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by Kyle McNabb.
Wow, IT Forum 2007, for me, was a blur. The level of interaction with clients, the feedback I received, and the information I learned surpassed my expectations. I walked away — albeit on Sunday evening after spending the weekend with family in the Nashville area — with the following in mind:
What's the difference? Well, vendors focused on good WCM spend a lot of time and energy focusing on usability, workflow, and how content can be published to one or more sites that will then deliver the content to the end user. "Good WCM" products usually work very well with portals — sometimes even preferring you use a portal as the content delivery engine. As a result, these vendors often position themselves as a solution helping to get IT out of the way of publishing content, allowing IT to focus on the operation of the site (or sites).
Vendors focused on the customer experience don't stop at "good WCM", they include content delivery capabilities such as explicit personalization, content targeting, content utilization analysis (measuring the usage of content within a site, by roles/customer segments), multi-site & multi-lingual support, and multi-stage deployment support. These products appeal to ebusiness operations and marketing operations groups as they look to remove site administration support from IT and arm non-IT resources to drive customer experience improvements. These operations groups look at these products as essential to their online operations.
We've been following this "good WCM" and customer experience WCM trend for some time, and use the term persuasive content to help identify how content can support the customer experience. Both 'camps' offer value, and the option you pursue's very much related to business drivers and who's taking ownership of your online initiatives. To help you evaluate your technology options, we've evaluated 11 leading WCM vendors (Day Software, EMC, FatWire, IBM, Interwoven, Microsoft, Oracle (Stellent), Percussion, RedDot (Open Text), SDL Tridion, and Vignette) against a mix of "good WCM" and customer experience WCM criteria. This evaluation will be published later in Q2, perhaps early Q3. Keep an eye on this blog where we'll highlight when we publish the final report.
As usual, we welcome any and all feedback and comments.