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.

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.

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

You’ve Been Tagged in CMS Vendor Meme

This morning (to my sheer amusement), I’ve picked up on Twitter that @daysoftware has challenged several CMS vendors to participate in what they call CMS Vendor Meme.

Twitter Morning

It went like this. LOLs are the best part of any morning 😉

daysoftware: Introducing the CMS Vendor Meme http://tinyurl.com/cbocwf

irina_guseva: lol RT @daysoftware: Introducing the CMS Vendor Meme http://tinyurl.com/cbocwf

adriaanbloem: @kasthomas LOL, seen this? RT @irina_guseva: lol RT @daysoftware: Introducing the CMS Vendor Meme http://tinyurl.com/cbocwf

Inspired by CMSWatch’s Kas Tomas’ Reality Check for Vendors, the challenge is to (honestly) answer 15 product-related questions. Day Software started off with a slew of screenshots and a score of 40/45.

Day tagged “OpenText, Coremedia, Interwoven, Vignette (where’s your blog?), Fatwire (where’s your blog?), Nuxeo, Magnolia and Tridion (where’s your blog?).” By the end of day (haha), only one (+one more not tagged by Day) vendor responded.

Magnolia CMS Plays In

Magnolia was the first to respond. Score: 42/45. Tagged: Jahia, Alfresco, OpenCMS, Hippo, EZ, Core Media, dotCMS

2. Installing or uninstalling our software does not require a reboot of your machine – Yes

No restart required. Why are you asking?

9. We run our entire company website using the latest version of our own WCMproducts – Sort of

Nearly. Unlike Day, we did not have three years time to release our latest generation of software…

13. Our licensing model is simple enough for a 5-year-old to understand – Yes

You can get one version for free. You get a better, supported version for 12k $ per server per year. Simple enough for a five year old.

Alfresco’s Turn

Alfresco followed. Score 40/45. Tagged: Documentum, Oracle/Stellent and Acquia/Drupal

10. Our salespeople understand how our products work.

Inasmuch as a non-technical/non-web-development savvy person can, yes. But that’s why we have a stellar team of Solution Engineers ready to lend prospects, customers and community members a helping hand.

11. Our software does what we say it does.

Yup… That’s the whole idea, ain’t it? Download it and see!

14. We have one price sheet for all customers.

There is indeed only one price-sheet…

At the End of the Day

adriaanbloem:  CMS vendors reminding me why CMS Watch doesn’t treat comparison as a horse race. Day gives itself 40/45, Magnolia 42/45, Alfresco 41/45…

Thanks, Day, for a good laugh 🙂



[updated] Mandarin Hotels Join the SDL Tridion Family

[updated] Heard back from Siteworx with more implementation details.

Signing a contract doesn’t necessarily grant you a seat at Tridion’s family dining table 😉 Getting fully tridionized, however, is a totally different story.

Last week, yet another biggie joined the big (more than 500 customers) and happy Tridion family via a partner-led implementation. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group can now properly enjoy the magical beauties of SDL Tridion Web CMS.

Siteworx, an SDL Tridion partner based in Reston, VA, was leading this implementation. I had a chance to chat with Siteworx’s president, Tim McLaughlin, (thanks, Patricia!) to get the scoop on this implementation. Which, by the way, seems to be the second Tridion implementation under Siteworx’s belt, as far as McLaughlin can recall. Note that I am still waiting on Tim to get clarification on some points of this implementation, so this post may get updated as soon as I hear back from him (nudge, nudge 😉 

The first Tridion baby delivered by Siteworx was the American Psychological Association with a total of 23 subsidiary Web sites — partially done, partially still in the worx with a goal of going live at the end of 2008.

Tridion CMS Implementation Details

A total of Mandarin Oriental’s 26 (or was it 40?) Web sites were tridionized. Most of MO Web properties are managed from various, geo-dispersed locations and have different content. The underlying code was inherited. Some of it was recoded to enhance SEO. New AJAX features were added. The inherited design didn’t change much, aka no full redesign of the sites.

  • Project length: about 6 (or 8 – Tim?) 8 months, originally was planned to be completed in 4-5 months.
  • Project resources: Anywhere from 4 to 6 developers at different points in time
  • Product version: Started implementing in R5.2 and upgraded to R5.3
  • Modules implemented: BluePrint – check, SiteEdit – check, Outbound E-mail – later, Personalization & Profiling – in the worx, Stats – check in the worx, WebForms – ? check, Workflow- ? in the worx
  • Tech stuff: Java- and Microsoft-based implementation

Tridion CMS Implementation Challenges

As with many other Tridion implementations — and Web CMS implementations in general — getting the content in place on time can be tricky.

Close-to-heart understanding of Tridion and its functionality, limitations and capabilities is key.

BluePrint design can be a toughie. BP with all its parent-child dependencies is also not the easiest thing to change, once the implementation has started. Rightfully so, CMS Watch in its 2009Web CMS Report notes that SDL Tridion PS started offering a “BluePrint and Security” workshop. BluePrint Design is also on the price list as one of the more sophisticated, creme de la creme PS offerings.

As McLaughlin notes, Tridion can be very flexible with BP and workflow, as it can be complicated and not necessarily easy to get right the first time around — which is true with any CMS and honing its functionality into a good, workable solution. With the exceptionally unique Tridion BP, it may not be obvious as to how to use it best, and the the first take at it may not necessarily be the last one.

Why Tridion?

Aside from the superb skills of Tridion Sales team, why did Mandarin Oriental choose Tridion CMS? Tridion’s BluePrint is clearly something very attractive to customers with a globalization flair. Managing global content, delivering that content across multiple channels in multiple languages, and protecting the integrity of a global brand is something Tridion CMS is defo a good fit for.

SiteEdit is another way to enamor customers and they love it — especially, those falling into the category of non-techies.

More Tridion to Come to Mandarin Hotels

Siteworx plans to continue fine-tuning the MO implementation by adding new Tridion modules and stand-alone features like mobile-friendly gadgets.

In Lieu of a P.S.

Not the Professional Services PS, but the Post Scriptum kind of a P.S. As I mentioned earlier, am still waiting to get more info from Siteworx on things like how the main home page is being managed and delivered, as not all of it (to my unskilled eye) seems to be done through Tridion. Are images and Flash (/images/corp_homepage_movie.swf) being stored in Tridion CM? Where’re the tcm id’s? If not, why are they stored elsewhere? Doesn’t look like this page is available for editing in SiteEdit either. Just curious…

[updated] The home page is assembled with a page template.  Page is being published from Tridion and all assets for the page are managed in the Tridion CMS. Tridion id’s are not part of binary assets because they are removed at publish time to make it more SEO.

Originally, 25 English site were migrated into the initial Tridion CMS implementation.  Currently, there are 28 English plus 3 localized sites managed in the Tridion CMS.  The original look and feel of the site did not change much.  However, the html and css was rebuilt for SEO and 508 compliancy.  Some sections were given a more updated look with the addition of some AJAX features.

There’s also an official, press-released version of this announcement here and here. Quoting one of them (although, they’re identical): “We are proud that Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group decided to partner with SDL Tridion and Siteworx for its new global web presence,” said Erik Aeyelts Averink, president of SDL Tridion.

I am proud, too, Erik.


SDL Tridion Gearing Up to Open R&D Branch in the U.S.

At least, that’s what it looks like… Just came across several posts on various job sites about SDL Tridion looking to hire a Software Developer for its San Jose, CA, office.

Pieter may come and go, but the show must go on.

The new venture is positioned as part of the SDL Tridion Development Lab, headquartered in Amsterdam and supported by guys in Kiev, Ukraine.

The Ukrainians are hiring, too, by the way. They lure folks in with:

  1. “Good, totally official ‘white’ salary”
  2. “Business trips to Holland”
  3. “Free lunches, corporate parties, picnics, sport programs”

Awww, how very post-Soviet, makes me want to tear up 😉 Some things just never change.

OK, let’s get back on track with the SDL Tridion Development Lab:

Our Development Lab is an international blend of ambitious software engineers who take pride in developing products that facilitate the business-critical processes of our customers. We create Content Management software for multinational business communication. We choose technology to match not just the problem at hand, but also the infrastructure requirements imposed by our customers.

Currently, the San Jose office houses mostly SDL Tridion U.S. Professional Services staff, with R&D — it looks like — to come very soon.

So, if you’ve got skills in Microsoft .NET and/or Java, sounds like you can get a job with the SDL Tridion Development Lab. Oh, and some knowledge of XML, XSLT, DHTML, AJAX, DOM won’t hurt either. Trust me on this one 😉

If you’re a fan of the Agile software development methodology, you definitely sound like the right match for SDL Tridion that says:

We do all of our software development using a Scrum process. This means that the team is largely self-organizing and, within a clear, small set of constraints, is left to optimize its own work. Scrum also means that every month, your product manager can expect to see new product functionality that adds value to our customers.

Speaking of skillsets… Leads me to think of an opinion by Adriaan Bloem posted on CMS Watch not so long ago. He was poking fun at this job post for a Boston Ad agency (Ummm, I wonder who that could possibly be…) looking for a Trdion developer with “Strong .Net Skills, XSLT, JSP, UNIX and Java.” All of that? In one person? Right… Good luck with that 😉

SDL Tridion’s R&D presence in the heart of the self-proclaimed capital of Silicon Valley surely seems like a logical progression of the company’s U.S. expansion. The question is who will lead the effort? Clearly, there will be someone magical to take on the R&D effort a la Californie.

Tot ziens!


Varkevisser Has Left the SDL Tridion Building

Yup, no more Pieter at Burgemeester Stramanweg 101( and, since 4 months ago, Hoogoorddreef 60) in the outskirts of Amsterdam. No more lounging in the funky orange trademark swoosh chairs while drinking crappy coffee from coffee machines available on almost every floor, or sitting in the boardroom, or going on dog sled runs in Sweden as part of Tridion’s annual employee-only fun events, or visiting the Sodexo-inspired cantina on the second (Was it the 2nd? Can’t quite remember) floor.

As announced by SDL Tridion on Friday (sorry, can’t provide the link – the site’s been dead since Friday with occasional attacks of survival), SDL Tridion is getting a new CEO – Jan Jaap Kolleman. But I can quote SDL Tridion benoemt Jan Jaap Kolleman tot nieuwe CEO van SDL Tridion. Pieter is still on the site though:

Varkevisser Has Left the SDL Tridion Building

I wonder why… Things been going quite well, new offices opened up in the US, Europe and Japan. Licensing revenue has been good. He must’ve just gotten tired.

Varkevisser has been the CEO for over 4 years, and it doesn’t really come as a surprise that he’s leaving not long after Tridion was acquired by SDL for €69 million. Who knows how much Pieter got from that deal.

With cash from the SDL’s acquisition as well as his previous gig at Data Distilleries B.V. (and other B.V.’s and N.V.’s), Pieter could probably buy Corsica and not worry about a thing in his life. Wow, and I thought I got bored easily…

From a press release: The outgoing CEO explains, “During the last 18 quarters, we have been able to grow SDL Tridion into a global leader in Web Content Management, with over 500 customers and global operations in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific. As part of the SDL group, with its strong product suite and excellent growth and profitability track record, SDL Tridion is very well positioned towards capturing further market share around the globe.”

Mark Lancaster, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SDL, thanked Varkevisser “for the strong contribution he has made to SDL Tridion over the past 4 years.”

Still, it would be interesting to see (if) where and when Varkevisser re-emerges.

In the meantime, who’s the new guy? Aside from looking very Nordic, which in itself implies being a good fit for a Dutch company… He also sports nice watches. And, he likes CNN – which, as a former employee of, I totally support 😉 But you do need to update that circa 2001 site, dude 😉

Kolleman said: “I’m delighted to be joining SDL Tridion at such an exciting time. I look forward to continuing the growth of the company through expanding our operations worldwide and making strategic acquisitions.” Who wouldn’t be delighted?

Kolleman comes to SDL Tridion from Exact Software, where he held a number of senior positions in general management. His last position was Managing Director of the largest operating company of Exact Software, a software company headquartered in the Netherlands with revenues over US$ 350 million.

Prior to Exact Software, Kolleman was commercial director at Sylis Netherlands, a full provider of IT services.

The funny thing is Kolleman has updated his LinkedIn profile, before SDL Tridion’s web site was updated to reflect the change. What’s not funny is that he only has 54 connections. Seriously, 54. Even Pieter has 187.

Surely, Tridion in the U.S. will not suffer. While the U.S. economy is the worst it’s been since the late 1990’s (I call it the Great Depression – Part Deux), folks need WCM and Tridion is there to provide the tools.


ShadoCMS Jumps On the Localization Train

Well, it’s about time… with all the competition that’s out there. I am not even gonna mention my long-time fave SDL Tridion 😉

Straker, with its ShadoCMS v8.5 Web CMS, and Across Systems’ Language Server teamed up to deliver a new localization interface, providing an automated process from web content creation to translation management, publishing and handling of dynamic multilingual content.

The partnership promises to deliver savings above 60% for companies that manage large-scale translations of dynamic web sites. Rigghhht…

Better late than never, as they say. So, welcome to the global content management party!

Full article on CMSWire:

ShadoCMS Jumps On the Localization Train