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.

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.

SaaS CMS, Web analytics, Web CMS, Web Content Management

Autonomy Interwoven Takes Web CMS and Optimization to the Cloud

Imagine a combination of SaaS CMS, Web analytics, A/B and MVT testing, and optimization of landing pages — sounds like a novel idea? Hardly.

Although every vendor wants to make us believe they are the first ever to step on the surface of the hosted Web CMS/analytics Moon, we know that others have approached this endearing to marketers subject before. The SaaS Web CMS provider CrownPeak released a similar offering — CrownPeak Landing Page Manager — back in April.

Nevertheless, here’s Autonomy’s announcement about a new product designed to enamor marketers and allow them to build and test website landing pages in a hosted environment. Expanding on its existing cloud initiatives, Autonomy Interwoven takes another bite at the pie that integrates online testing and web content management (leveraging Interwoven’s TeamSite and LiveSite).

The Autonomy Optimized Landing Page product allows users to get the best of both worlds in one interface: web content management and multivariate testing (MVT). This combination of technology is usually used to optimize campaigns (pages) after they’re created. The goal here is simple, yet often hard to reach – lead conversion.

More on CMSWire: Autonomy Interwoven Takes a Bite at SaaS CMS, Landing Page Optimization

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?

Web CMS, Web Content Management

FatWire Launches New Tiered Partner Program

Hot on the heels of last week’s move to rescue” its competitors’ customers, FatWire is back in the news. Fortifying their competitive edge, folks at FatWire launched a new partner program aiming to extend reach and consulting capabilities globally.

Once Autonomy Interwoven and Vignette customers start jumping the ship (if they, in fact, do so), a stronger partner network will clearly come in handy. Sapient, Satyam and EMC Conchango are among FatWire’s “leading partners,” if that tells you anything.

More on CMSWire: FatWire Aims to Strengthen Its Partner Program

Web CMS, Web Content Management

FatWire Wants to Rescue Interwoven and Vignette Customers

Competition in the Web CMS market is cutthroat. Not a single weakness goes unnoticed. Not a single slip goes unattacked. But it’s just business as usual, right? We all seize opportunities, especially in tight times.

FatWire is no exception. Demonstrating as much, the web content management vendor has launched a “rescue program” for Interwoven and Vignette customers who are apparently plagued by their recent acquisitions by Autonomy and Open Text respectively.

What is FatWire offering as bait? Free licenses and “proven migration tools” valid until the end of September. Should you consider?

Full story on CMSWire: FatWire Swoops on Interwoven and Vignette Customers

Enterprise CMS, Enterprise Content Management

Where Does Interwoven Fit in Autonomy’s Q1 Results?

Autonomy reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2009. According to the company, these (unaudited) numbers represent the highest Q1 revenues and profits in Autonomy’s history.

One of Q1 2009 highlights is, of course, the completed acquisition of Interwoven with “integration ahead of plan,”  cash flowing in (as well as out), and somewhat more clarity on where this is all going.

More on CMSWire: Where Does Interwoven Fit in Autonomy’s Q1 Results?