Forrester has just released a new report on Enterprise RSS. Specifically it tackles the issue of information overload in the corporate environment, now that RSS feeds are an important source of information in the workplace. Also it covers how IT departments are becoming more interested in enterprise RSS solutions, particularly from 3 vendors who seem to be doing very well out of this market: Attensa, KnowNow, and NewsGator.
Forrester sent a free copy of the report to Read/WriteWeb, so here is a quick review of its contents.
I think we all know about the issue of information overload - and the resulting value of good filters and smart aggregators. In some ways the problem is worse for enterprise employees - because as well as external news sources, they have potentially hundreds of internal RSS feeds to track via company blogs and wikis.
In the report, Forrester recommends that companies purchase "an enterprise RSS solution". Three vendors in particular are mentioned: Attensa, KnowNow, and NewsGator. Each of these vendors has an RSS solution that runs behind the firewall. The below diagram from Forrester nicely captures the value that such solutions provide:
Apart from things like filtering, collaboration and access control, enterprise RSS solutions typically integrate in some manner with existing corporate systems. A good example:
"KnowNow, for example, can effectively "RSS-ify" corporate data, taking important events, updates, or status changes that reside in disparate systems like ERP, CRM, and supply chain management (SCM) and syndicate them to appropriate stakeholders. Wells Fargo uses KnowNow to monitor customer data and warehouse schemas, routing inconsistencies and problems to appropriate business analysts in real-time."
In the world of web 2.0 blogs, not as much attention is paid to enterprise RSS solutions as consumer RSS solutions (Google Reader, Pageflakes, Feedburner and so forth). But if you're looking to introduce RSS into your company or organization, then you should certainly look closely at services like Attensa, KnowNow, and NewsGator. If anyone knows of alternative solutions, please note them in the comments.
There's also the issue of how RSS is being adopted in the enterprise - and the Forrester report suggests that it still hasn't reached much beyond PR, IT and marketing people. HR and R&D people are showing good signs of adopting it, but comments from the Forrester report such as "knowledge managers will need to RSS enable internal content" [for R&D people] show that there is still a lot of work to be done.