Percussion CM1: Web CMS as a Product, Not a Framework

4 minute read
Barb Mosher Zinck avatar

While many web content management vendors have set their sights on building platforms that offer APIs and frameworks for building websites and applications, Percussion has stepped back and said 'wait a minute, let's get the core functionality down first in a way that's simple to deploy'. Today they offer that core "productized Web CMS" via Percussion CM1 Version 2.

Start with the WCM Basics

It's simple enough to understand: you need a website up quickly for your customers, you don't want to pay enormous consulting fees to get that done and you don't need everything -- including the kitchen sink -- out of the gate. The trouble is, with the way web content management is evolving today, many vendors have moved past the boiler plate features and functionality and have developed into full-featured platforms/frameworks that take time to figure out and implement. Now that's not a bad thing, it really depends on your needs.

Percussion believes that organizations need to focus on getting essentials in place without a lot of time and cost. To do that, they have productized Percussion CM1 version 2. Their intent is to "deshackle organizations from consulting services for core content management capabilities".

Now core content management means different things to different people, but in this case, it includes not only all the standard web content creation, editing and deploying capabilities, but also some nice standard social features like blogs and comments/rating of content.

Widgets/Gadgets Support Content Management

Percussion CM1 version 2 is built on the concepts of widgets -- for content -- and gadgets -- for tools and utilities. With the help of a drag and drop editor, websites and other web channels (like mobile) can be quickly set up, managed and deployed:

Percussion CM1 version 2 - Drag and Drop Editor

A new dashboard shows integrated analytics for both the website content and the blog content, enabling marketers to see what's working and adjust accordingly.

Percussion CM1 - Dashboard

Percussion develops using the agile approach, constantly adding newwidgets that are then made available to customers -- typically thishappens about every six weeks. The team has a roadmap that it workstoward and listens closely to the marketplace to ensure they are focusedon the right things.

Learning Opportunities

Social is Part of the Product

As was indicated earlier, core content management capabilities also include some social elements in Percussion CM1 version 2. New blogging capabilities are integrated into the content management system enabling content to be shared not only across web pages, but also the blog.

There are new widgets that provides tagging and categorization for blogging and the entire website. Commenting and rating (likes) capabilities are also available across all content, and there is advanced RSS functionality that supports pushing content to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

On-Premise or Cloud-Ready

Also new with this latest release is the ability to try it before you buy it using a cloud-based version of the platform. And organizations who want to deploy Percussion in the cloud, whether the delivery tier, CMS or both, can now do so.

Customer Experience Doesn't Mean Much

I thought it was interesting that while almost every web content management vendor I speak with these days talks about "the customer experience", Percussion's President, Joe Wykes didn't mention the term once. When I asked, he said that it was an ambiguous term that doesn't really mean much to customers. He felt that it buries the core issue that customers want to solve which is web content management.

Which explains the focus that Percussion has on providing a "out of the box" experience that doesn't require endless developer cycles or consultants to set up and explain.

Of course, Percussion does offer 90 days of Administration and Training with the license of Percussion CM1 version 2 -- which starts at US$ 20k for a product license and a US$ 5k annual subscription covering upgrades and maintenance.