Content management systems aid freshness, self-input

The struggle to keep material on websites fresh and compelling is driving organisations to implement content management systems of all shapes and sizes.

The New Zealand Industry Training Organisation plans to let clients put their own information into its portal following the implementation of Realm, a content management system developed by systems integrator Gen-i.

The NZITO acts as a training services broker for the dairy and meat processing industries, coordinating and managing their training records and national qualifications.

Prior to installing Realm the organisation ran a database and website but wanted to allow more self-management, says NZITO general manager Carl Ammon. The system, which will go live in April, is designed so that clients such as Richmond Meat, PPCS and Alliance can load updates of staff training directly to the portal. "The reporting out of the database will be integrated straight into the website system."

The NZITO uses TMS (Training Management System) from Christchurch-based Jade. TMS was implemented by Gen-i, and the relationship led to the organisation deciding to use Gen-i's content management product.

Harveys Real Estate, meanwhile, went live with an intranet and Windows XP-based content management system four months ago. The system, which was built by Auckland-based Modus Operandi, uses Microsoft's SharePoint Team Services portal product and Office XP to allow users in Harveys' 40 franchised offices to update the company's intranet.

Modus Operandi managing director Phil Coutts says the system was designed to be self-managed by Harveys' non-IT staff, so an intranet pre-template called Motiv was provided which sits on top of Office XP and SharePoint.

"The tools within that environment address a lot of issues that people have struggled with to keep content up to date by making Word the main editing tool," says Coutts. "It treats web content as it treats a document. The user clicks on an edit icon in Motiv, updates the content and that automatically updates the website."

Allowing disparate groups to maintain their own content is also a major requirement of the New Zealand Airforce, which has just put out a registration of interest for content management system vendors.

In accordance with its goal of improving its image, and to comply with e-government guidelines on website development set by the State Services Commission, the airforce is reviewing the process by which its internet website is managed and maintained.

Currently the organisation's 20 or so content providers send material in a variety of formats to the web administrator to be put on the site. Airforce internet manager Jasen Welham says content tends to become stale very quickly whereas if content owners were able to put material up directly the site would be more timely and fresh.

Content creators must not have to use HTML and the chosen system will allow the site to be accessed via low-bandwidth connections, so that it complies with e-government requirements to make it accessible to as wide a range of members of the public as possible.

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