Enterprise Web Content Management Smack Down

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This week it seems Im finding a lot of links related to head to head vendor competitions, tournaments, and now in your face smackdowns:

It all started when CMS Watch’s Kas Thomas posted his “reality checklist” for CMS vendors. Each vendor should ask themselves 15 tough questions about their product. Now one particular vendor Day has put down the challenge to all other CMS vendors, the CMS Vendor meme, to answer the questions from the check list. Surprisingly, this challenge elicited a wave of responses from Day’s competitors; among them Alfresco,  Jahia, Nuxeo, Knowledgetree, and even the incumbents such as Vignette, Autonomy Interwoven and others. Most of them were done tongue-in-cheek, with some good natured competitive trash talking thrown in for good measure. They are interesting in that they provides a nice peek into the cultures and attitudes of the vendors and how they assess their own product.

Blogger Julian Wraith posts a scoreboard in his blog. As of the time of this posting, the results are (remember most of the vendors rated themselves on the vendor evaluation checklist posed by Kaz Thomas):

  1. 43/45 – Jahia
  2. 43/45 – Hippo CMS
  3. 42/45 – Magnolia
  4. 42/45 – EPiServer
  5. 42/45 – GX *
  6. 42/45 – Midgard
  7. 42/45 – Nuxeo **
  8. 41/45 – infopark
  9. 41/45 – KnowledgeTree
  10. 40.5/45 – Enano
  11. 40/45 – Day
  12. 40/45 – Alfresco
  13. 40/45 – GX
  14. 40/45 – CoreMedia
  15. 40/45 – Sitecore
  16. 40/45 – Alterian
  17. 40/45 – OpenText
  18. 40/45 – Ez Systems
  19. 38/45 – dotCMS
  20. 37/45 – Vignette
  21. 37/45 – Autonomy Interwoven
  22. 36/45 – Escenic
  • bold scores are where the vendor did not score themselves but it was subsequentally worked out by Jon Marks
  • * Score adjusted to reflect original scoring system
  • ** Vendor does not seem to be able to add up

Here is the full text of the checklist:

Trends: A reality checklist for vendors

Web CMS vendors live at an interesting intersection between the new and the old: They live with one foot firmly planted in the enterprise-software world (a world of servers and routers and black console screens with flashing cursors), and the other foot planted on the Flashy, fast-shifting ground of the Internet.The two worlds are diverging rapidly. Traditional enterprise software development (the kind associated with “programming in the large”) tends to be slow, costly, inflexible. Solution sales, marketing, and support tend to be correspondingly process-heavy and inertia-laden. The Web, on the other hand, is agile, fun, and friction-free. It has changed the way people look at computing. It has changed expectations (and conversations) around marketing, pricing, maintenance, support, and just about every other aspect of the enterprise-software experience.

And yet somehow, software vendors who should know better (again: vendors in the Web CMS space) are sometimes failing to perceive how profoundly things have changed in the past year or so.

As a public service, then, I propose the following “reality-check checklist” for Web CMS vendors (and other enterprise software vendors) who intend to stay afloat — if not prosper — in 2009 and beyond. Violate these rules at your own risk.:


1. Our software comes with an installer program.

2. Installing or uninstalling our software does not require a reboot of your machine.

3. You can choose your locale and language at install time, and never have to see English again after that.

4. Eval versions of the latest edition(s) of our software are always available for download from the company website.

5. Our WCM software comes with a fully templated “sample web site” and sample workflows, which work out-of-the-box.

6. We ship a tutorial.

7. You can raise a support issue via a button, link, or menu command in our administrative interface.

8. All help files and documentation for the product are laid down as part of the install.

9. We run our entire company website using the latest version of our own WCM products.

10. Our salespeople understand how our products work.

11. Our software does what we say it does.

12. We don’t charge extra for our SDK.

13. Our licensing model is simple enough for a 5-year-old to understand.

14. We have one price sheet for all customers.

15. Our top executives are on Skype, Twitter, or some similar channel, and: Feel free to contact them directly at any time.

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The Ultimate Showdown of Open Source Web CMS

Drupal vs Joomla on wikistat
Image by bertboerland via Flickr

Im a bit behind on my blogging but thought to post this anyway even though it happened several weeks ago:

At the recent SXSW (or South by Southwest Conference), they recently held “the ultimate open source CMS showdown.” The format of the event was patterned after “Project Runway” and “The Iron Chef” reality shows where three teams of all-star Web developers were asked to build a Web site in each of their chosen platforms using a single design concept (in this case provided by the award winning Mark Boulton Design studios) and project specification (a fictional nonprofit). Participants came from the camps of three of the best known and most widely used open source CMS projects out there: Drupal, Joomla and WordPress.

The session included walkthroughs of all three sites and the teams were given time to present how they tackled development and execution of the projetct specs. At the end of the session, judges were asked to decide the best platform and best execution of the concept.

The results? Check it out here:

What’s New | The Ultimate Showdown of Content Management System Destiny

March 17, 2009, 4:45pm – New page outlining the competition, with links to the project spec, designs, and SXSW slides added.

March 17, 2009, 4:00pm – Another great article on the Showdown from CMS Wire.

March 16, 2009, 11:59pm – Great article about the SXSW Showdown on CMS Critic.

March 16, 2009, 2:00pm – It’s been just over an hour since the conclusion of the Ultimate Showdown of Content Management System Destiny panel at SXSW Interactive, and already the Internets are abuzz speculating about who “won” the competition between Drupal, Joomla!, and WordPress. We had an overflow audience for the session, and at the end when it came to asking the audience to pick a winner, an amazing thing happened: they refused to decide, saying they wanted to learn more about all three projects before rendering a verdict.

You can find the contest details, the participants and mechanics here. An analysis of the results can be found here.

The respective entries of the differemt teams can be viewed online at the following URLs:

You be the judge!

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Spoke at the 3rd Mini Web Design Conference

I spoke last January 22 at the 3rd Mini Web Design Conference held at the Cosmopoint International Institute of Technology (CIIT). Went with officemates Rowel, Jorge, Rubie and Elvin.

Spoke a bit about this new CMS I have been playing with called Concrete5. Was able to give the attendees, who numbered about 40+ (not so mini after all =), an overview of what Concrete5 is all about, its features, a bit of history, and what makes it unique. Afterwards I gave a demo–converting an existing site I had to the CMS engine in less than 10 minutes (with a one minute pause as I lost my voice in the middle of my presentation). Mia Sereno, who I think is one of the organizers of the event, has a very nice visual summary of the event (which she calls sketchnotes) that is really worth checking out here.

Hopefully this will help people give more choices for tools to use on their web design projects, and I think I have been successful getting at least one convert.

Other speakers there were:

  • Alfredo Palconit (http://alfredo.palconit.com and http://webdesigner.ph) – who gave an entertaining talk on his experiences with SEO and Web Design
  • Regnard Raquedan (http://www.raquedan.com) – (a guy who I keep bumping into in conferences and talks, most likely because he is that rare breed of developer/designer who can articulate well his thoughts) who gave an AIM/MBA-level talk on Pricing Your Web Design Work
  • Jojo Esposa (http://deafphilippines.wordpress.com) – who is an expert on accessibility with his projects who gave a talk on How to Write a Good ALT Text
  • JP dela Torre (http://www.pigmata.com) – who seems like another smart and articulate guy (and entrepreneur as well) who gave an insightful talk on Overview on front-end optimization and best practices
  • Eugene Alvin Villar (http://vaes9.codedgraphic.com) – who introduced us to blogging platform TextPattern

The conference finished a bit late but good thing there was free food. Went there to learn new things and hopefully get some of the attendees to join our organization.

3rd Mini Web Design Conference

For those who haven’t heard yet… This is the 3rd Mini Web Design Conference organized by the PWDO

WHAT: <form> function() & .class3rd Mini Web Design Conference

WHERE: 5th flr. CTTM Square Bldg, Timog cor Tomas Morato, QC. (view map)

WHEN: January 22, 2009, 7:00PM


Who’s talking and what are they talking about

With a little help from

Sign up NOW and meet us

Exonovation: Leveraging the Innovation of Others

A few weeks back I was invited to attend an executive briefing on open, collaborative, community-based innovation. The speaker was Michael Tiemann, Vice President of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat. He titled his talk “Exonovation,” to avoid the connotation the word “innovation”, he says, has with internal organizational efforts at innovation. In his talk-he showed how organizations today (including his own company) are able to leverage the innovation of others to create sustainable competitive advantage that benefits not only themselves, but their community and industry ecosystem as a whole as well.

He gives examples of this happening in various areas, and cites as a historical precedent the development of the steam engine. He told us that as the technology in steam engines was opened up, so too did the number of its application expand. This resulted in a dramatic increase in its growth and development.

michael tiemann talk

Later, he told of how this is becoming true of software as well-specifically with the emergence of open source software. With the emergence of open source, he says we are starting to see a shift from the traditional, closed-model of software development (with its emphasis in the creation and protection of proprietary intellectual property) to the development of a more open, collaborative and more community-based approached to software development, distribution and testing.

Michael is of course is able to provide deep and refreshing insights on the topic (which has been a growing area of interest in the business community with such new books as Wikinomics, Crowdsourcing, and others coming out to analyze and study the phenomena). Michael is an early pioneer in open source, having contributed to the community the GNU C++ compiler and debugger. This work led to him to start a company that was one of the first to incorporate community-based development and support in its business model. That company he founded was Cygnus Solutions, which was later acquired by Red Hat. (An interesting anecdote he shared was that several years back, he was trying to convince the Board of Directors of Cygnus to purchase a then struggling startup by the name of Red Hat founded by Bob Young. They refused. In a few years later, in an ironic twist, Red Hat would eventually come back and purchase them). Today he is also the President of the Open Source Initiative.

Michael showed compelling arguments and case studies in his presentation on the value that open source provides. Beyond cost savings and dollar discussions, the use of open source software is able to positively impact not only development time and cost, but (perhaps in an unintuitive way)-the quality of software as well. He says that more and more organizations are realizing this, and today open source software is now widely used and accepted. In fact he cites a study by Gartner that predicts that by 2011, 80% of all commercial software solutions will be based on, or incorporate, open source software. Today, in Gartner’s surveys, almost 50% of open source is used for mission critical applications.

The talk, although it lasted for only two hours, was full of insights. With a lot of top executives in the audience, I am hopeful that in the coming months, the interest in open source software will continue to grow in the local business community. The talk was timely in that it was actionable information many of them can apply in today’s business environment where cost savings and innovation are key to not only surviving but thriving.

Will Be Speaking At The Philippine OsCon 2006

I will be speaking tomorrow at the Philippine Open Source Conference at the Shangri-la EDSA Plaza Hotel. I will be talking about the use of Open Source in the Enterprise and how Open Source developers are now building applications for real-world business needs. I will be giving a high-level overview of leading open source projects out there for customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), Business Intelligence (BI), content management (CMS) and others.

About the Conference
The Open Source Conference and Expo will focus on Open Source Operating Systems and Applications for the business and enterprise user. Organized by Imperium Technology, Inc. in cooperation with Media Focus International, Inc. the event will be held on September 26-28, 2006, with exhibits, plenary sessions, hands-on sessions, tutorials, and conferences at the Shangri-la EDSA Plaza Hotel.

The theme for the conference this year is “Ready for Change, In Tune with Enterprise Needs”. Tracks include topics on Business Applications, Programming and Technical issues, and a specialized track on Voice and Telephony. Conference speakers include Open Source Experts, Enterprises using Open Source Technology, Industry Experts, and Open Source Pioneers.

About Jan
Jan is an experienced IT Consultant who has lead several project engagements in delivering business, brand, and technology consulting services to clients ranging from prominent multi-national corporations, small and medium-sized businesses, government agencies and non-profits.

He is currently a Senior Consultant at IT Group, Inc. where he is responsible for overseeing the deployment of best-of-breed, open source enterprise applications in Customer Relationship Management and Knowledge Management for clients. Prior to that, he was one of the founders of Ecommsite Solutions�a systems integration and technology consultancy. His expertise is in systems design and implementation, IT information architecture, and IT project management.

Jan has a degree in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of the Philippines and is a Licensed CPA. He has had training and holds certifications in IT Project Management. He is currently taking up his Masters Degree at the Asian Institute of Management.

Philippine Open Source Conference
Ready for Change, In Tune with Enterprise Needs

Speaker: Jan Pabellon
Topic: The Open Source Alternative: Using Open Source Business Applications in the Enterprise
Date: October 3, 2006
Time: 10.30 to 11.45 am
Track: Business Applications Track
Location: EDSA Shangrila Plaza Hotel