One of the observations we’ve made regarding the current state of content management is the strong reliance on two tools to manage your company’s files be they on a WAN/LAN or in the cloud; the ability to create and name file folders and the name of files themselves. I don’t have to tell you how limiting those tools can be. Our only option for decades we’ve all become somewhat numb to the pain.
We think there is a huge opportunity to improve both management and access to content. In many ways the existing file folder and file name means of storing and retrieving files has pitted the needs of centralized control and file management versus the ease of finding what you’re looking for.
AVAIL is providing a new alternative, a way to separate where a file is stored from how it is retrieved. A way to reduce your dependency on those cumbersome folder and file names for retrieving content.
One of the themes we’ve developed over the past couple of years during the development of AVAIL is optionality. Optionality should be a good thing. Given optionality you take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself.
Optionality is present in several ways at the core of how AVAIL has been designed. If you’ve used AVAIL or sat through any of our webinars you’ll hear us talk about the important of context in retrieving content. That’s a form of optionality that lets the publisher and consumer of content in AVAIL get to the same content in different ways mirroring the way you’re thinking about it at the time.
With the new 3.0 release of AVAIL you’ll find a couple of additional features that play on this theme as well. We’re extending the ability to contribute to the management of content in a Channel in AVAIL beyond the firm-wide Publisher/Consumer role definition. Now, the owner of a Channel can allow anyone they’ve shared that Channel with the ability to contribute via a new “Can Edit” setting that is controlled per user. This means a Publisher of a Channel can invite select others to add or remove content and tags from a Channel without having to make that person a firm-wide Publisher. Optionality.
Another update in 3.0 are initial moves toward providing each individual control over how they organize and consume Channels and content. You’ll see this manifested in a redesigned Channels panel that now provides each desktop the ability to “Pin” the Channels they consume most. Additional features that let everyone customize their experience while letting you maintain administrative oversight and control will continue to make AVAIL more powerful and customizable to fulfill differing needs and workflow preferences. Optionality is a good thing.
I just returned from Autodesk University where we engaged in numerous conversations about the value of employing content management systems. There’s obvious value in the immediate task-at-hand of organizing volumes of files (content) and making them easier to find and use throughout your organization. A topic that isn’t quite as obvious is the value of a content management system as a System of Engagement (SOE).
In traditional enterprise speak a System of Record (SOR) is defined as a conventional enterprise system designed to contain the authoritative data source for a given piece of information. A System of Engagement goes a step further. According to Forrester, “Systems of engagement are different from the traditional systems of record that log transactions and keep the financial accounting in order. They focus on people, not processes…. These new systems harness a perfect storm of mobile, social, cloud, and big data innovation to deliver apps and smart products directly in the context of the daily lives and real-time workflows of customers, partners, and employees.”
Being able to capture knowledge throughout your organization in the form of the content that is being generated and more importantly, where, when and how it is being used is of tremendous value. Knowledge can be fleeting. At AVAIL we’re focused on helping you capture and manage that knowledge.
To help you engage and capture feedback related to the content you manage with AVAIL we’re introducing a new feature we refer to as Flags & Comments. As a start, Flags are labeled as “needs attention” and provide a mechanism for your users to alert you or your content admins. Tightly coupled with Flags are Comments. You can require that a Flag be accompanied by a Comment. For example, if a user triggers a “Needs Attention” flag they can then be required to include verbose notes on what problem they see with the content. AVAIL then provides the admin an easy way to filter the content containing Flags and take appropriate action. Over time we plan to let you define a Flag’s meaning (“needs attention”, “mark as complete”, etc). We will also soon introduce Notes which allow you to provide information to permanently accompany any content managed with AVAIL.
Flags, Comments and Notes are just the first step in providing you with valuable workflow tools to manage content and an important piece of a System of Engagement solution.
AVAIL Release 2.9.5
- Updates to the AVAIL Active Directory (AD) support includes ADFS 2.0 SAML and ADFS 3.0 with OAUTH2 federated identity (sounds impressive!)
- Ability to suppress “Join AVAIL” invitation when sharing a Channel.
- New ability to share a Channel with “Everyone in My Plan”
Active Directory integrations are in full swing this fall as AVAIL is “rolling across the enterprise”. With AVAIL Active Directory (AD) integration it has never been easier to manage hundreds of users. As new users are added or removed from your normal IT process through AD they’re automatically logged into AVAIL and authenticated. No login or password required! AD users can also suppress the “Join AVAIL” emails when sharing a Channel across your firm. If you have 50 or more users contact firstname.lastname@example.org
to discuss AVAIL Enterprise Licensing for your firm.
As hundreds of new channels are created in AVAIL each month we’re working hard to fine tune how you can most easily deploy and manage your AVAIL Channels. With this release of AVAIL we’re adding the ability to easily create a Channel that is shared with everyone in your firm without having to select them individually. We’re turning this on for existing accounts this week so look for the new built-in group called “Everyone in My Plan” shortly.
We released AVAIL commercially a couple of months ago in late August after the better part of 4 years of development and eight months in beta. It has been an exciting time and it’s gratifying to work with all of you as AVAIL progresses.
We’ll use this blog to keep you updated on the latest releases and features as well as glimpses of what’s coming next. We’ve been trying to keep everyone up-to-date via emails which we’ll continue to publish but we thought a more permanent spot for the release notes and other communication was need, thus blog.getavail.com is born!
If you’ve been out of the email loop over the past few months here’s a synopsis:
AVAIL 2.9.3 Release
- Took care of some nasty problems caused by the Windows 10 Anniversary update
- Added ability to drag & drop Revit Drafting Views, Schedules and Groups directly into your current project through the AVAIL Content Browser for Revit
- Added the ability to control auto-update for network deployments
AVAIL 2.9.0 Release
- Added Analytics
- Added support for Multiple Revit Sessions
- Added email notification when an AVAIL Channel is shared
- AVAIL Content Browser for Revit now includes update detection
Now you can gather the information you need to better manage your content including most accessed Channels in AVAIL and most searched for content.
AVAIL now supports viewing your company’s AVAIL analytics data in Google Analytics. Setup a free Google Analytics account and enter your Google Analytics Tracking ID in your AVAIL Management Console. (Be sure to follow the instruction in the Management Console to properly configure your Google Analytics account)
We’ve even created a sample Analytics Dashboard for you with some basics to get you started. After creating your Google Analytics account simply click this link to import the custom dashboard – https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=oWmkDMGbSWysDp2WJp-gbw
Some additional notes:
- Information is tracked in Google Analytics as “Events” which are made up of Categories, Actions, Labels and Values.
- To see all of the Events in Google Analytics click on Behavior | Events | Pages
- Note that by default Google Analytics date range is set one day behind. If you want to see current data you’ll need to adjust the timeframe to include today.
- You can monitor Realtime usage of AVAIL but expect a several second delay (it’s like magic!)
- If you’re using advanced BA and BI tools such as Tableau or Microsoft Power BI you can import your Google Analytics data for further analysis.
- More to come including AVAIL Content Browser for Revit analytics!