ECM in India – Challenges and Opportunities

I’d blogged earlier about ECM market in Asia and India. As a result of the wide diversity in terms of cultures, languages and other factors, India provides some unique challenges to vendors considering creating products catering to this market.

1. India has 22 officially recognised languages, numerous dialects and unofficial languages. There’s huge amount of literature created in these languages. It’s relatively simple to create a front end in a language other than English. However, creating a back end content management system that supports features like workflows, versioning, search etc for these languages would be a different ball game. This is especially difficult because no common standard supports all these languages. In fact, the de-facto web standard – Unicode still does not have a complete representation of many Indian languages.

2. We all know how good the translation tools are, even for languages that have a fairly matured web presence. They are improving though and have been gaining momentum with content management systems. Translations.com, for example, integrates with many content management systems like Fatwire, Interwoven and Percussion. Quite a few companies (government as well as private) have presence in many regions and hence would require translation capabilities between these languages.

3. For document management and imaging, there are softwares available that can scan a document and make it editable. However, scanning a document written in, say Tamil and making it editable would be a challenge.

4. Hiring an extra person is generally cheaper than buying an extra seat license of a typical content management system. So, expect to revisit your pricing models.

5. There are other challenges in terms of infrastructure. Cell phone penetration is much more than Computers and hence the ability to use the CMS using cell phones, PDAs and less resource intensive tools like simputer would be important.

I’m sure there are quite a few more challenges. However, all these also provide an opportunity for product vendors to differentiate their offerings.

I will keep updating this post with more challenges.

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7 thoughts on “ECM in India – Challenges and Opportunities

  1. Agree on all counts. More so in India with the multiple scripts and non-availaibility of superior word-processing softwares. With the eGovernence drive in full swing (AP leading the pack), the need for maanging content in local languages is serious need. Are we ready?

    Would like to hear more from you on these lines.
    DB

  2. India is known to be a price-conscious market.
    Hence the challenge ahead is to articlulate the features of the Open Source movement in the Indian Market.
    With the large number of Open Source CMS products, many of whom have matured over the years, this option is almost always a great option.
    One that can sell well in the Indian market.
    Open Source always lagged in the Enterprise Content Management space.
    But with entry of
    http://www.ez.no
    http://www.alfresco.org
    this space also seems to be hotting up.

    Regards,

    Rahul

  3. I could not agree less on the points mentioned by the author Apoorv Durga. And I also agree to the point “..that most content management markets remain highly national” mentioned in CMS Watch.

    I have been working on Open source CMS & ECM and have noticed the trend that most of them cater to specific regions. Mambo has more presence in the US and the Typo3, which is an Enterprise class CMS is widely popular in Europe.

    Typo3 can be a very promising ECM solution for Indian market given the fact that it already supports backend in multiple languages and extending an existing framework is far less effort than creating a from-the-scratch CMS/ECM solution target to a region. And with tools like Digital Asset Management, Versioning, and whole lot of features Typo3 is bang on!

    Some of the popular names I recognize and are running on Typo3 are:
    http://www.omegawatches.com/
    http://www.unicef.de/

    A more complete list is available at
    http://typo3.org/about/sites-made-with-typo3/


    Best Regards,
    Vikram Mandal.

    Typo3India.com

  4. Hi,

    I had written an article on “Building Business Ready Websites” for the Indian small-medium industry using Open Source Systems such as Typo3, Plone, others. The article was picked up by BenefIT magazine, part of the Linux for You group. Infact, an IT partner in Denmark, has also picked up my article and written a joint version for the Dansih market. šŸ™‚ So you could conclude that the arguments presented for an Indian business, work well in the European market as well.

    Here are the links, including others that I have written or presented, which the audience may find useful:
    http://www.srijan.in/fileadmin/user_upload/business_ready_websites_typo3.pdf
    http://www.benefitmag.com/admin/issuepdf/Typo%203.pdf
    http://www.srijan.in/articles_seminars.html

    Also, we’ll be activitating a whole lot of extensions written as a demo for Typo3 at http://typo3.srijan.in.

    Write in to me with comments on what you think of the article(s) and Presentations.

    Thanks.

    Warm Regards,
    Rahul Dewan
    http://www.srijan.in
    Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd, India

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