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.

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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.
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Web CMS, Web Content Management

Ektron Onboards Interwoven CMS Evangelist Wentworth

With the M&A activity in the content management space not dwindling down despite the economic crisis, it’s only natural to see the ECM and WCM talent move around. At times, that happens in a fashion resembling the game called “A Cold Wind Blows.”

Recently, Web CMS vendor Ektron announced Tom Wentworth joined them as VP of business development. Wentworth comes from the Enterprise CMS player Interwoven, where he was evangelizing various web solutions that fall under the Autonomy Interwoven ECM suite roof for the past 2 some years. Before that, he worked for over 6 years in Interwoven sales engineering roles.

In the new role, Wentworth will report to Ektron’s founder and CEO Bill Rogers, who is counting on Wentworth’s “experience in driving corporate strategy and revenue.” For Wentworth, working for a much smaller vendor should be a welcome change in scenery.

We’ve a slew of Interwoven employees leave for other CMS companies before, so this announcement doesn’t come as a surprise. Yet it spurs many questions.

Are things that bad at Interwoven that even the most passionate evangelists are looking for the exit sign? Is it the Autonomy acquisition fallout and the inability to effectively use the acquired talent? Is it because of Autonomy’s reportedly far from nurturing corporate culture and the “fear-and-intimidation style of upper management”? Are we about to see Interwoven navigate the CMS waters a la Titanic?

Expect to hear more from Ektron soon. The recently leaked version 8 should get its official entrance to the CMS arena soon.

Cross- published on CMSWire.

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Web CMS

Ektron Inadvertently Leaks CMS400.NET v8 Release?

Apparently, there was a little mishap in the Web CMS vendor Ektron’s scheduled publishing activities.

The new major v8.0 release of CMS400.NET (that wasn’t supposed to see the light of day for at least another week or so) surfaced in production, online, for all to see in its full video-and-all glory on this microsite. Should  it no longer be available when you read this, there are some screenshots below.

Ektron’s preceding version was 7.6.

Ektron seems to be prematurely (?) reporting that version 8 of its CMS product includes such new and/or improved features as:

  • New GUI for workarea
  • New features for activity streams and micromessaging
  • Multivariate Testing capabilities
  • Calendaring integration
  • PageBuilder enhancements
  • eCommerce engine improvements

Without much detail into what each new feature entails, it doesn’t look like the landing page was quite ready to be workflow-approved and pushed into production. Oops.

ektron v8 lander.png

Ektron CMS400.NET V8 Landing Page

ektron v8 2 smart desktop.png

Ektron V8 “Smart Desktop”

ektron v8 1.png

Ektron V8 Video Frame

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Web CMS, Web Content Management

Ektron Finds Its Way to Gartner’s WCM Magic Quadrant

Ektron found its sweet spot as one of the Visionaries in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. We’ve seen Ektron on other “lists” before, including Gartner’s MarketScope. And now, hello, the Magic Quadrant.

Partially, Ektron attributes this positioning to the ability of their CMS product — EktronCMS400.NET — to deliver on the Web 2.0 capabilities front. Web 2.0, as Gartner says, “is… breathing new life into the WCM market.”

The CMS vendor has been working on several strategic initiatives over the past year, so it really should not come as a surprise that Ektron gets a nod from Gartner. We told you about many of Ektron’s happenings, including:

  • Ektron’s CMS deployment in the Amazon Cloud
  • Professional Services growth
  • New offices in Texas and California
  • Stronger focus on sales
  • Enhancements and updates to EktronCMS400.NET
  • Revenue growth in Q1 2009

Ektron thinks that some of the differentiators they have in the competitive Web CMS market are their core CMS product, social networking modules and the professional services group along with partner engineers.

The fact that Ektron is not a sole owner of the Visionaries Magic Quadrant should inspire the company to work even harder and build on the current momentum. Let’s see what they come up with. It’s probably not the best time to rest on laurels.

Originally published on CMSWire: Web CMS Vendor Ektron Finds Its Way to the Magic Quadrant

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Web CMS, Web Content Management

Ektron CMS400.NET Deployed in the Amazon Cloud

The cloud appears to be the new black in the fashion of web content management. One after another, vendors are conquering the cloud in hopes of dazzling their customers with more hosting options and improved scalability.

Ektron’s CMS400.NET content management system is now also cloud-friendly, thanks to their eSync technology that can do bi-directional synchronization with the cloud.

Hosting is also part of the offering. Ektron is using the Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) as a hosting option, allowing customers to run and manage their production, development and staging environments in the cloud, in any combination.

Ektron’s eSync technology can be used for bi-directional synchronization between the cloud and a customer’s local environment for the entire web site, specific pages or select pieces of content; giving developers the ability to code locally and sync up with the cloud.

Ektron says it will provide a set of free Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), on which customers can deploy their CMS400.NET instances. Using these Ektron-provided AMIs, new virtual machines can be provisioned with CMS400.NET. Developers can take advantage of the provisioning and automated software deployment.

While the cloud option may not necessarily work for all Ektron Web CMS customers, it is certainly worth looking into.

Original on CMSWire: Ektron CMS400.NET Deployed in the Amazon Cloud

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Web CMS, Web Content Management

Ektron Opens Offices in Cali, Texas

From East to WestEktron is now ready to jump into those cowboy boots and embrace the oh-so-desired Bay Area. The Web CMS vendor (quite predictably so) announced the opening of two new offices — in San Francisco, California, and in Austin, Texas.

The addition of the new offices will extend Ektron’s market reach and provide additional support and services critical to the company’s expanding customer base and partner channel.

Full article on CMSWire: Ektron Makes a Move to the West

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