The Politics of Selecting a Web Content Management System
Falcon-Software first became involved with web content management (WCM) back in 1995. Our IT manager at the time suggested that we build our own custom WCM solution as a value added for our growing list of clientele. Knowing that the writing was on the wall and the days of deploying static websites were numbered, we decided to move forward with our first generation proprietary ASP CMS solution.
We closely monitored the impact it had on our business and found that it opened up a whole new revenue stream for Falcon-Software. Fifteen years later, it has become the core of our services – developing and deploying .NET WCM solutions, while assembling one of the most complete and comprehensive list of vendors in the industry. This strategy allows us the ability to provide the ideal technology solution for our clientele’s unique technical requirements and business needs.
We are often asked — How can Falcon-Software be highly proficient in understanding and implementing so many different .NET WCM solutions?
First and foremost, we have a solid foundation in .NET technology and almost two decades of experience deploying WCM solutions in a wide variety of different sectors. Having a strong .NET knowledge-base to pull from allows us to exceed client expectations no matter what WCM platform we use. In my opinion, when you are limited to only one or two WCM vendor solutions, objectivity becomes seriously compromised.
Secondly, we understand the differences between the top .NET CMS solutions. They all promote user-friendly interfaces, customizable workflows, online forms, reporting analytics, e-commerce and social media modules – the similarities go on and on. The real trick in recommending one WCM product over another is understanding their differences. Some vendors have a robust Intranet modules as their differentiator, others may have a more mature social media package that allows you to deploy fully featured web portal communities rather than just a simple blog. So it all comes down to understanding the client’s needs and technical challenges and matching them to a WCM system that best fits their budget.
Integrators that offer only one particular WCM system will undoubtedly make them an authority on the product over time. But, is that in the client’s best interest? Certainly not. Launching a WCM system that works flawlessly from an integrators point-of-view does not always translate to being a successful project. One of the main reasons so many WCM implementations fail is poor adoption by the system administrators and site contributors that work with the product day in and day out. This could be due to several reasons – it could be too complicated for the user or it may not provide the ideal solution they were expecting the product to solve or users aren’t provided proper training. Regardless, there is no one size fits all WCM product on the market today that can provide the best solution for everyone’s requirements or budget.
We are also frequently asked — Since we have experience deploying so many different WCM systems – Which is the better product – for example Ektron or Sitecore? If you’ve spent any length of time in the WCM industry, you have almost certainly noticed the fierce rivalry between competing vendors. At times it can get pretty nasty and lines are constantly being crossed making the politics of the business just as immature and counterproductive as government politics. So, how does an integrator that supports several different products separate itself from the mud-slinging and smear tactics so heavily deployed amongst the WCM brotherhood? Our answer is simple and factual. Both Ektron and Sitecore are very good .NET WCM platforms and are well represented with thousands of customers across the globe and both have very mature development communities.
The problem is the question. The proper question should be – which WCM platform is the right one for my organization? Unfortunately, the answer is far more complicated and you should make sure you understand your own politics, technical challenges and organizational needs as a starting point. Then explore the WCM vendors that best match your criteria. Make sure you have a demo of the short-listed vendors and include all the key stakeholders and site administrators. Then setup a ‘sandbox’ trial version and start playing with the products in real-case scenarios. What you’ll find is the ability to answer your own question – Which is the best WCM product for me?
List of Web CMS Vendors
The list of vendors below is by no means complete, but certainly in our opinion stable solutions. We also linked the systems Falcon-Software supports.
- Autonomy WCM (was Interwoven)
- CoreMedia CMS
- Day Software
- Elcom CommunityManager.NET
- Fatwire Content Server
- GOSS iCM
- Ingeniux CMS
- Microsoft SharePoint WCM
- Open Text WEM (was Vignette & Nstein)
- Open Text WCM (was RedDot)
- Percussion CM System
- SDL Web Solutions
Small to Mid-Level WCM Systems:
- Bridgeline iApps
- eZ Publish
- Hot Banana
- Telerik Sitefinity
Falcon-Software offers website planning, creative design, development, Ektron, Elcom, EPiServer, Kentico, SharePoint, Sitecore, and Sitefinity WCM implimentations, WCM training and server hosting services.
We invite you to get started today. Call us for a free consultation at 800-957-1126.
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