificial intelligence), and more.

Keep an eye out for this year’s Content Automation Trends Report or join us at Information Energy where we are presenting a variety of sessions, including:

Content Automation – The Future is Now
Wednesday, May 17 at 10:30 am CEST
Presented by Dave White, Chief Technology Officer for Quark

Building an Enterprise-wide Content Platform
Wednesday, May 17 at 2:00 pm CEST
Presented by Dave White, Chief Technology Officer for Quark

Content Automation in Action
Thursday, May 18 at 3:00 pm CEST
Presented by Ulrich Haag, Technical Sales Consultant for Quark

Using Content Automation to Improve Cognitive Computing and AI
Thursday, May 18 at 4:00 pm CEST
Moderated by Dave White, Chief Technology Officer for Quark

If you can’t make it to the event next week, check the Quark Content Automation Blog where we’ll make our findings available.

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