During today’s Future of Business Media conference, Devin Wenig – Reuters’ COO, and the designated, post-merger, CEO of the combined Reuters businesses was interviewed on stage by Stacey Kramer of conference producer ContentNext Media. I took advantage of the audience Q&A to ask him this question (reconstructed from memory):
“Over the last few years, some of the Thomson professional information businesses have made modest, interesting, and rare efforts to find synergies with Thomson Financial. For example, Thomson Scientific incorporates financial data in offerings to pharmaceutical industry strategists, and Thomson’s Legal business has invested more in securities and M&A related law. Where might we expect the next opportunities for similar synergies, now that Thomson’s professional businesses will have a much larger financial information sibling?”
Wenig’s answer was thorough, well-rehearsed, and suitably ambitious. He described, with appropriate reference to different Thomson non-financial professional information businesses, “The Professional Internet,” a “Holy Grail” vision reflecting largely from the screens of traders and investors. It would virtually aggregate, and contextually integrate, professionally-relevant content from across the Web. Wenig noted that knitting together the underlying metadata infrastructure would be helped by Reuters’ recent acquisition of text-analytics/auto-classification provider Clearforest (already well-known to several Thomson units).
He didn’t really answer my question of where to look for the “next opportunities.” But he responded (to my own and other questions) with an ambitious and richly detailed vision of content integration, delivered with conviction by a senior operating executive, and reinforcing the impression that reasonably coherent “Web 3.0” objectives for the still-pending merger are not just slideware (like this from an October 9 company presentation).