What in a DNN Name Change?
It's not unusual for an organization to go through a rebranding effort. After all, for a company like DNN, which has been around for over 10 years, times change and it's important to keep focus on what's most important (or you can easily get lost in the pile of competing vendors).
Changing the name from DotNetNuke to DNN isn't really a stretch. Most of us have been referring to the company as DNN for a while. But now it's official and for DNN, the intent is to show it is evolving with the changing market.
DNN is healthy. It has over 1 million members in its community, with 8 million downloads to date of its open source .NET-based web content management platform. It also has a professional edition which supports over 2,000 customers and its growing. Do according to Will Morgenweck, DNN VP Product Management, the model is working well.
But Morgenweck acknowledges that things are changing, that people are less loyal, less patience and less engaged and organizations are struggling. This means the product needs to adapt to meet the needs of these organizations. And there's another reality here.
More and more, DNN is talking not to developers, but to the business and technology isn't top of the list of discussion points. So while DNN has been successful in its work with the developer market, it needs to also focus on the business, and that means solutions.
The change in brand, is really just a name change. Morgenweck says they wanted to remove the "dot net" reference to move away a from technical reference, but stay true to their roots at the same time. And apparently, its community has been pushing it to rebrand to DNN for a while now.
The brand now works like this:
- DNN platform -- this is the open source community edition
Then under the DNN Evoq Suite of applications, you get:
- Evoq Social -- this is the new DNN social solution introduced last month
- Evoq Content -- this is the professional edition of DNN
Note that Evoq is pronounced "evoke" and according to Dennis Shiao, DNN Director of Product Marketing, is meant to to be simple, unique and suggestive of empowerment, creativity and imagination. It's also short and memorable.The pricing is still the same, the DNN platform and solutions can be deployed anywhere and for any purpose (internet, intranet, extranet or otherwise known as marketing, collaboration, support, commerce, etc..)
Some Updates to DNN Evoq
Of course, with a name change can come some new features. And that's just what is happening here. So what's new and improved?
- A New DAM Manager: Replacing file management, it's now easier to work with rich media
- More secure: Although DNN is secure by default, new password features enforce best practices for password naming, resetting are in place. There's also a new common passwords list that is continually updated.
- Optimized SEO: URLs are cleaner, simplified, there is improved 404 handling and it's easier to spot 404s
DNN Evoq: Content - DAM Manager
Updates for DNN Evoq Social include:
- Improved Analytics: user behavior optimizations allow you to tweak values/weights to change how scores are computed.
- A new Wiki: Not your normal wiki, this one has a nice UI which is similar to how you create forums and blog posts.
- The update also includes refinements to analytics and game mechanics.
DNN Evoq: Social - Wiki Content Page
Evoq in the Cloud -- On Azure
DNN's cloud solution is powered by Azure. This is an "instant on" offering with full backup and restore capabilities. It includes remote access via FTP, RDP and Web deploy giving us as much hands on -- or hands off -- as you want.
The cloud solution also includes a staging environment which can be set up at any time. Automatic updates and 24x7 support. DNN's cloud solution is a PAAS/IAAS offering which enables you to scale as required.
We Are Not Ignoring Developers
This is what Morgenweck and Shiao were quick to point out when asked about the rebranding of DotNetNuke. Yes, there is an increased focus on the business user, but DNN is not turning its back on the community that built it. A new website that focuses on platform and solutions will put the community front and center and helps reinforce DNN's commitment to the platform.
For me, the rebranding, while keeping a strong connection to its development roots, can put DNN in a good position. Today, vendors need to have solutions for business users. It doesn't matter how good a development platform is, if you don't have solutions that are quick to implement on top of it.
More and more marketing departments have a larger role in the platforms and solutions implemented that support their needs (and that's exactly what web content management systems do), and they are not exactly sold on the underlying technical aspects of a solution.