Momentum 2010 pt 3

November 12, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Posted in Momentum | 1 Comment
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This post is the 3rd on Momentum but the 2nd on my thoughts on Mark Arbour’s road map session. It covers Web Content Management, WebPublisher and Fatwire.

The basic story is that 6 months ago after surveying the market EMC have invested in a Web experience software company, Fatwire. The first interesting point I think is that EMC invested rather than buying the company. Too early to say whether this is a change of strategy for EMC but it’s interesting to note that it’s a possible tool EMC will consider in it’s quest for the complete. I don’t know how many other examples of this approach EMC has used before; maybe it’s a prelude to buying the company, maybe it’s a longterm approach to this segment of the market.

You might ask what is web experience management as opposed to web content management. In Fatwire’s case it involves all the standard wcm features such as authoring, approval, publishing and content management. However it also adds analytics, personalisation, customer engagement and segmentation all, apparently, packaged together conveniently to allow an iterative cycle of segment-publish-analyse.

It’s clear that the prime use-case is large customer focussed Internet sites where personalising and fine-tuning the customer experience is key to commercial success. It’s less obvious what this brings for the standard intranet site which is what really interested me.

So the question was how does this tie up affect existing WebPublisher implementations? Many mature sites have considerable investment in WebPublisher templates which presumably can’t be just migrated to Fatwire.

It seems that WebPublisher will continue for a few years yet. A bit like webtop, WebPublisher is now in ‘sustaining’ mode. There is likely to be platform-tracking versions (I’m sure D6.7 was mentioned and maybe D7), there will be new certifications as necessary (ie9 anyone?) and bug fixes. however there will be no investment in new features.

From a strategic point of view I can’t see a compelling reason to purchase a conversion to Fatwire right now if you already have an intranet or Internet site unless you specifically want to utilise the additional features made available. New sites and sites considering a rewrite are obvious choices for a Fatwire investment. Obviously this is an area that needs to be tracked as I’m sure the next couple of years will see plenty of development.

A last interesting message was a general one. It seems there is now a general recognition that it is not sensible to tie UI and application releases with backend releases. UIs and business applications are likely to change rapidly , and perhaps unpredictably over the next few years. The back-end platform is likely to be more stable (until Jeroem’s next generation information server starts to become reality perhaps!).

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