Posts Tagged ‘SharePoint’
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
This Friday, August 24, CMS Connected takes to the air with another episode featuring an in depth look at what SharePoint 2013 is set to offer when it comes out of Public Beta. The show will also feature a spotlight segment on Kentico CMS, with a new major release fresh on the market, we are keen to share some specific highlights of the new feature list.
Last month Microsoft released their public beta of.. get ready for original software naming moment.. .. SharePoint 2013! All in all the chatter has been relatively subdued as the SP and MS communities test drive all the new features packed into the beta. To be honest on the CMS side most of the features appear to already saturate most of the other CMS offerings that CMS Connected has featured. Mobility features, Proprietary Social Collaboration & Sharing, Search, Workflows, seems to be a bit of catch up happening here. In all fairness, we’ve also seen some pretty featureless integrations calling themselves ‘Social Networking’ and there is sure to be a truly seamless integration to other enterprise MS CRM, eCommerce and Intranet offerings, so we’re looking forward to hearing what the CMS Connected team has to say about it. And most notably, what will special guests, Michal Pisarek and Gail Shlansky have to say about their personal opinion on the SharePoint 2013 Public Beta?
Additionally Scott is sure to rip our guests with some hard hitting SharePoint questions. Who can forget his infamous editorial moment from our April CMS Connected episode entitled, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from SharePoint.
Also on the show will be Stephen Medve from Falcon-Software returning to grace the broadcast with his editorial spotlight on Kentico CMS. Kentico recently released an RC Version 7 of their ever evolving Content Management System. Falcon-Software’s developers love the open and robust nature of Kentico’s CMS offering and can often be found engaging in furious, full contact competitions of Rock, Paper, Scissors in order to determine developer lead hierarchy on Kentico projects.
We look forward to seeing everyone and hearing your feedback on Twitter @ #cmsconnected.
Joining us on CMS-Connected is Tim Walters from Forrester Research, to help us dive into a discussion on where SharePoint WCM aligns in the marketplace from a Web Content Management perspective. What are its strengths, its weaknesses and how does it stack up with the other top WCM .NET solutions?
Also joining us on CMS-Connected is Michael Alden the President and CEO at Axceler to discuss articles and surveys posted by his organization on why companies are not coming to grips with SharePoint governance.
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.
Presented by Sitecore co-founder Lars Nielsen, and sponsored by Redmond Magazine, this webinar will dig into the CMS features of Microsoft SharePoint, such as workflow, content reuse and sharing, and accessibility checking and compliance, assessing which capabilities work for public websites, and what alternatives you have if SharePoint is not the best choice for your website style.
You will learn:
- Ways to extend SharePoint when publishing content to the web
- How to achieve multi-language and multi-device web support
- How you can easily reuse content for multi-site syndication
- Examples of Sitecore’s Web Content Management combined with SharePoint’s Document management to achieve true Enterprise Content Management
- The new features SharePoint 2010 and their impact on managing public websites
- How to achieve more with your website while staying with your .NET and your Microsoft investment
Whether you are currently using SharePoint for your website, or considering using it, this webinar will be a valuable tool for determining whether you are using the best resource for your website style.
One of the most requested Web CMS queries we receive from clientele that are at that critical due diligence stage is… What’s the difference between the top .NET CMS vendors? Which one is a better fit for our organization? Well, after compiling numerous matrix comparisons based on our own expereinces over the years we thought it would be a good idea to find out what other developers and the customers that use the software have to say.
So, over the next several months we will be providing a match-up between the top .NET Web CMS vendors. Not just the features and specifications… we will be digging deep behind the scenes to uncover vendor support performance, coding quality, return on investment value, and much more. So, stay connected and be the first to contribute to the debate on which Web CMS vendor reigns supreme at www.cms-connected.com.