Posts Tagged ‘ROI’

The Business Value of Reasoning with Ontologies

[Editor’s note: this guest post was co-written by Héctor Pérez-Urbina (Clark & Parsia) and Juan Sequeda (Capsenta)]

Image of a human brain with computer data overlay.Important enterprise business logic is often buried deep within a complex ecosystem of applications. Domain constraints and assumptions, as well as the main actors and the relations with one another, exist only implicitly in thousands of lines of code distributed across the enterprise.

Sure, there might be some complex UML diagrams somewhere accompanied by hundreds of pages of use case descriptions; but there is no common global representation of the domain that can be effectively shared by enterprise applications. When the domain inevitably evolves, applications must be updated one by one, forcing developers to dive into long-forgotten code to try to make sense of what needs to be done. Maintenance in this kind of environment is time-consuming, error-prone, and expensive.

The suite of semantic technologies, including OWL, allows the creation of rich domain models (a.k.a., ontologies) where business logic can be captured and maintained. Crucially, unlike UML diagrams, OWL ontologies are machine-processable so they can be directly exploited by applications.

Read more

SemWebRox Community Challenge: Results

#SemWebRox ResultsThanks everyone for participating in the #SemWebRox Community Challenge!

Looking at the results (which have been pasted at the end of this article for convenience), I’m struck once again by the diversity of points of view in the Semantic Web community on what the key value of its technology really is. Over at Semantic University we summarized what we believe to be the two dominant camps (summary: AI-centric and flexible data management-centric) in the Semantic Web world, and the results of this exercise illustrate clearly that there are many nuances within those camps.

I’ll go into some highlights, but I think the why is still missing in many cases.  It’s the classic features-not-value predicament that plagues technologists and frustrates technology marketers.  We’re doing better, but we can and must do better still.

Data Flexibility: Data Integration

In terms of data flexibility, there are a number of themes that kept popping up.  Aaron Bradley first called out “cheaper enterprise data integration, and Lee Feigenbaum concurred by stating, “The Semantic Web is the only scalable approach for integrating diverse data.”  Another one I liked about data integration was from Abir: “Semantic Web technologies can make it possible to have true bottom-up web-scale automatic information integration.”

Read more

Community Challenge: The Semantic Web in 140 Characters

Community Challenge: Semantic Web in 140 CharactersAs a community, we Semantic Webbers have done a poor job communicating our value clearly and concisely.

Last week, I stated the case in more detail at the Enterprise Semantics Blog, and Aaron Bradley continued it over at Google Plus (here and here).

Today, I bring you a challenge.

Describe a value of the Semantic Web clearly in 140 characters. Tweet it with the hashtag #SemWebRox.

Why a value and not the value? Because different people have different opinions on what the most important facet of the Semantic Web is. And since you can’t have more than one most important value, just stick to one, and make it convincing.

Why 140 characters? It’s not just Twitter. Restricting space in this way forces you to get the core of your argument. No elaboration. No amendments. Straight value.

Here is my attempt:

Write yours here or tweet it directly. We’ll aggregate them and include in a future post!

Semantic Web Enterprise Deployments: Get Exec Support, And Set Reasonable Expectations

When it comes to Semantic Web technologies, there are some business-technology leaders that see value in moving rapidly forward. For some, it’s critical if they’re to live up to their image as technologically advanced enterprises. For others, it’s a matter of hearing that competitors are doing it, so they need to get on board too. There’s also the case to be made that there the amount of data to deal with already is overwhelming, and it’s only going to get worse, creating a world that mere humans and current information technology tools simply can’t keep up with.

At the (quickly) upcoming Semantic Tech & Business Conference in Washington D.C., Janet Millenson, principal of advisory firm Two Crows Consulting, will hit those high notes. But expect also to hear about what remains to grapple with in order to get executive support for what is still a new idea in many organizations.

Read more

Panel – How to Internally Market Semantic Web in Large Enterprises

Semantic Web technologies were designed from the ground up for disparate information integration. Disparate data and its impact on data quality and consistency remain one of the most difficult challenges facing large enterprises today. Yet, there has been relatively little use of Semantic Web technologies in these organizations.

The adoption of new technology by large enterprises has always been challenging. Recently, SOA and Web service technologies have had some success in making inroads to large enterprises, mainly due to their seemingly direct addressing of business process automation problems, which business executives could readily appreciate. In contrast, the Semantic Web has been nicknamed the "Pedantic Web" due to its frequently esoteric explanations from academics, hindering its adoption.

What is required is the ability to teach business leaders the value of the technology in terms that they can understand. Our panel includes technical leaders that have taken on this challenge and have succeeded in getting these somewhat trailing edge enterprises to embrace the technology. They now wish to share that experience. Topics covered in the panel include:

• What advantages of using Semantic Technologies over existing data integration tools such as ETL and EAI that really resonated with business leaders?
• What objections to the technology has the panel experienced?
• How did the panel address these objections?
• How did members of the panel first introduce the technology?
• How did members of the panel socialize the use of ontologies without it turning into and explanation of the "Pedantic Web"?
• How did the panel address how Semantic Technologies fit in to the SOA strategies for the enterprise?

Note: This podcast is "Premium content", and requires Semantic Universe registration, which is free.

Attachment: Panel – How to Internally Market Semantic Web in Large Enterprises.MP3 (61.18 MB)

Presenters:

Matt Fisher
Matt Fisher
Progeny Systems

Matt Fisher is a Principal Systems Engineer at Progeny Systems who enjoys discussing the Semantic Web to the point that his wife hopes he gets a new hobby. 

John Gilman
John Gilman
Blue Shield of California

Dir. Architecture and Engineering

David Wood
David Wood
Zepheira

David Wood is a partner with Zepheira and software engineer/entrepreneur specializing in disruptive technologies. He is a co-founder of the Kowari, Mulgara and PURLZ Open Source Software projects. Dr. Wood has been involved with Semantic Web research and standards efforts since 1999.

Rachel Lovinger
Rachel Lovinger
Razorfish

Panel – Bringing SemTech Back to the Business

With a panel of leaders from the semantic technology industry, this session will give us the opportunity to reflect on the many discussions that have taken place during the week of SemTech 2008 and help us map the course as we prepare to extend those conversations back into our workplaces. We will touch on issues of ROI, making the case for semantic technologies in the enterprise, and what to expect in the coming year in the semantic tech space.

Note: This podcast is "Premium content", and requires Semantic Universe registration, which is free.

Attachment: Final Panel – Bringing SemTech Back to the Business.mp3 (49.7 MB)

Presenters:

Dave McComb
Dave McComb
Semantic Arts
Dave is President of Semantic Arts, and author of “Semantics in Business Systems.” He has 30 years of experience applying leading edge technologies to enterprise level applications.

John Gilman
John Gilman
Blue Shield of California

Dir. Architecture and Engineering

Christine Connors
Christine Connors

Christine joined Intuit in July 2006 as Knowledge Architect. Her goals are to design and deliver a set of systematic processes that allow the right information to be delivered at the moment of truth, thereby creating environments in which knowledge gathering is a positive experience.

Stephen Hall
Stephen Hall
Vulcan Capital

Managing Director

Jeffrey T. Pollock
Jeffrey T. Pollock

James Hendler
James Hendler
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Jim Hendler is the Tetherless World Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Assistant Dean for IT. Jim is former Director of the Joint Institute for Knowledge Discovery and co-director of the Maryland Information and Network Dynamics (MIND) Laboratory at the University of Maryland, and is widely recognized as one of the earliest visionaries of the Semantic Web.

Ivan Herman
Ivan Herman
World Wide Web Consortium
See http://www.ivan-herman.net

Jonathan Mack
Jonathan Mack
Guardian Life

Senior Technical Architect

Mitigating the risk of using semantics in the Enterprise

I was talking to a project manager within a large and very sophisticated enterprise this week about why her organization chose to go with an ERP-based implementation as opposed to a semantics-based implementation on a new master data system.  She was pushing for the semantic solution, but they weighed the pros and cons to each approach and came down in favor of the ERP system. 

Read more