I’d blogged earlier about ECM market in Asia and India. As a result of the wide diversity in terms of cultures, languages and other factors, India provides some unique challenges to vendors considering creating products catering to this market.
1. India has 22 officially recognised languages, numerous dialects and unofficial languages. There’s huge amount of literature created in these languages. It’s relatively simple to create a front end in a language other than English. However, creating a back end content management system that supports features like workflows, versioning, search etc for these languages would be a different ball game. This is especially difficult because no common standard supports all these languages. In fact, the de-facto web standard – Unicode still does not have a complete representation of many Indian languages.
2. We all know how good the translation tools are, even for languages that have a fairly matured web presence. They are improving though and have been gaining momentum with content management systems. Translations.com, for example, integrates with many content management systems like Fatwire, Interwoven and Percussion. Quite a few companies (government as well as private) have presence in many regions and hence would require translation capabilities between these languages.
3. For document management and imaging, there are softwares available that can scan a document and make it editable. However, scanning a document written in, say Tamil and making it editable would be a challenge.
4. Hiring an extra person is generally cheaper than buying an extra seat license of a typical content management system. So, expect to revisit your pricing models.
5. There are other challenges in terms of infrastructure. Cell phone penetration is much more than Computers and hence the ability to use the CMS using cell phones, PDAs and less resource intensive tools like simputer would be important.
I’m sure there are quite a few more challenges. However, all these also provide an opportunity for product vendors to differentiate their offerings.
I will keep updating this post with more challenges.