Open Text Gives Insight Into Vignette Strategy and Product Plans

Open Text (news, site) has finally revealed a bit more information about what the giant plans to do with its multiple WCM offsprings. More specifically, where the recently adopted Vignette child may be placed in Open Text’s Enterprise CMS and Web CMS families.

No Migrations, Not That Much Overlap

“Our plan is not to eliminate products, but to offer solutions that help our customers effectively fulfill their unique, organizational needs,” said John Shackleton, president and CEO of Open Text. Meaning that OTEX plans to continue investing in both the Open Text Web Solutions (formerly known as RedDot) and Vignette despite the latest, not so bright financial results.

Yes, yes. We know. The product architectures and technologies are quite different. And it is still not clear yet how this WCM/ECM quilting exercise (Open Text should really patent this phrase) will go on. At this time, however, there are no planned migrations of customers from one platform to another. Open Text is “not going to force anyone in either customer base,” according to Scott Bowen, Sr. VP at Open Text.

In Bowen’s opinion, there’s much more complement than there’s overlap with Open Text Web Solutions and Vignette. Open Text’s goal is to expand the value proposition around the ECM category, where Bowen says they see “tremendous opportunity for growth.”

And to do that the company is willing to write big (as in US$ billion big) checks to R&D in the next 5 years. As a matter of fact, the statement was made that nobody in the industry will be writing bigger checks from the R&D and innovation perspectives. Some of the money should go to another recently acquired company, Vizible, towards further development of its social syndication widgets and other technology.

Learning Opportunities

From Multiple Technologies to a Singular WCM Offering

Saying that Vignette adds the right technologies to the portfolio at the right time, Open Text plans to leverage Vignette Content Management (VCM) as the foundation of Open Text’s Web business solutions, aiming to cover all possible content management implementation use cases from basic to sophisticated deployments, while utilizing both RedDot’s and Vignette’s “historic strengths,” adds Bowen.

Within the next 24 months, Open Text is looking to launch a “singular WCM product offering” that will combine key strengths of Web Solutions and Vignette.

Speaking of rebranding, Bowen noted that (from the corporate perspective) the Vignette brand doesn’t exist anymore.However, from the product perspective, it is still being used to differentiate the lineage, as it takes a certain amount of time to transition to a unified Open Text ECM brand.

Other Product Highlights

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more. For now, we look forward to Open Text’s new product roadmap to be announced at its annual Content World 2009 Conference in October.