Establishing a controlled vocabulary is probably the one of the toughest areas to address in a global enterprise. What further complicates this subject is M&A (Merger and Acquisition) and a culture not familiar and aligned with distributed content management processes.

Why are these tough to address? Consider these points:

  • Sheer amount of unstructured data in organizations
  • Manual tagging is error prone and time consuming
  • Lack of controlled vocabulary
  • Lack of time for users to tag
  • Users not knowing how to edit tags
  • Consistency in editing tags

So how do you manage meta data? A company Interse has developed a solution called iBox. According to Interse, "The iBox SharePoint solution is the most comprehensive and effective solution for enhancing collaboration and information re-use in SharePoint. iBox SharePoint is embedded by default into native desktop applications used by information workers, eliminating costly and time-consuming extra training programs. Just some of the benefits include:

  • A user-friendly, easy and efficient central metadata model management that out-performs all other available solutions
  • Unified, consistent and enterprise-wide metadata
  • Classification across organization-wide repositories and systems, including legacy systems and applications, file servers, databases, Microsoft Exchange, portals and any other repository systems and applications
  • Embedded into desktop applications, for a classification accuracy of over 90 percent
  • Finds data across organization-wide repositories and systems
  • Measured in terms of time spent, number of searches required, number of clicks and number of documents reviewed, the iBox is more than 20 times faster than any other solution

Another players is Schemalogic which has product called Schemalogic Enterprise Manager for SharePoint 2007. According to them ,"The proliferation of sites results in a lack of enterprise governance over content tagging terminology and the structure of site, library, and list definitions. SchemaLogic Enterprise Suite for SharePoint 2007 allows companies to actively collaborate and manage these terminologies and structures in an enterprisewide semantics model." Additionally, "The SchemaLogic solution can further be used to synchronize semantics
across SharePoint and other enterprise systems, such as Enterprise Content
Management and search systems, providing easy integration of content and a
consistent search experience."

Each vender claims a significant ROI which I can understand – imagine being able to manage Meta data centrally, find data easily, what’s that worth to you in cost and productivity savings?