Tuesday, August 01, 2006

ECM in Bangalore!

I can't sleep properly and don't know whether it is night or day - but other than that the trip is going well, and as expected I am learning much about the reality of ECM & Outsourcing, as well as what a great bunch of people Wipro employs :-) I will try and write a more fulsome post at the end of the week - but for now I just thought I would note something in particular (may seem completely out of context with India the home of the sweet lassi and mutter panner - but it has cropped in two conversations already and was nagging me as an issue before flying out here):-

Rendering: it is for me one of the key reasons to use an ECM tool. You store everything in native format, then render out in what ever format is required. So for example I store a multi-page TIFF file, but render out a PDF to the user - or an html page - or an XML document for publishing, or whatever.

Amazingly hardly anyone uses this functionality - even after spending literally millions on ECM tools, that come bundled with these tools. I think for Document Management implementations many of the key 'performance issue' complaints can be traced back to this. If you store something as a 2MB file and always deliver it that way, then performance will be affected. But if you deliver it (render) just to the screen dpi initially with full download an option, then performance and retrieval times are boosted enormously.

I know that many ECM pro's who come to this blog will consider this a no-brainer, but it would seem many of our/your customers just don't understand or appreciate this stuff. Which is frustrating as often it is the simplest things that improve an ECM system, starting to use rendering functionality isone those things.

On a seperate note I am reading "The World is Flat" by Tom Friedman, a book I am sure virutally all the readers of this blog have already read. I bought it with two others at Heathrow (2 for one deal!) Freakanomics and Blink (more books that most readers of this blog will have read). Finished two off on the flight over (hence the sleeping issues I am now facing) and I am now reading through The World is Flat - and it seems pretty odd to be reading this whilst I am actually in Bangalore, the location for so much of the book. Friedman talks about how India is changing and the pace it is changing at. I was here in Bangalore only a year ago and it has changed noticably even in that time. The traffic isn't much better, but Western style Malls (and impressive ones at that) are springing up, and though its still distinctly India the place is becoming much more westernised. And frankly I am not sure if that is a good thing. I also think I am now safe in saying that this is the new Silicon Valley, not just Indias version of it. The scale of R&D going on here, in addition to core hosting and typical downstream work is immense - and the people seem to have an appetite for much more yet. Bangalore is the center of the Worlds technology sector.


apoorv said...

You are right about the rendering aspect. My take on this is as follows: Rendering or repurposing basically requires some level of descipline so that content can be separated from its format. This is something many users are not comfortable with. Thee want native editors - for example, most demand a WYSISYG editor (ewebeditpro etc) for entering content. Now if you use an editor, mix content with formatting (font tags, blue title and so on) then there's little you can do in terms of repurposing. I guess it's more of a training issue.
I'm looking forward to meeting you. There are a couple of good non touristy places that we can go to :)

James McGovern said...

While you are over there could you gather up EEOC numbers and post on your site?

alan pelz-sharpe said...

James, what the heck are EEOC numbers (excuse my ignorance!)