The enterprise equivalent of reinventing the wheel, that is, the recreation of already existing content, is a major and costly problem. It is also a symptom of information overload. When an organization and its knowledge workers are not able to find what they are looking for, due to too much information, they often end up recreating the work of others, wasting valuable time and energy.
To counter this trend and better leverage existing content, companies need to deploy systems that promote the reuse of content when and where it is needed. Content is traditionally thought of at the document level; when a knowledge worker creates a document it is named, saved, tagged, and categorized in folders, databases, and document libraries. Unfortunately, this method does not treat content as modular on a more granular level. A knowledge worker, viewing a document in its entirety, with its corresponding file name, tags, and other metadata, may miss the fact that a single chapter in the document is relevant to another project. Extracting that single chapter for reuse could save hours of work recreating it.
One company that does look at content management precisely in this manner is Vasont Systems, a content management software and data services company. Its content management system, now in version 12, focuses on what Vasont calls component content management (CCM), that is, content that is organized on a granular sub-component level, not a document level. The advantage of CCM is the ability to store content once, and reuse it in a much more precise way. CCM is particularly useful for multilingual content delivery to multiple channels. Content components can be translated as needed, and assembled to form the document that is required. The benefits of CCM include increased accuracy because content is the same in all instances it is used and reductions in recreation time due to individual components being easier to locate and reuse.
As a CMS, Vasont 12 allows users to create, store, and reuse multilingual content, with all content stored in a singe repository. The interface is clean and relatively intuitive; on the home page the user is presented with modules including those for notifications, tasks, workspaces, collections, and queries. If changes are made to content, the change can be reflected dynamically in all other instances of that content, or other users of that content can be alerted via a notification so they can approve the change if they wish to do so. Changes in content are indicated by a status icon, making component status clear.
In Vasont 12, project management capabilities have been strengthened to show overall status of projects and workflows in graphical form, a collaborative review process has been added, and a new translation interface shows the number of words and the percentage of a document left to be translated. Also new is a preview panel that shows content in XML, with comments and annotations. Vasont 12 is available both as licensed software and via the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model.
Cody Burke is a senior analyst at Basex.