Onesource Introduces Content Optimization Services

Nov 12, 2002


OneSource Information Services, Inc., a provider of business information solutions, has made a group of announcements that will leverage OneSource's experience in content delivery to help companies transform internal, disparate data into accurate, interconnected data for daily use by business professionals. OneSource has announced plans to offer content optimization and integration services,  make its Global Business Taxonomy available to clients for the first time, and to offer a Web services-based toolkit for business information integration. "The launch," according to Bill Schumacher, senior vice president of OneSource's Content Group, "represents the formal communication of our evolution from a product-based company to a solution and services company."

OneSource will offer two types of content optimization and integration services: COS/Internal, to organize and improves a customer's entire internal dataset, without the goal of integrating to OneSource information, and COS/External, which prepares customer data for integration with OneSource external business information within an application. The OneSource Content Optimization Services process includes: Qualification, in which OneSource compares customer data against its content databases to identify gaps, duplicates, and inconsistencies; Normalization, to standardize analogous information fields across the internal databases; and Optimization, wherein a company's data is completed if possible and extraneous information is removed. Then, OneSource applies its Global Business Taxonomy to create an organized, interrelated dataset that can be explored and filtered.

OneSource's content optimization services will be offered under the umbrella, "OneSource Synergy Solutions." The Synergy Solutions include version 2.0 of OneSource's XML standards-based AppLink software development kit (SDK) as well as its Application Integration Services, which are designed to link OneSource content with customer data and to embed them in critical business processes and applications.  According to Mary McCabe, senior vice president of product development, version 2.0 of the API provides more flexibility for integration with client's own applications. She says, "We've had demand for XML for two reasons: to provide the customer's own look and feel and field-level access to the data and because the delivery of XML, SOAP-based Web services allows for easier integration." AppLink SDK version 2.0 offers OneSource users the ability to integrate OneSource content into such third-party customer applications as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, enterprise information portals (EIP), and corporate intranets.

OneSource has also announced that, for the first time, it will make its Global Business Taxonomy (GBT) available to corporations for use in their own internal content optimization and integration projects. "We've always had a taxonomy," says Schumacher, "though five years ago we didn't know that it was a taxonomy. Now we've expanded it and are sharing it with the world."

OneSource developed the Global Business Taxonomy over the past 10 years for its enhanced content warehouse, which currently aggregates over 2,500 information sources from 30 providers. By applying the GBT business information classification system to a company's disparate databases, a virtual data warehouse is created that can more easily be integrated into (and accessed by) various business applications such a portals and intranets. OneSource has implemented an auto-classification system in the GBT to enhance its ability to deliver integration between structured database-driven information and unstructured textual content. According to Schumacher, "The global taxonomy provides a framework and, rather than just applying it to our own content products, we want to apply it to customer data." Schumacher believes that OneSource's approach to taxonomy is unique in its ability to be applied to both structured and unstructured data.

OneSource plans to extend its GBT to include a topic taxonomy. While free text searches based on keywords and Boolean operators will continue to be available, a set of discreet topic categories will be added. All unstructured textual data will be logically sifted and linked to related topics, companies, executives, and industries before being added to the OneSource enhanced information warehouse. As a result, OneSource will offer faster topic-based searches and more extensive integration with company and industry profiles. For locating and classifying unstructured data, such as news reports and text documents, OneSource partnered with LingoMotors, the software company behind the TurboCat auto-classification tool.

Shumacher says these service-based announcements mark, "the continuation of a shift we started a while ago, but are now communicating more clearly. It is an evolution: Over the years, we focused on the problem of bringing together disparate sources and delivering information to the desktop. These services are about making the end users more productive by bringing more of the content to them." He says, "we're applying our tools, expertise, and editorial capabilities to help solve our customer's content management and integration problems."

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