Leverage A Semantic Network with a Universal Smart CMS
Last month, censhare, a universal, smart content management software provider, announced that to support its rapid growth, it has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of two new executives to the Management Board. The company has grown organically to 300 people across half a dozen countries on two continents, so we wanted to learn more about them and their platform. To that end, our media reporter Laura Myers interviewed Ian Truscott, Head of Marketing at censhare AG. During the interview, he explains what universal smart content means, censhare’s most notable features, the nature of content silos, and the need for a shift in content perspective.
Before getting into Truscott’s great talking points, let me give you a little bit of background information about censhare and its content management platform. censhare is a universal, smart content management software vendor that provides a single content and marketing platform to global brands such as Dyson, Jaguar Land Rover, Kohls and Hearst Media Group. The platform is designed to enable organizations to manage their digital transformation through multi-channel, multi-language, personalized communication. As the company puts it, censhare offers a truly one-stop shop for digital transformation.
According to censhare, how its platform differs from the crowded digital experience solutions space is that its offering are run using a proprietary platform based on a semantic network technology that is used in artificial intelligence that mimics the human brain, instead of offering a platform based on file structures. Since one of the premises of employing semantic technology is to simplify the complexity of the relationships and dependencies of all your assets, the platform could be a good fit to businesses that want to unlock insight from their data. With the front end technology, censhare switched to HTML5 with AngularJS at an early stage and complemented it with dynamic modularization. As a result, components like “widgets” can be exchanged or added at runtime.
Now, what is it that makes censhare a universal smart content management platform? Truscott addressed that during the video interview by first explaining what has been changing in the content management world: “With our clients, we are seeing a convergence of different content management technologies that previously have always been bought in silos. Traditionally, we've always siloed up the content management industry, but I think, now, that's going away in terms of the requirements that people have.”
According to Truscott, this shift is driving organizations to adopt digital asset management solutions that manage complex data and analyze the relationships between the different assets. To understand those relations, you need a semantic database thus censhare built its solution with a semantic network, and this is where the “smart” part comes from. Being able to easily decode those complex relationships between the assets is great but in addition to that, organizations need to be able to create content, digital assets and product information beyond the web on a large scale, given there has been an ongoing explosion of content type, channels, and devices. The platform provides a great flexibility to enable users to manage every type of digital asset across multiple channels, and that’s where the “universal” part comes from, according to Truscott.
Why Is It So Important To Break Down Content Silos?
According to Gartner, more than 80% of the information in the enterprise is unstructured and the amount of this information is growing at amazing rates. If so, how is it even possible to unlock that value of content and data in the context of Digital Transformation? It is simply not anymore. Therefore, assembling fragmented lines of specialist functionalities, from Web Content Management (WCM), Digital Asset Management (DAM), Product Information Management (PIM), Content Marketing Platforms, Marketing Asset Management (MAM), Marketing Resource Management (MRM), and so on is yesterday’s industrial age thinking as this approach results in leaving a patchwork of business applications and processes built around different silos.
If silos are the culprits of Digital Transformation, why did we need silos in the first place? One of the most common reasons why they exist, for instance, was the need for organizational structure to avoid chaos. When it comes to creating silos around the company’s content group, the motivation may be their various focus areas. For example, while a content creator in the public relations department is specialized in curating press releases and such, their counterpart in the product development division may focus more on creating technical materials. However, things have changed and this culture is not serving well anymore – well this may not entirely true, though, as it definitely serves some vendors. As Truscott puts it; “content silos serve the market, not the marketer.”
Though breaking down silos is a joint effort across organizations, it still requires smart use of technology in the creation, assembly, storage, and distribution of content. This is where Truscott and the censhare team see their platform making a difference in the market. According to the company, the platform unifies content operations across a global enterprise, converging what has traditionally been done in functional silos, as mentioned earlier. However, to be able to cater to a broader audience’s needs, the company also provides tactical, out of the box solutions for some standard use cases that deliver value very quickly to their customers. In a way, they also want to cover the areas that best-of-breed providers have their hands on.
What Are the Benefits of a Semantic Network?
The main actor behind the scenes of semantic technology is meta-knowledge which includes the origins and nature of the data, and deep knowledge about how to portray it. There are chances, the sounds of meta-knowledge reminded you of metadata but meta-knowledge provides you with the relationships between a data element and other data, context about its meaning, while metadata provides basic information about data, such as who created it, its format and a brief description of its contents.
If this sounds a bit complicated, where we all see semantic network in real life the most is when we make a query about a keyword on Google, the platform performs the search results based on not only that keyword but also commonly used synonyms, abbreviations or even misspellings of frequently used terms for the word. This is a simple example of how the system reveals the relationship.
To put what not finding information costs to businesses into perspective, I have cherry-picked very interesting data points that will make you fully understand the benefit of deploying an effective digital experience platform.
According to a recent study by IDC, the average knowledge worker spends up to 2.5 hours per day searching for or gathering information or data. This includes searches, email queries and other related tasks that all result in a massive amount of time spent trying to find information that already exists. This equates to approximately 400 or so hours per employee, per year searching or gathering information.
The study also shows if a worker cannot find the information they are seeking within 4 minutes they will either recreate it, use older content assets or interrupt a co-worker. It costs companies, not only because of the extended time workers spend searching for information online, which is estimated to be at least 10 hours a week, but also because of the fact that between 3% and 5% of an organization’s files are lost or misplaced.
Annual losses to a Fortune 1000 company with one million files is $5M, according to Information Week data. On the other hand, if the median Fortune 1000 company were to increase the usability of its data by 10%, company's revenue would be expected to increase by $2.02 billion, based on InsightSquared’s study.
Knowing that finding information is only one of the benefits that a semantic network could offer, it is definitely worth considering to include in your technology stack. Your marketing team, for instance, can also take advantage of a semantic layer that focuses on campaign management or geo-demographic analysis. After all, why not gain insight at a fraction of the cost and time without the restrictions of traditional methods?