Picture the scene. You’re interested in purchasing the latest gadget. Hours have been spent researching every detail of its functionality. Before you’ve even unboxed the device you’ve watched countless videos, read Q&As, and even read the manual from back to front. And you’ve done this across your various connected devices. Once the gadget finally arrives, you already know how it works. When a problem occurs, a quick visit to the supplier’s website resolves the issue through their intelligent chatbot, which appears to be extremely knowledgeable about the product. You’re fully in the driving seat. And when you do have to reach out to the supplier’s call center at some point, you’re pleasantly surprised by their knowledge too and the accuracy of the response you get.
Sadly, this isn’t the reality for most customers. Businesses have traditionally approached the customer experience in three parts – before, during and after a sale. They also have a workforce, and network of partners, that are simply not well informed, and dislocated from the customer’s journey.
In the press release that we issued today you will see that we’ve introduced the next generation of our intelligent content platform—SDL Tridion—to tackle this very issue. It’s our unique way of bringing together information inside and outside your business in a way that gives customers, employees and partners the consistent, unambiguous, reliable information they need – resulting in happy advocates of your offerings. Let’s explore this in a bit more detail.
SDL customers using SDL Tridion Sites or SDL Tridion Docs today will appreciate the strength of these respective solutions. SDL Tridion Sites is typically deployed by digital marketing teams to manage multilingual, omnichannel digital experiences, whereas SDL Tridion Docs is used by R&D, Product development, Support as well as Content Operations teams to manage in-depth product, technical and service information in any language.
In the diagram below you can roughly see how these two spaces have evolved over the last 20 years or so. Interestingly they converge, because:
- Omnichannel customer journeys rely on digital content that spans the full customer lifecycle, from pre-sale to post-sale, from snappy to long-form
- The same content is often needed by multiple stakeholders—employees, partners, customers and prospects, on any device
- People expect relevant information, tailored to their specific needs, and in their language, rather than one-size-fits-all generic content
This all culminates in a need for componentized content that can be delivered in a granular way to any audience, using headless delivery techniques that do not pre-impose design on the content. Also content should not endlessly be copied (leading to version-chaos), nor reside in co-existing silos that are unconnected. This all leads to content duplication, inconsistencies, quality issues, loss of productivity, and possibly legal liabilities.
Instead content needs to flow easily between systems—interconnectivity between repositories in your technology ecosystem is crucial. Our approach is to map this out from a technology and process standpoint. Content should be centrally orchestrated, enriched, and exposed to a variety of distribution channels—both inside and outside your business. This is exactly what our next generation SDL Tridion announcement is aiming at, bringing together two parallel worlds that become joined up with the move to headless, as depicted in the diagram.
There are more benefits to this approach. Componentizing content enables it to be tagged and classified in a more granular way—manually or through the use of AI/ML algorithms—so that dynamic content assembly becomes achievable. Since there is more inherent intelligence embedded in the content this way, it also opens the door to conversational user interfaces, chatbots and other contemporary UIs. That’s why SDL Tridion is a perfect foundation for managing intelligent content, as well as managing content intelligently, i.e. it’s an “Intelligent Content Platform.”
Now we understand many companies may still have a long way to go to get there, but we want to share our vision with you to inspire you to think differently about the different types of information you possess, and how to make it available to your audiences in a more relevant, self-service way—without making your content operations more complex than it already is.
What we position as 'SDL Tridion' actually comprises of four key components that can be deployed together—or independently—on premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid environment:
- SDL Tridion Sites: SDL’s Web Content Management (WCM) offering centralizes web and mobile sites onto a single platform, connecting people, processes and information across teams, markets and brands for impactful digital experiences across any channel and in any language. A new user experience introduced in SDL Tridion Sites—Experience Space—offers a workspace that helps organizations to build and activate digital experiences faster and easier, with fewer clicks and intelligent, predictive defaults. It also speeds up onboarding of new employees and reduces training needs.
- SDL Tridion Docs: SDL’s offering for multilingual Component Content Management (CCM) democratizes the process of knowledge creation by making it easier for organizations to author structured content. The groundbreaking user experience—Collective Space—opens up new possibilities for subject matter experts (SMEs) and occasional contributors across the organization to collaborate and share knowledge in a well-controlled, streamlined way, eliminating the need to understand and work directly with the underlying XML.
- SDL Tridion Delivery: With its single-source publishing, SDL Tridion’s managed content can be delivered in any type of output format—and in any language. Content only needs to be authored once, and is automatically converted into multiple output types. SDL Tridion Delivery supports headless, dynamic, personalized and responsive web delivery, API-based access to content, XML or JSON output, RSS streams, static HTML, Help files, and eLearning—all the way to automatically formatted and accessible PDFs or print output.
- SDL Tridion Accelerators: Accelerators bring together years of SDL best-practice knowledge, prebuilt connectors, sample code, and documentation that help unlock enterprise information stored across the business. They connect external content and data repositories to SDL Tridion. By integrating Digital Asset Management, Customer Relationship Management, Commerce Systems and other data and content storage repositories with SDL Tridion, organizations benefit from a single source of truth across their information architecture.
As you can see, we’re taking a holistic approach to content. It doesn’t matter where it resides in your business—what’s important is that it’s easily made available to everyone inside and outside your business. Adding intelligence is key—and that’s the future of digital experiences.
Published on July 16, 2020 in DX and Content Management