Magazine article Online

What's Changing in News Deployment. (Industry Insights)

Magazine article Online

What's Changing in News Deployment. (Industry Insights)

Article excerpt

To explore how news information is being deployed across desktops inside corporations and academic institutions, Outsell interviewed decision makers charged with distributing news content in the financial services, pharmaceutical, chemical, computers and software, and telecommunications industries, consulting services, and 4-year academic institutions. We learned that content deployers today are looking to news content vendors to deliver more value at lower cost. News about specific industries and companies tops the list of what they want, and global news with a local emphasis is an unfulfilled necessity.

Inside corporations, the greatest use of news is to keep current about customers, prospects, and competitors. In addition to company-specific news, news about their specific industry is critical for chemical and pharmaceutical firms, while news about a broader range of industries is crucial for financial services and consulting firms. Given this emphasis on company and industry news, it's not surprising that the most valuable news sources are those with deep industry coverage. In fact, sources most frequently mentioned as "must-haves" are industry-specific collections and sources such as PJB publications for pharmaceutical and biotechnology users; ComputerWire for high-tech users; and the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal for financial users.

WANTED: REGIONAL SOURCES

Most news deployment projects in Global 2000 enterprises are worldwide in scope. This means there is one development effort to meet the needs of users in a variety of jobs and locales. The challenge here for deployers is to work with the smallest numbers of vendors to provide the greatest scope of subject matter and geographic coverage.

While publications such as the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal have global appeal, they do not take the place of Hoppenstedt, Agence France Presse, or other regional sources. Nor do English-language publications meet the mark for a global set of users. Asian content seems to be a stumbling point for many news deployers. Local-language regional publications are not available from the large aggregators and integration of Asian alphabets is proving difficult.

THE COST OF NOT TRACKING USAGE

In the past, it was common for an institution to have sizeable contracts with two or more news vendors. Although most institutions use secondary vendors for specialized content, recent cost-cutting initiatives, along with efforts to simplify news delivery, have prompted many enterprises to concentrate their news spending on a single news vendor. While news deployers are able to estimate the potential number of users they could serve--in the tens of thousands for the Global 2000--most do not track actual users.

Although many enterprises save news costs through the elimination of multiple vendors, most still pay large sums for news. What's more, they are in the dark about the value of what the news vendors offer. This is exacerbated by the fact that many users turn to external news sources, such as those found on Yahoo! or Google, in place of, or in addition to, internal news deployment efforts. Therefore, the true cost of news delivery throughout the enterprise is not tallied.

BUDGETS OVERRIDE ENHANCEMENTS

Although there are other technology platforms used for news delivery; including Lotus Notes and LAN platforms, Web delivery of news appears to be the preferred platform, even for desktop users. The appeal is in the light technology demands of the platform and the easy remote access for travelers with laptops. The only drawback to Web delivery appears to be the difficulty in delivering real-time scrolling news. Several firms, particularly in the financial services sector, are working to bring this application to fruition.

While some enterprises bring news into their portals, a large number of news installations rely simply on a link to the vendor's site. …

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