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AI Will Change How We Manage Content    [Date Added : 09/12/2017 ]
Content management is about to undergo a foundational shift as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning bring long-sought order to enterprise content. As the volume of content has increased, the ability to manage has become more challenging. This is ironic, since Content Management Systems were supposed to solve the enterprise content organization problem.

The paradox was that the more content you collected, the harder it was to manage. AI and machine learning have the power to change that because machine learning algorithms actually work better with more data, and that has the potential to fundamentally alter how we think about managing content.

That could be why Box CEO Aaron Levie thinks AI could have a bigger impact on content management than even cloud computing did a decade ago. Levie says: "I think it is going to be more fundamental than the cloud in terms of its impact across all enterprise software, but specifically in our space, cloud content management." He believes that is precisely because of the exponential increase in the amount of data that is being created and shared internally and externally today by organizations of all sizes.

Levie continues: "The only way we are going to be able to make sense of all this data and to extract more and more value from it is through machine learning and artificial intelligence. There is simply no other way to keep up with the growing [deluge] of data, as well as the use cases around this content."

Perhaps it is not a coincidence recently Box announced a partnership with Google to bring
AI via image recognition technology to the cloud content management firm. Specifically, it adds intelligence by auto-tagging pictures at upload and capturing any text within the pictures, making easier to identify and find pictures later on without human intervention.

"We looked at what problem could we first solve with AI," comments Levie. "Within Box we have 30 billion files now, and a significant portion of those are image files, and so we wanted something that instantly was going to create a tremendous amount of value for our customers. That is why we decided to work with Google on the computer vision service."

Box also announced a deepening partnership with Microsoft in June 2017, and suggested that it could include taking advantage of Azure AI and machine learning algorithms.

All of these moves suggest that we could be in the midst of an industry shift that Levie has alluded to, as content management firms try to use intelligence to make sense of the increasingly large amount of content moving into the enterprise.

Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder and principal analyst at Deep Analysis, who has been covering this industry for many years, sees AI having great utility. "It is finding its way into content management in many different ways - content analytics, automated governance, but maybe most interesting through RPA (Robotic Process Automation). RPA is far from sexy, but it can have an immediate impact on the bottom line so it is important," he notes.

Sharpe says the moves by M-Files and Box are probably just the beginning and we should expect to see more partnership and acquisition action as companies take a deeper dive into AI. "I see many acquisitions and partnerships happening over the next year or two with [companies seeking] AI specialists for particular needs. Box is partnering, but I don't think that rules out acquisitions (though they tend to buy small) to use the learning and automation technologies in different parts of their platforms - and similarly for different [types of] customers."

(Extract from "AI Will Fundamentally Change How We Manage Content," by Ron Miller, TechCrunch, August 26, 2017. Copyright 2013-2017 Oath Inc.)
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