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RSS making Enterprise 2.0

August 6, 2009
Blogs, wikis, social networking tools and other Enterprise 2.0 technologies have been getting a lot of attention because organizations of all sizes, across all industries and markets, are looking for ways to improve the way their employees communicate and collaborate with each other. But many organizations have also discovered that RSS needs to be a crucial part of any Enterprise 2.0 initiative they undertake, either as the glue that binds all of the other tools together or as the first component to be rolled out.
Communicating and Collaborating in a Web 2.0 World
Information is the currency of the business. Unfortunately, you can have too much of a good thing and we are long past that point when it comes to information. Email is typically the communications vehicle within a company and information overload is a significant problem. Web 2.0 tools have made the problem more acute by making it easier for more people to quickly publish information. Some recent surveys have highlighted some of the major information issues that businesses face. Many organizations turned to portals to help solve their information delivery needs. The theory was that if valuable information residing on a portal, employees would spend less time searching for it and would also be able to cut down on communications via email.
ᅡᄋ 66% of companies have seen a negative return on their portal investments
ᅡᄋ 16% of large company managers use portals or intranets regularly
RSS to the free
Real Simple Syndication, or RSS, is a derivative of XML and uses a ¬タワpublish and subscribe¬タ? model to deliver information updates. It was invented in the late 1990s, but put into wider use with the growing popularity of blogs in 2003 as a way of letting people subscribe to updates. Aggregate their subscriptions in an RSS reader. With most commercial publishers offering updates via RSS feeds and many enterprise applications, content management systems and portals publishing in that format as well, the value and usage of RSS has exploded. There are currently dozens of free or low-cost online, browser-based, and desktop RSS readers available for download or purchase. An Enterprise RSS offering will have several characteristics that make it well-suited for wide deployment within an organization. They include:
ᅡᄋ Centralized management and administration
This is Offers a mechanism for subscribing users and groups to feeds, system and individual usage reporting and integration with Active Directory and other LDAP-compliant servers.
ᅡᄋ Access to all RSS and Atom content
Allows users to subscribe to free external content, premium content and secure internal content from applications, blogs, wikis and publishing systems
ᅡᄋ Multiple user options for feed reading
Delivers the information to where users can access it, when they are their desk or on the road and supports existing IT infrastructures and policies
ᅡᄋ Feed discovery
This provides easy options for users to find relevant feeds including search tools against broad databases of content, customizable taxonomies, and persistent keyword searches across multiple feeds.
ᅡᄋ Collaboration
Enables users to ¬タワclip¬タ? and discuss important articles and distribute to others, tag articles for easy categorization and recommend feeds.
Internal Communications
The primary challenge that professionals in corporate communications, marketing and HR departments face is ensuring that that information they send out gets read and acted upon by stakeholders. E-mail and corporate portals, the main distribution channels for newsletters and other forms of internal communications information, are increasingly failing to deliver the expected benefits.
Organizations are turning to searchable and reusable asynchronous forms of communications such as blogs and wikis to cut back on e-mail usage and improve collaboration, and the former can be a very good communications tool when used by executives. But these tools don¬タルt replace the need to ¬タワpush¬タ? information out to groups or the entire organization through newsletters and other similar mechanisms. RSS fills that need. With Enterprise RSS Solutions from Newscaster, information about a company, its products, competitors, and industry can be delivered via RSS feed as an alternative, or compliment, to newsletters and mass e-mails. Groups of stakeholders or even the entire organization can be subscribed to relevant RSS feeds from built-in readers in the enterprise portal, e-mail clients, Web browsers, mobile devices and desktop readers including:
ᅡᄋ Company announcements, department newsletters, meeting notes
ᅡᄋ Internal research and development projects
ᅡᄋ Clippings containing highly relevant information sorted by product, brand, market or competitor
ᅡᄋ High-profile internal and external blogs and news feeds
ᅡᄋ Notifications of new marketing documents or sales tools
ᅡᄋ Benefit, policy and financial information from HR and Finance

Notifications from CRM, ERP, HR, and SCM applications

RSS Benefits
ᅡᄋ Higher retention and response rates versus e-mail
ᅡᄋ Increased stakeholder productivity as information is brought directly them
ᅡᄋ Greater portal utilization through personalized and constantly updated content
ᅡᄋ Fewer e-mail interruptions from non-critical or ¬タワFYI¬タ? messages
ᅡᄋ Lower average e-mail volume
Enterprise RSS Solutions improve the efficiency and productivity of knowledge workers by enabling them to consolidate information in one place. Instead of searching for information or visiting multiple Web sites, critical information from multiple sources including premium content providers, internal portals, enterprise business applications and databases, blogs, project wikis, and external news source gets delivered to the user via RSS feeds as it changes and updates are available.
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