Ars Logica

Why SDL Tridion Docs is the Industry's #1 CCMS. An interview with Arpita Maity, SDL.

If you’re not achieving your AI goals – you’re not alone. IDC estimates that as many as 96% of organizations are hampered by complex business challenges when it comes to realizing their AI ambitions. Becoming AI-ready represents a seismic shift for organizations, who – despite their best intentions – are held back by rigid processes and a lack of knowledge. But according to the analyst firm, there is a solution. “A component content management system (CCMS) has the potential to deliver on impactful business objectives — agility, governance, and AI readiness — in a shift to knowledge management and intelligent content services.”
Here we speak to Arpita Maity, Senior Product Marketing Manager for SDL Tridion Docs – recently ranked the industry’s #1 CCMS by Ars Logica – about how companies can benefit from a CCMS as part of their digital transformation strategy, where the industry is headed, and why the analyst community is beginning to take notice of SDL in this market.
Media and analysts have recently focused their attention on the CCMS market and SDL’s number one position. Why are they suddenly taking notice?

Every organization wants to eliminate redundant tasks and free their employees to do more meaningful work. But to do so they need to bring in automation to replace repetitive tasks, and machines are great at those things! The challenge, however, is that you primarily need two things. Firstly, clean content without any redundancy or errors, and secondly, you need machine-readable content. The reality for brands is that not all content is machine-readable and if you don’t use machine-readable content, machines will ultimately be limited in what they can do – and will require human intervention.

These two sticking points are actually among the core competencies of a good CCMS, and particularly SDL Tridion Docs. A CCMS is a highly sophisticated content management system, and it works on a much more granular level than most content management systems on the market today. Not only does it manage content at a topic/module or component level, but it also allows an organization to remove redundancy, duplicity and erroneous data and establish trust in their wealth of information. As an example, machines today can’t read beyond the file name when you fire a search on your laptop/device, whereas a CCMS-enabled search would allow your machine to read inside of the files and return the most relevant information that you are looking for.

It does that through its base-lining capability which is very unique in how it manages content.

Analysts are taking notice of SDL Tridion Docs because it creates, manages and delivers formatless content (which is tagged with metadata), making the content readable by machines and allowing them to dynamically work with content on the fly. This means that conversational user interfaces can now be implemented without any human intervention.

A CCMS like SDL Tridion Docs is capable of doing all the above and more, and analysts are beginning to appreciate that a specialized CMS is the need of the hour.

It’s common knowledge that businesses are drowning in data. It’s doubling every two years, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down with the emergence of AI and IoT applications. As a company, how are you supposed to make the most of this information, and what role can a CCMS play?

Extreme amounts of information is not a problem when it is managed right, and when you can find the right/accurate information that you are looking for and in time. Unfortunately, the generic content management systems currently on the market do not help the redundancy problem, simply because information can quickly fall into a dreaded state of chaos if not looked after. Unattended information becomes costly to manage, use and even discard. There is a wealth of knowledge that resides in company information – but more often than not it gets trapped under file names or in peoples’ heads and gets lost when the files are erased or people leave the organization. This is a tremendous loss and hence the situation calls for better information discipline and specialized content management systems, such as a CCMS.

A CCMS is especially useful when managing business-critical information – which is often long-standing and has a high risk as well as the high value attached to it. To preserve that knowledge, there needs to be good information hygiene – in other words establishing information architecture, defining taxonomy and following best-practices when creating, using and managing information. Taking these steps ensures organizations do not succumb to growing data, nor do they lose valuable knowledge hidden under duplicate file names.

How has the CCMS market evolved over the past decade, what have been the major turning points?

Component content management systems have primarily been used extensively by manufacturing, automotive and high tech companies in the past, so it’s not an entirely new technology or system. These industries used these systems since they were required to publish product documentation to support their go-to-market strategy, across multiple languages simultaneously. It was a challenging task to write several hundred pages of documents without any errors and keep the costs low – especially when only a few key features were being changed across versions for subsequent release. 

A CCMS provides these industries with an ingenious solution, and the ability to change just the exact amount of information required – as small as a name, or a few words or even a paragraph, if that is what’s needed to be changed. Being able to manage information at such a granular level enabled those industries huge agility, cost savings and effective go-to-market in all possible formats (whether print, web or applications). It also provides other benefits like reducing the amount of overall documentation, using the same content to publish on multiple channels simultaneously, seamless translations, and accurate findability… to name a few.

Over time – and as information has grown dramatically along with increased adoption of AI and IoT – other industries are starting to take notice, and adopt CCMS for these very benefits. At SDL we’re seeing rapid adoption of CCMSs among financial services, life sciences as well as business services (like asset management, legal, regulated boards etc). Businesses with high intellectual property find SDL Tridion Docs enormously valuable, as it allows them to establish work platforms of the future where man and machine work together.

And looking ahead, how will the industry change, and how is SDL building a solution that’s even more attractive for different audiences and consumer types of the future?

Looking ahead, we have to build more intelligence into the business processes themselves, and not just in the point system alone. Organizations need to have solutions that create intelligent content – content that knows what it’s all about, so it can fluidly deliver itself to where it is needed, and not be tied to its rigid format. Furthermore, at present, we are in the process of evolving AI. What we already have is the power of machines to help us do mundane and routine tasks, such auto classify information with tagging, generate summaries of articles and so on. 

As a next step, we need to make AI more accountable. We are heading towards a place where a decision can be made by the AI, and a human is there if needed to make the final call. In other words, human-centric, explainable AI is the answer to managing information more intelligently. We at SDL, are building capabilities for explainable AI. We are working on Hai – our Linguistic AI, which will help knowledge workers make more informed decisions, gain insights about the information they are working with, see the potential impact of deleting or changing data – and not just at a file-level but much more granular than that. 

Many companies claim to be leaders in the CCMS market. What makes SDL Tridion Docs truly stand out?

We are working on expanding the horizon for global understanding. We believe that intelligent content, together with intelligent translations, can drive that. Reaching out to more audiences in their preferred manner – any channel, or language, is dramatically simplified. We can achieve true global understanding when we execute intelligent content together with intelligent translations dynamically and in real-time.

At SDL, we are doing this by structuring content, building intelligent ecosystems and hubs and applying Linguistic AI to start a new era of knowledge management. This way, whatever the future may throw your way, you’ll be fully prepared for it.