Web CMS, Web Content Management

WEM Market: WCM + Ricotta

No ricotta pictured, but there’s La Tur and manchego

The WEM Marketplace: Blueberries and Ricotta

As Web CMS products reached maturity, a standard set of features became core for most vendors (i.e. templating, workflows, in-context content preview, integration APIs, scalable architectures, delivery and caching, etc.) Things are different with Web Engagement Management. The industry is still trying to figure out what this WEM thing is all about.

In the WEM sector, we’re in a market that sells oranges, apples and blueberries from the same bin as ricotta cheese. Spaghetti is positioned on the same shelf as the Russian Caravan loose leaf tea, right next to heavy-duty laundry detergents. But this is slowly changing, as the WEM evolution is happening right before our eyes.

Who Plays in the WEM/WCM Space

WEM capabilities of varying degrees are offered by most mature Web CMS vendors (but not by as many Enterprise CMS vendors). However, comparing those capabilities one to one would be rather difficult in this stage of WEM evolution.

Just take a look at how some WCM vendors position themselves and draw your own picture based on the messaging we hear from them:

Alterian has email marketing, web behavior analytics, social media marketing, social media engagement, social media monitoring and sentiment analysis capabilities to offer with its Alterian SM2 product.

Autonomy Interwoven is focusing on Meaning Based Marketing. Using Autonomy’s IDOL server, their products are able to extract meaning from various content types to help marketers improve customer experience. Web CMS comes with integrated multi-variate testing (MVT), email management, analytics and a multichanel optimization module.

CoreMedia proclaims itself as a “Complete Communications Suite” that allows for a combination of Web CMS, social software and CoreMedia Adaptive Products offering adaptive personalization and delivery, mobile optimization, cross-channel interactions.

Day Software’s CQ 5.3 Web CMS comes armed with personalized content delivery, campaign targeting, customer targeting and segmentation, campaign measurement, content optimization capabilities, and support for A/B and MVT testing.

Ektron provides social media management, integrated web analytics with Google Analytics, MVT in the PageBuilder, content optimization, etc. — as part of the latest release of CMS400.NET v8 Web CMS.

EPiServer’s Marketing Arena came out in 2009, focusing on the “new era of the engaged web,” with WEM features like landing page management, digital visibility management, campaign monitoring and optimization, SEO support, personalization and prospecting.

FatWire’s WEM proposition — Web Experience Management Framework — is based on modules for UGC and interaction (Community Server), content targeting (Engage) and content optimization (Analytics) connected to FatWire Content Server (the CMS part).

Open Text Web Solutions is a combination of Vignette and RedDot and has a number of WEM-related products and features. The Vignette Community Applications is now part of Open Text’s Social Media offering (note that OTEX also has its own Social Media product) with community management, social interaction and collaborative communication features. There’s also Vignette Experience Optimization that includes a recommendation engine, analytics, and delivery of personalized and multi-channel content.

SDL Tridion’s WEM proposition comes under the umbrella of the Unified Online Marketing Suite that includes audience management, email and multi-channel, multi-lingual campaign management, personalization and profiling, and E-commerce with the recent acquisition of Fredhopper.

Sitecore has a product called Sitecore Online Marketing Suite that claims to provide WEM functionalities like visitor experience analytics, real-time personalization, landing page optimization, campaign management, etc..

WEM Needs WCM (And Vice Versa)

If your Web CMS doesn’t have WEM capabilities, it’s stuck in the Netscape era. With that said, you don’t necessarily have to buy WCM and WEM functionalities from the same place. Some vendors offer both, some — only Web CMS. But there are third-party tools that can be (or should be able to be) integrated with your Web Content Management System.

It may be difficult to find a Web CMS that offers a complete set of WEM functionalities that you need to achieve your goals, but a sound engagement strategy comes first. What are your goals? What are the objectives? What are you trying to achieve? Most number of likes? Selling more products? Increased customer loyalty? Word-of-mouth marketing opps?

Mere mention of such WEM buzzwords as online marketing, social analytics, web engagement and eCommerce in a marketing brochure authored by a CMS vendor you’re considering may not guarantee it’s a fit for your goals.

When looking at particular features of a WEM-friendly Web CMS, ask vendors to show you how their features will help you get where you want to be. Knowing your goals and being familiar with your WEM strategy will help you help the vendors on your short list – in the end though, benefiting you with the closest match of technologies for your strategy.

has a product called Sitecore Online Marketing Suite that claims to provide WEM functionalities like visitor experience analytics, real-time personalization, landing page optimization, campaign management, etc.

Standard
cms, Enterprise CMS, Enterprise Content Management, Web CMS, Web Content Management

Top 10 CMS Stories in 2009

10No year-end predictions, no resolutions. Not even debating the acronyms. Just simple numbers: the top 10 most trafficked posts in 2009 on this blog:

The post was inspired by several years of being an SDL Tridion customer, when the company was Tridion and the product was R5.x.

The Motley Crew’s collaborative Google Wave post, a riot, really, about all things CMS we collectively umm.. dislike. Ah, the power of putting several great minds into one wave ;)

Step-by-step guide on how to develop (and advertise) bad taste in writing CMS marketing materials, including white papers. ‘Nuf said.

Long before Interwoven’s fate moved from acquisition intent to the ranks of a done deal, there were indications of changes and “cost savings” coming.

Still giggle every time I think of that morning.

The first big acquisition of 2009 set some folks, including me, into the pondering mode about Interwoven’s future. Since then the dust settled, some people left, products were Autonomy-zed to some degree, but it’s still fun to look at initial reactions and crystal ball gazings.

CQ5 marked the end of a 3-year-long silence from Basel and Day not Communiqué-ting much aside from a couple of point releases. The world was agonizing in anticipation of what the R&D-focused vendor came up with. I got a chance to install the product and poke around.

Just like in marriage, the expense doesn’t stop at a Vera Wang dress. Or, even earlier, at a short-list.

About this time last year, Vignette let some of its people go (was it à la Moses act of freeing?) in preps for prettifying itself for the Open Text acquisition.

This one is only vaguely CMS-related, infectious as all memes, yet curable. The real #1 of this top 10 list was actually the about me page. Go figure.

Standard
Digital Asset Management, Enterprise CMS, Enterprise Content Management, open source, Open Source CMS, social media, Web analytics, Web CMS, Web Content Management

CMS Going-Ons That (Almost) Didn’t Make it Here

blogging ain't easyRecently, I got an e-mail newsletter (from: company name redacted) – one of those that goes almost immediately to trash following a quick scan. What made me ROFL was this line:

Blogging is easy, usually free, and most importantly, fun!

Now, I am not perfect (well, am nearly ;) ) and could use more self-blogging discipline, but whoever wrote that statement must’ve never blogged a single line in his/her life. It sure is ain’t that easy (Oh, yeah, after all, I live in the South).

</digress>

After working very hard (yet, effortlessly ;) ) on diligently neglecting this dear child of a blog, let me recap the past 68 days. Yes, it’s been that long – LinkedIn is very good at rubbing it in with their WordPress widget day counter. So, here are the CMSWire stories and happenings that have been on my radar in those 2+ months:

ECM

  • Open Text unveiled its 2010 product roadmap at Open Text Content World in Orlando, highlighting many rebranding changes that are to come, including those for RedDot/Web Solutions and Vignette. The community still doesn’t appear to be appeased. But business is business. In the meantime, I am revisiting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in preparation for my next piece on Open Text planned for early January 2010.
  • Open Text appeared in the news again with the announcement on expanding its ECM solutions portfolio for Oracle.
  • IBM continued to focus on analytics as a way of better management of unstructured and structured content.

WCM

J. Boye ’09 in Aarhus

While in the handsome town of Aarhus (aka the City of Smiles), heaps of content management fun were on the menu (topped off with duh! delish herring), including:

  • Jarrod Gingras and Peter Sejersen’s look into the pitfalls and best practices of selecting a CMS.
  • McBoof, Janus Boye, et al’s attempt to #fixwcm, while heatedly debating some of the inconvenient truths and challenges of the content management industry.
  • David Nuesheler’s of Day Software session on top 8 trends in web content management architecture and standards (CMIS, JCR 2.0, JSR-283).
  • BJ Fogg’s preso on “hot triggers,” “cold triggers,” persuasive technology and why Twitter and Facebook are winning.
  • A myriad of fantastic, thought-provoking, brain-activity-inducing conversations in hallways, at dining tables, at social events, while braving the rain and the cold – you know who you are.

PS: I miss Århus. Thanks, Janus!

Gilbane Boston 2009

The who is who of content management came to Boston for the Gilbane conference. I was fortunate to moderate a Content Management in Practice session, and attended a few others:

  • Content migration, the dirty little secret of content management, where content migration challenges, stumbling blocks and techniques to avoid them were discussed. One of the simplest, yet most often overlooked takeaways: Know your content.
  • One of the hottest topics of the event – open source and its rise in content management. One little tidbit of info signaling a broader acceptance of open source even just looking at Gilbane — there were virtually no OSS vendors here 4 years ago. This year, there were 6.

PS: Great fun seeing/meeting the usual CMS crowd suspects IRL and chatting about royal matters of the content management kingdom :) Thanks, Frank!

Open Source CMS

Social Media

  • The CIA continued its investment in open source and technology and got more visibility into social media (=open source = data in public domain) after giving some $$$ to the social media monitoring firm Visible Technologies. Any social content (open or hidden) can be scraped, scored and displayed in a nice dashboard.
Standard
Web CMS, Web Content Management

Open Text Web CMS Saga With Vignette and RedDot Continues

Personally, I cannot wait for October to arrive. Open Text Content World will be in the lovely Orlando, and we all should expect to be enlightened on OTEX’s product map and strategy for its two web content management arms: Web Solutions (aka RedDot) and the recently acquired Vignette.

Commenting on my previous post on the Open Text WCM saga, Markus Giesen et al. — representatives of an unofficial RedDot blog — raised several worthwhile questions. Not with publicity in mind, but in an effort to get some real, transparent answers I reached out for comments to Open Text.

Disappointingly, we did not succeed in squeezing a ton of clarity from Open Text’s Marci Maddox — their Director Global Product Marketing for Web Solutions.

The official party line is that no product migrations, discontinuations and code mergers will happen for Vignette and RedDot. RedDot is not dead, and Vignette will continue to get R&D money. A “singular solution” — whatever that means — is still on the roadmap for the next 2 years.

The response from the community is still “Yeah, we’ve heard that before…” as many are thinking of Gauss and Obtree.

Without more answers, the Vignette acquisition looks to be more of an impulse buy. And hey, most of us do impulsive things every now and then (more often than we’d like to admit), only to find ourselves stricken by a profound “Oh, my…” moment, then scrambling to put the puzzle back together again.

Granted, decisions of this magnitude are unlikely to have been made impulsively. They are also not easy to pin down in a relatively short period of time.

However, reflecting on the recent communications strategy, opinions like “The botched messaging around RedDot speaks unbelievably poorly of OTEX leadership, IMHO” are nothing but expected.

Standard
Uncategorized

Open Text (Somewhat) Starts Vocalizing Vignette Plans

Open Text has finally revealed a bit more information about what the giant plans to do with its multiple WCM offsprings. More specifically, where the recently adopted Vignette child may be placed in Open Text’s Enterprise CMS and Web CMS families.

“Our plan is not to eliminate products, but to offer solutions that help our customers effectively fulfill their unique, organizational needs,” said John Shackleton, president and CEO of Open Text.

The product architectures and technologies are quite different. And it is still not clear yet how this WCM/ECM quilting exercise (Open Text should really patent this phrase) will go on. At this time, however, there are no planned migrations of customers from one platform to another. Open Text is “not going to force anyone in either customer base,” according to Scott Bowen, Sr. VP at Open Text.

Saying that Vignette adds the right technologies to the portfolio at the right time, Open Text plans to leverage Vignette Content Management (VCM) as the foundation of Open Text’s Web business solutions, aiming to cover all possible content management implementation use cases from basic to sophisticated deployments, while utilizing both RedDot’s and Vignette’s “historic strengths,” adds Bowen.

Within the next 24 months, Open Text is looking to launch a “singular WCM product offering” that will combine key strengths of Web Solutions and Vignette.

Other plans:

  • The release of the long-anticipated Vignette Content Management version 8.0 (VCM v8) is still on track for H2 2009.
  • The recently released Web Solutions 10.0 will be followed by Web Solutions 10.1 in H1 2010.
  • Vignette Social Media Solutions (Community Applications and Community Services) will be the basis of a new Social Marketplace offering as part of Open Text Social Media.
  • Vignette Collaboration will continue to be enhanced as part of the underlying Vignette Social Media technology stack.
  • Vignette’s Transactional Content Management product line (think SAP and Oracle integrations, B2B and eCommerce) should see the light of day at some point.

More on CMWire.com

Standard
cms, Enterprise CMS, Enterprise Content Management, Web CMS, Web Content Management

Open Text Talks 2009 Financials, Vignette’s Fate

Enterprise CMS provider Open Text announced unaudited financial results for Q4 and FY2009.

Despite the current economic climate, OTEX reports achieving bottom line target, although net income for fiscal year 2009, and license revenue and operating cash flow in the fourth quarter have dipped.

Conversations on Vignette’s fate and product integration strategies are ongoing.

Acquisitions always seem to be part of any conversation around Open Text. During Q4, the company acquired digital media, 3D applications makers Vizible for an undisclosed sum to expand its portfolio of digital media applications. There are no details yet as to what Open Text plans to really do with the eye candy that Vizible is.

Finalized in July of this year, the acquisition of Web CMS vendor Vignette and its positioning in Open Text is starting to look less nebulous.

John Shackleton, president and CEO of Open Text, said, “We are pleased with how the acquisition is progressing and to date the integration is tracking to plan.” While also adding “I am disappointed that we were slightly off on our Q4 revenue targets, mainly due to the WCM delays where customers were waiting to see our new WCM strategy with the announcement of the Vignette acquisition.”

Vignette’s prior (not very promising) financial behavior and miscellaneous struggles are playing a role in Open Text’s balance sheet.

According to Open Text’s CFO Paul McFeeters, “As part of acquisition accounting, we will fair value the acquired deferred revenue for customer support contracts…  However, I expect the range of this adjustment to be between US$ 6 million and US $ 8 million for the first year of operations. While we will not break out the financial effect of the acquired Vignette business, I will remind you that they were operating at a breakeven margin. We expect this acquisition to be neutral to the operations in Q2, accretive in Q3, and on our operating model by the end of this fiscal year.”

In addition to that, Open Text plans to cut Vignette’s worldwide workforce (layoffs wouldn’t be for the first time) and “continue to rationalize facilities in both Open Text and Vignette. ” Open Text and Vignette restructuring charge will be approximately US$ 32 million to US$ 40 million. How many jobs is that?

It would be reasonable to expect that Vignette and former RedDot (now, Open Text Web Solutions) will be merging in some way or another. With  Vignette, most likely, taking the upper hand. The detailed roadmap and product integration strategies should be announced in October at the North American Content World Conference in Orlando, FL.

More on OTEX numbers on CMSWire

Standard