Thursday, July 26, 2007

Going Where the Users Are: Factiva Opens Up its Content to Widget Integration

The announcement of Factiva's deployment of improved integration capabilities via browser-based Web applications is being heralded as a major leveraging of Web 2.0 technologies to improve Factiva content delivery. The new tools allow Factiva SalesWorks content to be integrated into enterprise portal applications via user-embeddable widgets into Web 2.0 platforms using technologies that eliminate having to deal with feeds into back-end server applications. This is an important step forward into allowing both enterprise users and development teams to use SalesWorks content where it matters most to them, without having to rely on expensive and time-consuming custom integration efforts. SalesWorks offers a good range of content, but as enterprises turn to a wide range of CRM applications, Wikis and other platforms as their "go-to" business information platforms services such as Factiva have to move quickly and effectively to make their content a part of those user-centric environments.

While these new integration capabilities are hardly revolutionary by overall industry standards they do represent an important step forward by a major enterprise content aggregator to move further away from its own platform to offer customers the ability to put their content where they will find it to be most useful. Much of the focus on enterprise workflow integration by aggregators has been on creating comprehensive tools to solve specific information retrieval problems. By moving to browser-based content embedding technologies aggregators can move more quickly to bring their content to users via the applications that matter in their workflows already on a day-to-day basis.

This is a sword that cuts both ways, of course: in ceding the complete workflow to other applications integrators trade off more complete integration for more quick market penetration. As penetration is the key to both retaining subscription bases and expanding opportunities for add-on marketing efforts it pays to go the embeddable route - a picture that will become more clear to more aggregators in time. Aggregation is no longer such a rarefied game - both Factiva and other content aggregators will face increasing competition from technology-oriented companies that know how to provide value-add functionality on top of many different types of business information content sets. It's a race of sorts to see how providers of licensed content sets can switch to a strategy that will get embedded in desktops securely before these other providers gain the upper hand. In the meantime Factiva has made a strong move to claim their place in the new widget-oriented enterprise desktop as quickly as possible.
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