After three days of collecting stacks of new business cards, watching demos, and miles of walking, I’m sitting in front of my laptop and taking an overview of my first Online Information conference.
When I asked several exhibitors who had attended previous Online Information conferences, they offered estimates about the size of the 2005 show in comparison to years’ past. Those who had survived the dot.com boom and bust of yesteryear now see the industry coming back slowly, but at a solid, steady pace.
In between visiting exhibit stands (time permitted only seeing a fraction of the hundreds available), I managed to take in a few conference sessions, from Understanding the Online Information Service Industry in China, with keynote speaker Xiaodong Qiao (deputy director of China’s Wanfangdata Co., Ltd.) to New Publishing Models, a lively discussion with Arie Jongejan (Swets & Zeitlinger), Chris Beckett (Scholarly Information Strategies), Sally Morris (ALPSP), and Bend Lund (Nature Publishing Group). Not only was information being shared globally, but so were the challenges of delivering quality content quickly and efficiently for organization and enterprise alike.
From a newcomer’s point of view, I found a new energy emerging in enterprise. Take Wolters Kluwer, for example. One of my previous blogs described PubFusion, a soon-to-be-releasedonline content management solution designed to help professional publishers streamline the publishing process. Sure, the technology was impressive for efficiency and cost savings. But what hit me was the power of integration … partnerships of technology and information between and among enterprises. It’s a model for IT collaboration … three products/services (each valuable in its own right) joining forces to create something new.
With PubFusion, Wolters Kluwer Health’s Medical Research Division first started out with an idea for the system, which was built upon the Canadian-based EMC’s Documentum 5 Digital Asset Management platform, and Colorado-based Flatirons Solutions was poised to deliver an in-house solution for customers who prefer to offer the publishing system on their own site. Three companies, three specialties, one product. Andrew Bates, product marketing manager for Documentum Canada (a subsidiary of EMC Corp.), summed it up by calling the venture a "win-win-win" situation for all involved.
It goes to show you that one business challenge can take collaboration to an all-new level. Business expertise can link varied technologies in new directions. Nothing new, perhaps, but the products certainly are. A little ingenuity can go a long way.
Editor in Chief