Common Sense Advisory analyst firm recently released their rankings of 16 content management systems attempting to answer the following question: “Which CMS delivers the best support for multilingual and multiregional use?”

The firm looked at a variety of functions that matter most inmanaging multilingual websites, trying to deduce which CMSs do the bestjob in managing global information.

Evaluation Criteria

Bylooking at features and functions, organizational capabilities and othercriteria, the analyst firm scored the solutions based on the followingfour criteria:

  1. Multilingual content handling
  2. Multiregionalprocess management
  3. Multilingual user support
  4. Resources formultiregional implementation.

Then they rated Web CMSs forcompleteness of support along each criteria, scoring each requirement ona scale of 1 to 4, where a score of 4 represents full-featuredcapability and 1 indicates minimal or missing support.

Finally,after adding up points for each criteria, they divided that number bythe number of factors present in the scoring matrix. The results werepublished in the30-page report.

Defining Global Content Management

CommonSense Advisory defines Global content management (GCM) as:

… thebusiness processes and system software used to create, approve,transform, re-purpose, store, and distribute multilingual text, images,and other digitized information. GCM process typically orchestrates theactivities of a distributed workforce – one that is not onlygeographically dispersed but also involves resources both inside andoutside the organization. Users of GCM technology also expect systems tointeroperate and exchange content and work data with other systems ofrecord, including databases, customer relationship management, andenterprise resource planning.

Then, they identified three commonuse cases -- for web, technical materials and specialized content forWCM, CCM and ECM.

ECM in their terminology is “an overarchingcategory whose proponents envision a single, unified solution for allcontent processing and management needs.”

Web content managementinvolves files or database content in HTML, XML, or related taggedformats, including multimedia that increasingly challenge both contentmanagement systems and the translation management solutions that supportmultilingual workflow.

Component Content Management (CCM)is used by an ever increasing cadre of technical publicationsdepartments, involves database content – most often in an XML dataformat.

Learning Opportunities

Global CMSs Analyzed in the Report

Here’s a look atCCM, WCM and ECM vendors who were analyzed in the report:

CMS Products Analyzed for This Report.jpg

CMS Products Analyzed for This Report, Source:Common Sense Advisory, Inc.

Who’sWho in Global Content Management?

CCM and ECM Rankings for Global Users and Implementation.jpg

CCM and ECM Rankings for Global Users and Implementation, Source:Common Sense Advisory, Inc.

WCM Rankings for Global Users and Implementation .jpg

WCM Rankings for Global Users and Implementation, Source:Common Sense Advisory, Inc.

Implications for CMS Buyers

CommonSense Advisory suggests that buyers should mix style and substance inthe adoption decision matrix.

Their conclusion: prospective buyers ofglobal content technologies need to balance deployment scenarios,development approaches and system capabilities when refining theirbusiness and technical requirements. The following steps should be takenthey say:

  1. Step 1: Pick Your Adoption Scenario
  2. Step 2: Pick YourParadigm for Application Development
  3. Step 3: Select a Solution MoreAdvanced than Your Requirements

Final Thoughts

This is onlyone of a multitude of reports focused on multilingual content managementvendors, so while it's worth consideration, look at other research as well to get the full picture. When looking to buy aCMS that can handle your global information management scenarios, lookat the origin. It’s not a secret that those vendors coming from the may not be as strong on the GIM front as their Europeancounterparts just based on the fact that Europe has always had strongermultilingual requirements due to geographical proximity than the U.S.

Thatfact also means that vendor’s professional services and sales teams maynot be necessarily local to you. Globalization requirements add acertain level of complexity to your CMS deployment, so you probably would want to have some close-by support in this endeavor. Plus, we all know thatbuying a CMS is cheaper than implementing one.