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.

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?

SaaS CMS, Web 2.0, Web CMS, Web Content Management, web publishing

OmniUpdate Tags Web 2.0 With Live Delivery Platform

OmniUpdate, a CMS vendor in the trendy SaaS CMS space, announced a new Live Delivery Platform (LDP) for its core Web CMS product — OU Campus. The goal is to provide a vehicle for delivery of dynamic content that is an essential part of many Web 2.0 applications.

The platform, however, will not be available until May 2009. What’s in it and is it worth the wait?

OmniUpdate’s rivals in the SaaS CMS space like Clickability already offer some social media and Web 2.0 capabilities. Let’s wait and see what OmniUpdate has in store for us.

Full story on CMSWire: OmniUpdate Tags Web 2.0 With Live Delivery Platform

Enterprise CMS, Enterprise Content Management, Web CMS, Web Content Management

Day’s New CRX Releases Empower Developers and Enterprises

Chatted with Day’s Kevin Cochrane about the announcement early this week. Of course, took me a bit longer to get the news out than I expected. Was a bit busy with infrastructure designs, trainings, project timelines, unavailable resources, lost baggage and other exciting disasters.

Will refer you to CMSWire for this one — there’s a lot more details in that piece I wrote. Just as a side note, I am really curious to see how Day’s new CRX editions will impact the entire content management market, including traditional, open source and SaaS CMS vendors. There is a lot of power in what Day is now offering. Twitter messages indicate that Day’s competition is already afraid of Day keeping them “too busy” this year. Cool stuff 😉

On the other hand, I am also concerned about Day CQ5, which I also covered before. But I guess Nüscheler’s bright mind has got it all figured out.

Oh, and another piece of news from Day, which I normally would not have any interest in, but it was a really feel-good, heart-warming story (I could use one of those with my laptop powerstrip sitting in the bag Delta lost on my flight to SD from GA 😉 ) Couldn’t pass on it. Also referring to full coverage of that on CMSWire.

Day Opens Up, Empowers Developers With New CRX Releases

Day Software Awards First JCR Cup Winner (congrats, Russell Toris. I am sure you’re on cloud 9 😉 )

SaaS CMS, Web CMS, Web Content Management

2009 Trends in SaaS Web Content Management

It is an exciting time for SaaS content management: both in the WCM and ECM spaces.  End of the year — logical time to reflect on the year passing by and trend out the year to come. 

I recently pondedred about the future of  SaaS Content Management myself. The Lamborghini of Web CMS researchers, CMS Watch, also announced their take on trends in SaaS Web Content Management for 2009 in conjunction with their 2009 Web CMS Report.

While CMS Watch acknowledges consistent growth in the acceptance of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models, at the same time, Jarrod Gingras refers to major SaaS-based Web CMS vendors — Clickability, CrownPeak and OmniUpdate — as “relatively small players” that still need to evolve to meet the changing customer demands.

Major 2009 SaaS Web CMS Trends according to CMS Watch:

1. Customers Want More Than Just Software

2. Vendors Turn More to Implementation Partners

3. Vendors Pay More Attention to Developers’ Needs

Full article on CMSWire: 2009 Trends in SaaS Web Content Management

Document Management, Enterprise CMS, SaaS CMS

Future of SaaS CMS’s: Red Hot or Not So Much?

I came across an interesting interview today: CrownPeak CEO Jim Howard talked about WCM and SaaS to FCM. Apparently, SaaS is really an industry to watch in the future. FCM says:

But the growth and acceptance of SaaS, not coincidentally, has mirrored CrownPeak’s growth. In the past seven years, CrownPeak has experienced explosive growth, with over 90% year-over-year revenue increases.

Those are some impressive numbers. Let’s see if the trend continues this year.

In Howard’s opinion, SaaS is advantageous in a tough economy due to three main reasons:

  1. Low upfront or no upfront fee
  2. Turn the contract off on short notice
  3. High levels of service, regardless of the state of IT budgets

Yes, the IT budgets are a tough subject nowadays, so SaaS may as well be the cure.

At the same time, CNN Money quotes Gartner saying that “Software as a service is forecast to have a compound annual growth rate of 22.1% through 2011 for the aggregate enterprise application software markets, more than double the growth rate for total enterprise software.”

And this is just days after CMSWatch released the 2009 Web CMS Report, and I said that:

SaaS-based CMS models are the red-hot, next new thing. Or not… The next year should tell us which vendors can really deliver on the promises of SaaS, as CMSWatch’s Thomas points out.

Darwin said “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Following this principle, it will be interesting to see how SaaS Web CMS vendors survive in the tough economy.

Hot Banana has been quite cold lately. No media coverage since March 2008, and no internal press since May 2008. Are they still alive?

Clickability and Spring CM seem to be doing quite well. Spring CM mostly deals with Document Management and workflow though, and — in the light of eDiscovery and compliance — that’s a hot market.

Not much I’ve heard lately from OmniUpdate or Marqui. The latter was bought out in August 2008 by “a group of private investors” for an undisclosed amount. The former mainly caters to the educational sector; it’s latest product release — v8 — goes back to May 2008. This was the most recent bit of news the company has released since.

The question of security of SaaS CMS can certainly be argued. In most cases, the odds are in favor of SaaS vendors claiming they are stable, low-cost and low-risk way to do Web CMS — and they have their grounds. Your Web sites are outside the firewall in many cases anyway, so what is there to worry about? Low-cost is true in most cases compared to the often cost- and resource-burdensome implementations of non-hosted WCM vendors. Low-risk — not so much, SaaS CMS or not.

However, when a SaaS Web CMS vendor goes out of business, what will happen to your Web site and your content? Content migrations could be the answer. But this just all sounds a bit painful. Plus, not everything can be migrated by running a myriad of DB scripts. There are also templates, workflows, dependencies, content types, user groups and permissions, media libraries, etc.  — these guys are your manual work candidates in most cases.

As with any vendor, there are numerous pros and cons to SaaS CMS. This topic would probably not even be a topic for discussion, has there not been an unpleasant change in the global economy.