Stephen Arnold on Search and Enterprise Publishing

Just a quick note to highlight this post on the ever-colorful Beyond Search blog by Stephen Arnold. Entitled New Info Mix: Search and Enterprise Publishing, the post provides a discussion of professional and enterprise publishing from the downstream perspective of print production / composition shops.

Arnold argues that most of the high-tech enterprise publishing crowd is overlooking both the size and strategic importance of the opportunity to come at publishing from the other end of the market. Excerpt:

I think that dismissing this story is a bad idea, particularly for companies in the search, content processing, and text analytics business. Here’s why:

  • Most vendors of enterprise search have not entered the enterprise publishing sector. Some of the firms with which I have had contact are generally unaware of these systems, their inclusion of search as a utility, and the systems’ ability to output Web pages, reports, and invoices. This cloud of unknowing is one that should be dispelled but the ostrich approach to business is often a favorite of search vendors, their advisers, and the conference organizers who seem indifferent to this major shift in enterprise information systems.
  • Enterprise publishing systems carry hefty price tags. Because the systems are mission critical and make it possible to cross sell or run ads in most output from the system, seven or eight figure deals are not uncommon. Enterprise search and content processing systems that purport to index “all information” for the organization may gain credibility in some parts of an organization, but at the CFO level, enterprise publishing gets the attention of the woman who writes the checks.
  • The end-to-end model seems to becoming popular. I may be reacting to news stories that flow through my intelligence system. […] The Exstream Software deals are, as I understood the briefing I got earlier this year, end-to-end. The question becomes, “Where do specialist search, content processing, and text mining companies fit in?”

An excellent point, worth pondering, and ponder I will.

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