Ars Logica Report Praises Brand Management, Globalization in SDL Tridion, Cites Implementation and Price DownsidesLeading Web content management system (WCMS) SDL Tridion is strong in brand management and globalization capabilities, but its limitations include implementation complexity and price. Those are some of the takeaways from Ars Logica's new Compass Guide evaluation of the 2011 release.

The report, released this week, noted that SDL “arguably produces the most functionally robust enterprise platform in the industry.” The biggest positive differentiator, according to Compass Guide, is in the product’s integration with SDL’s enterprise customer experience management products. The report pointed to other strengths, including multi-channel marketing, translation management, architectural separation of content and profiles/roles from the app, and optimization for marketing professionals.

Tricky to Implement

But, the report noted, when Tridion needs to be used in a complex and diverse technical environment, it can be “tricky to implement,” at least in part because of its diverse code base. It also noted that the price -- an average license price of US$ 250,000 -- is only justifiable when Tridion is integrated with other SDL products.

Tridion, once an independent vendor based in Amsterdam, became SDL’s WCMS division in 2007, and this Compass Guide report only covers that division’s products. The report noted that Tridion is “particularly well-suited” for global enterprises whose requirements include managing brands, multiple languages and multi-channel marketing on a worldwide basis.

If your plans within the next two years do not include the deployment or overhaul of a multi-site, multi-geography, multi-lingual, brand-focused, public-facing Web presence,” the report said, “you may find more value in less costly WCM solutions than SDL Tridion.”

Leader in Globalization Capabilities

On the other hand, Ars Logica praised Tridion as “unquestionably the leader in globalization capabilities.” It pointed out that SDL’s other products add “best of breed translation management, brand management, digital/media asset management, and e-commerce capabilities.”

The report also cited the balance between complex hardcore marketing analytics, which can provide the data required for extensive and detailed campaigns, and an intuitive user interface that non-technical users can employ.

When quantified as numerical ratings in a Report Card for the Business User, Ars Logica awarded good-to-high marks to SDL Tridion. With 10 being the highest score, Tridion receives 7.7 for usability, 8.7 for marketing and sales tools, 9.4 for multi-site/multi-channel/multi-lingual, and 9.0 for market presence and product viability.

For Technologists, the ratings are 8.4 for scalability, 7.5 for flexibility, 8.5 for development tools, and 6.6 for ease of administration.

The UK-based SDL provides solutions for global businesses to manage brands, improve customer experience, conduct marketing campaigns and analytics, utilize Web content management, and undertake other activities for customer engagement.

Ars Logica, located in Boston, is a vendor-independent analyst firm that focuses on evaluating customer experience management and Web content management software for client companies. Its Compass Guide reports provide evaluations of WCM technologies.