Posts Tagged ‘Sitecore’
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
Thursday, February 16th, 2012
1:30 pm Eastern/10:30 am Pacific
CMS-Connected is a 60-minute monthly news show, streamed live on the TPN Network with a focus on the web content management industry, showcasing the top products and platforms on the market, latest technologies, innovations, mergers & acquisitions and CMS related news and commentary from leading CMS expert analysts and participating guests.
The Show will Include:
- An in-depth discussion on SDL’s acquisition of Alterian.
- The development of an open standard for Web Experience Management Interoperability (WEMI) by OASIS.
- Kimberly Edwards, the Senior Product Marketing Manager from OpenText will be joining us to discuss their Web & Social Analytics 2.0 launch.
- A discussion about a new player to entire the CMS landscape, EndPlay.
- 5-minutes with John Coonen from CMS Expo to discuss the latest open source news.
- Darren Guarnaccia the Senior Corporate VP of Product Marketing from Sitecore will join us for our Vendor Spotlight segment.
- And a very special guest to be announced live will be joining us towards the end of the show!
>> Register Now: Click here sign up for the live show
Here’s help with finding the best fit for your company.
There are a lot of features and functions to consider when searching for web content management solutions. Ensuring the best product fit for your company’s particular needs is an essential part of the process. That’s why our vendor partner Sitecore is pleased to present this scorecard from Ars Logica founder, Tony White.
The featured Web CMS vendor scorecards rate the industry in an easy-to-understand, quantitative format and include recommendations to help companies find the right CMS solution to meet their business needs.
See how leading Web CMS vendors score in key criteria including:
- usability – relative ease of learning and using
- scalability – ability to function well as system demands increase
- marketing and sales tools – the presence and quality of tools that engage customers
In the movie The Replacements, starring Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman, the football team brought in a bunch of rag-tag replacements to play ball during a players strike, and eventually they won the big game and the hearts of the fans… and the star quarterback got the girl. Okay, really bad movie… I know. But the similarities between this movie and the inevitable replacement of web engagement management (WEM) over web content management (WCM) are uncanny. For those of you that do not have the time to download and suffer through two-hours of Keanu, EContent Magazine has a report that may help sum it up for you.
You don’t have to look far to find examples. Clickability has a new module called Website Marketing Acceleration (WMA). It’s targeted at B2B marketers, enabling them to focus more on visitor segmentation and targeting. Other vendors such as IBM, Adobe, FatWire (now Oracle), Open Text, Autonomy-Interwoven, Sitecore, Alterian, EPiServer, et al., have also been promoting their WEM capabilities rather than core content management functionality.
Is this good for the customer? Sure, why not. You either evolve or die in the IT industry (or you change your name from FatWire to Oracle, Day to Adobe, everyone else to Open Text). At the end of the day the customer buys more than a WCM or WEM solution… they end up buying an ever-evolving e-business solution.
Web Content Management For Online Customer Experience, Q3 2011
Forrester’s Wave report assessed the top Web Content Management (WCM) vendors on 115 criteria based on current offerings, strategy and market presence. The report is based on an analysis of data from vendor surveys, product demonstrations and customer reference calls.
According to Forrester’s evaluation, “Sitecore’s marketing tools, including campaign management, reporting and eForms (with CRM integration) differentiate it from many of its peers.” The report further states “based on the broad functionality, product vision and value… Sitecore is a vendor to keep an eye on.”
JULY 20th, 2011
Falcon-Software is proud to announce the signing of several new web content mangement contracts for this Summer:
The Dufresne Group
Winnipeg, Manitoba (Kentico CMS Solution)
Pictured above: One of Dufresne’s Ashley Furniture store locations.
Irvine, California (Sitefinity CMS Training)
First Continental Mortgage
Houston, Texas (Elcom CMS Solution)
General Board of Global Ministries
New York, New York (Elcom CMS Solution)
Ontario Real Estate Association
Don Mills, Ontario (Sitecore CMS Solution)
The company has been on quite the roll of late, running production to near capacity for over16-months with no slow down in sight. To help alleviate potential over-capacity issues, Falcon-Software is hiring once again and has recently secured an additional 2,000 square feet of office space at the corporate head office in Victoria.
In addition, Falcon-Software has also recently increased the production staff by 15% and has promoted Mirko Freund to Senior Web Architect. Mirko has been working with the company as a .NET Web Application Developer, bringing a wealth of talent and experience to Falcon’s development core and assisting in the advancement of our enterprise application integration capabilities. Mirko previously worked at Proximity Technology in Hamburg, Germany as their Senior .NET Web Application Developer, and has over fifteen years of extensive experience.
“Although, we are very excited with the recent new account announcements, it certainly does not paint the whole picture of what’s truly going on in production for us heading into the summer months”, states Gary Eisenstein, President of Falcon-Software Company. “Our top 5 most active accounts in 2011, have loaded us up with enough project work to carry us straight through until Fall”. “That combined with the newly acquired accounts and the ever flowing smaller projects makes for a very busy time at Falcon”, says Eisenstein.
Sitecore, the company that has redefined Web Content Management, announced today it has acquired the development team and the intellectual property of Pectora. A long-standing Sitecore technology partner, Pectora, provides Web publishing solutions for deep integration with print-based projects. The combined offering brings together print and Web design teams to deliver more dynamic, personalized, customer-facing print media including brochures, catalogs and magazines.
“We are continuing our investment in providing business and marketing solutions that make the customer experience more personalized and engaging,” said Michael Seifert, CEO, Sitecore. “The way in which we retrieve information has changed immensely. As consumers, we expect our interactions with companies to be consistent whether via the Web, email, mobile phone or reading collateral. Our acquisition of Pectora allows us to bring consistency and personalization to print and digital communications.”
The Pectora technology enables marketers and Web designers to utilize Sitecore’s Web platform as a central hub for all Adobe InDesign content as well as all document layouts and settings. The offering brings rich content management capabilities to print designs in the InDesign and InCopy products, including team collaboration, multi-lingual management, security and workflow control and dynamic document delivery.
The combined solution brings the best of digital marketing capabilities to the offline world, allowing marketers to utilize content across all channels. Marketers can also deliver highly relevant and targeted content and offers to users based on interests, behavior, location and buying — in a channel independent way. Furthermore, it is now possible for organizations to connect customer behavior through collateral pieces directly into websites and campaigns. By taking advantage of rich document capabilities of InDesign, InCopy and Adobe’s Creative Suite, including dynamic linking and QR (Quick Response) code embedding, it’s possible to close the loop on marketing performance in the offline world.
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. Know it’s a request for five to 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 every one’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/
Together these products make up the new Sitecore Customer Engagement Platform, giving organizations the ability to orchestrate, monitor and measure customer interactions across all digital channels. The new release contains many new and exciting features such as:
- Inline Personalization: Editors can personalize or create new personalization variations right on the page and toggle among the variations to see the visitor experience.
- Profile Cards & Patterns: Profile keys and profiles now roll up into profile cards. Patterns display a visual representation of profiles.
- Sitecore AppCenter: Users will be able to order and manage pre-integrated cloud based services right from the Sitecore menu. The first set of services are all email focused and include email delivery via Sitecore’s MTA, spam detection, the ability to preview email messages in different devices, and previewing landing pages in multiple browsers. Much more to come.
(Digital Marketing System, formerly OMS 1.0)
- Engagement Automation: Includes an intuitive visual campaign designer monitor and supervisor that integrate with email, web and engagement analytics. Enables business users to build and manage integrated campaigns flows that cross channels, all from a single interface.
- Executive Insight Dashboard: For the first time business users will be able to understand at a glance how engaged visitors are vs. just how many visit the site, and which channels and campaigns are bringing in the highest engaged visitors that are most likely to convert.
- Completely re-written analytics reports: Reports have been optimized for much better usability and now also incorporate an engagement value metric. All reports now easily export to Excel and other tools.
- Optimized analytics API: Complete redesign of the analytics API for major performance improvements.
- Inline Multivariate Testing: Editors can conduct full multivariate tests right on the page for accessible and powerful performance optimization.
New versions of Web Forms for Marketers, Search Engine Optimization and Calendar are available, and the AD and CRM Integration modules have also been tested and verified with CMS 6.5. A new version of Email Campaign Manager will follow in the next several weeks.
Next Generation Web
Delivering unparalleled ease of use, total flexibility, and enterprise-grade capabilities, Sitecore CMS is the platform of choice for leading companies around the world, powering more than 27,000 websites.
For more information about CMS 6.5 and DMS 2.0 or to arrange a free Sitecore demo please give us a call at 1-800-957-1126.