Attended the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit in Baltimore this week, a conference specifically targeting information professionals who need to guide their businesses on the whole spectrum of content management - collaboration, information governance, social media, portals and web.

The tough part? Trying to choose between great sessions scheduled in the same time slot. Solid content by some great presenters….

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Open source ECM is on the upswing. While it still represents a small percentage of the overall market, numerous sessions called it out as something organizations need to consider as part of their overall decision making process. It’s growing in popularity, being asked about more frequently, and analysts are absolutely paying attention to their customer interest.
  • 2012 seems to be targeted as the ‘break out’ year for cloud content applications. A session called “Is a Content Appliance in Your Future: Content Management Architectures Evolve to Meet Evolving User Demands” was led by Karen Shegda. She had some great stats on the kinds of workplace applications that were early cloud successes - outsourced document capture, e-mail, web conferencing, and instant messaging all have important traction today, but new content apps were anticipated to hit critical mass by 2012: vertical/horizontal applications for specific industries or specialized business processes - example of invoice processing. Was good to see this as Nuxeo continues to invest in and build cloud editions of our key applications.
  • Attended 2 really compelling sessions by Toby Bell. The first I attended while wearing my “newbie CMO” hat. Titled “Web Content Management: Engaging Through Web Channel Strategies, Marketing”, was great and sometimes provocative discussion of how to use a corporate web site/web presence to really drive business. Took copious notes, as we internally at Nuxeo strive to continue to improve our web site and evolve it into an important source of lead and demand generation. A work in progress, but one that we are committed to.
  • The second Bell session I attended was packed with interesting observations, trends and identification of some potentially subversive and destructive forces at play in the ECM market. “What’s in Store for Enterprise Content Management Beyond 2010?. Great analysis of the evolution of the space from its definition in 2005 to current state. We appear to be in the midst of early stage transition from ECM as all purpose infrastructure to more pressure from business to find content management platforms upon which to build content applications. By 2012 the “Composite Content Applications” focus will begin dominate the buying decisions. (Note - CCA is the next evolution of the solution category once called CEVA “Content Enabled Vertical Application”). Enterprise Content Management system is a complex technology space - and the session highlighted what made it so complex. The inevitable yin-yang polar pulls of Risk vs. Reward, Fixed vs. Dynamic Content, ‘Blue collar” transactional content vs. “professional grade” knowledge creation were all called out as the forces shaping content management applications and use cases. Another external validation of the direction Nuxeo has anticipated and bodes well for our ability to deliver a content app platform to meet evolving market needs.
  • Video is the next hot thing…. a fun and highly entertaining session led by Whit Andrews. Honestly? I attended because of the title. But stayed for the compelling story-telling approach to a really interesting and important area that we see increasingly important to our Nuxeo Digital Asset Management software and Nuxeo EP evolution. “I Was a Teenage YouTube Star: Strategic, Tactical and Calamitous Futures of Video, Inside and Outside the Enterprise” had some fascinating stats on video adoption - the commoditization of the means of production - phones, pocket video recorders, digital cameras are all easily affordable consumer products that have been used to fuel the explosion of digital recording. Companies not managing it today will quickly find themselves in a storage, ediscovery, corporate memory preservation dilemma if this wildly growing content type isn’t thought about soon.
  • But no surprise that perhaps the best was saved for last. The final workshop I attended on Thursday morning was co-led by Debra Logan and Carol Rozwell. The session title was “Social Software Meets Information Governance”. My two favourite topics in one place! I came in a bit late, after the room had broken into discussion groups, so tried to hide at the back of the room with some other late stragglers. Glad I did… had a fascinating discussion with someone in a consumer goods company who was struggling to find the right balance for her company’s social media needs. IT had shut down access to most social networks, but her business needed to get more proactive in reaching out to their consumers who loved their product. Glad our scenario fueled some discussion and debate on the topic. A big group for a workshop, but feedback seemed overwhelmingly positive and session was valuable…and clearly timely.

Great to have a chance to speak in person with several analysts, learn about some cool new companies, and get a chance to say ‘hi’ to some wonderful old ECM-world colleagues. Until next year!