FatWire (news, site) finished up their 2010 user conference several weeks ago, and while the web content management vendor is still working hard on their WEM solutions, president and CEO Yogesh Gupta took some time to chat with CMSWire on the year ahead, industry trends and what's in the FatWire pipeline.

Moving to the Cloud

FatWire announced their cloud offering just a couple of weeks ago, which may seem a little late to some people considering talk about cloud services has been happening for the better part of this year. But according to Gupta, FatWire wanted to be sure they had something they knew was working before announcing anything. In fact, they have been actively working on their cloud offering since 2009 and have been using it for scalable UAT in their QA Lab.

The main goal of the cloud offering is to provide customers with a choice. Gupta indicated that most FatWire customers have 2-3 environments (dev, management and production typically). In addition some customers are using a hybrid cloud approach with management on premise and delivery in the cloud.

So are organizations really in a rush to get to move to the cloud? Gupta says that the market for cloud solutions is not that big yet, but that is where the market is going and interest is growing rapidly. WEM vendors need to be able to provide that flexibility today and in the future.  

Adding Mobile Access

While the cloud is capturing a lot of attention, so is mobile access. Organizations are moving beyond the website and meeting customers where they spend much of their time. The next release of FatWire's Mobility Server offering, supporting mobile sites and communities, is scheduled for release before the end of this year (which should be just about any time).

Gupta pointed out that it's important to ensure a consistent experience across channels. He also indicated that location based targeting is becoming a key capability. While there is a limit to what you want people to know about you, a location based dimension around a community or activity is getting traction.

Mobile access for management is getting additional attention as well. Just about everyone is adding, or has already added -- workflow approval functionality via mobile. In addition to this though, Gupta says they are seeing an increasing demand for creative collaboration.

FatWire, Looking Back and Forward

FatWire has had a pretty good year. They are now in 12 countries and have around 250 employees (with this expected to increase soon). Their presence is fairly evenly distributed among the US (40%), EU (50%) and APAC (10%), and seeing great opportunities in APAC.

They have picked up some fairly big customers this year, due in part to their EMC partnership. Gupta acknowledges that EMC has helped bring in business that they would not have gotten otherwise.

As for how much DAM interest FatWire has picked up, Gupta says the pull hasn't been huge. This is due in part because FatWire has a much smaller salesforce than that of EMC, but also because many organizations are struggling to get their arms around this whole cross channel experience and DAM is not of the first technologies required to get started.

Now that's not to say that \ isn't important. But most are still trying to move towards a cross channel experience while at the same time wrapping their heads around Web 2.0 capabilities and personalization/targeting.

Gupta says that organizations first need to define how they want to engage with their audiences, and then decide what specifically they should be doing with online engagement.

Where WEM is Headed in 2011

The focus this year has been on the cross channel, consistent experience. And that's not going to change next year, says Gupta. Things can be better. What things that can be improved? Things such as ease of use, integration and leveraging social information for better targeting.

Gupta says organizations don't strive to be Facebook. But what can you learn from Facebook to apply to your own business? How do you make those features and capabilities relevant for your customers? His advice? Don't focus on things that don't deliver value.