The Discovery Suite and the Rise of Big Content

Today, April 30th, 2014 OpenText announced the General Availability of the Discovery Suite. The Discovery Suite uses the power of search and content analytics to solve problems organizations experience with huge volumes of unstructured content. A great example of the type of problem that can be solved is Auto-Classification of content, which has become a very hot topic. Be sure to grab our whitepapers that discuss why it is time to consider Auto-Classification.

Based on the availability of the Discovery Suite and interactions with customers and analysts, I would like to revisit some thinking from a previous blog.

The Rise of Big Content – Change the Conversation to Unlocking Value in Unstructured Information

I recently had the opportunity to sit on a panel with some of the leading lights in the field of Information Governance. One of the panelists, Alan Pelz-Sharpe, Research Director at 451 Group, took on the role of protagonist, pointing out that, despite the hype, Information Governance is falling flat in the ears of senior executives and many large corporations. He cited his research to point out that “less than one-third of senior management believed IG was very important at their organizations.”

If, like me, you are a believer in the process and the benefits of Information Governance, this is probably both disturbing and perplexing.

Why is it that we have not been able to get the attention of C-Suite when it comes to Information Governance? I think the answer is becoming obvious:

Information Governance discussion inevitably end up focusing on risks and cost.

To get the attention of execs, we need to talk about value – and more specifically ways of contributing to the top line.

We talk about costs because they are tangible and measurable.

We talk about risks because of past experience, or events that happen to like-organizations.

Value on the other hand is typically acknowledged as a goal, but then it often fades into the background amongst the many challenges facing organizations as they take on Information Governance.

Big Content – A New Way to Look at Unstructured Content

Big Content is not the wake of our digital activities like Big Data, but the byproduct of the knowledge economy. It is the huge volume of freeform, unstructured information that organizations are creating and storing on the desktop, on mobile devices, and increasingly,
in the cloud. Like the “3V’s” of Big Data, Big Content has significant challenges that need to be addressed in order to be useful. Big Content is Unintegrated, Unstructured, and Unmanaged. In order exploit this information and gain insight from this information, we need to solve the “3U’s” for Big Content.


Announcing the OpenText Discovery Suite – Solutions for Big Content

Integrating the Unintegrated: Instead of getting smaller, the list of systems that host unstructured information is growing in most organizations.
The OpenText Discovery Suite eliminates these silos with a Unified Information Access Platform for enterprise sources and content. The Discovery Platform has connectors for critical Enterprise applications and it processes and indexes documents found in the enterprise. It also provides a rich library of UI components and APIs so that developers can embed search directly into line-of-business applications.

Bringing Structure to the Unstructured: Normalizing and enriching content brings structure and consistency to otherwise freeform content. OpenText Discovery Suite uses OpenText Content Analytics to bring structure to the unstructured. It extracts semantic information from content and applies it as structured metadata. Semantic metadata includes people, places,
organizations, complex concepts, and even sentiment. This, combined with file metadata and permissions metadata, provides a way to query and organize unstructured information in ways not possible before.

Managing the Unmanaged: Big Content, more than anything else, is unmanaged. We need to first manage the content so that we can differentiate between the valueless content and the content that is worth keeping. OpenText Discovery Suite has applications to manage specific Big Content problems that organizations struggle to solve every day. Search and content analytics alone do no solve business problems. Business logic, roles, reporting, and much more needs to be built on top of the platform in order to support the use case and provide a clear return on investment. Some of the Information Governance use cases include auto-classification of content,
collection, and early case assessment for eDiscovery, remediation,
and migration to control the lifecycle of content. Some of the engagement and productivity use cases include site search,
intranet, and extranet search applications.

The Way Forward – Making Big Content Valuable

In solving the “3U’s”, the Discovery Suite encapsulates the processes required to identify value in Big Content. Once the valueless content is being managed, it is possible to focus on securing and managing the valuable content.
Finally, the value of the content can be amplified. Enriched content provides better access, greater productivity, increased collaboration, and content reuse. This allows us to have conversations about effecting both the bottom and top line.

Stephen Ludlow

Stephen is Senior Director, Enterprise Product Marketing at OpenText.

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