Modern enterprise communications create a lot of content. Unfortunately, it’s very common for that volume to breed redundant templates and wasted effort. Staff decide they don’t have time to sift through the whole archive to find what they need and just remake it. In many cases, they may not even know something already exists within the digital warren of your files.
What if there was a way to make sense of it all?
CCM Rationalization: bringing clarity to your templates
In the Customer Communication Management (CCM) world, “rationalization” is the process of sifting through your collection to reduce duplication. With the right tool, you can finally know what you have, find what you need, and get rid of what you don’t.
Rationalization for easier migration
Technology marches on, but sometimes organizations choose to stay with outdated solutions because the pain of upgrading is so significant. A good rationalization tool can be a powerful force for migration.
It stands to reason that the fewer items you’ve migrating, the less time and effort (and thus money) it takes to migrate. Why migrate a bunch of copies—and near copies—when you can easily eliminate and reconcile duplicates before migrating? A good CCM rationalization engine can do that for you, while also streamlining the import process into your new tool by detecting variables and breaking static templates into more flexible components.
Rationalization for easier management
It’s very common for CCM solutions (as with other creative tools and databases) to become bogged down with what has been created before. While maintaining a back-library is essential, it does nobody any good if it’s packed with duplicates and slight variations, some of which may be due to errors in construction. The last thing you want is staff to pull an incorrect variant for use or create yet another version of something that’s already been approved—all because they can’t find the original in the fog of content.
This can lead to significant drag on your communications workflows, but with a CCM rationalization tool, you can scrub the archive clean of these variants and return to peak efficiency.
Not all rationalization tools are equal
Believe it or not, the wrong rationalization tool can do more harm than good, deleting what you need because it incorrectly believes it’s superfluous. That’s why it’s essential that your rationalization tool balances efficiency with accuracy.
The solution is to pick a tool that uses automation to quickly and accurately compare content on a massive scale, but then presents your staff with the results to make final calls. That lets the experts in what you do make the decisions about what to keep and what to cut.
In the future: Continuous rationalization
An enterprise-grade rationalization tool can also help keep duplicate proliferation under control going forward. When the tool detects that you’re using things that could be replaced with variables (addresses, proper nouns, dates, etc.), it’ll speak up so you can create adaptive templates rather than multiple copies as you migrate.
Beyond reducing duplication, rationalization can also be used to find errors. When templates deviate from brand standards (fonts, colors, language, readability, etc.), rationalization can raise the alarm, allowing staff to find and fix the little things that can easily escape notice but tarnish your brand when received by customers. We’ve all become aware of the rise in phishing emails, and if your communication is off-brand, customers may assume it was sent by a hacker trying to trick them.
Ready to rationalize your way to better CCM?
OpenText Exstream™’s new rationalization tool introduces powerful rationalization to the OpenText Exstream™ CCM product. It can take existing PDFs (with or without included XML for predefined variables) and report back on duplications. You can modify the amount of similarity (as a percentage) you want it to report, and the tool can also provide insights into the types of variations and duplications it’s seeing. This allows you not only to eliminate things you don’t need, but also discover instances of unintended variation, such as spelling or image choice errors.
While it can dramatically simplify migration to Exstream from a different CCM, rationalization continues to pay dividends post migration and to existing Exstream customers. It helps you keep clutter from accumulating, detect errors, and find opportunities for variable use that cut down on near duplications.
Contact us or talk to your OpenText account manager about how we can help you with rationalization today!
Author: Kevin Keegan, Principal Product Manager