SDL Tridion Named Leader in Web CMS for External SitesThe Forrester Wave for Web Content Management For External Sites, Q2 2009 is out and there are 10 web content management vendors on the list that we all know and love well. SDL Tridion (news, site) took the top honors this time with Interwoven and FatWire close behind.

Why are these three vendors at the top and who else is on the list? Let's take a look.

WCM Has Evolved

Again we go back to what Sitecore VP of Product Marketing Darren Guarnaccia said about web content management: It has become a commodity. As a result we are seeing WCM solutions become about more than just storing and publishing content. Forrester agrees saying, "they [enterprises] want to accomplish specific business goals, such as increased sales conversion rates and improved customer service."

As a result, WCM has become part of a "persuasive content architecture". What does that mean exactly? It means enterprises utilize WCM and related technologies to truly understand their customer's needs and deliver content based on those needs.

Forrester - Persuasive Content Ecosystem

As we have clearly seen WCM vendors are trying to differentiate on toolsets and user interfaces. We have seen this recently with vendors like Interwoven, Sitecore and SDL Tridion, who have all launched their own versions of Online Marketing Suites.

Evaluating WCM Vendors

Forrester offers some guidance in what to look for when evaluating WCM vendors today. That guidance comes in two forms:

  1. User Interface: In-line and in-context editing, integration of desktop tools like MS Word, easy to design workflows, globalization and localization management.
  2. Integration with Other Persuasive Content Tools: Integration with other enterprise content applications and repositories was top on the list of many organizations surveyed for this report. We're talking about capabilities like Audience Targeting, analytics and testing, digital asset management, social computing, portals and multichannel delivery.

Who Made the List?

Ten Web Content Management vendors made it to the list for this report, with a focus on delivery functionality for external websites: Day Software, EMC, FatWire, IBM, Interwoven, Microsoft, Open Text, Oracle, SDL Tridion, and Vignette. All of these vendors have over US$ 25 million in revenues and focus on enterprise level organizations (1000 employees or more).

What were they evaluated on?

  • Current Offering: Including content management administration, content publishing configuration and administration, multisite/channel management capabilities and product architecture.
  • Strategy: Vendor Roadmap for delivery persuasive content capabilities and their ability to deliver on that roadmap.
  • Market Presence: An evaluation of the vendors current market presence.

Forrester Wave Results

The Leaders

SDL Tridion leads this pack of vendors with a particular emphasis on content targeting, multisite management and multilingual site management. The Pitney Bowes relationship that supports delivery to the Print channel is a strong point as is their Blueprinting technology (despite the fact that it is said to be challenging to implement). Forrester mentions a need for a stronger social computing strategy.

Interwoven (news, site) and FatWire also make it to the Leaders category. Interwoven for its continued focus on marketing-centric websites. Forrester mentions the LiveSite and Optimost capabilities as key to their success in this area. But the Autonomy acquisition keeps Forrester a bit on the fence, wondering if the Interwoven's focus on persuasive content architectures will change. From what we've seen, this is highly unlikely.

FatWire (news, site) comes in behind Interwoven and SDL for its makes the Leader's category based on their community and collaboration, content integration and mobile device delivery capabilities. These are in addition to their personalization and analytics capabilities.Forrester indicated the need for more integration with third party analytics, campaign management and website optimization functionality to keep FatWire in a leading position.

Editors Note: In the paragraph above it may be interpreted that FatWire's capabilities for community and collaboration, content integration and mobile device delivery are not as good as those of Interwoven and SDL. This is not the case. It is these exact capabilities that have put FatWire in the Leaders Category of this WCM Wave.

Strong Performers

Three vendors make the Strong Performers Category: Vignette, Open Text, Day Software, Oracle and SharePoint.

  • Vignette: Their recommendations engine and rich media capabilities, including video, are cited as strong indications of their commitment to persuasive content, along with improved content authoring functionality. There is no mention of their acquisition by Open Text in this report, so it's hard to say if Forrester would rethink Vignette's position in the Wave based on it.
  • Open Text: Forrester says that Open Text offers the best WCM of all the ECM vendors with its strength in its ability to integrate with other ECM solutions, like Records Management and DAM. Multilingual content management is said to be second only to SDL.
  • Day Software: Day's strengths are not in their multilingual content management, but in their new Flash-enabled interface and their support for rich media, personalization and communities.
  • Oracle: We don't talk much about Oracle WCM, so it's odd to see them listed here. Content Management Administration and is said to be a good option for those who want an ECM with WCM capabilities.
  • SharePoint: SharePoint makes the list more because of its strong position within enterprises (not for WCM, but as a collaboration tool). Ease of adoption and the numbers of .NET developers help it out, but Forrester talks more about what's missing than what it has for persuasive content capabilities.

The Contenders

IBM and EMC Documentum pull the rear in this Wave as Contenders. IBM for its tight integration with the Websphere Portal. Its personalization features are about the only thing giving it credibility in this report.

EMC's X-Hive and Document Sciences acquisitions have helped it make inroads in WCM, along with its experience in customer support and its marketing suite vendor alliances. But again, the focus for EMC is ECM (say that five times fast!), so you are looking at its WCM capabilities as part of the whole Enterprise Content Management package.

Get The Report

Seeing a number of potential Web Content Management Vendors left out of this report? That would be because they are targeting smaller enterprises or SMBs and don't have the revenues that Forrester required to be a part of this report. Sitecore is one example, but they aren't the only one.

If you are an enterprise organization looking to decide on the best WCM solution, take a closer look at this report. You can pick it up here.