SaaS CMS, Web CMS, Web Content Management

Clickability Viciously Attacks Vignette, Can’t We Play Nice?

We all remember when FatWire announced its kinda Chip&Dale-comes-to-rescue attempt to save Vignette and Interwoven customers “plagued” by recent acquisitions. And some of us had mixed feelings about it.

Clickability took it up a notch in their whitepaper entitled “What Vignette is Not Telling You” and went like this:

Are you a Vignette V5 or V6 User? Did you answer “yes” to this question? If so, be afraid. Be
very afraid.

I’d be the last one to go to bat for Vignette, but this move from Clickability is not what I would consider good marketing and/or business in general. (It’s not rugby, guys — waving to the “founding fathers”.)

My questions:

  • Since when do we use whitepapers as nuclear weapons? Rather spend your time on collecting useful information for prospects, while marketing-fluffing and fooling them as little as possible.
  • What happened to being competent when quoting sources and putting “facts” on paper?

Facts, Quotes and Sources

According to analysts, over 35% of Vignette users are currently marooned on the EOL (end of life) island of Vignette V5 or V6 technology.

Speaking of quoting your sources and proper attribution (or lack thereof), which analysts exactly said that? VIGN can correct me, but I would imagine the number of customers on V5 is more like 15%. Just a guess.

If current Vignette customers are looking to upgrade, it would be more in the realm of from V7.x to V7.6, or even to the upcoming V8, that (speaking of “slow innovation”) shows much promise, as have some of the recently released Vignette products.

But don’t just rely on this paper. Check the facts. Talk to your Vignette sales reps (or whomever is responsible for your account following the recent Open Text acquisition)…

Clearly, there is a lack of facts in this whitepaper. And the last bit is just mean and not true. The market is tough, VIGN is an easy target — I understand all that. But I also believe (call me naive) in playing nicely with your competition and doing good business. Vile whitepapers like this one wouldn’t exactly look appealing if I were a prospect.

…According to CMS Wire, “And while we’re at it, we have to mention something about long
product development cycles, and Vignette’s slowness in adopting its own new releases. Would
that be out of fear of complex content migrations and painful upgrades?”

Hello, I don’t mind being quoted, but don’t take it out of context. That is Journalism 101, which may not necessarily apply to some snide marketing tactics — I am aware of that.

Anything Vignette do to the VCM at this point is little more than lipstick on a pig. The product’s fundamental architecture is so broken that no amount of make up will hide the cracks. V7 user on CMS Watch

The above was posted by anonymous here on CMSWire and *not* on CMS Watch. Is it that hard to get the two sources straight? Additionally, there’s nothing in the comment indicating it was posted by a Vignette user. Could’ve been posted by a horse wearing just enough make-up.

Vignette is losing long-term customers to Clickability because we off er an end-to-end solution at 1/3 of the price you’d pay for a Vignette upgrade.

Really? Vignette can be very expensive yes, but let’s not fool everyone into thinking that the two vendors play in the same sandbox. They are not. The cloud shows a lot of potential, but many enterprises are quite vocal in saying “No!” to hosted options at this time. It’s not a one-size-fits-all option. “It all happens seamlessly in the cloud” is a fairytale at best, not panacea.

And since Clickability only mentions analysts, when it’s favorable, how about this one — Gartner: Cloud technology needs seven years to mature.

Using Twitter as Campaign Launcher

Feature sets and capabilities I am not even getting into. If you look at Clickability’s enterprise options pricing, it is coming close to what one would expect to pay to any of the hosted CMS vendors.

Vignette is indeed losing customers, but Clickability is hardly the first alternative as a CMS replacement.

The funny thing is this new “campaign” from Clickability was “launched” in a tweet. As of publish time, there are no official announcements or press releases on the corporate site. That’s one heck of an effective marketing tactic. To all of the 130 followers that Clickability boasts.

If you want to see the entire whitepaper, you’d have to register and, probably,  endure sales calls. Mine should be coming in the next 6 hours, according to the follow-up e-mail. Except, it won’t be. If there were validation rules built in webforms that Clickability produces, they’d know that the textual “you don’t want to know” is not a valid entry for a numerical phone# field.

It’s one thing to criticize Vignette failrly and use quotes/facts properly. This is not what I see in the whitepaper. Is there really a need to get ugly? Will that buy you more customers? To other CMS vendors devising their own “rescue plans,” would you please be professional and play nice?

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12 thoughts on “Clickability Viciously Attacks Vignette, Can’t We Play Nice?

  1. You go girl! This white (black?) paper is a step too far. In addition to everything you’ve pointed out, some other things that bother me. I think I’ll write a blog post!

  2. Thanks for sharing your perspectives Irina – I certainly enjoyed and appreciated your post.

    FWIW, I was curious myself to find out how many customers we have on V5 (knowing that if any, it would be exceedingly low … ) and in fact … the number of customers who are still customers (meaning they pay maintenance to keep using the SW) … it is less than 1%. I can count em on a hand …

    Meantime, we are pretty excited to show where we are headed with the new release of V8.

    • Robert says:

      Kirsten,

      The bigger question is: How many people are on V6?

      They have the same problems Vignette customers have on V5 (a painful and expensive migration to V7). The word is out that 35% of Vignette customers are on V5 and V6. And public records show that V7 licensing sales were abysmal (most of Vignette’s revenue over the last couple of years came from professional services–not V7 licenses). Is Vignette a technology company or a professional services company?

      Thanks in advance for your answer to both my questions.

      • Robert,

        Since VIGN is a publicly traded company we don’t disclose these kinds of numbers in detail, but I can tell you that your suggested numbers are inaccurate and far overstate the number of customers still active on V6.

        As a solution provider to some of the greatest brands in the world, we couple SW with services to meet our customers’ needs. I think our track record of innovation, releasing 20+ products over the last 18 months, speaks for itself.

        That commitment to our customers’ success is what we will continue to stress and we encourage all those in the Web experience and CMS space to do the same.
        Kirsten

        • Robert says:

          Hi Kirsten,

          Thanks. As a publicly traded company, how come you can disclose numbers on V5 and not V6? Thanks for your answer.

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