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Agnes, Brian, Ellen, Jane, James, Janus, Kurt, Kristian, Mark, Michael, Paul, Sam, Susan, Tony and Wedge

If nothing else you will have to admit it’s an unusual title for a blog post. If you are a relative newcomer to the intranet community you may be unaware of the role that these people play in supporting the exchange of knowledge and good practice. Without exception the major consulting companies pay little attention to topics such as intranets, information management and search. Some do offer advice on social networking and collaboration but at a level that is targeted at senior managers who are probably the last people to network socially and collaborate. As I was writing reviews of outstanding reports from Jane McConnell and Sam Marshall yesterday their commitment to the wider community was very obvious. This post lists some of the people who in various ways and for many years have transformed our understanding of intranets, team working and digital workplaces through publishing reports and promulgating good practice and who have to make a living whilst doing so.

  • Agnes Molnar is an enterprise search evangelist with a very good knowledge of SharePoint search
  • Ellen van Aken curates a collection of 300 intranet promotion videos alongside her consulting work
  • Jane McConnell understands digital workplaces better than anyone else and publishes and annual survey of progress
  • James Robertson writes books, runs workshops and conferences, gives out awards and challenges conventional wisdom
  • Janus Boye runs communities of practice in Europe and North America and an annual conference in Aarhus
  • Kurt Kragh Sorenson also offers communities of practice and runs the IntraTeam event in Copenhagen
  • Kristian Norling is developing an excellent range of books and is the Swedish representative of IntraTeam
  • Mark Morell focuses on intranet governance as an author and consultant
  • Michael Sampson writes books and blogs about all aspects of collaboration and digital workplaces
  • Paul Miller set up the Intranet Benchmarking Forum and transformed it into the Digital Workplace Group
  • Sam Marshall publishes reports of an exceptionally high quality
  • Susan Hanley writes blogs and books on SharePoint with a strong intranet and portal focus
  • Tony Byrne sets the standard in assessing the performance of digital applications
  • Wedge Black and Brian Lamb are the entrepreneurs behind the Intranet Now conference

The Intranetizen team also deserve recognition.

Any list like this runs the risk of missing someone obvious. If you feel you are that person please let me know.

Martin White


SharePoint Intranets In-A-Box – The definitive guide to turnkey solutions from ClearBox Consulting

Intranet products have been around for over 20 years. Arguably the first was OrchidSoft, founded in Newcastle (UK) in 1994 and still in business today. One of the most challenging experiences of my career was installing an intranet product in Kuwait with the assistance of David Gilroy (Conscious Solutions). This was some years ago but is a project that neither of us can forget for all the wrong reasons. Quite when the first SharePoint-based intranet products came along I’m not sure, but over the last few years the rate of new entrants has accelerated in spite of (and indeed because of!) Microsoft’s notional commitment to the intranet cause.

After what has turned out to be a proof-of-concept report assessing six of these products Sam Marshall and the ClearBox Consulting team have now released SharePoint Intranets In-A-Box Version 2 with 26 vendor and product profiles within its 250 pages. However Version 2 is far more than just an expansion of the initial report in terms of the number of vendors included. Each vendor is profiled in a well structured format together with an assessment of its product that could only have been carried out by a team that had substantial experience in SharePoint technology and implementation together with a deep understanding of what users expect an intranet to be able to deliver. This is immediately evident from the way in which eight use-case scenarios are used as the basis for the assessment. These are news publishing, branding, two-way communication, mobile access, community spaces, analytics, transactions and a wildcard scenario in which the vendor could demonstrate something that they felt gave them a competitive advantage.  The oputcomes are presented in a tabular format together with a a star rating, indicating the extent to which the product delivers on these cases. There are also screen shots, background information on the company, and an indication in $, $$, $$$ format as to the pricing. Of particular note is an indication of which SharePoint version (SP2013/O365 etc) is supported, which is something that vendors seem reluctant to own up to on their websites. Each profile runs to around 10 pages. I would like to have seen search as a use case as using SharePoint search introduces significant challenges. As a side note it is interesting to see BAInsight targeting the search aspect of SharePoint intranets. The price is just $495 plus VAT for EU purchasers.

The primary objective of this report is to help customers develop a short list of potential vendors through comparing like-for-like across the 26 products, and this is accomplished with care and flair. The assessments were carried out by Wedge Black, James Dellow, Andrew Gilleran, Katie McIntosh and Sharon O’Dea and you will not find a more qualified team to do this work. The dedication they, and Sam Marshall, must have given to this project is beyond calculation. In addition Steve Bynghall took on the role of Editor and Paul Florescu has provided a design that is both readable and elegant. This is a report that just shouts “Read Me!”  Beyond this objective this report sets out a framework that can be extended in various ways and for other products if Clearbox has the energy to do so.

What impresses me most about this report is its balance. Many years ago now I used to be judge for the Directory Publishers Association awards, and the issue of balance was always to the fore. It is about providing just the right amount of information for the purpose to which the directory will be put. Rather like an intranet!. I can but imagine the team discussions about what to include and what to exclude, what to write and what not to write. There are no sponsors of this report. The team gave up their time against future sales income so don’t disappoint them. Even though the report focuses on SharePoint intranets there are issues in common with any intranet product. You might think that SharePoint gives you all you need for an intranet. Read this report and you may well come to a different conclusion. In addition you may well come to the conclusion that separately or together these are consultants that have all the knowledge you need to create a successful intranet on a SharePoint platform without being MVPs.

Martin White

 


Migrating from Google GSA – the technology is not the core issue

I am greatly indebted to Search Technologies for publishing the results of a survey of clients and other contacts about attitudes to Google GSA migration. The cessation of GSA supply and support hit the headlines back in February this year. I was not the only consultant and vendor to sense a market opportunity. After the initial flurry of activity everything went quiet but I suspect that this survey and an associated e-book will do much to alert GSA customers of the need to put migration planning on their 2017 objectives.

It is worth looking at some of the outcomes of the survey. The first is that 62% of implementations were out of the box and a further 38% had some degree of customisation. One of the important attributes of the GSA was that all it needed to up and working was some rack space and an IT manager who knew (or could find out) where to point it. Maintenance requirements were minimal. It therefore does not surprise me that only 22% of respondents have a migration plan and 72% would like to have a plan, but do not know where to start. Of those who had a plan (I assume) only 30% were planning an on-premise replacement, with 23% planning to wait to move to the Google cloud search solution in due course. I was not surprised to see that most respondents were looking at open source options. The associated e-book is a good summary of the technical issues that need to be considered when developing a migration plan, with a good focus on connectors, content preparation and security management.  However I was very surprised to note the recommendation to “Make sure your in-house IT staff has the bandwidth and skill sets needed to conduct a thorough assessment of the elements above and develop a detailed plan for transitioning from the Google Search Appliance to a new search engine.”

If an organisation has a Google GSA the business justification was usually that it did not need any search skills to manage it. The extent to which you could tweak the ranking was pretty limited. So how would the IT team have developed the skills needed to undertake not just a technical audit but the user requirements analysis that is essential to a successful search implementation? In a recent CMSWire post (which had a staggering number of retweets – thank you) I made the point that users want information and not documents, and the range of those information requirements was very wide indeed. Each of these requirements involves developing a good understanding of how users will search and what information they expect to see on the first one or two pages of results. I also suspect that the GSA was primarily an intranet solution but organisations will now be looking not just for a replacement for intranet search but a solution for enterprise-wide search.

The second issue is that even if the technology is pushed into a cloud the team needed to run a good search application is much larger than most organisations are willing to consider. At the recent Enterprise Search conference in Washington Ernst & Young disclosed that it has a search team of 6 people. The statement drew gasps from audience. To support the migration, testing and on-going management of the GSA replacement is going to require a team, even if a virtual one of people doing job-sharing alongside other commitments. For business planning purposes it will be a major challenge to explain why the increase in headcount is needed and an even bigger challenge to find and train the team in time. Good search managers in the UK are commanding very good salaries, almost certainly beyond those of IT managers at the same grade.

All the major search implementation companies are offering advice but if you would like some personal vendor-independent advice then both Agnes Molnar and I are more than willing to help. I don’t know how many organisations are using a GSA for either an intranet or a website but it is certainly in the thousands, so there is plenty of work for all of us!

Martin White


The Organisation in the Digital Age – 2016 Survey and Report

Each year the Organisation in the Digital Age report takes me longer to read than the version for the preceding year. This is not because it is significantly larger but because each year the insights that Jane McConnell offers are even more worthy of due diligence. On opening up this 110 page report and looking at the Contents Page you are immediately struck by the scope of the report. This is not just because the contents page highlights the breadth of the issues surrounding the digital workplace but because Jane has pared the headings down to those that are of critical importance in making sense of, and in making progress in, working in the digital age. Over the last few months I have become increasingly frustrated at the number of surveys that seem to indicate an important trend but which, on closer examination, tell at best 50% of the real story. In the 2016 edition the 13 case studies and interviews with digital innovators are more prominent and more thorough than in previous years. This is an invaluable direction to go in as on their own the numbers tell less than half the story. Only through these case studies can you begin to gain the context behind the trends, and perhaps more importantly understand why progress has not been as rapid as was anticipated even a couple of years ago

As Jane notes in her introduction, a starting point for digital transformation is defining a compelling vision and strategy. The strategies that have been developed do not yet have sufficient traction in business units and with frontline people. The research shows that there is insufficient focus on people and change, and even less focus on creating new business models. In most cases technology was at the top of the investment list , with education and training at the bottom. However there is progress. In the initial research report in 2007 only 25% of respondents stated that people could share information using social tools, whereas today it is 86%. Only 25% of the organisations in 2011 offered internal crowdsourcing and ideation capabilities but that has now almost doubled. These are all steps in the right direction but there is so much else to do as a glance at the framework for the report indicates.

The report is based on around 300 responding organisations, of which almost 70% are common to the 2015 survey, which provides a reliable and invaluable baseline for trend analysis. There is no other report that has this heritage of continuous annual surveys coupled with the insights that Jane brings from projects and communities that she has taken part in over many years. It is worth remembering that Charles Grantham was writing about digital working in the 1990s and Jeffery Bier launched the eRoom collaboration suite in 2000. It has been a long journey with only isolated examples of corporate-wide progress.We need a benchmark against which to measure and focus our efforts. Jane’s commitment to the quality of research and insight provides us with just such a benchmark. Always there are more questions to ask and more answers to digest but for now this is the best there is. We should focus our efforts on making good use of the outcomes in the report and back off from conducting surveys and creating schematics that make the headlines but add little if anything to our knowledge base.

Martin White


Building Information Modelling – a prototype for digital workplaces

Much of the discussion and debate around digital workplaces takes place in a vacuum. With the exception of the case studies in Jane McConnell’s Organisation in the Digital Age reports there are very few published examples of working digital workplaces. For that reason it is well worth taking a look at what is happening in the global construction industry in the adoption of Building Information Modelling. The Wikipedia entry on BIM is written by people who are very conversant with this work. One definition of  Building Information Modeling (BIM) is that is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility providing a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility that then forms a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition. I’d like to highlight the word ‘shared’ as BIM brings together all the stakeholders in a construction project from design to build to maintain and then demolish. Demolishing a complex building requires knowledge of how it was built!

There are global standards for BIM files and file management, an area where the UK construction industry is very much in the vanguard. For several years the Royal Institute of British Architects has been publishing an annual survey of BIM adoption. The 2016 report notes “We can see that BIM adoption is set to increase. Within one year, 86% of people expect to be using BIM on at least some of their projects. Within three years, 95% expect to be using BIM. Within five, that number increases to 97%.” Among the leaders in implementing BIM is Laing O’Rourke and it is well worth reading through its Engineering Excellence Journal.  Although there is a lot of good news the challenges are also important to be aware of. In the 2014 edition of Engineering Excellence Journal Laing O’Rourke comment that “The current fixation with Building Information Modelling (BIM) within our industry globally is gathering pace and this is undoubtedly progress. However, it once again reflects the vested interests within our own ranks that we chose to embrace the minimum standards of these new ideologies and technologies only when pushed to do so, rather than seize the opportunity to exploit their potential for real and lasting industry-wide transformation.”

This challenge is not unique to the global construction industry. In all sectors there will be a tendency to do the minimum possible rather than look to the future and work backwards to define what is required to take full advantage of not just the technology but the way in which the technology facilitates teams working together to solve complex problems. Of course the problem is always that we can often learn more from failures than we can from success stories and it is very difficult (especially for quoted companies) to share project failures There is no open forum for the exchange of visions, roadmaps, achievements and challenges, and in my opinion many conferences in this area focus on how employees are working in the back office at headquarters and not 30 stories up on a skyscraper building with only a ruggedized tablet for company.

If you are engaged in any digital workplace initiative I would strongly recommend that you take a look at BIM implementation. There may not be any individual elements that can be applied to your own sector but the principles are eminently transferable. Note just as an example the exemplary commitment of the Royal Institute of British Architects in supporting BIM initiatives. Are your industry and trade organisations playing a similar role?  And if not, why not?

Martin White

 

 


Language, emotions and disrupted collaboration

It has been my immense good fortune to have had business experience in around 40 countries. Comparing notes with Paul Corney (Knowledgeetal) early this year I think we ended up with close to 60 between us. When we meet it will not take long for the conversation to move into projects we have been working on with multiple cultures, especially in terms of language. Work experience in 40 countries and with teams speaking 17 different languages as well as English certainly does not mean I am an expert. But I have become reasonably expert at listening and watching and learning from those on the project team who are almost certainly not speaking to me in their mother language and then trying very hard not to be an embarrassing Brit. Even working with Paul in Barbados (nominally English speaking) a few years ago we had to be especially alert not to make any assumptions about organisational and national cultures. You only have to read a book such as Understanding Global Cultures, by Gannon and Pillai, even to  begin to get a sense of national cultural complexities. Although When Cultures Collide, by Richard Lewis, was written in 1996, it remains an excellent starting point on business teams across multiple countries working together. Finally read Walking Through Jelly: Language Proficiency, Emotions, and Disrupted Collaboration in Global Work, a HBS Working Paper and I guarantee you will radically change the way you work with German colleagues.

Let me rearrange the words in the title of the paper and state that  “Collaboration in Global Work is disrupted by Language Proficiency and Emotions”. I have seen endless surveys about the propensity for collaboration with awesome exponential growth curves which take absolutely zero notice of this statement. Recent PR by Microsoft on the subject of chat is a case in point. When people wish to share opinions and ideas they will tend to use their mother tongue as it gives them the broadest possible range of nuances. You can sit on a train or bus in London and hear people float between English and their national language quite seamlessly. Working on a project in Germany recently one breakout group in the workshop wanted to use German as their working language, and why not? But then I had to depend on the summary given by the leader without being party to the nuances I could gain from the groups working (for my benefit) in English. As it happened the German language group came up with some of the best comments as  they were not constrained even by what was in general a high level of command of English.

Taking these issues forward from ‘collaboration’ to the digital workplace, the language challenges will remain. To be sure younger people will improve still further their command of English, and we are told confidently by Google and Microsoft and others than machine translation will soon be as good as a human interpreter. That word ‘interpreter’ is important. Working in European Commission meetings with simultaneous interpretation I am often aware that the interpreter is trying to convey subtle meaning and contexts. If you want to see some examples just take a look at @VeryBritishProblems to get a sense of the problems. Your colleague says “Interesting” in response to a statement from a colleague. What exactly do they mean? It may depend on the tone of voice or even the body language or your prior knowledge of their negotiating stance. Welcome to the real world of team work. But even fluent speakers of English may find it hard to write the language in a document or in social media without wondering if they have made a fool of themselves, and worse still their organisation. In English we just have the verb ‘to know’ but the French have both savoir and connaitre. Are you certain which to use, and why?

So as you continue to invest in applications to support collaborative working perhaps it might be worth understanding (not just documenting)  the linguistic and business cultural issues across the organisation and working through what the implications are for a wider use of these applications and the challenges that will lie ahead in what will certainly not a mono-lingual mono-cultural digital workplace.

Martin White

 

 


Findwise Findability Survey 2016 – strategy wins out!

The outcomes of the Findwise Findability Survey 2016 were presented by its author, Mattias Ellison, at the Findwise Findability Day in Stockholm last month. In the interests of transparency I have been involved to some extent with the design of the survey and the presentation of the results. The 2016 report can be downloaded from the Findwise site. With all annual surveys the challenge is to keep a balance between questions that relate to the trends in search implementation dating back to 2012 and yet pay attention to topics that deserve special attention at the present time. I think Findwise has just the right balance in the 2016 report.

I’m not going to work through every chart and table in detail as I want to encourage you to download the report and read it for yourself. For me the main interest this year has been the set of questions on how a search strategy has an impact on search performance. There is certainly a welcome trend towards organisations having a search strategy, up from only 20% in 2012 to over 50% this year. The report presents a series of charts which show that having a search strategy has a significant benefit on search performance, mainly because the strategy provides a business case for investment in team resources, metadata and analytics. The chart on the roles participating on a search governance programme shows a higher level of business involvement when there is a strategy in place. Indeed there is no aspect of search management that does not appear to benefit from having a search strategy. Which then makes me ask why still half the organisations in the survey do not have a strategy.

Based on my consulting work I think that the answer to a lack of a strategy is that although at an operational level search managers understand the value of a strategy they cannot find a sponsor or owner for the strategy. This is especially the case where an organisation has multiple search applications acquired and supported from different budgets, and there is no overall ownership of search. Findwise does provide some guidance on strategy development and you can find a list of headings for a search strategy on the website of my Enterprise Search book, the entire focus of which is the need to take a strategic perspective on enterprise search.

This survey is a lonely beam of light on the fairly mysterious world of search management. AIIM did publish a survey on enterprise search in 2014 but now search is not listed as a technology that the organisation sees as important. No comment! Undertaking research on the scale of the Findability Survey is a significant commitment by Findwise, especially in achieving a high level of participation, and the search community should not only be grateful for this commitment but reward it through participating in the 2017 survey. If you want to make a business case for more investment by your organisation in search then the 2016 Survey makes a definitive case for doing so through the development of a search strategy.

Martin White


The complex search process of invention

I’ve lost count of the number of times I have seen business cases for search and for collaboration that cite ‘enhancing innovation’ as a reason for investment. When you dig deeper you realise that this is just a sound bite that has no basis in reality. A significant amount of effort has been expended over the years on measuring innovation rates, for example based on patents and published research papers, but inside the enterprise things are a lot more complex. Innovation and invention take time, and there is no better example of this than the stories behind the award of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry to Sauvage, Stoddart and Feringa. The award is the culmination of research dating back to the early 1980s an then a process of success and disappointment but above all a commitment to a goal. Another stimulus was the recent acquisition by Nokia of Bell Labs, the epitome of an invention powerhouse. Bell Labs was where Claude Shannon founded the digital age in 1948 with his paper on the Mathematical Theory of Communication.

Perhaps because I have worked alongside Ben Feringa on a Royal Society of Chemistry committee this year’s award has caught my attention more than most. I recalled seeing a research paper some time ago about the the processes behind invention and it took me a while to track it down to the journal Research Policy. It makes interesting reading. I should say at the outset that ‘search’ is being used in the widest of contexts, not the use of a search application. The authors summarise their paper very well.

“Using an extensive archival content analysis of notable inventors we find that the search and discovery process of invention is inherently complex, non-linear, and disjointed. Successful inventors are skilled at managing these complex systems, receptive to feedback, and able to revisit and change course. Our search model includes a stimulus, net casting for information, categorizing that information, linking unrelated ideas, and  discovery. Our findings articulate the search process as a complex progression through a series of simple stages. As such, the study contributes to our understanding of complexity and the complex systems view of the invention process.”

There are parallels here with the way in which business decisions are made. It is not just a process of undertaking a search and then making a decision. There are multiple steps with a significant amount of feedback at each step. Only though understanding the processes of decision making, of which invention is arguably a special case, can we begin to develop search applications that support this process. As an example, being able to maintain a search query history so that a search can be re-run with a small change in query structure on the basis of further consideration of the challenge. One of the implications is that seemed relevant at the time of a search may turn out to be irrelevant only a day or two later. This rather makes a mess of assessing ‘relevance‘ as the basis for search performance.

The Research Policy paper is not open access, and I’m not suggesting that purchasing it is going to transform your search application in the next 24 hours. It does provide an excuse for me to highlight the need to understand user requirements at a very granular, process-specific, level, and not with simplistic surveys about ‘What information do you need to find’ or providing an ability to personalize that is too often an excuse not to look carefully into user requirements.

Martin White

 

 


Findability Day 2016 – Stockholm

The 2016 Findability Day event, sponsored by Findwise, took place in Stockholm on 27 October. The diversity of topics for the eight presentations was quite remarkable. After a summary of the 2016 Findability Survey by Mattias Ellison (the subject of a forthcoming blog) the opening speaker was a joint IBM/Findwise presentation on the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which takes effect on 25 May 2018. I suspect most of the 200 or so delegates were quite surprised by the scope and implications of GDPR and the need for some careful planning. Next up came Misty Weaver with a superb analysis of how to make content findable. The final paper in the morning was given by Henrick Sunnefeldt on the search strategy at SKF. As well as a global enterprise search application there are 16 specialised search applications but all are managed on an integrated basis. I was especially interested in the evaluation processes that Henrick and his colleagues used to track search performance.

The afternoon session started with a rather lacklustre presentation from HPE (aka Hewlett Packard in the past) on Artificial (or Augmented) Intelligence. It was disappointing that in the initial overview there was no reference to Alan Turing or Donald Michie, a colleague of Turing’s and one of the pioneers in AI. Next up came Theresa Regli (Real Story Group) who highlighted that every single one of the vendors covered by the RSG services had some form of embedded search capability, and each needed an appropriate degree of management to get the best from the application. After coffee Kai Wahner (TIBCO)  gave a very good overview of the value of analytics in business decision making which was notable for not being a promo plug for the company. The conference closed with a very thoughtful and enjoyable presentation from Andreas Ekstrom which is beyond summarisation –  looking at his TED talk will explain why.

Adding the presentations with the opportunity to talk search from 10.00 to 16.30 is why for me this event is a must-attend each year. This is, sadly, the only search-specific event aimed at an enterprise audience. There is also the BCS Search Solutions event in London in November each year but the scope is more towards the research community. Obviously this is a Findwise event but the company do not use this event in an Apple/Oracle/Cisco style where every speaker is there to extol the virtues of a vendor product. Lest you might be concerned all the presentations are in English. I have no hesitation in recommending you consider attending the 2017 event. I will list it in my conference diary as soon as the date is confirmed.

Martin White


Web Content Management – Deane Barker

I remember with great affection the Content Management Bible that Bob Boiko wrote in 2002. At over 1100 pages it covered everything you wanted to know about any aspect of specifying and implementing content management applications. It was published at a time when supporting the selection of these applications was a significant element of my business, and led to me writing the Content Management Handbook in 2005, now out of print. The book was no where near as comprehensive as the CM Bible, but instead was written for non-technical intranet and web managers to help them fend off vendors promising the ultimate CMS experience. This baton was then taken up by the Real Story Group with its subscription services so the arrival of Web Content Management, authored by Deane Barker (Blend Interactive) and published by O’Reilly, is very timely as the range of CMS applications shows no sign of decreasing.

The strap line of the book is Systems, Features and Best Practices, and it runs to just under 350 pages.  Part 1 deals with Basics, including advice on a CMS team. Part II is a pretty deep dive into the technology. covering topics which include content modelling, content aggregation, editorial tools, output and publication management, and APIs and extensibility. Deane is adept at explaining quite complex technology in a way that intranet and web managers without a technical background will appreciate. Part III deals with implementation issues, including a very good chapter on migration (“content migrations…are always underestimated”) and on working with external agencies. The layout is excellent, as with all O’Reilly books, and I noted that Deane has been guided by Ally MacDonald as Editor, who also provided me with a great deal of support for Enterprise Search. There are useful footnotes and many call-outs written by other CMS gurus. For a technical book the writing style is excellent, and Deane’s expertise and experience shines through each paragraph. As always with an O’Reilly book the index is faultless and that makes it so easy to find guidance on a specific topic.

The quality of the content throughout the book is excellent and I could find nothing that caused me to raise even a slight eyebrow. But then I would be surprised if I could as Deane has been in this business for around 20 years, co-founding Blend Interactive in 2005. My only reservations on this 1st Edition is that there is no advice on how to manage a CMS selection process and the word ‘intranet’ does not appear in the index. Since receiving the book for review Deane and I have had a very good exchange of views on the extent to which intranets might be a ‘special case’ and worthy of a chapter on their own. I’ll be doing my best to persuade him to consider adding a chapter in the 2nd Edition. However I would not want to convey the impression that this book would not be of value to the intranet community – a solid understanding of the technology and how this translates to high quality applications is essential for any intranet manager.

Overall this is a book I can recommend with enthusiasm even if you think you know all there is to know about CMS technology. I know from my own experience just how much time a book like this takes to write, and the impact that writing has on earning a living as a consultant. The CMS community should be very grateful to Deane for finding the time and energy to write this book.  The quality and scope of this book are such that if you were planning to write a book on CMS technology press the delete button now. There is a significant gap in the market for this book, which in many respects is the essential technical annex to the Morville/Rosenfeld/Arango book on Information Architecture. . All you then need is a book on enterprise search (!) and perhaps Theresa Regli’s recent book on Digital Asset Management applications.

Martin White