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).


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:


  • 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.


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.
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.


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

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

Enterprise CMS, Enterprise Content Management, social media, Web CMS, Web Content Management

Vignette Stockholders Approve Open Text Acquisition

Open Text said it’s a done deal. The planned acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Vignette (worth approximately US$ 321 million) has been completed late yesterday following a shareholders’ meeting where the voting and approval took place.

While Vignette is busy nostalgizing, Open Text says it’s working on the strategic aspects of what may come next. Let’s not forget that Open Text already has a WCM-centric group called Open Text Web Solutions. Offering an even broader range of (quite similar) products is going to take some brain activity. Then again, this would not be the first quilting exercise for Open Text.

In the meantime, there’s still some Vignette cash to recognize on OTEX’s balance sheet.

According to the “big brother,” support will continue for Vignette’s products and (the relatively quickly decreasing) installed base (bringing in the licensing revenue). The same applies to existing Web Solutions products and customers. No comment has been made in regards to new(er) Vignette products.

There is a talk about a “combined product,” but no details on what it will be, except for providing a supersized meal of a “full set of feature options, from… fast-to-deploy web publishing application, to… enterprise-class e-business platform for large-scale deployments.”

Vignette’s social media, DAM and personalized content seem to be some of the most palatable notes in this content management connoisseur combo. Open Text also expressed intent to potentially leverage some of Vignette’s components in its ECM Suite.

More details on the product strategy and the product roadmap are not likely to be announced earlier than October, when Open Text’s annual conference — Content World 2009 – will take place.

Restructuring is expected. We should know more about the range of that initiative around the end of August.

Originally posted on CMSWire: Vignette Stockholders Said Yes to Open Text Acquisition

Digital Asset Management, Enterprise CMS, Enterprise Content Management, Web CMS, Web Content Management

Continued Quilting Exercise With Open Text WCM

Open Text Web Solutions, formerly known as RedDot Web Content Management (WCM), has gone through a major new release and is now in version 10. There are improvements to the technology stack, more ECM and SAP integrations, updated UI — and OTEX didn’t stop there.

Marci Maddox, Open Text’s director for global product marketing, was kind enough to share the details of the Web Solutions 10 release.

Open Text, understandably, continues to weave its multiple platforms into a coherent patchwork. ECM, DAM and the SAP NetWeaver Portal are some of the touch points.

Open Text Livelink ECM integration is coming as part of the integrations update release around September. Same goes for SharePoint 2010.

Integration with the recently unveiled Open Text Social Media is also in the plans, according to Maddox, who says that there’s already a “small integration” in place, but it is not a released item yet.

Shooting for Seamless Quilts

Open Text is in an interesting position of piecing together so many different systems that are either their own or were acquired. Seamless would be the ideal way for cross-system access to all relevant information.

Not many vendors are able to deliver that seamlessness, which comes with efficiency and ease-of-use. It’ll be interesting to see how Open Text does in this application quilting area, and how Vignette will be part of this entire patchwork.

More on CMSWire: Open Text Continues Quilting Exercise With Latest Web CMS Release

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

Interwoven Acquired by Autonomy: It’s a Done Deal

Everything is moving according to the plan. Autonomy announced its decision to buy Interwoven early this year, and the deal has been signed earlier today (not without minor hurdles).

As at today, Bloomberg consensus analysts estimate Autonomy’s revenues at $119.9 million with adjusted EPS of $0.14. Updated consensus analysts’ estimates for the period, including Interwoven’s contribution under Autonomy’s ownership in Q1 2009, are revenues of $125-$128 million and EPS of $0.14 to $0.15. More financial results to be announced mid- to late April 2009.

It’s a Done Deal, What’s Next?

Well, most likely there will be organizational changes, including those known as “overhead costs optimization.” The initial plan was to terminate about 70 positions in the company. It’s close to the end of Q1 and, as promised, Interwoven will (if it hasn’t already) start letting people go. The desired savings of approximately $8.0 million to $10.0 million annually have to come from somewhere.

However, as in case with recent Vignette layoffs, who will be working on new Interwoven product management initiatives if the brains are gone fishing?

How Much Longer for Interwoven in the Content Management Space?

There’s still not much clarity on how IWOV’s product line will be married with Meridio, IDOL and other Autonomy technologies. Seen some seemingly internal PPT’s floating around the Internet, but won’t comment on that. Would rather prefer a vendor briefing invite.

Best bet would be to preserve Interwoven’s WCM and ECM focus, but this would be up to Mr. Lynch, of course. BTW, did you see the new Interwoven+Autonomy logo? It explains everything.

Any hints in what Lynch said today?

“… With this acquisition we will redefine how global 2000 corporations interact with the web and how leading law firms and government regulators will discover, analyze and manage information and interactions.”

Let’s just say Open Text may see more competition in the near future on the “law firms+government regulators+ discover” front.

WCM/ECM Chronicles

One brand name after another, the good ole web and enterprise content management markets are getting thinner and thinner (Isn’t there some sort of a technological Rogaine for that? 😉 ) with long-timers disappearing/morphing in some form or another.

RedDot – gone, swallowed by Open Text. Day Software’s Communiqué – abbreviated to CQ. Percussion Rhythmyx – rebranded to CM System. Interwoven – ummm, as of now, overpowered by Autonomy in (at least) the logospehere business and being called Autonomy Interwoven.