Posts Tagged ‘.NET CMS’
With hundreds of Intranet platforms on the market, picking the one that’s right for your business can be daunting. Many vendors, old and new, are more than willing to show you their wares through online flash demos, brochures and webinars. All of them seem to have great features and functionality.
Arguably, two of the most affordable and feature rich mid-level .NET CMS products on the market today, Elcom and Kentico go head-to-head on CMS-Connected in this lively and interactive 60-minute debate at the Intranet Global Forum on November 10th. This interactive show will help you get beyond the glossy brochures and marketing web pages, asking the real tough questions you want to know.
During the session, CMS-Connected host Scott Liewehr will be asking Eric and Josh a series of questions about their products and market strategies. Then the audience has the opportunity to ask the vendor guests a few ‘no holds barred’ questions of their own. The show will also be video tapped by The Pulse Network.
More often than not, we receive requests for proposals for multiple .NET web content management vendor solutions. Gone are the days of requests for two .NET CMS vendor solutions to compare. Now it’s a request for five or six solution comparisons along with a 70-page matrix/Q&A document, followed by 6-hours of vendor demos and countless hours of sandbox trials.
Don’t get me wrong, this is what the customer should be doing to avoid one of the most costly blunders in today’s corporate spending - failed software integration projects. Since there is no one size fits all .NET CMS product on the market today that can provide the best solution for everyone’s budget and business requirements; conducting proper due-diligence is a must.
The first step is to identify the top .NET CMS vendors on the market and which ones are best suited for your organizations short and long-term web strategy. Visit their websites with a check list of features and modules you require. Read the reviews on sites like CMSWire and CMS Critic and finally, hire a CMS consultant to aid in mapping out some top level needs and requirements as well as assisting in preparing a proper RFP document. Until then, there’s no point in conducting extensive comparisons and evaluations. One thing is for certain… unless you have six to eight months to burn, you can evaluate 2 to 3 vendors a lot more comprehensively than 5 to 6 vendor solutions.
To get you started, Falcon-Software has compiled a list below of what we consider the top rated .NET Web CMS solutions on the market today. The factors we considered for this rating list are product stability, robust features, extensibility, lengthy track record of customers and integration partners, and good overall customer service record.
- Bridgeline iAPPS (http://www.bridgelinedigital.com/)
- DotNetNuke Professional (http://www.dotnetnuke.com/)
- Ektron CMS400 (http://www.ektron.com/)
- EPiServer (http://www.episerver.com/)
- Elcom (http://www.elcomcms.com/)
- Ingeniux (http://www.ingeniux.com/)
- Kentico (http://www.kentico.com/)
- SharePoint WCM (http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/)
- Sitecore (http://www.sitecore.com/)
- Telerik’s Sitefinity (http://www.sitefinity.com/)
- Umbraco (http://www.umbraco.org/)
Falcon-Software offers website planning, creative design, development, CMS deployment, training and server hosting services. We invite you to get started today, at no cost. Call us for a free consultation at 800-707-1311 or visit our website at http://www.falcon-software.com/
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.
Arguably, two of the most affordable and feature rich mid-level .NET CMS products on the market today, Kentico and Sitefinity go head-to-head with CMS Connected Host – Veronica Cooper, in a lively and interactive 60-minute webinar.
With both products having recently launched new version updates and boosting out-of-box features such as web analytics, site globalization, e-commerce modules, robust and flexible interfaces, and social media applications… CMS Connected will help you get beyond the glossy brochures and marketing web pages, asking the real tough questions you want to know.
During the webinar, CMS Connected Host Veronica Cooper will be asking the CMS vendor guests a series of questions about their products and allowing each vendor a one-minute debate style response time. Then the attending webinar audience has the opportunity to ask the vendor guests a few ‘no holds barred’ questions of their own.
In addition, Gary Eisenstein from Falcon-Software and Toby Ward from Prescient Digital will also be available on Twitter during the 60-minute webinar to respond to your tweets, making CMS Connected one of the most vibrant and interactive webinar events you will ever experience.
What You’ll Learn
- How the two CMS products work.
- How to edit content and create new pages.
- How to manage the system and document workflow.
- How to implement your own designs.
- What modules are included and how to use them.
- Licensing structures and options.
- On-going maintenance support and upgrades.
- And much more!
Who Should Attend
The CMS Connected Webinar Series focuses on the needs and requirements of anyone looking to purchase a web content management system (CMS) in the near future and is a great way for IT professionals, site administrators or end-users looking to explore a .NET solution from Kentico or Sitefinity, and get your questions answered.
DATE: April 7, 2011 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST
COST: There is no cost to attend the CMS Connected Webinar
Click Here to sign up for the CMS Connected Webinar
CMS Connected Presenter
- Veronica Cooper from CHEK TV
CMS Connected Guests
- Eric C. Webb, Kentico’s President of Sales & Operations
- Gabe Sumner, Sitefinity Evangelist
Falcon-Software is proud to announce the signing of 4 new CMS deployment contracts to help kick-start the new year:
Tualatin, Oregon (Kentico CMS Deployment)
Seattle Pacific University
Seattle, Washington (Sitecore CMS Deployment)
Victoria, British Columbia (Kentico CMS Deployment)
Windy City Wire
Bolingbrook, Illinois (Kentico CMS Deployment)
After one of the busiest winter seasons in recent memory, it seems the momentum will continue to be strong throughout the first quarter of 2011. The demand for Falcon-Software’s .NET content management expertise has never been so high and as the company looks towards the coming months, it would appear that the demand for their services will only increase.
“Not only are we acquiring a healthy number of new accounts, we are also seeing a significant increase in projects with our existing clientele as well”, states Gary Eisenstein, President and founder of Falcon-Software Company”.
It’s not just CMS services that are in high demand for Falcon-Software. They have also seen an increase in other services such as social media and site globalization projects, mobile applications and Intranet sites.
The open verses closed controversy (commercial vs. open source Web CMS debate) is one that Falcon-Software continually defends and although it would be much easier for us to simply provide open source CMS solutions to our clientele, we feel that building long-term partnership with our customers is paramount to our future success. For this reason we do not recommend open source CMS solutions. Now, we do realize that we are primarily a .NET WCMS deployment shop that has aligned with mainly commercial .NET software vendors, but we also have a vast amount of experience developing with open source CMS solutions such as Drupal, Joomla and DotNetNuke. The opinions stated in this blog post are based on those experiences and deploying CMS solutions for well over a decade.
To clarify, the main advantage with open source CMS solutions is the source code (the code the program consists of) is made available to website integrators such as Falcon-Software, providing them with the ability to make customized changes to the software program as they see fit. An approach which is great for immediate updates, but is it wise for the long-term? Customized changes to the underlying code can severely limit the future support and growth of the application. This is because changes made to the core software program can impede the ability to apply future updates, fixes or additional modules that are developed for the improvement of the CMS platform. In the event of this happening an organization may find itself in the precarious position of having to remain with an outdated version together with any limitations or bugs that version may have.
Free does not mean inexpensive:
Free access to an open source solution does not equate to a free or cheap content managed website. The nature of open source implies that the product is not going to be as ‘out-of-the-box’ as you would expect in comparison to a commercial package. This could equate to longer implementation times and a higher level of expertise required when implementing and customizing website projects properly (successfully) and most likely will not be discussed upfront with most open source web developers.
If you can’t use it why have it:
When developing a commercial CMS package, usability and client support is essential for the survival of the product. For these reasons, CMS specialists take the time to ensure that the usability of the product is advanced and help and training guides are thorough, enabling non-technical staff to take control of their website. Conversely, open source solutions are developed around technically minded users. Arguably this defeats the purpose of a client’s investment in a CMS by limiting content management to those with technical expertise.
Plagued with an uncertain future:
Developers of open source CMS are generally not driven by commercial gain. Consequently the completion times for fixes and updates can be significantly longer than one would experience (or tolerate) when partnering with a commercial CMS provider. Fixes or updates that could jeopardize the effectiveness of an organizations online strategy are not necessarily prioritized efficiently.
Community support model:
Open source products rely on its community network to deliver support to its user base via forums and web blogs. For organizations looking for a basic support, open source solutions are unable to provide the responsiveness that a product specialist willing to take ownership of that issue is capable of. In addition, while the community aspect is an appealing argument for open source, many commercial CMS providers are offering that approach as well. The .NET CMS software we support (Kentico, Ektron, Sitecore and Sitefinity) all have full documentation and technical support while also managing interactive forum environments.
We strongly feel that the additional value and value-added services that commercial CMS software provides justifies the extra cost. That doesn’t mean that it’s the right solution for everyone — if you have a deployment budget of under $15,000, an open source solution is a more realistic option. However, drawing on our vast CMS experience, training and support simply cannot be understated when it comes to a successful CMS implementation and those are two areas where commercial CMS clearly wins when compared to open source.