Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner shook up its Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management (WCM) last month when it dramatically demoted OpenText and SDL from Leaders to Challengers and eliminated HP from the Quadrant entirely.

Yet even though these big-league players may have grabbed the headlines, the real news in the report arguably lies with the Visionaries, those companies that Gartner calls “forward-thinking and technically focused” in their efforts to break new ground.

Gartner recognized four Visionaries this year — Hamburg, Germany-based CoreMedia, San Francisco-based Automattic, Amsterdam-based Hippo (which was acquired today by BloomReach) and Los Angeles-based Crownpeak.

Beginning here with CoreMedia, CMSWire will profile each of these vendor Visionaries over the next few weeks to take a closer look at how each is contributing to the WCM landscape in ways that Gartner analysts believe “[will set] the market's direction through innovation and product development.”

CoreMedia’s Core Focus

CoreMedia was founded in 1996 in Hamburg, where it still maintains its corporate headquarters. It has since added a US headquarters in San Francisco.

CoreMedia focuses on providing tools to manage content for websites with high visitor traffic, as well as providing enterprises with superior business user collaboration tools.

Its flagship product, CoreMedia 8, is a Java-based digital experience (DX) platform that enables marketers, publishers and e-commerce professionals to create online experiences that combine editorial content, social media, e-commerce, rich media and flexible design elements and then deliver them dynamically across any digital channel.

Exceptional Delivery, Competitively Priced

According to the Gartner MQ for WCM this year, CoreMedia's digital experience platform provides an exceptional delivery tier while remaining competitively priced in comparison with other vendors in the space such as Adobe Experience Manager, Acquia, HP TeamSite, Oracle WebCenter Sites, Sitecore, SDL Tridion and e-Spirit’s FirstSpirit.

The Magic Quadrant report also cites CoreMedia’s partnerships and interoperability with IBM WebSphere as a major advantage when working with digital commerce clients.

Marketing Challenge: Increasing Visibility

However, Gartner’s analysis also points out that despite its marketing efforts, CoreMedia does not yet enjoy the same visibility as its direct competitors. That can leave it overlooked in enterprise selection processes where it might be a good fit.

Doug Heise
Doug Heise
Addressing that potential issue, Doug Heise, VP, Global Marketing for CoreMedia, told CMSWire that CoreMedia is leveraging its strong partnership with IBM as a template for building new partnerships such as its recent integration with SAP Hybris, aimed at further enhancing CoreMedia’s e-commerce capabilities.

Entering New Markets Via Product Enhancements

Heise also highlighted CoreMedia’s future plans to push into new markets through the introduction of significant product enhancements in the areas of usability, global brand management, collaboration and advanced e-commerce integrations.

Every aspect of CoreMedia’s strategy, Heise said, is designed to meet the challenges faced by enterprises with respect to content and digital asset management. “[From the start] we saw that a vast number of websites lack very rich content management capabilities or digital asset management capabilities,” Heise noted.

“If you wanted to do anything outside the box for your online store it took an enormous amount of effort and time, so companies that were trying to maintain very distinctive brand images online — fashion or luxury segments, for example — found themselves struggling to make that happen.”

Building CoreMedia’s SAP Hybris Integration

“Our first foray into [e-commerce] came with SAP a little over four years ago when we integrated with the SAP web channel experience management [platform]. But SAP discontinued that platform after it bought Hybris,” said Heise, referring to SAP’s 2013 decision to buy Zug, Switzerland-based e-commerce platform vendor Hybris.

In the wake of that setback, CoreMedia continued to work with IBM to integrate with the IBM Marketing Cloud, a cloud-based digital marketing platform that provides email marketing, lead management and mobile engagement solutions.

Learning Opportunities

Staying True to IBM

Strategically, that integration dovetailed with and extended the capabilities of CoreMedia’s existing CoreMedia LiveContext solution, which augments IBM-powered web store capabilities with content and digital asset management tools to support omnichannel digital marketing.

“We were also aware that we couldn’t place all our eggs in one basket by relying solely on this integration with IBM,” recalled Heise. “So we said to ourselves after the Hybris acquisition, let’s go back to SAP and build SAP Hybris integrations that are as deep but as easy to deploy as our IBM integration.”

A Fast Track to Personalization

The upshot of this decision was that last month, CoreMedia announced the integration of CoreMedia LiveContext with SAP Hybris, providing Hybris with advanced content management and digital asset management (DAM) capabilities.

The integration offers users of SAP Hybris-based online stores a fast track to delivering personalized shopping experiences, as well as customized digital store design.

The Hybris integration also allows for combining product information and marketing content from numerous sources to generate customized results for individual customer segments.

Raising US Visibility through Account-Based Marketing

“Content management can be the engine that drives the creation and delivery of the digital experience through multiple platforms. We have a bit of a leg up in being able to manage these kinds of integrations and show how they can work with a single very powerful UI to share access to multiple content repositories. That has been a strength of ours since the beginning,” Heise noted.

What’s next for CoreMedia? “For us, the challenge is getting the word out in the US. Even in Europe, where we have been around for a long, long time, people think of us as a web content management system with a strength in media,” said Heise.

“They don’t realize our growing strength in DAM or our broad range of e-commerce solutions. And in the US, we are still seen as a new player that no one is quite sure where to position,” he commented.

Cloud Solutions and Other Next Steps

Over the next 12 months, Heise said CoreMedia will focus on developing and expanding on the SAP Hybris integration. It will also be building up its sales and marketing teams, along with its partner network. To those ends, Heise noted that CoreMedia has charged its sales and marketing teams with implementing an account-based marketing strategy.

CoreMedia is also investing in the cloud delivery of is solutions in response to customer demand. While it already has cloud offerings, these were generally managed by its partners in the past. This time CoreMedia intends to manage these deployments itself.

As CoreMedia’s Doug Heise summarized, “This is our seventh year being named a Visionary in the Gartner WCM Magic Quadrant. We continue to perform well in the market, with a growing customer base and partner community that takes full advantage of our technology. We believe we are well situated to step up to a leadership position in the future.”

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