paperthin 2008 record growth PaperThin, the producer of ColdFusion-based Web CMS CommonSpot, announced that its 2008 Q2 and Q3 revenues shattered all company records, having grown an average of more than 50% year over year. Furthermore, the company’s average deal size increased by more than 30%. Now, it’s time to update the product, perhaps. And PaperThin plans on doing so in 2009. The last major product release from PaperThin was in October, 2007, when CommonSpot 5.0 came out.

More on Financials

Still with emphasis on higher education, government, healthcare and non-profit verticals, PaperThin is a privately-held company, so we cannot verify any of its financial reports. The company attributes its growth rate to the strength of its Channel Partner relationships and increase in Professional Services projects; while maintaining the 95%+ subscription renewal rate, according to Bob Cellucci, SVP for sales and marketing. In our chat with Cellucci, he kept on referring to customer references as a tangible point for PaperThin’s success. It’s great to have customers ready to vouch for your product -- no doubt. It is also great to evolve your product and expand your community. The latter is something that PaperThin has been slow in doing. Right now, the vendor is mostly active in North America with limited presence in Europe. In our conversation with Cellucci, it was refreshing to hear a vendor speak so enthusiastically about Web Content Management from the ROI point of view. While there’s still no proven method of calculating WCM ROI, any before and after stories of what CMS means to an organization could serve as a good starting point.

CommonSpot Due for a Facelift

Even though PaperThin is garnering accolades like the KMWorld’s Trend-Setting Product, we all know it’s time for it to get its Web CMS upgraded. Customers have long longed for a change in the lack of integrated Web analytics and the company’s obsession with the very proprietary ColdFusion platform. In the era of CMIS, organizations are definitely looking for more interoperability and flexibility. With no clarification on Web analytics, we do, however, know that the next version of CommonSpot -- v6.0 -- will have a totally new GUI. With more vendors focusing on sexier GUI’s, let’s see how this one goes. With competition like: * Ektron with its super activity in various verticals in the CMS market, * And the SaaS-based OmniUpdate focusing heavily on higher eds with their circa May, 2008, version 8.0 release, which we’ll be reviewing in detail for you very soon * And the very much freshened-up RedDot (backed up by all the support from Open Text) with multiple Web 2.0 functionalities we think PaperThin needs to wake up and smell the coffee. The average deal size, per Cellucci, is currently around US$ 70K, which is an increase from 2005’s US$ 41K, but still leaves PaperThin in a vulnerable situation when compared to a (potentially) cheaper Ektron, for example. Hold on to your ummm... (whatever it is you hold on to) 'till we get a chance to review CommonSpot 6.0 some time in Q2 of 2009.