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Remember Bluenog, the new-ish Enterprise Content Management solution provider who loves to play with open source solutions? The company claimed to be the first of its kind, but we tend to keep a healthy skepticism.

Recently these new comers' ego has gained a bit of puff. InformationWeek has named Bluenog ICE -- Bluenog's flagship solution -- to its first ever Startup 50 ranking. The award recognizes value, enterprise-readiness and innovation. Let's take another look at what Bluenog is doing.

The Award

The award for Bluenog was voted on by the InformationWeek’s editorial staff as well as reader votes (though we’re not sure of the respective percentages). We do know, however, that InformationWeek created the short list as a way to provide IT stakeholders with reliable analysis of the most promising and original new faces.

“It was difficult to limit ourselves to 50 startups because there are a lot of exciting companies out there,” said Andrew Conry-Murray, business editor, InformationWeek. “That said, we believe the Startup 50 have innovative solutions to critical business problems and are worthy of enterprise consideration"

A Hippo in Blue Clothing

Those are pretty nice words from InformationWeek’s business editor, but we still weren’t entirely convinced. Remember, Bluenog CMS is actually open source Hippo CMS v6 — but Hippo has already moved on to v7.

This of course, raises some questions (see CMS Watch commentary) about architecture and how  Bluenog will handle innovation, given that the underlying product has moved on.

Responding to this concern is Scott Barnett, Bluenog's COO, who stated late last year: "We are currently evaluating Hippo 7 alongside the other CMS options we're considering for the next version of Bluenog ICE. One major consideration we have is how to seamlessly upgrade our existing customers to the next release of Bluenog ICE, regardless of the underlying technology we ultimately choose."

Fair enough, we know this is no simple decision.

Sticking to Their Story

We recently had a change to speak with the Bluenog folks again, to see how far along they’ve come in their evaluation. The company reported that they’re sticking with Hippo, moving to v7.

Customers can expect a subsequent release of Bluenog ICE later this year that will be based on the new architecture.

The company also admitted that they are still neck-deep in their evaluation, with most of their concern still being over making sure customers can seamlessly upgrade to any new release they put out, and of course, that the rest of the ICE suite is integrated properly. That pretty much means that although a release is coming, it’s likely not coming any time soon.

One for the Ladies

Regardless of the resulting slow down in the release cycle, we'll admit that the buzz around Bluenog is a tune we're starting to like.

In addition to their award from InformationWeek, Bluenog recently wooed Wellesley College. The prestigious liberal arts college for women announced yesterday their plans to deploy Bluenog ICE as the foundation for their public-facing website of over 50,000 pages.

“Bluenog was the best choice for Wellesley, given our need for a user-friendly Web CMS that could readily integrate data from our enterprise systems,” said Micheline Jedrey, vice president for information services and Wellesley College librarian. “The product also offered us the flexibility to leverage Bluenog ICE’s integrated portal development and business intelligence features to meet our evolving needs.”

In the end, it seems that in spite of the architecture challenges, this is one hippo that the industry is taking a fancy to.