It's a Swiss treats day for a Swiss vendor. Enterprise CMS provider Day Software has received the Swiss Open Source Award 2008 in the business category. Recipe for success? Mix two tablespoons of Day with several pounds of a new chief marketing officer, who has arrived from Interwoven via the open source devout Alfresco. And, voila! The open source awards will follow.
Day's recently-onboarded CMO Kevin Cochrane tells us all the glorious details about this award and (much) more -- including, why he left Interwoven and Alfresco.
Day Awarded for Open Source Embrace
Day has long been associated with all things open source -- standards and interoperability -- so the award from the Swiss Open Systems User Group doesn’t come as a surprise. Criteria for the award's business category included “exceptional competence and generous support of open source software projects.”
The judges selected Day due to its work with Apache Jackrabbit, Apache Sling and promotion of standards-based content repositories and efforts on JSR 170.
Day: Open Source and Standards Devotion
At Day Software, most software engineers are open source developers -- 75% of the developers have active involvement in at least one open source project.
Currently, Day is contributing to about 25 open source projects, including various types of involvement with the Apache Software Foundation. Some of the open source initiatives start incubating in the labs at the company’s HQ. Then, they’re released into the wild, where the open source community and everyone in it can get involved, contribute and help finalize various open source projects.
To name just some of big achievements on Day’s open source front, let’s look at Apache Sling -- a RESTful Web app framework that Day open-sourced in 2007. Sling was developed to support rapid, scalable content application development on top of Day's JCR content repository.
Day is also closely associated with Apache Jackrabbit -- a fully-compliant implementation of the Content Repository for JCR. Then, there’s Apache Felix with its standards-compliant bundle at the core of WCM to deploy specialized applications.
Why Day Likes Open Source
Why Day is interested in embracing open source? Cochrane gave us three reasons:
# A cultural bend is taking place in the CMS industry, where organizations are more and more in-tune with open source communities, and Day wants to give back to this community versus simply monetizing on it.
# Involvement with open source keeps Day at the technological forefront, with a large group of Subject Matter Experts assisting with various projects.
# By building and supporting a community of developers around RESTful Web application development, Day builds a potential customer base. So, there is, of course, a bit of a commercial interest involved.
Day’s Update on CMIS
Day is still on a path of actively contributing to the draft CMIS specification, as we previously reported soon after the draft was released and we spoke to Day’s CTO and fearless CMIS leader David Nüscheler.
Right now, Day is working with other vendors like ECM and Microsoft to finalize the official proposal of the spec. Despite the “early marketing hype” from some vendors, it is still just a draft noted Cochrane. The industry heavy-weights are scheduled to meet on November 10 to further discuss the spec.
Day at ApacheCon US 2008
Several Day developers have participated at the Apache Software Foundation's official conference, ApacheCon US 2008, that is coming to an end today in New Orleans.
But you can probably still make it to one of Day’s sessions if you are there. Today, senior developer at Day, Felix Meschberger is presenting “Scripting Your Java Application with BSF 3.0”, that will serve as a workshop on how to add scripting support to Java applications using the Java Scripting API.
Practical demonstrations will feature Apache BSF 3.0 as the Java Scripting API implementation and Apache Sling as a Java application to be scripted.
Day’s (Ambitious) Plans for 2009
Recently, Gartner placed Day in the Visionary Magic Quadrant for ECM, but cautioned us about Day by saying that, “Day faces substantial challenges in the overall ECM market, given its limited resources and market presence. “
Cochrane’s take on it: “I feel good about this quote.” Gartner’s research was done prior to recent leadership changes at Day, so Cochrane is enthusiastic about their prospects. He has also mentioned that Gartner now gives Day credit for the changes and thinks there’s a lot of potential for 2009 -- if the big plans are, indeed, carried through. A big challenge for Day is (and, historically, has been) lack of proper marketing. Have you ever seen a customer case study on Day’s Web site? Exactly…
However, Cochrane is gleeful about Day’s ambitious plans for the coming year. The challenge will be to get prospective customers to look at Day’s products and to proceed to evaluate them by placing Day on their short-lists. Top three challenges that Cochrane is looking to conquer in 2009 are:
# Retarget value proposition to CMOs: Day has “talked tech all the time,” but people making WCM investment decision aren’t all techies. “Real solid case studies about customer successes” is one thing that can help change this.
# Retarget value proposition to CIOs: Organizations are looking to be more agile while dealing with declining IT budgets. Day wants to position its advantages around low cost of operations, standard skillsets and its ability to talk to various content repositories.
# Channel outreach: Partners are crucial in Day’s overall success, and Cochrane wants to “embrace them and treat them like one of our own.” That includes training them on new products, rather than having them figure it all out on their own -- especially, in Europe where customers tend to rely more on channel partners rather than the vendor.
Day’s New Version of Web CMS Communiqué v5.0 (CQ5)
It’s been an "agonizingly long build-up" to the release of Day Communiqué WCM platform version 5. But we’re finally getting really close to seeing what Day has been working on in the WCM arena for so long. CQ v4.0 was released back in 2005.
Day recently announced the Early Access Release of CQ5 that encompasses Web Content Management, Digital Asset Management and Social Collaboration -- with an upgraded content repository infrastructure based on "modern open source technologies and standards with a compelling user experience."
CQ5’s core is an updated version of Day’s CRX repository, a commercially-licensed version of Day Software based on Apache Jackrabbit and Apache Sling projects. CRX is a JCR (JSR170) implementation. In its new version, it incorporates a new RESTful content application architecture.
Day’s new Web CMS offering was initially released to a limited number of customers whose feedback was incorporated into this major product rewrite. CQ5 promises to make both developers and end-users happy. We will tell you more in mid-November, stay tuned!
A Word (or Two) On Cochrane
In his forth week with Day, the company’s new CMO is a pleasure to speak with. Kevin Cochrane’s passion about content management and its “transformative force” is palpable.
Cochrane is not a CMS newbie. He was the fourth employee at Interwoven, where he was responsible for Interwoven TeamSite product line for 10 years. But when key IT requirements aren’t being executed around core content management principles, R&D is short-staffed and the product is starting to deviate from responding to customers’ best interests -- it is time to move on and start fresh. Alfresco fresh, in Cochrane’s case. Alfresco, says Cochrane, offered that refreshing open source exuberance without any compromises. He spent 2.5 years at the commercial open source pioneer as a vice president of product management. But left even before Alfresco 3 was completed -- although not without getting the commitment that Alfresco 3, with its so much needed GUI overhaul, would be brought to life.
At Day Software, Cochrane says he’s finding new things, hidden gems every day. Waking up every day and being thrilled about your job (“the easiest job in the world,” according to Cochrane) is something not all of us have the luxury of.
Highlighting Cochrane’s wünderkind to wanderkind transformation, CMS Watch thinks Cochrane would spice up Day. We tend to agree: savvier (if any) marketing is definitely something that Day couldn’t get its act together on for a long time. Cochrane shows potential to shake things up and change this perception (which, as we know, is also reality).