In a year that has seen falling revenues across the technology field, the content management sector has witnessed healthy returns as some companies report earnings and market growth.
FatWire is one of those companies. The web content management vendor recently reported a solid 2008 fiscal year. With 40% year-over-year growth, strong international demand and a bevy of new customers, FatWire must be doing something right.
We recently interviewed CEO Yogesh Gupta to find out about FatWire's methods and get opinions on the web content management market as a whole.
We started out by asking Gupta about 2008 inside FatWire and what led to growth despite the economy.
The FatWire CEO said 2008 was a year where many factors came together to make the year great. The competition's product offering had fallen "a bit stale," and FatWire was able to offer prospective customers an attractive product line backed by a team capable of delivering services. It seemed, to Gupta, that players such as Vignette and Interwoven lost customers because of FatWire's unique service offerings throughout their product line.
2008 as a New Paradigm
For the first time in the company's history, they saw numerous "huge" (US $1 million and up) deals. Gupta credits FatWire's ability to deliver the right product and feature set for these customers.
As another departure for traditional practices, FatWire was approached directly by the users of the systems for sales and other information. Rather than working through Corporate IS or IT departments, FatWire saw itself marketing directly to the business users, marketing, sales and support organizations inside client.
What 2009 Will Demand
Looking ahead to 2009, Gupta said the main focus this year will be demonstrating "real" ROI to customers. FatWire can no longer sell its products by utilizing fuzzy numbers about what a potential client will reap by adopting their software products. ROI will need to "real and tangible," if FatWire is to continue their remarkable growth, according to the company's CEO.
Recent WCM Trends
It seemed FatWire did really well internationally, so we queried Gupta about web content management trends outside the U.S.
To FatWire's surprise, there aren't many differences in U.S. and international web content management needs. Gupta said "the web levels the playing field" and leads to a relatively non-geographic specific usage model.
However, one interesting model has presented itself in Europe. Many government agencies are looking to the web and content management systems to interface directly with their constituents. Gupta went on to tell about a specific example regarding the Spanish port authority and their quest to build a regularly updated website for airports featuring up-to-the minute information and statistics such as flight arrival and departure times. Additionally, other legislative branches are looking to seek feedback and public comment directly with citizens.
How Big Is Mobile?
Looking at the future, we asked Gupta whether mobile handsets and the mobile market will impact the web content management market.
Gupta replied that for many years now, mobile has always been a game changer "next year." That is, every year thought leaders project that mobile will be the next big thing in web content. Gupta said he believes 2009 and 2010 will be seeing a nominal growth in mobile sales as in 2008, when mobility solutions accounted for only a small portion of their sales. In the B2C space, he is seeing rapid mobile product growth -- especially, in the financial industries along with catalog companies that want to give mobile users access to product information while on the go.