WCM Selection Criteria


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A Marketer's guide to selecting a Web Content Management System...

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  • The purpose of this presentation is to take you through some of the key questions you must ask before selecting a Web Content Management product for your organization. <intro to sangeeta>
  • This presentation will provide you with a quick overview of the key considerations you should keep in minding when selecting a Content Management for your organization. This presentation is targeted towards a smid-market audience. What we will not cover during this session is the selection process itself. For more details on this subject, please contact us for our Content Management Selection Process paper.
  • With hundreds of Content Management options to choose from, marketers often feel frustrated or overwhelmed with the task of selecting the Content Management solution that is right for their project or organization. No one product is right for every organization or business need, so which one is the right one for you? What should you look for in a Content Management? What makes one product different from another? It’s easy to get caught up in the long list of features and capabilities for each Content Management product, and miss out on some of the basic evaluation criteria that you need to start with. The cost of these mistakes can be significant as change can be difficult and costly at times, and so it is important to start with the appropriate selection criteria to ensure that the Content Management you decide on is the right solution for you.
  • Let’s begin with examining the product itself. There are several features and components of the product to be considered and assessed, as well as implementation considerations. We will go through the list of features in more details in the slides that follow.
  • With so many features to choose from, it’s easy to make the mistake of selecting the product that seems to have the most features available. Take a look at the Product Strategy before going through the list of features. We advise our clients to ask for direction on the Product Roadmap? Vendors may not share their product roadmap with you, however, they can give you a sense of what their overall strategy is and where they are headed. Also, history is an indicator of the future – ask for how many versions have been rolled out in the last 2 year. Is this tool focused on developers or on business users? Since marketers are end users and now, have a more of a say in picking products, most vendors are making their products visually pleasing and features that marketing needs Is a stand-alone solution right for you, or should you go for a “Software as a Solution” or SAAS option. SAAS is good for simple implementations, but there are advantages and disadvantages of both options. SAAS solutions have exceptional performance and cost efficiencies due to a shared infrastructure, and newer features are rolled out more often as upgrades are easier. However, loss of flexibility to customize the site for your needs as there seems to be more of a confinement on the product, ability to integrate with systems and the perceived lack of data ownership are typical concerns of marketers. Clickability and Crownpeak are two SAAS vendors that seem to be doing well.
  • As you grow, your needs may increase after you’ve implemented the CMS, there may need to integrate with other products and solutions. Traditionally, enterprise marketers were concerned with the product eco-system, however, mid-market marketer’s needs are becoming more and more complex, they need to consider the eco-system. So, look at the product ecosystem and consider what other products does the vendor offer or integrate with. Is it a standalone product that has its own ecosystem to offer? If not, how well does it integrate with other products? Our customers often ask us to integrate with Digital Asset Management and Document Management systems, Search, Social Platforms, or eCommerce systems. Be sure to look for proven implementations. There have been quite a few acquisitions recently, and vendors may not have integrated all their products. Reddot was recently acquired by Open Text which has a rich offering of Enterprise Content Management solutions such as Artesia a Digital Asset management product, <<>>. Because of the rich eco-system Open Text offers, it will do well in the Content Management space. What is the product’s market strategy? Is it an enterprise product, or is it targeted at mid-market organizations? What is the product focus? Many vendors use their products to offer solutions – for example, Reddot has rolled out their social media strategy called Bloom. Watch out for products that position themselves as being everything for everyone. eCommerce and Search capabilities for example, are offered best by vendors which offer just that. A product with a focus on your particular industry or business needs – with the client portfolio to prove it – should certainly make the shortlist.
  • Typical technologies used are .NET, Java, or Open Source. Let’s examine the Open Source option in a bit more detail… There are excellent Open Source platforms available, but the question customers typically have had to ask themselves if is whether or not hey want to be a strong technology shop. Beyond just understanding the product, a successful Open Source implementation depends on a strong knowledge of the underlying technology. Having said that new support models are emerging, for example, Alfresco and Drupal, two of the market leaders, have support models in place. Since these developments are relatively new, they remain largely unproven. Development and maintenance costs have been known be higher for Open Source products, raising a question about whether Open Source is truly the low cost option it appear to be. The one concern we hear from marketers is the lack of ease of use of the Open Source products vs proprietary ones, which typically have a more intuitive user interface, so end user adoption is a concern. The Open source platforms that are doing well have a massive following – drupal is an example of such a product. Those that fall out of favor find it difficult to grow as the community does not contribute and grow the product. So the community is very important to open source platforms - you should ensure that the product has a strong community that contributes. Then look at the delivery architecture. Separate production and delivery instances are best suited for sites with high volume of content, while single instance architecture is best for dynamic sites. Reddot is an example of a product with a separate production and delivery instance, while sitecore renders the interface in real time.
  • CMS’s, now more than before, have a strong need to integrate –Intranet, CRM Search and social media are examples of this. A product’s ability to integrate with familiar tools and processes will make it easier for business and technical users to use. Beware of products with proprietary languages, as these can pose challenges to adoption.
  • Now let’s look at what a Content Management is really all about – content. You need to assess the product for its ability to meet your organization’s needs throughout the content cycle, including content creation and development, management, and publication. In some instances, importing content and then managing it in the CMS is a scenario that needs to be catered to. Let’s begin with how content is created and developed with the Content Management. Does the product support the types of content that you will use on your website, including multi-media content? What authoring and transformation features are available? Also take a look at the Workflow capabilities the product offers. Is it flexible and can it be customized to parallel your existing workflow? Does it integrate well with existing process and systems within your organization? Some features - like the ability to enter workflow tasks into email applications or integration into existing intranets – will also get people using the Content Management quickly. Once you’ve created the content, how will you get it onto the live site? Consider the product’s deployment capabilities. Does it provide support and central management for multistage deployment and publishing? From old slide – One of the most important things you should consider when evaluating Content Management options is ease of use, for developers but especially non-technical business users such as editors. People tend to resist change, so a complex product which requires intensive training could lead to low adoption by end users. Choosing a Content Management that fits well into existing process and is compatible with familiar products will make it easier to push your users toward the Content Management. For example, Sitecore’s UI has a microsoft office like familiar UI, resulting in much less ‘learning’ that the end-user has to do in order to start using the new Content Management. Also, plan for extensive training. Our clients in the Publishing and Education space, where they have a lot of users, focus a lot on training. Many solutions don’t provide exceptional training, especially real-time raining – so consider creating your own how-to videos that capture how functionality is used. We have some samples that we can share if you’d like.
  • How does the Content Management product manage content? Does the user interface include drag and drop administration and design functionality that will allow non-technical users to easily manage content on the site? What does the product offer in terms of content classification and taxonomy? How are templates created and managed, and how are pages rendered? Consider how content types are categorized and organized: Is inheritance of content types available, to facilitate reuse of templates? Even the most basic websites today are dynamic and contain media - audio, video, images. Be sure to understand how the Content Management handles rich media and digital asset management. In fact, many Content Management product struggle with large volumes of digital assets, so you may be better off looking to an external system for this service. Also consider what features are available to provide access control to different sections and components of the site, as well as content indexing, archiving and version control.
  • What is the product’s delivery model? How does it support dynamic or user generated content? Even in a simple website, a change made to one element on the site may need to be reflected in multiple locations, without the user having to manually enter it for each instance. Websites with more interactivity would need a Content Management that can treat user generated content just like any other content on the site – being able to put it through workflow, modify it, and reuse it throughout the site and on other channels. As companies expand, internationalization also becomes an important consideration. Can the Content Management support multiple multilingual sites in different locations? Think about how the product facilitates customization of the website to meet regional needs, and how it handles translations or integration with external translation services. On a similar note, consider how the product support scaling When evaluation the a product’s publishing capabilities, make sure the publication channels the supports your organization’s needs, both online and off. Some products support the ability to transform web content into other channels – including email, mobile, and print formats. Lastly, think about how whether Content Management provides analytical and testing tools to allow constant improvement of your website. Many Content Managements offer Multivariate and targeted A/B testing functionality as part of the product. If you are already set on a particular third party tool – Omniture or WebTrends are commonly used – be sure that the Content Management you choose supports integration with these tools.
  • Thinking back to what we reviewed a moment ago about dynamic content. What if you could adjust your site in real-time based on user behaviour? This is what true Content Management marketing automation is about. This is the new frontier for mid-market products. Collecting session data and segmenting visitors allows you to present targeted content to your site visitors, and direct them through a personalized and therefore more effective experience on the site. Once you have potential customers engaged on your site, an effective lead management system can provide lead scoring and CRM integration Some products may offer a complete Marketing package, which can support web analytics, campaign management, and lead management. For example – SDL, Sitecore and RedDot all offer excellent comprehensive Automation capabilities.
  • Once you’ve decided which features and capabilities you want, you’ll next be looking at the how the product fits into your budget. Make sure you consider the total cost of ownership. Beyond just the initial licensing cost, there may also be an ongoing annual fee or additional costs for product updates. Of course you will need to factor in other components of website creation – design, build, maintenance and support – into your budget. If any new hardware or software will be required, you’ll need to add this too. Lastly, user and developer training and maintenance costs both depend on the particular product you have selected. Some products are more difficult to maintain than others. Also, lesser known or more complex products may have fewer trained resources or consultants available should the need arise for future enhancements or customization. This could add to the bottom line for your project.
  • Now that we’ve looked at the product itself, let’s take a quick look at what you need to consider around the implementation. The first question to ask yourself is how the implementation will be done – will you do it in-house, with the Content Management Vendor Professional Services, or with a Partner organization. A first-time implementation in particular needs to be undertaken with care, to avoid architecture issues which could plague the site for a long time, so you might opt not to have it done in-house unless you are sure that your technical resources are experienced with the product. When considering an implmentation partner, The Content Management Vendor PS can provide specific expertise, but is not good for application support after implementation. Also, there may be integration issues with other product, so you would need to make sure they really understand the business of application development, and that they are focused on product and software development. Going with a Partner for implementation is typically the safest option, but again, do make sure that the partner has product-specific expertise, demonstrated success in the mid-market segment, and ideally, with experience in your particular industry or vertical. The Partner should have a knowledge of the entire ecosytem – including CRM, e-commerce or social networking components – and should be able support your project throughout the delivery lifecycle, including post-delivery tasks. Here at eDynamic, we actually participate in developing an end-to-end website strategy for the project, to ensure that client needs through the entire project are being met. Another thing to look at when evaluating a potential Implementation partner is flexibility. For example, at eDynamic we offer a Global Delivery Model, which allows you to choose from different combinations of on-site and offshore delivery options, based on what is the best fit for your timeline and budget. When you have your shortlisted your Content Management vendor options, do spend some time researching the company and understanding its market presence before you make a final decision. Take a look at visibility – does the vendor well known in the market, consider brand identification. Review the company financials for stability. What about ownership – is the company public or private? Location is another point to consider which could impact your project: if the vendor doesn’t have a global presence, you’ll need to make sure that there are trained resources and other support available in your region. What kind of post-sales support does the vendor offer? Be sure that they have more than just some generic reference documents available, and have a proper support structure in place to guide you through the project. Possibly more important than all of these is proven experience. If the product is targeted to your particular vertical or business needs, be sure to check that this focus is reflected in the vendor’s client portfolio. Do check for both client and vendor references before making a final decision.
  • We’ve now gone through what considerations you should look at when selecting a Content Management for your website. Beyond just specific technology and a features list for the product, you need to consider total cost of the website, implementation options, and the vendor profile. Beyond choosing the right Content Management, we also have material that will help you apply best or breed processes to implement the Content Management, as well as tips from the Trenches, to make sure you’re not falling into the common mistakes that are often made on Content Management projects. For more customized information, you can talk to one of our consultants for a free evaluation on how to select a Content Management solution or around the implementation process. We’d love to hear from you. You can reach us at........
  • WCM Selection Criteria

    1. 1. How to Select a Web Content Management System What every marketer needs to know! Presenter: Sangeeta Saxena Web Consultant
    2. 2. Introduction <ul><ul><li>Provides a quick overview of key considerations when selecting a Content Management product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This document does not provide a process Please contact us for our ‘Content Management Selection Process’ paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This presentation is targeted towards marketers in mid-market looking to select a Content Management product offering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sitecore, Ektron, Reddot, SDL Tridion are some of the best of breed platforms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sharepoint also competes, however is not pure play Content Management platform </li></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Background <ul><ul><li>Selecting a Content Management can be frustrating! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Products seem too similar </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ They all seem to do the same thing” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most companies are trying to figure out ‘what’ to look for; what differentiates one product from the other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feature overkill </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Miss simple things in evaluation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How often is the product updated? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eco system </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The ‘Cost’ of Mistakes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Painful to re-implement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content migration nightmares </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Training and getting people to buy-in again </li></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. The Product <ul><ul><li>Product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implementation Considerations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product Strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content Production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content Delivery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing Analytics, Personalization, Lead Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance & Technical Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Services & Channels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration & Partnership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adoption & Community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usability </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Product Strategy <ul><ul><li>Don’t get feature happy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Understand Product Strategy first! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does Roadmap align with your needs? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How often is the product revised? Ask for version history </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Target Audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Development focused or usability focused? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SAAS or Standalone? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SAAS good for simple implementations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples are Clickability and Crownpeak </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pros and Cons of SAAS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pros: Performance, cost efficiencies, new features added more frequently </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cons: Flexibility, integration with internal systems, data ownership </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Product Strategy (contd.) <ul><ul><li>Ecosystem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Standalone vs. Integrated Product </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interwoven and RedDot have an ecosystem to offer </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sitecore is standalone yet integrates well with other products </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Typical solutions include DAM, Document Management, Search, Social Platforms, eCommerce </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enterprise? mid market? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on particular industry, business scenarios </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media Strategy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RedDot – Bloom </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All-in-one may not be the best </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The product will depend on your needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate website </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multi channel publishing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ecommerce </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intranet </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal marketing sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Technology <ul><ul><li>.NET, Java or Open source are typical technologies used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Delivery Architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Two common architectures: Separate production and delivery instances or single instance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Single instance (ex. Sitecore, renders in real-time) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Separate instances (ex. RedDot, pushes content onto the web server) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Technology (cont’d) <ul><ul><li>Ability to develop and integrate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sitecore integrates with Visual Studio, easy to develop on top </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Integration with Intranets, CRM, eCommerce, Search, Social Media </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Products with Proprietary languages can be tricky </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page Rendering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Static vs. Dynamic content generation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ease of upgrade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance considerations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content Management Architecture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Integrated or isolated? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RedDot’s architecture – HTML files delivered to web server, makes it performance friendly for users </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Content Production <ul><ul><li>Content Creation and Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Type of content - Content, audio, multi-media </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Authoring, transformation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>User Generated Content management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tagging </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User friendly editing features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sitecore provides an easy to use Microsoft environment for editors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In-line vs. In-context editor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RIA driven </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workflow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flexibility is key </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deployment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Support for multisite deployment and publishing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Centralized management for all stages of deployment </li></ul></ul></ul>Production Management Delivery Content
    10. 10. Content Management <ul><ul><li>Content Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content classification, taxonomy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Templating – creation and management of templates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page rendering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rich media management, DAM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indexing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Archiving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Version control </li></ul></ul>Production Management Delivery Content
    11. 11. Content Delivery <ul><ul><li>Publication of dynamic content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multichannel and syndication </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Delivery model – RIA, 3 rd party app server, portal, mobile </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social computing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internationalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analytical and testing tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MV, A/B testing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Integration with 3 rd party tools – Omniture, WebTrends </li></ul></ul></ul>Production Management Delivery Content
    12. 12. Marketing Automation and Analytics Content Management Marketing Automation Web Analytics Personali - zation Lead Management Automation
    13. 13. Content Migration <ul><ul><li>Banana skin of implementations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically, an afterthought </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a well defined migration strategy in place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manual vs. automated – could have impact on cost, effort and timelines </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. The ‘True’ Costs of Launching a Site <ul><ul><li>Not only licensing costs... Consider Total Cost of Ownership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Licensing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Per product </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Per CPU </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Per server </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Initial as well as year on year for updates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Implementation, configuration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Integration with back-end systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Software, hardware </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance and support </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Implementation Considerations <ul><ul><li>Implementation approach options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In-house </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content Management Vendor Professional Services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Partner </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implementation partner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vendor or product professional services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expertise </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of ecosystem </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to help across the delivery lifecycle </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Partner vs. Implementer </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible options </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Location </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>References </li></ul></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Next steps 1-877-339-6264 [email_address] <ul><ul><li>Reach out to us for other material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best of breed process to implement content management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tips from the trenches: Avoid the pitfalls of implementing your Content Management solution! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talk to our consultants for a free evaluation on how to select a Content Management solution or implementation process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We’d love to hear from you </li></ul></ul>