OpenText acquires HP TeamSite

Yesterday, an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendor OpenText announced an agreement to acquire HP TeamSite, a web content management (WCM) platform, previously known as Interwoven TeamSite and Autonomy TeamSite. As part of this acquisition, OpenText also acquires other customer experience tools: HP MediaBin (digital asset management solution), HP Qfiniti (contact center management tool), HP Explore (analytics), HP Aurasma (augmented reality tool), and HP Optimost (A/B testing). The transaction purchase price is quoted to be approximately $170 million.

opentext-hp-teamsite

In the WCM space, acquisitions are common — over one-third of all leading WCM platforms are the result of previous acquisitions. The telltale sign of the OpenText + HP TeamSite acquisition came late in 2015 when HP made the decision to reside the Interwoven/Autonomy assets under HP Inc and not HP Enterprise (451 subscription required, h/t Matt Mullen).

“Why pair it with printers? In our view at DCG, we assumed this meant they’d be selling it off as soon as they could find a buyer. It’s been pretty public knowledge that HP has had buyer’s remorse from the Interwoven acquisition for quite some time,” said our CEO, Scott Liewehr, in an interview with TechCrunch about the acquisition.

For a long time Interwoven TeamSite was one of the leading content management solutions, typically considered alongside Oracle/Stellent, Vignette and RedDot. In fairness, it was the first true enterprise WCM system, and in many ways Interwoven was the firm that established this market. In their prime, Interwoven sales executives refused to engage in pre-sales conversations with prospects that didn’t disclose their CMS procurement budgets outright. Interwoven only targeted large organizations that could reliably afford top-of-the range license and maintenance fees.

Interwoven was a huge dot.com IPO success. It went public on the NASDAQ in Oct 1999 and raised what was at the time the staggering sum of $55m. Bear in mind that at the time of the flotation it was running at a loss and only had revenue of around $5m. In 2009, Interwoven was bought by Autonomy for $775m but didn’t thrive under Autonomy’s ownership. In 2011, Autonomy (including Interwoven TeamSite as part of the deal) was sold to HP in probably the most controversial deal in software history. All in all, past M&As involving Interwoven TeamSite are full of overpriced valuations, but yesterday’s valuation of around 2x revenue seems fair for a divestment from HP Inc.

If you are a current TeamSite customer, you might be wondering what will happen to the numerous WCM and digital asset management (DAM) products post-acquisition. Following this acquisition, OpenText will own three WCM products: OpenText Web Experience Management (formerly Vignette), OpenText WebSite Management (formerly RedDot), and now TeamSite; plus two DAM products: HP MediaBin and OpenText Media Management (formerly Artesia). That’s a lot of product overlap. However, based on OpenText’s track record of acquisitions, it is reasonable to expect that these products will continue on their separate roadmaps, offering OpenText healthy maintenance revenue and cross-sell opportunities. The value in this acquisition for OpenText is not in product synergies, but in access to a new customer base of large, complex organizations that could benefit from other aspects of their Enterprise Information Management offering.

As for HP (both of them), we believe they are now officially out of the customer experience management business as we know it.

A Closer Look at the CrownPeak and ActiveStandards Merger

This week proprietary web content management system vendor CrownPeak merged with digital governance platform provider ActiveStandards. Jim Yares, former COO at CrownPeak, has been appointed as the CEO of the combined company.

CrownPeak isn’t as widely known amongst technology buyers as some of its competitors. CrownPeak’s partner network and user/developer community is relatively small, and marketing investments have always been modest. Nevertheless, CrownPeak found an effective niche by serving organizations with large, multi-site, multilingual websites, such as Lilly (pharmaceutical), Prudential (financial services) and ACE Group (insurance), to name a few. CrownPeak’s decoupled architecture, emphasis on security, and engaged, consultative customer support makes it an attractive choice for highly regulated industries and global organizations with international presence. CrownPeak was recognised as a “Visionary” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management (WCM) for two years in a row (2014, 2015), which reflects solid levels of customer satisfaction.

crownpeak-activestandards

Although mergers and acquisitions in the WCM space are a fact of life, CrownPeak’s merger was particularly unsurprising. The senior team is made up of leaders with a track record of managing rapid growth, and with two rounds of venture funding firmly in the past, securing more funding and growing through acquisition was an expected next step.

For ActiveStandards, a digital governance vendor often considered alongside Siteimprove and Sitemorse, this merger represents an escape from drawn-out sales attempts generating lots of enthusiasm at the web practitioner level, but not making it to the C-suite. Post-merger, the ActiveStandards platform will be sold as part of the CrownPeak family under the new name of CrownPeak Digital Quality Management. This will make it easier to pitch the product at the right level. Whether a digital governance tool will bring success to the combined company, remains to be seen. Digital governance is not, generally speaking, an exciting topic that drives sales in WCM space.

At Digital Clarity Group we are often asked about the impact of an acquisition on the existing customers. Typically if a vendor gets acquired by a direct competitor, the risk to customers is that the acquisition is primarily targeting the customer base, and not the actual product. In this scenario, the product may get lost or forgotten post-acquisition, leaving existing customers in limbo. By contrast, an investment by a venture capital firm such as K1 is generally aimed at maximising profit. In this case, both the customer base and the product should get the attention they deserve, and that’s good news.

It’s worth pointing out that CrownPeak and ActiveStandards are both SaaS platforms which appeal to customers with similar sets of requirements. CrownPeak already had an application‐level integration with ActiveStandards before the acquisition, so in terms of technology, merging the two companies together is straightforward. However, technology buyers are becoming increasingly aware that good technology investments depend not so much on the technology itself, but on the service providers and vendor’s support services that can make the technology work in the real world.

And this is where customers and prospects of both firms should be asking some questions.

Successful WCM implementations rely on people – people who are motivated, knowledgeable and reliable. Support teams that respond to customer enquiries, developers that modify the product roadmap on the basis of customer feedback, service providers that have a continued strong partnership with the vendor. Mergers have the tendency to affect people and processes, so keep a close eye on the people side of things, and do a reality check every now and again to see whether the vision and the values you signed up for are still in place.

For a list of useful questions that you can ask yourself, your technology vendor, and your service provider at the time of acquisition, see:

Digital Transformation in Higher Education: How Content Management Technologies and Practices Are Evolving in the Era of Experience Management

This study aims to answer the following questions:

  • How are institutions leveraging digital content, technologies, and practices to engage and interact with education customers (primarily students and their families)?
  • What is the current state of content management practices in higher education, and how do they underpin customer engagement and experience?
  • What steps are institutions taking to expand their platforms and practices beyond web publishing to experience management?
  • How do they gauge their own progress towards meeting the expectations of the types of students that they want to attract?
  • What obstacles prevent them from improving their current content management practices, and from preparing for more engagement and less publishing?
  • What can institutions do today to step more firmly onto the path of digital transformation or advance their progress if they have already begun?

Digital Transformation in Higher Education

Web Content Management Round-Up, October 2015

Gartner’s WCM Magic Quadrant 2015

Vendors that made it to Gartner’s WCM Magic Quadrant 2015 are:

  • Sitecore, Adobe, Acquia, Oracle, OpenText, HP, SDL, IBM, EPiServer – ‘leaders’;
  • Automattic, CrownPeak, CoreMedia – ‘visionaries’;
  • Progress Software (Sitefinity/Telerik), Microsoft, Hippo, e-Spirit, Squiz, GX Software, eZ Systems – ‘niche players’.

If one or more of these vendors is on your short list, you can be certain that the Magic Quadrant will appear (dare I say, magically) in the respective vendor’s sales demo. It will be presented as a badge of honour, a major achievement, a success indicator that differentiates the vendor from its competition. And that’s not all wrong. What would be wrong, however, is to assume that other vendors, those that don’t appear on the Quadrant, are not worthy of your consideration.

One of Gartner’s inclusion criteria requires the WCM product to be marketed in more than two vertical markets. This immediately excludes vendors who are deeply invested in serving a specific industry. Leading Higher Ed players such as TerminalFour, Zengenti, OmniUpdate, Ingeniux and HannonHill fall squarely into this category. Their success is based precisely on what Gartner penalizes them for – deep, intimate understanding of the Higher Ed market.

The second criteria worth mentioning is the global presence requirement: “The vendor must actively market its WCM offering in at least two of the following regions: North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia/Pacific.” There go missing another set of established CMS vendors that serve local customers in their own geography (think Typo3, GOSS Interactive, Bridgeline iAAPS).

The problem with the Magic Quadrant is that many large organisations misuse it as a shortcut to quickly arrive at their short list, thereby excluding valid, perfectly suitable options. “Don’t simply select vendors from the Leaders’ quadrant,” Gartner tells us towards the end of the report, implying that the remaining three corners should be considered, too. Our advice is:“Don’t simply limit your vendor selection to the whole of the Gartner’s MQ.” Consider vendors who are not in the quadrants at all.

But now that you’ve seen the magic elephant, can you get it out of your head?

Can you?

gartner-magic-quadrant-elephants

Web Content Management in Higher Ed

Web Content Management in Higher Ed faces a unique set of challenges. From exceptional volumes of content, to highly devolved content ownership, to muddled vision and decision-making, web content management in Higher Ed is no easy task. In terms of technology, the industry is mostly served by CMS vendors with exclusive focus on this vertical (OmniUpdate, HannonHill, TerminalFour, Zengenti/Contensis, and so on), whereas larger players, like Acquia/Drupal and Adobe, develop their understanding of the industry through dedicated divisions. All companies targeting Higher Ed invest heavily in the research of the industry trends and changing customer expectations.

TerminalFour and Omniupdate share their insights in these recent reports:

TerminalFour Higher Ed Survey

Download TerminalFour 2015 Higher Education Web Survey Report.

OpenText’s Global Partner Program

OpenText announces a new global partner program which includes a marketing development fund, loyalty and referral programs for its partners. If you are a digital agency or systems integrator seeking to expand your technology partnerships, now is a good time to consider OpenText. If you are an OpenText customer, you might find your service provider to be more in tune with recent product developments, and the choice of OpenText partners wider than before.

opentext-global-partner-program

OpenText Global Partner Program introduces five distinct programs: Referral, Reseller, Services, Technology, and Support.

Are you ready for Drupal 8?

As exciting as Drupal 8 is, you’d be forgiven for feeling apprehensive about the actual upgrade process. CMS upgrades are never easy. Every module used on your website will have to be made compatible with Drupal 8, and every CMS customisation will need to be double-checked and possibly modified to work with the new version. It’s a complex and tedious task.

To make the upgrade process easier, Drupal agency Provonix launched a d8upgrade community initiative, which notifies Drupal customers of the modules that have been made compatible with Drupal 8. To benefit from this service, register your Drupal website, along with all the Drupal modules you’re using, at d8upgrade.

Drupal Evolution

Drupal Evolution by Chris Eastwood, Drupal Developer.

DotCMS Product Education

DotCMS, a Java-based content management vendor, which is often considered alongside Hippo, Magnolia CMS, OpenCMS, and Oracle WCS, announces the new webinar series under the title of Build with dotCMS. Previously, dotCMS has been known to use the product itself as its main marketing tool – you can download dotCMS community edition for free, and/or request a 30-day trial for dotCMS Enterprise Prime. There’s nothing stopping you from evaluating the product fit to your heart’s content. The newly launched webinars provide useful context and guidance – which doesn’t come included with the product installation.
dotcms

dotCMS Build with dotCMS webinars start in October 2015.

Events

Autumn is a peak season for industry events and conferences. Here’s a quick overview of what’s coming up in November.

jboye15-aarhus

JBoye Conference, Aarhus 2015.

Web Content Management Round-Up, July 2015

TYPO3 and Neos part ways

TYPO3 Association and the Neos team made an announcement about separating the Neos project from TYPO3. The beginnings of the split date back to 2012, when TYPO3 was on its version 4. The subsequent version, TYPO3 v5, was developed by the Neos team, but was not released, due to significant gaps between the TYPO3 v5 vision and the actual product. Development of the TYPO3 v4 continued separately, with TYPO3 v6 released in November 2012, as a result. The work on the intended TYPO3 v5 was completed a year later, in December 2013, and the product was re-branded as TYPO3 Neos.

At face value, splitting an open source community is not a great idea. After all, the outcome of the split is two smaller development teams, and two smaller communities (more of an issue for the newly created Neos). Given the backstory, however, this decision comes as no surprise, and has the potential to let both teams focus on their respective vision with renewed energy and enthusiasm. “Even if it’s sad that the split is the necessary consequence of the current situation, I think it’s best for both products.” – says Lorenz Ulrich, TYPO3 Neos Web Developer.

typo3-cms

Sitecore Cuts its Workforce

Sitecore, a leading WCM vendor, cuts its global workforce. As a private company, Sitecore has no obligations to formally announce or explain the job cuts, but given the company’s fast and aggressive growth in the last decade, it’s not surprising that an operational adjustment might be needed to align with the new market opportunities.

sitecore-offices

Sitecore is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, with offices in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.

 

Wagtail v1.0 release

If you haven’t heard of Wagtail before, now is the time. This Django-based CMS platform was first launched as an open-source project in December 2014 and celebrates its v1.0 release this month. (I find v1.0 a particularly delightful milestone because most CMS products seem to be born into this world as version 3.0 or higher. Just like that.)

Wagtail CMS was created by Torchbox, an ethically driven digital agency well known for specifically seeking out clients that make this world a better place (notable examples of such clients are Royal College of Art, WWF, and GroceryAid, to name just a few).

Unlike other content management systems, which focus on empowering non-technical editors, Wagtail is optimized for web developers and digital agencies. Wagtail is built with the goal of cutting the time and cost required to create and update websites by experienced, technically savvy web professionals.

Wagtail’s user interface is easy-to-use, and features an interesting new concept of a streamfield, a mixed sequence of content types, that can be easily rearranged and reused – something in between wild freedom of a rich-text area and hugely restrictive plain text.

wagtail

StreamField is a new solution for creating ‘freeform’ content. Build and arrange content blocks: headings, paragraphs, images, video, and custom content types.

 

Digital Self-Service in UK Public Sector

GOSS Interactive published a Digital Self-Service Survey Report 2015. The report is based on a survey of 355 senior managers from 256 public sector organisations. It details organisations’ approaches to self-service, the benefits they are achieving, and their future plans with regards to digital self-service. In addition to reporting survey results, the report offers recommendations for organisations considering digital self-service implementations, and includes case studies demonstrating how public sector organisations delivered ROI from self-service.

goss

 

OpenText partners with Manifesto

Manifesto, a London-based digital agency, specializing in large, complex WCM implementations for education, leisure and non-profit sectors, announces a strategic partnership with OpenText. Manifesto was founded in 2011 and has expertise in Drupal and Oracle WCS. The new partnership extends the range of services that Manifesto provides, and broadens the skillset of its team.

manifesto-opentext

OpenText partners with London-based Manifesto.

 

Upcoming Events

hippo-connect

Robert Rose, Senior Analyst at Digital Clarity Group, will speak at Hippo.Connect Boston on October 1, 2015.

Web Content Management Round-Up, June 2015

Drupal 8 Security

With more than one million websites running on Drupal, this PHP-based CMS platform is one of the top three most popular content management systems in the world[1]. Unfortunately Drupal is also well-known for its security issues. Notably, in autumn 2014, Drupal released a security patch to address a serious SQL Injection vulnerability, which affected all of the Drupal websites and was rated as a highly critical security issue with a maximum security risk rating, 25/25. Websites which were not patched within seven hours of the security announcement were considered compromised.

Since then, three more security patches were issued. The most recent one addressed OpenID module vulnerability, which allowed hackers to login as website administrators (security risk: 15/25).

With Drupal 8 on the horizon, security of the platform will come under new scrutiny. Architectural changes and new modules that come with Drupal 8 release will introduce additional security risks. In an attempt to address these concerns, Drupal announced Drupal 8 Security bug bounty program which will pay for valid security issues found in Drupal 8. This initiative is funded through Drupal 8 Accelerate.

Interested to take part? Find and report security issues by August 31, 2015 at Drupal 8 Bugcrowd.

drupal8-security-wanted

Drupal 8 Bug Bounty Program pays for any security vulnerabilities found in Drupal 8.

 

Wimbledon Extends Partnership with IBM

IBM, Wimbledon’s trusted partner for more than 15 years, extends the contract for another five years and makes headlines promoting the redesigned and enhanced Wimbledon website. When it comes to rising customer expectations, Wimbledon website is a case in point. Tennis fans want it all – they want to see the scores, the queuing times, read the interviews, watch the matches, compare today’s stats with last year’s, you name it. Tennis fans don’t care about fragmented governance of tennis events, which gets in the way of collecting data. They don’t care who owns the copyright on the interviews, and they don’t care about the high traffic that the website has to cope with at peak times (last year, Wimbledon’s website had 17 million unique visitors during the two weeks of the tournament). Tennis fans want outstanding customer experience. Nothing less will do.

IBM claims to match and exceed these expectations with “unparalleled access to real-time live scoring, courtside action and insights, via a radical redevelopment and redesign of wimbledon.com and advancement of the mobile apps experience”. With player statistics and other key tournament features becoming available next week, on June 29 2015, it won’t be long before tennis fans themselves give their verdict.

wimbledon-slamtracker-2015

IBM redesigns and enhances Wimbledon.com website.

 

Web CMS for Higher Ed

HannonHill announced Cascade CMS 7.14 release. The main two features introduced in this release are:

  • Content ownership.
  • Login as user.

Content ownership functionality allows to assign content owners to content assets. This feature is particularly important in the context of the Higher Ed industry, where web managers are fighting the battle against the incorrect, irrelevant and out-of-date content every day.

Login as user allows administrators to temporarily log in as another user without the need to enter their password.

For more information on this release, read the overview of the features on Hannon Hill website, watch this webinar recording on what’s new in Cascade CMS 7.14 and 7.12, or look through the release notes.

Cascade Server CMS

Cascade Server CMS introduces content ownership feature, which helps web managers to identify and correct out-of-date information.

 

Service Provider Incentro Becomes Hippo CMS Gold Partner

Incentro, a digital agency and systems integrator with offices in Netherlands, Spain and Turkey, became a Hippo CMS Gold Partner. The gold partnership title reflects Incentro’s expertise and experience in Hippo CMS implementations – the company has a track record of six completed Hippo CMS projects and employs 18 Hippo CMS certified developers. You can find out more about Incentro’s company history, project approach and other web content management partnerships in Digital Clarity Group’s Incentro Service Provider Profile.

Incentro Digital Agency

Incentro becomes Hippo CMS Gold Partner

 

Recognition and Awards

Winners of Umbraco Awards 2015 were announced at this year’s Codegarden annual conference. They are:

Umbraco Awards 2015

Power website wins Umbraco Awards 2015 in Best Integration Category.

 

Upcoming Industry Events


Web Content Management Round-Up, May 2015

Adobe and Microsoft Partnership

Adobe announces a strategic partnership with Microsoft as the two companies intend to integrate Adobe’s Marketing Cloud suite with Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM solution. This move will give businesses an integrated toolkit for tackling both customer relationship management and marketing. The proposed integration will enable organizations to use customer data in Adobe Marketing Cloud for personalization and sophisticated data harvesting. This alliance aims to strengthen Adobe Marketing Cloud as a means of helping the customers on their journey to customer experience management.

The announcement was made during the recent Adobe Digital Marketing Summit (EMEA) in London, one of the largest conferences of its kind. If you missed the summit this year, read the top 10 highlights for a glimpse of what Adobe had on offer for its customers and partners.

Adobe and Microsoft Partnership, Adobe Marketing Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Adobe and Microsoft Announce Partnership at Adobe Summit (EMEA).

OpenText Reviews its Operations

OpenText announced a plan to cut its workforce by 5%. This translates into 425 jobs at risk, although it is unclear at this point which departments and offices will be affected. In the context of numerous acquisitions that fueled OpenText growth for over a decade, this operational review is no surprise; in fact, it is necessary for addressing the overlap in products and departments. In most private companies, including OpenText’s direct competitors, such right-sizing would likely go unnoticed (and certainly unannounced), but OpenText is required to report it due to its public status. Watch this space for more updates on OpenText, as the news unfold.

OpenText

OpenText employs 8,500 people worldwide.

Appnovation Donates $30,000 to Drupal 8 Accelerate

Appnovation, a digital agency and systems integrator specializing in a number of open source technologies, donates $30,000 to Drupal 8 Accelerate Fund.

Drupal 8 Accelerate Fund was launched in November 2014 to help accelerate the release of Drupal 8. Appnovation is one of the seven anchor donors that together with the Drupal Association are matching every donation made, doubling their value. The other six anchor donors are: Acquia, Lullabot, Palantir.net, Phase2, PreviousNext, and Wunderkraut.

$209,213 has been raised to date, making it 84% of the $250,000 goal. If you are a committed member of Drupal community, you can spread the word using hashtag #d8Accelerate, make a donation, or suggest an idea of how the raised money should be spent (apply for a grant).

Drupal 8 Accelerate

Seven anchor donors of Drupal 8 Accelerate Fund are: Acquia, Appnovation, Lullabot, Palantir.net, Phase2, PreviousNext, and Wunderkraut.

Hippo CMS 10

Hippo releases the new Hippo CMS 10 version of its platform, which follows the previous version 7.9. Yes that’s right, for Hippo CMS, 7.9 plus one = 10, and no, it’s not just you. We all find it confusing. Version numbers aside, what’s in the release?

True to its tagline – ‘Personalized Experiences Across all Channels’ – Hippo CMS continues to improve personalization and customer experience capabilities. In the latest release, key areas of improvement are:

  • Hippo’s new Content Performance Platform allows users to view and analyse web analytics in the context of an individual, rather than average visitor. This data helps to convert visitors into customers, and is essential for building an effective personalized content strategy.
  • In this release Hippo CMS introduces new algorithms for testing and optimization that are designed to be more effective than traditional A/B testing for personalized websites.
  • Interface and functional improvements for Hippo CMS developers and end users.

Interested to find out more? Join Hippo’s CMO, Tjeerd Brenninkmeijer and Hippo’s CTO, Arjé Cahn for a free online webinar on June 2, 2015: Introducing Hippo CMS 10 – Content Performance Insights for Data-Driven Content Strategy.

hippo-10

Join Tjeerd Brenninkmeijer and Arjé Cahn for an online webinar about Hippo CMS 10

Automattic Acquires a Leading WordPress Service Provider WooThemes

Automattic, the company behind WordPress, and owner of the free blogging service WordPress.com acquired WooThemes, the creator of a popular WordPress-based e-commerce plugin WooCommerce. Read more about the significance of this acquisition ‘for the masses’ in this blogpost by DCG Principal Analyst Jill Finger Gibson:

Automattic acquires WooThemes. Tags: WooCommerce, WordPress.

Automattic acquires WooThemes, provider of WordPress-based themes and plugins.

Mura CMS Themes competition

Mura CMS partnered with Envato to launch a new Envato’s Most Wanted Mura CMS Themes competition with a number of cash prizes to be won. This is a great opportunity for web designers and web developers to expand their portfolios, get noticed, and learn more about Mura CMS.

Most-Wanted-Poster-94

Read full details and participate in the contest at Themeforest

Upcoming Industry Events

  • CMO Digital Marketing Leaders Summit will take place on June 1-3, 2015, in Austin, Texas, USA. This event brings together 60 senior marketing decision makers and business leaders from across America. DCG’s Scott Liewehr, and Tim Walters will lead roundtables, moderate panels, and conduct workshops. Delegate participation for this event is by invitation only.
  • IWMW 2015 (Institutional Web Management Workshop) is an annual conference for digital professionals in the UK education sector. This year IWMW 2015 runs under the theme “Beyond Digital: Transforming the Institution,” and takes place in Ormskirk, Lancashire, on 27-29 July 2015.

IWMW

IWMW brings together web professionals responsible for institutional web services across the UK education sector.

Sitecore Announces 2014 Experience Award Winners in North America

This year the overall Sitecore Experience award goes to Comcast’s Xfinity.com, and the Sitecore People’s Choice Award (determined by public vote) goes to Understood.org and its Sitecore Solution partner, Agency Oasis. See the additional winners in other categories at Sitecore official announcement.

sitecore-2014

Understood.org helps parents of kids with learning and attention issues.

Giving back to the community

Digital leaders and web professionals don’t save lives. Not every day anyway. Yet many are finding ways to make our world a better place, and give back to the community.

childrens-hospital-of-philadelphia

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Web Content Management Round-Up, April 2015

New Version of TerminalFour Site Manager 8 Strengthens Higher Ed Presence

TerminalFour, CMS vendor specializing in Higher Ed, has won eight new university clients since the launch of its major release of TERMINALFOUR Site Manager 8 and TERMINALFOUR Engage.edu in December 2014. To meet the needs of these new clients, the Boston office is recruiting for 15 new positions.

When it comes to Web CMS for Higher Ed, TerminalFour ticks a lot of boxes, so this recent success does not come as a surprise. First and foremost, over the years the company has developed a deep, extensive knowledge of the challenges in Higher Ed. Those include highly devolved organizational structure, admissions process specifics, high volumes of content assets, integration challenges, and the stigma around the role of marketing in academia. Second, TerminalFour consistently provides customer service through training programs, industry events, and high quality support. Third, product development – new features and improvements – is continuous. Strategically, recent developments indicate appetite for further growth.

TerminalFour is on a path to transitioning from the role of a strong contender in Higher Ed selections to a leadership spot. For this transition to be successful, TerminalFour has to move away from the tempting comfort zone of meeting client’s requirements, and take the stance of a visionary, a leader, a vendor that challenges status quo in Higher Ed organisations, and establishes, rather than conforms to, best practices of Web Content Management for Higher Ed.

TerminalFour, version 8

Pictured, left to right, are Seán Walsh, head of marketing; Elaine Barry, director, operations & client services,
and Piero Tintori, CEO and founder, TERMINALFOUR. Photo courtesy of TERMINALFOUR.

The New Chapter for eZ Systems

eZ Systems is actively working on the new generation of its products: eZ Platform, eZ Studio, and eZ Studio+. Its current system eZ Publish has grown organically over more than 10 years and, like many other Web CMS platforms, became a complex, feature-rich solution. This raises questions. Should the product continue to offer complexity and flexibility, even though utilizing it requires a fairly steep learning curve? Or should the product focus on ease-of-use and follow ‘less is more’ approach, enabling more customers to use more features in the real world? eZ Systems addressed this dilemma by starting an extensive UI review combined with the re-packaging of the current product into three layers:

  1. eZ Platform for technical, advanced users (think APIs, development framework, user rights and permissions, and so on.)
  2. eZ Studio for web editors and business users (editorial environment for creating, managing and delivering content.)
  3. eZ Studio+ for customer experience managers (personalization, analytics, marketing automation.)

Roadmap for delivering this ambitious plan is available on eZ Systems website.

ez-systems

What’s New in CoreMedia 8

CoreMedia, now positioned as a digital experience company, announced CoreMedia v8, a new version of the Java-based web content management and experience platform. CoreMedia’s vision is built around three concepts: connect (companies with their customers), create (content and experiences), and control (technical aspects). The new version 8 sees improvements across all three categories, and includes:

  • User interface enhancements such as modern design refresh, keyboard shortcuts, progressive disclosure, page-grid layout editor.
  • New e-commerce capabilities.
  • Continued focus on omni-channel delivery and responsive design.
  • Improvements in personalization and user generated content capabilities.
  • New collaboration and workflow tools.
  • Multi-site and multi-brand management, localization and translation tools.

coremedia8

The Arrival of Mura Experience Platform

Blue River Interactive Group, the company behind Java-based Mura CMS, announces the arrival of the Mura Experience Platform. Mura Experience Platform provides an easy integration path to popular marketing automation tools (such as Marketo, Silverpop, Eloqua, Pardot), or even remotely hosted applications, microsites and landing pages. This allows Mura customers to track and ‘remember’ customer journeys from start to finish, even when parts of those journeys happen outside the main website. This announcement signals the company’s strategic intent to move beyond basic content management and publishing, and to offer web experience management capabilities that drive business requirements for most CMS projects today.

mura-experience-platform

The importance of Web CMS training

HannonHill, another CMS vendor specializing in Higher Ed, revised its Cascade Server Bootcamp training. Previously this course was delivered over two days. Now HannonHill provides training videos ahead of the course and conducts the training over one full day instead of two. This new format gives customers an opportunity to learn the basics at their own pace, and come to the course ready for advanced learning material. With a lack of platform expertise still being one of the most common reasons for CMS implementation failures, the importance of Web CMS training can hardly be underestimated. HannonHill is already known for its loyal, happy user base; further improvements to training courses will boost the company’s track record in terms of customer satisfaction even further.

hannon-hill-training

Awards and Industry Recognition

Kentico Site of the Year 2014 - Twinings

Kentico Site of the Year 2014 Award goes to Twinings Tea website, designed and developed
by Ridgeway web design and digital marketing agency

Upcoming Events and Conferences

events-conferences

Panel discussion at Magnolia User Conference 2014, with Mike Johnston (CMS Critic), Tim Walters (Digital Clarity Group), Adriaan Bloem (MBC Group), and Janus Boye (J.Boye); moderated by Christopher Justice (Magnolia).

Web Content Management Round-Up, March 2015

The Web Content Management Systems market is crowded, competitive, and fast-moving. With so many vendors and solutions, it can be hard to keep on top of all the latest developments, particularly if your job responsibilities are based around only one CMS platform (or a selected few). This review brings together recent highlights from across the industry, informing you on what’s new in Web Content Management today.

EPiServer + Ektron = EPiServer

EPiServer and Ektron have been making headlines since December 2014 when the two vendors were acquired by a private equity firm Accel-KKR. EPiServer and Ektron subsequently merged to form a single company, which is using the EPiServer name. This raised questions from existing customers and implementation partners about the future direction of both the companies and the products. In a recent webinar covering this event, Digital Clarity Group gave historical perspective on CMS acquisitions and outlined ways to respond to the acquisition announcement.

ektron-episerver

Hippo Partners with MRM//McCann

Hippo CMS has partnered with one of the largest digital and marketing agencies, MRM//McCann (formerly MRM Worldwide). Significant agency partnerships are important for CMS vendors and their customers, for two major reasons. First, agencies provide crucial implementation services and bring technology to life in the real world. They tend to have pragmatic, down-to-earth attitudes, and have first-hand knowledge about what is realistically achievable. This in itself is valuable input for the CMS vendor, as it encourages and stimulates continuous development of the CMS product. Second, a partnership between a vendor and an agency acts as an external validation of the CMS product. The agency essentially expresses confidence that the CMS vendor and product is worth its time and resources. At Digital Clarity Group, we consider extensive and established partnerships with service providers as a sign of maturity of the CMS vendor.

Hippo CMS, MRM McCann

Jahia Secures $20m of Funding

Open Source Web Content Management System Jahia secures $20m from a private equity firm Invus. This investment will allow Jahia to improve its marketing operations, accelerate its distribution strategy and partnerships, extend geographical reach, and grow the team to at least double its current size. Jahia’s success reflects the growing significance and maturity of open source WCM platforms.

Jahia

SharePoint Online Public Website Feature to be Discontinued

You would be forgiven for not paying attention to this announcement from Microsoft. Under the title of Information about changes to the SharePoint Online Public Website feature, it’s easy to disregard this article as insignificant. However, in plain English, this announcement means that SharePoint drops its ambition to serve external websites. Existing customers using SharePoint Online for their external websites will be forced to migrate to a different platform in the next two years. Not exactly a surprising move, but still a nuisance for those customers who are facing a website migration.

moving

Web Content Management for Media Industry

The Washington Post is looking to sell its home-grown Content Management System to other newspapers. Just like Chorus, a homegrown CMS behind Vox Media, and iSite 2, a homegrown CMS behind the BBC, the Washington Post content management system meets the needs of the media industry in a meticulous, in-the-know kind of way. In the aggressively competitive CMS marketplace, where most of the features are commoditized, intimate understanding of a vertical is one of the few differentiators that truly wins the business. It will be interesting to see whether the niche market for a CMS tailored to media industry will get traction.

washington-post

Transition from Content Management to Customer Experience in Retail

Recognizing the shift from basic content management to customer experience management (CEM), SDL and Econsultancy conducted a study on Customer Experience Spending. Findings of this study confirmed that the vast majority of retailers recognize the importance of Customer Experience and will be increasing their Customer Experience budgets. The study also highlights integration challenges across systems and technologies used for effective Customer Experience Management, and the unrealized potential of delivering great customer experiences on smartphones and mobiles.

sdl-econsultancy

Awards and Recognition

The Forrester Wave™: Web Content Management, Q1 2015 names Adobe and Sitecore as leaders. IBM, HP, SDL, OpenText, Acquia, and Oracle are named as strong performers, and Ektron and EPiServer as contenders.
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for WCM, Q4 2014 names Adobe, Sitecore, HP, Oracle, IBM, and Acquia as leaders, with Acquia making the biggest leap in comparison to previous years, when it was included in the Magic Quadrant as visionary.
The 2014-2015 EContent Top 100 Companies includes the following WCM vendors: Acquia, Adobe, Automattic, Brightcove, CoreMedia, Crafter Software, DNN Corp, Ektron, EPiServer, e-Spirit, Hippo, HubSpot, Ingeniux, Kaltura, Magnolia, Joomla, Oracle, RSuite, SDL, Siteworx, Sitecore, and Skyword.

mountains

Changing the World

There’s more to life than work. There’s more to be done than making a profit. If we want to make this world a better place, then merely doing business and making money is just not good enough. Between the product releases, acquisitions and awards, it’s good to see news about laughter, compassion and love. Last year Zengenti (the company behind Contensis) offered disadvantaged, disabled or vulnerable children an opportunity to enjoy the excitement of the circus for a day, through sponsoring Circus Starr’s charity, and Percussion Software donated its Web Content Management System licenses to Flutie Foundation for Autism.

The way we think about charity is wrong. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Together we can change it.

circus

Ektron + EPiServer Merger – Implications for Customers

EPiServer and Ektron, two content management system (CMS) vendors acquired by Accel-KKR in December 2014, have merged today to form a single company. The combined company “will operate under the EPiServer name and continue to use the Ektron and EPiServer brands”.

For Ektron and EPiServer customers this spells a period of uncertainty. Until the two companies figure out the best way to combine their forces, the product development is destined to take a back seat.

integration

We’ve seen similar mergers in the content management space in the past. In fact, CMS acquisitions are so common that more than one third of all major CMS players have obtained at least some of their content management offerings through acquisitions. Announcements following these acquisitions often promise synergies, innovation, and a generally brighter future. Unfortunately we know, from some particularly bitter examples, that these promises are based on assumptions, expectations, and predictions; and may have little to do with reality. (See this acquisition rationale by Serena Software – a company that acquired Serena Collage CMS in 2004 and then discontinued the product entirely in 2008.)

In cases where two or more overlapping software platforms are acquired, typically only one product continues to be actively developed by the parent company, and the other product – although supported – is neglected, and fades into irrelevance over time. This was the case with OpenText (RedDot, Vignette), Oracle (Stellent, FatWire), and SDL (Alterian, Tridion), to name just a few. Effectively, one product is used as the strategic technology choice, and the other company is acquired for its customer base. It’s not unreasonable to assume that the fate of Ektron and EPiServer will follow the same path.

Epiktron – a potential hybrid product, resulting from Ektron and EPiServer acquisition – seems highly unlikely. Both platforms are complex, yet not drastically different. The effort and timeline required to merge platforms would be unreasonable, and potential benefits – minimal. We’ve yet to see a CMS acquisition, where a successful combined product emerges as a result of the merger. Why? Because the time spent integrating two existing platforms is the time lost to addressing demands and requirements of the past, not the future. In a fast moving market, contemplating the past is a luxury that software vendors simply can’t afford.

One aspect of Ektron and EPiServer acquisition that can have implications with immediate impact is the apparent focus of the combined company on the Cloud. Adobe and Acquia have already proven that new business models, which emphasize support and maintenance as much, if not more, as the initial implementation, can be beneficial for both the vendor and the customer. If EPiServer follows suit, this shift could result in fundamental changes to contractual agreements with the customers.