Archive for the ‘Web Development Industry News’ Category
Obsession with the Mobile Channel Obscures the Shift to Ubiquitous Computing
Whitepaper by Tim Walters at Digital Clarity Group
The rapid adoption of smart phones and tablets represents an unprecedented transformation in the way consumers access the web and other digital services. This “mobile shift” poses fundamental challenges for virtually every business, and calls into question most established assumptions about how to create, nurture, and sustain profi table customer relationships. Some observers argue that this means “fixed” websites are in radical decline, and that successful enterprises must adopt a “mobile first” approach and prioritize the user experience on mobile devices. Others maintain that mobile access, while undeniably important, is “just another channel” among others.
“The transition from a PC or notebook to the ‘always on’ smart phone or tablet is not primarily about the smaller, more portable, mobile device. It is rather about the fact that computing services are now available virtually wherever and whenever the user desires them. The mobile shift marks an evolutionary leap to the era of ubiquitous computing.” Tim Walters, Ph.D.
Recently, I was at a Web Content Management vendor conference in Vegas, chatting over drinks with colleagues about different business strategies. When out of the blue one of my competitors chimed in with a remark about Falcon-Software being a CMS vendor whore. Now, aside from finding that word offensive, I believe there was a little jealous undertone with his backhanded comment.
Regardless, this got me thinking about which strategy is truly the best; for an integration partner to be loyal to one or two CMS vendor partners or like Falcon-Software, have a healthy line up of several CMS platform solution for customers to choose from?
Now, I do understand the value in supporting only one particular vendor and becoming highly proficient in deploying that CMS platform. In fact, in 2002 Falcon-Software started off with only one CMS vendor – Ektron, which fostered a healthy funnel of sales leads between us over the years. In 2006, Ektron selected Falcon-Software as their Partner of the Year amongst their list of 200 partners worldwide. So it would seem the benefits can be very rewarding. Well… let’s peel back that onion shall we!
In 2007, Ektron decided to change their partner model and starting offering integration services, and having all our eggs in one basket all the sudden seemed potentially hazardous to our health. So Falcon-Software quickly countered by adding three new CMS vendor solutions Kentico, Sitecore and Sitefinity to our portfolio and the pros quickly became apparent over any cons. Instead of having leads and RFP opportunities with just one vendor, we now had four vendors feeding the machine. More importantly, we could offer our customers a solution that truly was a best fit for their business needs, budget, infrastructure, etc. So it makes sense to me that being limited in offering only a couple of CMS vendor solution to customers, that objectivity becomes seriously compromised.
Over the years, I’ve managed to acquire an in-depth understanding of the differences and limitations between all the top CMS vendors, limitations that are not generally discussed in their glossy marketing brochures and flashy PowerPoint presentations and in my opinion, the only way to acquire this knowledge and expertise is by having a deep portfolio of successful deployments from many different CMS solutions.
On a side note, in 2012 Ektron went back to their original partner model abandoning their integration services all together.
Currently, Falcon-Software partners with 8-different .NET Web CMS vendors: Ektron, EPiServer, Elcom, Kentico, SharePoint, Sitecore, Sitefinity and our latest addition – DotNetNuke. Our philosophy is that there is no one size fits all CMS platform on the market today that can provide the best solution for everyone’s budget and technical requirements. For example, some customers may require an out-of-box solution that offers a robust e-commerce or social media application, which narrows down the field. Others may require a system that excels in site globalization or one that can seamlessly integrate with a particular ERP or CRM solutions, which certainly narrows the field of players down even further. Let’s also not forget about those customers that have a $200,000 project scope with only a $100,000 budget. Try that budget with Sitecore or SharePoint and you better be prepared for a stripped down gas can of a solution… not a good fit.
Can an integration firm be successful offering just on Web CMS solution? Sure… we did it for 5-years. But having tried both strategies, for us there is a clear and definite advantage to offering our customers a multitude of vendor solutions. The key is being proficient in delivering all the solutions you support so partner certification and ongoing training is vital.
Please Note: The image being used in the blog post is in the spirit of the debate and to help drive home a point and in no way meant to be offensive towards any female readers. I promise to post a follow up with a male character casting a seductive pose to help even things up
August 23, 2012 – Falcon-Software has announced that Stephen Medve has been hired as its new Client & Partner Development Manager. Medve will report to President & Chief Strategist Gary Eisenstein and will be responsible for the company’s vendor relations and client development out of the companies Toronto office.
Medve previously served as the Client Development Coordinator at Prescient Digital, a group of senior Intranet and Internet consultants that provide strategic Internet and Intranet consulting, planning and communications services.
Falcon-Software offers a unique combination of deep technical expertise and creative thinking with a wealth of experience in website consulting and planning, web design, development and the deployment of web content management software on Microsoft’s .NET platform. Falcon-Software partners with DotNetNuke, Ektron, Elcom, EPiServer, Kentico, SharePoint, Sitecore, and Sitefinity, the worldwide leaders in .NET WCM software. Falcon-Software also provides CMS server hosting and CMS software training services.
91% of respondents noted that globalization produced meaningful improvements in web engagement, lead generation & revenue
Phoenix, AZ – August 23, 2012 – Limelight Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:LLNW), a leader in Digital Presence Management, today released results from a recent survey that confirms that the development and implementation of regional websites is a strategic, high-priority initiative for both B2B and B2C companies. In a survey of 200 U.S.-based CMOs and VPs of Marketing, respondents stated that they are adding multiple regional websites and languages within the next year to build global brand awareness and drive revenue. However, respondents noted challenges to efficiently adding and managing regional websites, including lack of sufficient internal human, technical, and budgetary resources.
“Our goal with this survey was to gain insight on CMOs’ plans for and experiences with expanding their digital presence globally, including understanding their objectives and the challenges they face,” commented Kirby Wadsworth, CMO, Limelight Networks. “Respondents (57%) noted that their biggest challenge to website globalization is using multiple platforms to manage sites and content. Publishing web and mobile sites using several disparate solutions is timely and costly, especially when managing multiple regional sites that are in different languages. Enterprise marketers can streamline internal processes and ultimately improve the end user experience if they leverage one integrated platform to build, manage, and optimize a global digital presence across all channels.”
“The explosive growth of global online commerce and the ever more competitive worldwide landscape make it imperative for companies to expand and improve the globalization of their digital presence,” said Jeff Freund, VP and GM, Web Content Management, Limelight Networks. “Globalizing a web presence entails more than simply translating a company’s primary site – it also includes developing, deploying, localizing, and regularly maintaining sites with regionally-specific content. Marketers face the challenge of deploying multiple regional sites in multiple languages and featuring custom content that is unique to each region – while still ensuring brand consistency worldwide.”
Respondents are Managing and Adding Many Regional Websites
For the survey, website globalization was defined as launching an adapted, multilingual version of a company’s core website into different regions throughout the world. A regional website was defined as an adapted version of the company’s core website whose content has been translated and/or altered to match the region that it serves.
Link to Website Globalization White Paper: Web Globalization Whitepaper (pdf)
In this whitepaper you’ll learn:
- The results of a comprehensive survey to 200 CMO’s regarding their biggest web challenges
- Why US-based CMO’s are globalizing their digital web presence like never before
- How regional specific content is improving site engagement, lead generation, and revenue
With an every increasing number of organizations across North America expanding their clientele base worldwide, Globalization is one of the top trends in the web content management space. Is your organization looking to offer multi-language website capabilities in 2012/13?
Scott Liewehr and Tyer Pyburn will be taking an in-depth look at Globalization in the Web Content Management industry on CMS-Connected with special guests: Allie Kelly at Lionbridge and Tim Walters at Digital Clarity Group.
Make sure to tune in to The CMS-Connected Show (www.cms-connected.com) on July 25th @ 12:30 EST (9:30 Pacific)
It’s been a couple of weeks since CMS-Connected shot its May 2012 episode and considering some of the bombshells that let fly during the show we wanted to recap some of the more ‘colourful’ segments and perhaps loosen some tongues out there. Click the [Time Stamp] to fast forward to the segment but don’t forget to come back to share your comments.
[@ 2:06] - Really? is this the case. Is everyone in consensus that the CMS industry really didn't feel much of a recession? Is this just the natural evolution of the 'information exchange' increasingly moving to online destinations rather than some pretend economic factor?
Sitecore Plays 'Catch up' With their Brightcove Partnership Announcement?
[@ 10:03] - Co-host Scott Liewehr wasn't that impressed with Sitecore's press release citing the fact that many leading platforms (Ektron, Adobe, Drupal, WordPress, etc...) have already integrated Brightcoves' capabilities. To their credit Tyler backed them up stating that they're just one of a long line of companies that will also fall in line with Brightcove video integration. Big deal?
Amazon Prematurely Launches Dynamic Content Features to CloudFront Customers
[@ 13:20] - In what appears to be a 'jump on the bandwagon' effort to push cloud based dynamic content, our hosts discuss the low end features available in Amazons latest offering. Was Amazon a little naive to push this product which is so clearly a 'low cost, low feature' offering? Or will they gamble on their client base feeding them with rich and relevant constructive opinion in order for them to build out a truly worthwhile product. Shouldn't this have been done during Alpha/Beta phases? Thoughts?
Kevin Cochrane Delivers 'Epic Win' Quotes
[@ 20:50] - Given that the phrase of the day was Web Experience Management (WEM), Scott wasted little time in tossing a grenade at Kevin only for him to bounce back some atom smashing ordnance. When asked "how many of your clients have achieved 'web experience management'?", Kevin replied: "None of them". Bravo sir, take a bow. Then comes my favorite, as a 'grey haired' search engine marketer I've never been swayed by the cheat and exploits of 'black hat' tricks that have demolished websites after the latest 'Panda' Google update. I've been 100% motivated by ensuring our client provide relevant, valuable content. So we at Falcon-Software were especially thrilled to hear Kevin continue with his answer to Scott's WEM question; "Companies need to first ask; who is my customer, what makes them tick, how to I engage them, where do I engage them and what level of conversation do they want to have with me? And if you don't do this FIRST ... then you're screwed!. Thank you Kevin. Always a pleasure to have you on the show. : )
Open Text; Holding Company for Innovation?
[@ 45:04] - Is OpenText an innovation graveyard or smart business? Our hosts seemed to think that their business philosophy seems to be entirely acquisition based with no internal innovation. Buy up already established and mature solutions, ride the maintenance revenue with limited integration with their suite of software and then mothballing the works when it runs its technological lifetime. Is this a bit harsh or is there some truth to this? If your solution is bought up by OpenText are you pleased to see some long term stability or doomed to live out life in the technology graveyard with little hope of integration and continued innovative development?
Voice your opinions!
First off we hope that this post will encourage some of our readers to chime in on what is a completely open ended topic which can easily break off in many different directions.
Okay, our experiences engaging the web via all manner of mobile devices has been around for years. Thankfully the technology and deployment of the mobile web experience has recently exploded into a truly focused enterprise. Early adopted strategies (let’s start at the first smartphones; I don’t think anyone puts much thought into the flip phone browsing experience) presented featureless static external websites. These sites were managed outside of the main ‘desktop’ website and were generally glorified business cards with some text links and contact info. Gradually, as phones gained both bandwidth and processor speed, we started to see more ‘experience’ based enhancements providing a Mobile Application feel with poppy buttons, functional forms and some deeper content. Still, there were little to no transactions occurring as the game was still to get you through the door, on the phone or submitting simple form data.
Beyond the Two Site Mobile Strategy
This dual site mobile strategy, while the best that the web had to offer at the time, was a management nightmare and a very inefficient deployment model for most site owners. Sites with endless resources could produce a high value mobile solution but this was rare as this mobile web phenomenon was still vastly misunderstood and technologies (mobile devices) still maturing. Sure, the CMS platforms were starting to adopt OOB device detection capabilities and providing interfaces and layouts for the ‘mobile site’, but we were still seeing the use of external domains (w.domain.com) and separation of CMS data creating additional layers of workflow and content creation.
Enter Responsive Design …design … design …design …
Now don’t we sound smart? Well we know now that this is the game changing development framework that we’ve been waiting for. Retire the outdated external domain, consolidate your content development and let the parent website serve up the appropriate layout and content based on a combination of device OS and aspect ratio. The deployment possibilities are only bound by the creative energy of the implementing firm, but in the meantime try resizing your browser window size after loading this site: www.hificentre.com.
So… Mobile Web; will you emerge from the virtual shadows to answer any of these questions?
- Which Web CMS is providing the best OOB Mobile Web experience?
- Which Web CMS is ‘bottling’ their OOB Mobile Web offering?
- Which Web CMS can boast “Can’t Touch This!” with their clearly, industry leading OOB Responsive Design solution?
Thursday, May 24th, 2012 @ 12:30 pm Eastern / 9:30 am Pacific
Today’s successful digital marketers recognize the need to maintain a consistent level of intimacy across all customer exchanges. These principles serve as the basis for the new Web Engagement Management (WEM) paradigm, and the companies that embrace this shift will excel beyond those who continue to focus solely on web pages.”
In May’s episode of the CMS-Connected show we will be taking an in-depth look at the evolution of Web Engagement Management and how it will change the way organizations understand and interact with their customers. Sign up today to whatch the live show!
Kevin Cochrane from Adobe.
Commentary on the latest news from the Web CMS industry from your hosts Scott Liewehr & Tyler Pyburn, and In The Spotlight segment with OpenText, and finally our popular Rapid Fire segment.
Sign Up Today:
Whatch the live show: http://www.cms-connected.com
Free Online Webinar
Date: Wednesday May 23rd 2012
Time: 12pm – 1pm EST (9am PST)
Location: Online (Registration Required)
There are literally dozens of reasons why an organization could stumble and fall while deploying a Web Content Management solution, which could end up being a costly venture or worse… a failed project.
Whether you’re a Marketing Manager, IT Manager, Content Manager or a CMS Consultant, there will always be certain challenges and areas to watch out for that you must avoid or overcome.
That is why on May 23rd Gary Eisenstein, Presdient of Falcon-Software and Josh Anstey, VP of Partner Engagement at Elcom have pooled together over 20-years of combined content management knowledge in uncovering what you need to consider and prepare for during the lifecycle of a Web CMS project.
This FREE 60-minute Webinar will focuse on:
- What should be considered when planning and deploying a Website CMS project.
- How to overcome certain obstacles that will arise during the project.
- Useful tips and workarounds that can be instantly used, whether you are at the starting stage, half way through, nearly complete or already finished your Web CMS project.
If the success of your Web CMS project is vital to you and your stakeholders, then attending this Webinar is a must. Sign up today!