Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 takes social turn

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Alfresco released Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 this week with a decidedly social focus. While Alfresco CTO John Newton says the company still handles more traditional content management tasks, there is a new focus on social content from partners such as Jive and Liferay. This makes it easier for companies to manage their internal social content, and deliver content externally to online social networks as well.

When Newton joined the board of AIIM last year, perhaps he didn't realize that it would help change the direction of company's content management product, but after working with author Geoffrey Moore and the AIIM board, the result was a study that identified two types of content management: "Systems of record" and "systems of engagement." (We covered this in an Editor's Corner last November.)

While we referred to it as community content management, Alfresco is calling it "social content management.' "Social content management is where the capabilities of social business systems and traditional enterprise content management meet," Newton explained. According to Newton this means finding a way to manage all of the content being generated in enterprise social systems, playing to the strength of the content management system to manage and filter the social stream and deliver "one truth" to the organization.

Indeed, one of the issues with social systems is the ability for misinformation to linger. Finding ways to distill a conversation and find the truth beyond the rumor is going to be extremely important moving forward and Alfresco appears to recognize this.

Newton says Alfresco hopes to provide a system that intersects the systems of record and engagement. "Systems of record need systems of engagement to make them more accessible and usable. Systems of engagement need systems of records for control," he said.

He adds, "Systems of engagement creates its own problem of content." But when all is said and done, "content is content," he adds, and as such a CMS is the best place to manage it.

To achieve this, Alfresco 3.4 includes a new user interface in Alfresco Share to make it easier to share content along with integration to enterprise portal and social software, making it easier to put social content into the Alfresco repository.

The new version is available for download immediately.

For more information:
- see the Alfresco press release
- see the AIIM white paper on Systems of Record/Systems of Engagement

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