Real Story Group Blog posts about Vendor Viability & Financials Copyright (c) 2014 RealStoryGroup.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.realstorygroup.com/ www.realstorygroup.com : Blogs en-us 04/10/2014 00:00:00 60 Updated ECM reviews including Documentum, IBM, Alfresco, Oracle, Microsoft, OpenText, and others #Cloud #ecm Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:23:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2686-Updated-ECM-reviews-including-Documentum-IBM-Alfresco-Oracle-Microsoft-OpenText-and-others? This week, we release a new Version 10 of our ECM research. It's a major release and you'll find a lot that's new. Below, I highlight the key changes:

New category of vendors

We now define two categories in the Enterprise Content Management (ECM). These are:

  1. ECM/DM vendors who provide a wide range of services around document and enterprise content management
  2. Cloud-based File Sharing & Sync (CFS) vendors that offer cloud-based services for  lightweight document management, collaboration, sharing, and sync services

The latter is a new category. Popularized by consumer-oriented services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and so forth, vendors such as Box.com and Syncplicity (now part of EMC) can provide broad services for cloud-based file sharing, sync, offline work, and lightweight collaboration for enterprises. 

At first blush, it would appear they are two separate marketplaces. However, we’ve found out from our research that there is considerable overlap of services between these Cloud-based File Sharing (CFS) vendors and ECM vendors.

And so, we've renamed our set of evaluations to "ECM and Cloud FileSharing Report."

New Evaluation Scenarios

We revisited our crucial vendor evaluation scenarios and simplified them, to make it easier to compare vendor "fit" across business cases. In particular, we dropped a few scenarios and clarified several others.

New Functional and Technical Evaluation Criteria

Just like scenarios, we also refreshed our evaluation criteria. Specifically for functional criteria, we have added sections on Mobile Access as well as File Sync & Sharing services. For technical criteria, we have added a new section on Cloud Services.

And then you'll all new evaluations of individual vendors. For now, we have updated all the ECM vendors and incorporated existing research CFS vendors.

You can download a sample here.

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OpenText Suing Box and Dropbox Buying Readmill - What Does It Mean? #Cloud #EntArch Wed, 02 Apr 2014 16:19:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2680-OpenText-Suing-Box-and-Dropbox-Buying-Readmill-What-Does-It-Mean? The past few weeks have been abuzz with news in the cloud-based file sharing and sync marketplace. Box filed for an IPO in March, then Dropbox acquired Readmill (h/t David Hobbs), and now OpenText is seeking damages from Box for patent infringement.

This activity strengthens my belief that cloud-file sharing as a simple, stand-alone category of tools is not going to persist for long.

OpenText (who sell multiple content management offerings and has its own cloud-based file sharing service called OpenText Tempo Box) says Box infringed 12 patents in areas such as "System and method for the synchronization of a file in a cache", "Method and system for facilitating marketing dialogues," and "Web-based groupware system." It seems hard to believe these pertain just to cloud-based file sharing and sync capabilities, but OpenText has certainly picked a propitious time to put Box's feet to the fire.

Similarly, Dropbox's acquisition of Readmill shows an industry stretching beyond simple file sharing services. Readmill is a social reading app that allows you to comment, annotate, and participate in discussions while reading a book online on your mobile devices. This gives Dropbox the ability to offer collaborative authoring capabilities such as those provided by Workshare, as well as online document viewing capabilities provided by Box's recently launched "Box View" (which came to Box via its acquisition of Crocodoc).

Cloud file sharing and sync tools have proved immensely popular on the consumer web and are now increasingly targeting enterprise customers. This category of tools got popular due to the simplicity and ease of use of consumer facing services -- such as Dropbox, iCloud, and Google Drive -- but that may not prove differentiating in the future.

These platforms will increasingly become complex as they transition into areas beyond simple file sharing.  As a result, many tools from adjacent marketplaces will start offering these capabilities as part of their overall functionality. We're already see this happening in case of Document Management vendors, most of who have started offering similar services. Similarly, collaboration vendors and even enterprise software vendors (think Salesforce.com) provide similar offerings.

For you the customer, the key thing then is to think long term and evaluate if a stand-alone cloud-based file sharing and sync tool is the way to go.  You have several options here.  We discuss some of these in our recently released advisory paper "Giving Your Salespeople Mobile Access to Key Documents: Strategic Options."

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Why would Lithium want to acquire Klout? #socialmediamonitoring #socialmedia Wed, 12 Mar 2014 13:06:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2664-Why-would-Lithium-want-to-acquire-Klout? You know what’s interesting? While the interwebs have been buzzing for about a month now about an alleged acquisition of Klout by Lithium, the potential new parent company still hasn’t as much as peeped about this transaction. Legal terms and obligations notwithstanding, I hope Lithium changed its mind. If they really want to go IPO some day, they might need to make more careful buying decisions.

Lithium, a social CXM vendor headed up by ex-Adobean Rob Tarkoff, didn’t disclose the amount for this potential deal, even though there were reports that papers have been signed. It appears to be mainly for stock options and some cash. Why would they want Klout? Lithium’s agenda is, at best, vague here, given their current technological landscape. But it won’t be the first time they’re having troubles with their strategy and product map.

Personally, I used to like Klout. And what was not to like: usable UI, cool features, the notion of tracking your own personal worth through the (albeit debatable and not entirely scientific) Klout score (ah, vanity fair!). And then they added Klout Perks, where influencers like myself could get access to cool coupons, events, product samples. I stopped loving Klout when they offered a $5-off coupon for McDonalds as their latest perk. But this doesn’t mean others cannot still love Klout and see business value in such a service. After all, they also offer an enterprise version of their software that can supplement your CRM tracking with social attributes.

Klout, as any company who’s been raising money, was ready to sell. Another important point to consider here is that the social-importance ranking engine had started seeing some scepticism in the marketplace. This, of course, is a normal sign of growth, which any “kool kids,” Foursquare/Instagram types have and will go through. But the “break it” or “make it” (i.e., sell now before it’s too late) point is where Klout seemed to have been wavering lately.

The struggle is not simply around your typical startup growing pains and the controversy that surrounds its scoring algorithms -- not to mention the overall idea of calculating your personal worth and importance in the world of social media. Many are skeptical about the value proposition here. Even more people are in disagreement with how Klout defines and measures such a complex notion as “influence.”

In the end, all of this may be pure speculation, as neither Lithium nor Klout have uttered a single breath in denying or confirming the acquisition. Such acquisitions as part of a growth strategy might seem exciting, but as a customer, remember that more pieces does not always mean a larger whole.

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Shutterstock: new DAM vendor via WebDAM acquisition? #DAM #finance Fri, 07 Mar 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2671-Shutterstock:-new-DAM-vendor-via-WebDAM-acquisition? Commercial stock photo provider Shutterstock decided to acquire WebDAM – a DAM vendor we cover extensively in our Digital & Media Asset Management research. For customers, the outcome of this acquisition could go in one of two directions.

First, Shutterstock may decide to cross-sell WebDAM along with their stock photos, becoming a full-fledged DAM provider - similar to their chief competitor, Getty. Alternatively, it could be that Shutterstock was simply unhappy with its current photo management tool, and decided to change out its backend technology to better serve a growing number of customers. With many of those customers being larger companies, agencies and media organizations, it might make more sense to buy ready-to-serve tech than bake something from scratch in house.

It is fair to say that Shutterstock is one of the major players in the stock photo market, with iStockphoto, Corbis and Getty playing in the same field. Improved customer satisfaction and experience management is what may allow Shutterstock to differentiate itself from the pack, and this is where a DAM product like WebDAM can play a crucial role. Many large ad agencies, like Hogarth, take a similar approach - offering product and service in one package.

WebDAM is a small-ish California-based company of 25 employees. While it is very difficult to differentiate the product in the current crowded DAM market, WebDAM is pushing its cloud/SaaS, web-based DAM agenda. However, there’s little uniqueness in this proposition, as many DAM vendors provide some type of web interface, as well as cloud options of various flavors. For Shutterstock, in the meantime, the appeal is newer technology that is WebDAM, and the ability to put the Shutterstock “face” on top of this DAM system. They can also use it as a portal for licensing, downloading, storing and sharing of digital assets. For stock photo houses and creative agencies alike, it makes sense to own business-critical technology like DAM in this case.

WebDAM founders Jody Vandergriff and Steve Rabkin (who will stay on, by the way, according to the company’s announcement), have never took outside investment, so it’s a natural development to sell when the time and the money is right.

While both companies assure us that WebDAM will maintain its brand identity, we would advise you to look at WebDAM more cautiously in the light of this acquisition. Although WebDAM boasts high customer retention rates, the company’s culture is hectic -- and virtually nothing brings more chaos than an acquisition. This transition into the new parent company will likely make things more unstable, at least in the near term, for both current customers and prospects.

Feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation on this matter, or any other DAM question you may have.

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When it rains, it pours (Oracle) clouds #digitalmarketing #Cloud Mon, 06 Jan 2014 17:41:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2647-When-it-rains-it-pours-(Oracle)-clouds? Late last year, Oracle announced it has agreed to acquire Responsys for $1.5 Bn.  San Bruno, CA-based Responsys makes marketing software and targets B2C scenarios.

Oracle already had Eloqua as part of its Marketing Cloud. Both Eloqua and Responsys have similar functionality; it is the focus that was different (B2B vs B2C). So along with the software, what's also important is that Oracle also gets Responsys' 1000 or so employees who have deep expertise in B2C marketing scenarios -- something that Oracle lacked, with its traditional focus on B2B.

Of course, Oracle is not the only vendor to have multiple marketing software tools in their arsenal. Salesforce also has somewhat overlapping tools in ExactTarget and Pardot, so Oracle has just gotten even.

As a customer, choices mean you have access to a broader set of capabilities, spanning a very diverse range of scenarios from a single vendor. This means you have fewer vendors and contracts to deal with (even if not immediately), and signing up for "all you can eat" types of deals can have cost advantages also.

Let's look at some of the technical dimensions here though.

According to Oracle,

"With Responsys, the Oracle Marketing Cloud now provides leading business to consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B), content and social marketing capabilities on a single platform, supporting any industry or business model"

So what is this single platform?

At a high level, there's Oracle’s Customer Experience Cloud, which in turn consists of a Sales Cloud, a Commerce Cloud, a Service Cloud, a Social Cloud, and a Marketing Cloud. Each of these have multiple suites and products. Social Cloud consists of products acquired from Vitrue, Collective Intellect, and Involver. Similarly, Marketing Cloud now consists of Eloqua and Responsys, each of them having multiple modules.  So for example, Responsys' Interact suite actually has five products/modules namely Profile, Program, Campaign, Insight, Content and Connect.

As you can see, even if we concentrate only on Social and Marketing Clouds, there are considerable number of modules, products and overlaps in that "single platform."

Oracle has done this before; at some point in time, they had four or five different Portal products. However, it took a really long time for them to actually consolidate and integrate multiple offerings. So while it may be a good thing to get different options from one single vendor, just be very skeptical of what a "single platform" means. Take your time to understand and account for different complexities and overlaps across different products and then chose the right products for your needs.

 

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Escenic CMS changes owners #publishing #wcm Thu, 21 Nov 2013 09:06:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2632-Escenic-CMS-changes-owners? There’s never a dull day in the Web Content and Experience Management industry. If it’s not an acquisition of a product to complement some existing functionality (Sitecore announced today their acquisition of an eCommerce vendor), it is a drastic change of ownership, as with Vizrt selling off its Escenic WCMS.

First, let’s take a little stroll down the memory lane: Vizrt acquired Escenic in 2008 in an effort to complement its digital media publishing technologies targeted at broadcasters (see our MAM research for more details). It seemed like a natural fit, but more so in theory than in practice. The company integrated some pieces of Escenic to a slew of other Vizrt products, but Vizrt continued to most actively sell its 3D graphics engine, as opposed to the WCM component, which languished a bit compared to peers.

It is likely that Escenic was not bringing the desired ROI to Vizrt. Hence, the decision to offload it to a long-time partner and distributor – CCI Europe A/S. The three-stage transaction will be conducted for a total of 4 million USD. The transaction is expected to result in a capital loss for Vizrt, estimated at 0.5 million USD. In short, Escenic remains a very nichey product.

Aarhus, Denmark-based Stibo Group owns CCI Europe, along with other subsidiaries. The company’s history is commendable, dating back to 1794 when it was founded as a Royal Charter/diocesan printing house. Since then, the company has evolved into a provider of editorial and advertising solutions for multimedia news environments. CCI’s main focus is newspaper publishers, and Escenic -- with long domain expertise in the newspaper world -- might fit better in that segment than Vizrt's base of more multimedia-oriented customers.

The culprit here is, understandably, in the following statement issued by the businesses: “Both companies are committed to ensure that current and potential Escenic and Vizrt customers will continue to receive the highest level of service.” This aspiration is great, but as the history shows, not always easily attainable.

Expect a bumpy ride in either direction: if you’re an existing Escenic or CCI customer, or if you are a prospect evaluating Escenic as your potential new CMS.

For now, the new owner promises continued support to current Escenic customers as a standalone system. CCI’s main office is in Denmark. In the US, they are based in Kennesaw, GA, in the outskirts of Atlanta. Now part of larger professional services organization at CCI, we  might see more of Escenic on the North American scene.

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What the Adobe security breach can teach you #Adobe #Cloud Tue, 19 Nov 2013 15:40:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2631-What-the-Adobe-security-breach-can-teach-you? I dread those emails that go along the lines of, “We've checked a list of millions of compromised accounts and cross referenced it with people who have an XYZ account. We noticed that the email that you used to register for an XYZ account was on that list of exposed accounts.”

The latest case of such unpleasant activity was due to a serious security breach when Adobe was recently hacked. Adobe, as you may remember, has been transitioning most of its products to the cloud: Creative Suite, for example, is now part of the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Adobe Experience Manager WCM and DAM (former CQ5 product line) are also cloud-enabled (through Adobe Marketing Cloud), even if few of their licensees use it that way, yet. The former Omniture analytics platform also uses an Adobe ID as its access mechanism. So the question here really is: Can you trust vendors to keep your information secure? Is the cloud secure? What if your professional IDs for enterprise scenarios get co-mingled with large volumes of vulnerable consumer IDs for more plebian services like Photoshop?  If a software giant like Adobe cannot get its act together, how can you trust a myriad of smaller cloud-based providers that litter the enterprise technology space?

What happened with Adobe is unfortunate, but not shocking. I've lost count of vendors who have gotten hacked in the recent history. Sadly, it’s become a norm of digital life. According to various sources, hackers obtained data for more than 150 million Adobe ID user accounts. Adobe admitted to only 38 million of those.

So, a few words of advice. When working in the cloud, you may need to enforce certain password practices that you apply for on-premise applications, even if your SaaS provider doesn't mandate strong passwords and regular password updates. You'll also want to work to minimize reuse of passwords across applications, and prevent people from using personal logins for professional accounts, and vice-versa. (Special shout-out to Google Apps users there...)

Of course, simply maintaining software on-premise does not guarantee any security panaceas.  In the end though, with cloud applications, your vendor still bears responsibility for adequate levels of security. (Adobe, allegedly, was not “salting” their passwords.) Maybe for hosted Photoshop the stakes are lower, but for DAM or WCM in the cloud, you'll want to perform very careful diligence.

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My Eternal Search for a Happy TeamSite Customer #autonomy #cms Mon, 28 Oct 2013 11:58:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2622-My-Eternal-Search-for-a-Happy-TeamSite-Customer? For the past six years, I've made a habit of saying "TeamSite is a product you leave, not one you join." Nearly every time we talk to one of our subscribers who licenses that platform, the discussion revolves around when to leave, not whether to leave.

As background, TeamSite is the flagship Web CMS product developed by Interwoven, then taken up by Autonomy, and therefore now in the hands of HP. It is part of a larger family of tools including OpenDeploy (for code and content deployment), LiveSite (a quasi-portal for content delivery and website management), a bit of IDOL (for search and delivery repository), and potentially other HP-Autonomy products, like MediaBin for Digital Asset Management.

To see our review of TeamSite, you can download a complimentary version here.

What Is "Happy?"

Perhaps happy TeamSite customers do exist out there, and I'm just not seeing them, or they don't subscribe to our advisory services. So, if you are a TeamSite licensee, and you want to go on record saying that you are pleased with the platform, please chime in using the comments below.

Of course, many Web Content & Experience management (WCM) customers -- regardless of vendor -- are unhappy with their platform. But for almost every other WCM product, we can find at least a handful of customers pleased with their choice. They help inform our WCM vendor evaluation research.

So, let me define "happy" as any three out of the following four statements:

  1. Your marketing/editorial and technical teams are both at least satisfied with the technology
  2. It has made your business more effective
  3. You incurred a reasonable total cost of ownership
  4. You would rather upgrade than switch vendors

Let's leave aside for the moment that for many TeamSite licensees, an "upgrade" is in fact a replacement.

Chime In

Remember, we're looking for happy customers only; no integrators or consultants. And please share your organization's name. The comments are open....look forward to hearing from you!

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Can you use WordPress for DAM lite? #wcm #DAM Wed, 23 Oct 2013 11:53:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2619-Can-you-use-WordPress-for-DAM-lite? There's more news from WordPress land. This time around, customers are wondering whether WordPress can be used as a lightweight digital asset management (DAM) system, given Automattic’s (the makers of WordPress) acquisition of file-sharing startup CloudUp.

The theme of true DAM vs. DAM lite from non-DAM systems (very often, WCM systems) is not new: we published an advisory paper for subscribers on this topic that goes into all the pros and cons of choosing either approach.

What’s interesting in this particular case with WordPress and CloudUp is that WP’s current Media Library functionality has often been the cause of customer complaints. Unlike many of WordPress’ rivals, the WP Media Library has only rudimentary asset management functionality.

CloudUp is not a true DAM system, but they do offer some functionality that will provide WordPress customers more options (once integrated) for asset manipulation and management, starting with supporting file uploads in multiple formats, with automatic thumbnail creation.

However, CloudUp puts a lot of emphasis on sharing and streaming of user-generated assets (e.g., with clients for work, or with family for fun) through their hosted infrastructure. Here, it comes off as less DAM-y and more Content-Delivery-Network-y. There’s a big difference between the use cases those two technologies address.

In summary, WordPress may someday provide an extended set of asset management facilities via this acquisition, but it is unclear when and if this will happen. CloudUp shouldn’t be considered a DAM system, but does occupy a very niche segment of the marketplace for asset streaming and, therefore, can be an interesting candidate if you’re looking to do just that: simple and light streaming and file sharing.

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New Enterprise Mobile Platform evaluations of IBM, Oracle, Kony, Antenna, SAP, Adobe, and others #DigitalWorkplace #mobile Wed, 25 Sep 2013 10:27:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2597-New-Enterprise-Mobile-Platform-evaluations-of-IBM-Oracle-Kony-Antenna-SAP-Adobe-and-others? Today RSG released a new Enterprise Mobile Platforms Report, which takes a hard look at the technology that supports the creation and delivery of mobile experiences for your customers or employees.

Version 1.0 of this research critically evaluates 21 major vendors, including IBM, Adobe, Antenna, Kony, Motorola, SAP, Appcelerator, Netbiscuits, Oracle, and others.

Key themes from this 205-page report include:

  • Mobile experience management is becoming a primary driver for enterprise investment in employee (B2E) mobility solutions
  • Application security -- not just device security -- has become a critical enterprise concern
  • Enterprises are increasingly in-sourcing business-to-consumer (B2C) mobile development and delivery capabilities
  • Vendors are responding by developing portal-like middleware to support mobile experiences after initial deployment 
  • The gulf between mobile web vs. native apps remains; thus, enterprises often need to support both approaches 
  • No single vendor excels at both B2C and B2E use cases, so large enterprises may need to consider multiple platforms
  • The enterprise mobile platform marketplace remains highly fragmented and immature

If you have pre-ordered a subscription to this stream, simply log in now to access all the evaluations in full or parts.

If you're not an RSG customer, you can download a complimentary excerpt. As always, we welcome your feedback.

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And now, BlackBerry - Mais ou` sont les neiges d'antan? #mobile #EntArch Tue, 24 Sep 2013 12:21:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2605-And-now-BlackBerry-Mais-ou`-sont-les-neiges-dantan? Where are the snows of yesteryear?” -- a refrain from a 15th century French ballad -- rings true in the mobile phone industry today. Palm, Nokia, Motorola, BlackBerry. All of them industry leaders not too long ago, but now fighting for survival. The mobile industry is sure turning out to be a textbook example of “creative destruction.”

Just the other day, I discussed Nokia’s lost mojo and potential implications for enterprise customers. Now, let’s talk about BlackBerry, another contender for a bronze medal in the mobile operating system race. Just a few years ago, corporate types coveted a BlackBerry and “sent from my BlackBerry” message foooters signaled power and prestige. Now, BlackBerry is on life support and its former name Research in Motion (RIM) is ripe for RIP puns. How did this come to pass?

In a nutshell: Like Nokia, BlackBerry too was slow to detect the importance of smart phones with touch interfaces and the power of apps. Consequently it ceded much ground to Android and iOS.

In the pre-smart phone era, email-on-the-go was the cornerstone and killer app of Enterprise Mobility 1.0 strategies. BlackBerry, with its excellent email, calendar, and of course, instant messenger applications was the leading (and often the only) choice for enterprises.

But innovation and advances in mobile devices (read iOS and Android) changed all that. Though initially intended for consumers, enterprises too embraced them fairly quickly (by switching to these devices as corporate policy or via BYOD).

Now, current Enterprise Mobility strategies are not just about a few apps here and there but delivering holistic B2C and B2E mobile experiences. The expectation now is that mobile experiences have to be useful as well as satisfying (or engaging or fun). BlackBerry focused on just the utility part of it and lost much appeal to consumers. This together with missteps and other gaps it failed to plug, means BlackBerry finds itself as a bit player.

Recent moves like failed attempts to find a buyer for itself or massive layoffs that cut too close to the bone or now, going private are only the denouement in a plot of inexorable decline that has been set in motion much before.

What’s the takeaway for you as a champion of enterprise mobility?

We can only guess what the new private owners intend to do – most likely, divest parts of the business, retain some parts, try to monetize the patents, and eventually sell off to another mobile ecosystem player. Lots of moving parts here.

If your organization currently remains a BlackBerry shop, your course of action will be dependent on the extent of the mobile experiences you’re currently delivering to your consumers and employees. If it is only mail and messaging – wait for some of the air to be cleared – it’s not that the company will be shuttering down immediately.

But we can reasonably expect that R&D investments in product/platform/ecosystem will shrivel even further.  So, if you are delivering richer mobile experiences and apps beyond messaging, then start putting together your migration plans. Our Enterprise Mobile Technology research that includes evaluation of 21 major vendors should prove helpful here. 

Last but not least, security (real or perceived) was one of the selling points of BlackBerry. BlackBerry may go away but the need for security won’t. And frankly, security and compliance for regulated industries are not exactly the strong points of enterprise mobile technology. Vet very carefully when you’re looking for solutions to develop experiences for iOS/Android/Others.

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PhoneGap/Cordova Vs Oracle and IBM Mobile Offerings #mobile Thu, 19 Sep 2013 13:29:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2600-PhoneGap/Cordova-Vs-Oracle-and-IBM-Mobile-Offerings? So-called "hybrid" apps constitute one of the major types of cross-platform mobile apps. Under this approach, you basically create your app using web technologies -- HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript -- and then "wrap" it with a web-to-native wrapper that converts it into a downloadable app.

This approach has many pros and cons that we explore in our forthcoming Enterprise Mobile Platforms evaluation report, due out next week. 

Apache Cordova is a popular hybrid app development environment. It's open source and free, so perhaps as a result, Cordova is hugely popular amongst developers.

Now, many enterprise software vendors use Apache Cordova within their own offerings. In fact, Adobe's PhoneGap is based on Apache Cordova, and Oracle's ADF Mobile, IBM's Worklight, and several others platforms also embed it for hybrid development.

So a key question arises: if you develop your mobile experience using web technologies and use Cordova to wrap it, why license Oracle ADF Mobile, IBM Worklight, Adobe, or one of the other commercial vendors in the first place, instead of using Cordova directly?

Well, the short answer is that these commercial vendors have added additional functionality on top of the basic HTML5-plus-Cordova model for app development.

As an example, lets consider Oracle ADF Mobile. A key advantage -- or drawback, depending on how you look at it -- of employing Oracle ADF Mobile is that you rely principally on Java, giving you access a full-fledged programing environment to reflect sophisticated business logic. This is not something that HTML5- or JavaScript-based environments can match, especially for enterprise integration. Another related advantage is that you use Oracle's JDeveloper environment for developing your apps. As a result, you get access to all the enterprisey features – such as declarative bindings, visual development, and so forth -- of JDeveloper. You also get access to ADF capabilities such as Task Flows, data controls and host of pre-built components. 

Similarly, other vendors also bundle numerous value-added services and features.

Of course, you'll face trade-offs and will often sacrifice some flexibility. Again using Oracle ADF Mobile as an example, you'll find that Oracle ADF Mobile is not stand-alone offering. It is a part of broader Application Development Framework and Fusion Middleware. So while it may offer a good fit if you already use ADF in your organization or use other Oracle platforms, such as their WebCenter Portal or Application Server, it is certainly not suitable as an option purely for a stand-alone mobile application platform.

We explore many more benefits and drawbacks in much greater detail in our evaluation of 21 major Enterprise Mobile Platform vendors.

 

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Drupal forked - is that a big deal in the CMS world? #drupal #wcm Wed, 18 Sep 2013 18:44:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2603-Drupal-forked-is-that-a-big-deal-in-the-CMS-world? When certain males hit midlife crisis, they supposedly buy red convertibles. When certain Drupalers rise against the core, they fork.

One such Drupaler, Nathan Haug ‪(@quicksketch), proclaimed when he announced the fork: “#Backdrop needs to exist to *preserve* the ‪#Drupal community and market.” He seems to want to preserve the “simplicity” of the last good version of Drupal standing. And by “simplicity” here I mean the legacy core that is Symfony-free. Or as Haug describes: “ease of use and ease of learning over architectural flexibility.”

Symfony is an open source web framework making its way into the upcoming v8 version of Drupal. Symfony applies more modern, object-oriented programming principles, yet requires more advanced developer skills. In theory, architectural elegance should make lives easier for designers and developers easier. Some folks clearly disagree.

Backdrop the fork doesn’t have many tines yet, aside from a starter project on GitHub. The project description – “Backdrop is a fully-featured content management system that allows non-technical users to manage a wide-variety of content. It can be used to create blogs, forums, image galleries, social networks, intranets, and more.” – sounds rather ambiguous. Every CMS claims to do what Backdrop is embarking to do. On the surface, it seems like Backdrop is little more than the founders’ desire to stand athwart Drupal history and shout "Stop!"

With the enormous developer following around Drupal today, perhaps it's inevitable that some community members get uneasy about the drastically changing core of their favorite CMS. Change is always tough.

Otherwise, no big deal here, yet – aside from some clearly evident disruption in the Drupal community and one more indication of how difficult and complex this CMS can be. It's also potentially a quite useful warning about how difficult the v8 upgrade may prove to be.

The history of the Web CMS marketplace has seen very few examples of viable forks (Mambo/Joomla! being one exception). Backdrop will have to work really hard to differentiate itself from Drupal to become viable. For now, my advice is: do not hold your breath and do not panic. If Drupal works for you today (and as our CMS Report readers know, it doesn't work for everyone), then keep Drupaling and carry on.

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HP/Autonomy Strategy - Still Buy Instead of Build? #autonomy #cms Tue, 03 Sep 2013 11:42:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2596-HP/Autonomy-Strategy-Still-Buy-Instead-of-Build? Long-suffering Autonomy / Interwoven product customers have seen some useful dot-releases on various modules since the star-crossed HP acquisition last year.

Though any improvements are welcome, my personal opinion is that these efforts are too little, too late for platforms in desperate need of fundamental refactoring to pay down enormous technical debt -- if not by HP, then by someone else. So, perhaps like you, I follow what's going on at HP for authentic signs of a larger strategy.

And as with any public firm, the most meaningful information gets directed at investors, rather than customers. Witness this aside from an HP executive (amid a discussion of 2014 revenue projections) about how the company is still looking to make "strategic acquisitions" to prop up the firm's struggling Enterprise Group. HP doesn't get specific about this, so we don't know what kind of technology they want to acquire, but it's pretty clear they're looking outside the company for energy.

My reaction is this: when software vendors try acquire their way out of chronic product engineering problems, customers lose. I suspect most Interwoven and Autonomy customers would agree. After all, they saw Interwoven use its post-IPO equity windfall to acquire a plethora of other firms, rather than modernize its flagship TeamSite platform, which at its core remains a circa 1997 file management system. Similarly Autonomy went on an acquisition binge (at a time when Apache Lucene was fast overtaking the Autonomy IDOL search platform), ultimately rolling up the Interwoven roll-up, among others.

As you know, that did not end well at all.

Consider that executives at most public companies typically receive the lion's share of their compensation packages based on near-term stock values. In that light, HP buying more companies is a rational choice if the acquired products can generate better returns than HP's incumbent technology portfolio, the same way it made sense to Autonomy and Interwoven executives.

The problem for enterprise technology customers is that we necessarily have longer-term horizons for our major technology investments than stockholders do for their equity investments. For Autonomy customers, that horizon seems dimmer than ever.

* * *

BTW, what other big vendor in this space seems to want to keep acquiring other firms to meet investor expectations? Here's my take...

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Major Updates to our Digital Marketing Technology Evaluations #digitalmarketing #socialmedia Mon, 19 Aug 2013 12:06:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2591-Major-Updates-to-our-Digital-Marketing-Technology-Evaluations? The digital marketing technology world moves quickly. To keep up with the changes, we have just released a major update to our Digital Marketing Technology vendor evaluations.

Version 2.0 of this report finds Adobe, IBM, Oracle, and Salesforce cobbling together broad digital marketing capabilities via acquisitions. The research also evaluates key independent players, like Act-On, Marketo, SDL, SilverPop, Sysomos, and more.

We will look at some key themes in future blog posts, but for today, I'll share a bit about our updated methodology.

In this major overhaul to the Digital Marketing Technology evaluation research, we had two goals:

  1. Many of the large vendors have acquired smaller, stand-alone vendors to create “digital marketing suites”. We wanted to examine if the resulting packages are really "suites" and just how well are these big players adapting to rapidly evolving customer needs?
  2. To significantly update and revise the evaluation criteria, based on current trends in digital marketing technology marketplace -- social marketing in particular.

For point (1), you will need to review the in-depth critiques for each of those vendors. For now though, here is an overview of the changed structure.

New Categorization

We have always believed that while Marketing Automation and Social Media Analytics are separate technologies, they are part of the broader digital marketing marketplace. There’s a lot of overlap in these two areas and more importantly, the buyer of these two technologies tends to be the same: your CMO, or Marketing Department. More recently, some large vendors have acquired smaller companies in both these areas and have started offering platforms that have functionality for both. Consequently, we now have updated categories of vendors we cover. These are:
 

  • Digital Marketing Platforms: These are very different vendors that share a vision of integrated digital marketing, but come to this space from four very different directions
  • Marketing Automation Suites: These are vendors focused on Marketing Automation
  • Social Media Analytics (SMA) Platforms: These vendors focus on social media monitoring, intelligence and marketing
     

New Ratings

To simplify our summaries further and to bring consistency across different vendors, we evaluate all of them on the following Functional Services:

Marketing Automation Services 

  • Lead Management & Nurturing
  • Campaign Management
  • Landing Pages 

Social Media Analysis Services

  • Data Collection & Processing
  • Analysis & Presentation

Social Media Marketing Services

  • Social Media Site Management
  • Social Campaigns
  • Influencer Cultivation
  • Social Customer Support
     

As always, we review them in detail as well as provide summary ratings using Harvey Balls. For example, the following table shows ratings for one of the vendors:

So these were the key changes. We welcome your feedback. You can download a complimentary research excerpt or if you are a subscriber, you can directly download your updated copy.

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Do Documentum, IBM WebSphere, and SocialText really compete? Which path should you take? #e20 #EnSW Tue, 13 Aug 2013 07:47:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2581-Do-Documentum-IBM-WebSphere-and-SocialText-really-compete-Which-path-should-you-take? Nearly all the tools in the marketplaces we cover claim to excel in "collaboration" services. Who could possibly not?

To some extent the vendors are justified, since collaboration has many flavors. For example, enterprises looking to create more collaborative digital environments often ask us if they should use their:

Or

Or

Most portal tools now offer many base collaboration features such as Polls, Surveys, Tagging, Blogs, Wikis, Forums, and so forth. Not all of these are new, but together they offer the potential for more dynamic information sharing in the workplace. Additionally some portals such as Oracle WebCenter have the concept of “presence,” enabling employees to see if their colleagues are online — and if so, the capability to start an instant messaging chat. This can be a powerful way to collaborate, particularly if your team members are spread out globally.

Many enterprises, on the other hand, are discovering that collaboration can become an important attribute in effective document management, particularly for more knowledge-intensive, ad-hoc processes.  DM platforms still provide audit or other compliance requirements that are not met by the portals collaboration tools. Consequently, the focus of document management collaboration offerings is on secure, shared document authoring and review, usually within a specified workspace or portal.

And your choices are not limited to Portal or Document Management software. You could, for example, use Cloud File Sharing and Sync tools such as Box, Huddle or Workshare.

Finally, you have a number of specialized social and collaboration tools such as Jive Software, SocialText, Telligent,Drupal and many others.

Remember that "collaboration" will take on different meanings in different organizations. For some, it is peer-to-peer, using email and IM; for others it’s WebEx-style collaboration; for some it’s document-intensive collaboration; and for others, business value comes more from social networking. Think about what collaboration means in your context and select the right type of toolset for your requirement. Let us know if we can help.

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Updates to Document Management evaluations research - EMC Documentum #ecm #EMC Thu, 11 Jul 2013 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2574-Updates-to-Document-Management-evaluations-research-EMC-Documentum? We recently updated the EMC Documentum evaluation chapter in our Document Management research, as well as a few minor updates to other vendors. These updates incorporate developments due to new product releases, marketplace changes, as well as customer feedback.

Documentum "D7" was released late last year and sports many new improvements. The key enhancements are related to performance and deployment, as well as a new user interface and a few others. In this review, we take a particularly detailed look at the new user interface, called D2.

While Documentum 7 represents a significant upgrade to the platform, it still remains one of the most complex systems in this report. So as always, make sure you do full comparisons, tests, and proof of concepts against other leading document management solutions before committing a large investment with EMC.

Subscribers can download the updated evaluations here.

 

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Adobe finally adds marketing automation through Neolane acquisition #Adobe #digitalmarketing Tue, 09 Jul 2013 14:16:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2573-Adobe-finally-adds-marketing-automation-through-Neolane-acquisition? Adobe has decided to buy Neolane – a privately-held French campaign management software company – for approximately $600 million in cash.

Neolane is one of the few fairly well-rounded marketing automation vendors left in the acquisition pool, after the biggies like Aprimo and Eloqua have been snatched up. (Marketo and Silverpop are a little out of the league here.) It took Adobe a long time to shape up such an acquisition to fill -- at least nominally -- the gaping void they have when it comes to marketing automation in their Adobe Marketing Cloud suite offering.

With this planned purchase, Adobe is aiming to take a more competitive stance with the likes of Oracle, Salesforce.com, and IBM; with their formerly known as Eloqua, ExactTarget, and Unica products respectively.

As we discuss in our detailed Digital Marketing research evaluation of Adobe, there are several product lines that form Adobe's "Marketing Cloud." Neolane will be the sixth, in addition to the Analytics, Target, Social, Experience Manager (former CQ5), and Media Optimizer offerings. Note that all of these six pillars came through a series of acquisitions that turned the Creative-Suite-empire into the modern Adobe: Omniture (2009), Day Software (2010), Demdex (2011), Auditude (2011), and Efficient Frontier (2012).

To round up its digital marketing portfolio, Adobe seems willing to pay a pretty penny: 10x Neolane’s 2012 revenues. Still this proposed transaction will cost less than Aprimo. And it is not the customer base that they’re after. The mere 400 worldwide Neolane customers (many of them already Adobe customers) are not likely to make a considerable financial difference in Adobe revenues, but the technology is what’s worthwhile in this transaction.

Cross-channel campaign management is Neolane’s forte. Other features like social marketing, mobile marketing, and possibly their recommendation engine could easily die off, since Adobe already has equivalent technologies already in place -- albeit not yet totally integrated with the rest of the suite -- via the Efficient Frontier and Auditude acquisitions.

In the meantime, customers should ready yourselves for more integration woes, cultural mishaps between the two companies, and (yet again) different branding and messaging – something we’ve seen over and over again with every Adobe acquisition. Seriously, I change my Facebook status less often than Adobe changes its digital marketing branding and messaging.

Of course, from a customer perspective, "branding" is overrated. The real challenges will come with integrating this potpourri of technologies and delivery models. RSG subscribers are welcome to schedule an advisory session with me for more details.

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What to make of the Salesforce-ExactTarget acquisition Tue, 04 Jun 2013 14:46:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2565-What-to-make-of-the-Salesforce-ExactTarget-acquisition? As you probably know by now, Salesforce has announced its intention to acquire marketing automation vendor ExactTarget for $2.5B.  Acquisitions generally bring turbulence to existing customers, and as subscribers to our Digital Marketing Technology research know, ExactTarget licensees have already been on a bit of a roller-coaster ride.  That said, this is one of those cases where I believe the acquisition is on balance a positive thing for the market as a whole.

What's to Like

First, it was good that Salesforce didn't acquire a complex, higher-end system like Eloqua (which went to Oracle instead) or Marketo.  Salesforce did that with social media intelligence platform Radian6 -- shooting too high with a complex, expensive platform -- and that episode has proven a struggle for customers on both sides.  ExactTarget's profile and price-point is more in line with Salesforce's overwhelming majority of mid-market customers.

Secondly, I don't think that this deal bodes poorly for Marketo, SilverPop, and all the other pure-play marketing automation vendors out there.  You'll likely see many premature obituaries for these vendors in the coming days. Don't believe them. Marketo et. al. will all continue to integrate with Salesforce CRM in a kind of coopetition that characterizes many marketplaces today (e.g., the SharePoint ecosystem).

Downsides for Customers

As always, some cautions are in order.  Customers should not assume that just because Salesforce offers a variety of different offerings under their "marketing cloud" brand that those offerings are well integrated.  This is going to take years to play out. In the meantime, never underestimate migration effort if you plan to switch vendors -- perhaps one reason why Salesforce itself still uses Oracle's Eloqua for its own digital marketing efforts.

Moreover, customers should not assume that ExactTarget will become dramatically better in its own right under a new, bigger owner.  Salesforce will learn that marketing professionals should, can, and will be more finicky about their toolsets than the vendor's traditional customer base of sales and support people.  Salesforce struggles with engineering quality and user experience in general, and consumer-facing applications in particular.  For many enterprises, poor usability in the short term will outweigh long-term data integration potential.

So, Salesforce has become a bigger giant, but it's still a very clumsy one.  Enterprises who want to empower their marketing teams need to consider carefully if they want such a broad embrace with one supplier.

For more details, consult our Digital Marketing Technology evaluations.  If you are an existing subscriber, feel free to schedule a briefing with one of our analysts to see whether today's news impacts your vistas.

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Marketo gets ready for an IPO - should customers care? #digitalmarketing #internetmarketing Mon, 06 May 2013 14:54:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2558-Marketo-gets-ready-for-an-IPO-should-customers-care? Last month, marketing automation software company Marketo, one of the vendors we evaluate in our Digital Marketing Technology stream, filed an S-1 registration, which is one of the first major steps towards an IPO. Along the way, many details about Marketo's business have emerged publicly for the first time. Here are some key things for enterprise marketing technology buyers to note.

Marketo has seen rapid growth – revenues are up from $14 million in 2010 to $58.4 million in 2012. Losses too have mounted – they went up from $12 million to $34 million during the same period. The company spent a whopping $38 million (65% of revenues) on sales and marketing – twice as much as they spent on product engineering ($19 million). In short, the company is buying growth, on the back of some heavy spend on sales and marketing.

Note that this “growth over profitability” is not an uncommon strategy and is pursued by many other technology companies as well (including some of Marketo peers we evaluate). But as a buyer when you are short-listing vendors and evaluating their technologies, make sure you are buying the steak and not the sizzle.  Also get ready for a potentially turbulent ride. 

Marketo's S-1 reveals that 79% of its customers integrate it with Salesforce.com for CRM.  As we note in our evaluation, you can integrate Marketo’s Sales Insight module with other CRMs, like Microsoft Dynamics and NetSuite, in theory. In practice, Marketo is really geared for use with with Salesforce.com, which is a risk going forward if Salesforce ever acquires another marketing automation vendor. (Salesforce.com for its part is replacing it’s implementation of Eloqua after rival Oracle bought that platform).

Marketo notes that the majority of its revenues (80%) comes from SMBs (which they define as companies having fewer than 1500 employees). Revenue from customers outside the United States is about 13% of the total. Marketo has many ambitions -- targeting larger enterprises, landing more B2C customers and expanding globally -- but going by these early numbers, the company's sweet spot remains small to mid-sized B2B customers in the United States.

As for a critique of their product offerings themselves, subscribers can get a comparative evaluation of Marketo (and other leading vendors) here.

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Updated WCXM Evaluation of HP's Autonomy TeamSite CMS #wcm #wcxm Wed, 17 Apr 2013 12:17:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2549-Updated-WCXM-Evaluation-of-HPs-Autonomy-TeamSite-CMS? We’ve updated our evaluation of HP's Autonomy TeamSite CMS as part of the Web Content and Experience Management (WCXM) evaluation research.

Teamed up with other “legacy platforms" vendors (i.e., OpenText and IBM) in our WCM research, Autonomy TeamSite mainly appears in umm…. legacy systems conversations.

Despite what you might hear in glowing analyst reports, product development for Autonomy TeamSite under HP’s ownership has not been very swift or expansive. Some of the “What’s New” highlights we analyze in the updated evaluation include:

  • Web-based Workflow Modeler as an alternative to the circa 2001 desktop modeler
  • New casual user interface as a simpler interface for content contributors

As we’ve written before on a number of occasions, post-acquisition HP/Autonomy woes continue -- making the future of the whole former Interwoven portfolio rather unclear, so customers and prospects should remain wary.

Perhaps it's not surprising then that Autonomy TeamSite doesn’t often appear on product selection shortlists anymore.  However, TeamSite does still remain on the "systems-to-support" list for agencies and systems integrators, who are helping existing TeamSite customers keep their implementations alive.

To get full details on the latest developments in HP's Autonomy TeamSite, head over here and download the full chapter.

Our subscribers also get a chance to schedule advisory sessions to get more insights and details on any WCXM vendor and product, as they apply to any particular situation.

For those of you not familiar with our evaluations, go ahead and download a complimentary sample here.

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Deconstructing Oracle's Social Relationship Management Suite #socialmedia #Oracle Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:01:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2550-Deconstructing-Oracles-Social-Relationship-Management-Suite?  

In 2012 Oracle acquired four companies relevant to our Digital Marketing Technology evaluations – Eloqua, Vitrue, Involver, and Collective Intellect. Of these, the last three form the basis of Oracle’s rebranded "Social Relationship Management" (SRM) Suite.

THe SRM Platform itself comes in two flavors. You can license Social Marketing (SM), which consists of products from Vitrue, or you can license Social Engagement & Monitoring (SEM), which consists of products from Involver and Collective Intellect. You can of course license both SM and SEM, which is what Oracle will push you for. 

So then depending on what you’ve licensed, you will see the following modules when you log in:

  • Listen and Analyze: For monitoring social media, individuals, and how they are interacting with your pages as well as on other sites. This module consists of multiple components from all three products: Vitrue, Involver and Collective Intellect. So if you want to have all the functionality, you will need to license both SM and SEM
  • Engage: This is for engaging with users – replying to their comments or assigning them to your colleagues for follow up. Comes from Involver and requires SEM
  • Publish: Comes from Vitrue. Required for creating content for your social media pages. Requires SM
  • Workflow and Automation: This is really the management and admin interface. It consists of components from all the products and so requires you to license SEM and SM if you need all those components
  • Content and Apps: Required for creating Facebook pages and apps. This comes from Vitrue and requires SM license

As you can see, there are multiple modules and each module consists of components from various tools that Oracle acquired. Now Oracle has announced it has integrated them but for you the buyer, I'd recommend that you do your own testing. 

Note that Oracle has taken similar approaches in the past. At some point in time, Oracle had multiple Portal offerings all packaged as part of their WebCenter offering, and it was not uncommon to see multiple Portal servers running side-by-side in a single implementation. It has taken a long time for them  to improve that situation and so I hope this time they do better. 

We will of course review SRM in much more detail in our forth coming update to the Digital Marketing Technology report and continue to share what we learn with you.

 

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Reality Check: Portals and Content Integration vendors in 2013 #portals #EntArch Wed, 13 Mar 2013 08:28:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2540-Reality-Check:-Portals-and-Content-Integration-vendors-in-2013? We have just published our 2013 edition of the Portals & Content Integration Marketplace Analysis. This advisory looks at how the marketplace -- both in terms of products and vendors -- is evolving.

Despite many predictions for the demise of enterprise portal technology, this class of technology has not gone away. In fact, portal and portal-like capabilities remain relevant for many specific business scenarios. As a result, portal platforms can play an important role within broader enterprise architectures.

This briefing offers a snapshot of trends in the current marketplace, as well as a comparative analysis of the relative risks associated with each portal and content integration vendor via The Real Story Group “Reality Check” chart.


Fig 1. Portals and Content Integration Reality Check - 2013

If you are a current subscriber, you can download this right away. If you are not a subscriber, you can still purchase it a' la carte ($895).

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Is social marketing vendor Awareness headed off into the sunset? #digitalmarketing #socialmedia Wed, 06 Mar 2013 10:34:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2538-Is-social-marketing-vendor-Awareness-headed-off-into-the-sunset? As enterprise customers add social media to their marketing mix, we too have been keeping a close eye on the technology vendors in this space. In connection with social media marketing vendors, one name that pops up frequently is Awareness Inc.

Awareness is a US-Canadian vendor that has gone through many twists and turns over the past decade.  Most recently, Awareness focused on “Social Marketing Hub” software to help enterprises manage their presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

The beginning of the end?

However, of late, we’ve noticed a few strange things that should set off warning bells for potential customers.

Firstly, there is total silence on their social media pages.

For a company that previously used to actively engage on social media and that too a social media marketing vendor, this is rather odd.

Fig 1. Awareness Facebook Page, ironically, shows a ship sailing into the sunset.

Most ominously, their website is also no longer accessible.

Who will turn off the lights?

Digging a bit deeper, we find a mass employee exodus in recent months. Many senior executives and tenured managers now sport the “ex-employee” tag on LinkedIn. This includes the former heads of finance, marketing and sales, and engineering, as well directors for sales, operations, and quality. Even their CTO, who’s been with them for more than a decade, is gone.

Social's Fiscal Cliff?

We don’t know what exactly transpired but can only surmise that Awareness ran out of money and was unable to raise additional financing or find a buyer. (Their last tweet ironically is how Linkedin is ideally poised to make a big acquisition.) If so, we can commiserate with the impacted employees and wish them well. We hope that the social marketing efforts of existing customers have not been adversely impacted, and that they have a Plan B ready.

For prospective customers, this should give you some pause -- even in "hot" market segments, not all vendors will succeed.

High on smarts, low on software?

At RSG, we’ve tracked the many incarnations of Awareness - from the start of their journey in 1998 as SurfMap to their transition into a SaaS CMS vendor iUpload, and then in recent years, when they rebranded as Awareness. Our evaluations archive noted “Awareness certainly maintains a high profile in the marketplace through regular webinars and presentations” but “software development is stagnant” and “their real value is in their conceptually thinking through… how to add value to social tools through versioning and workflows… based on their CMS heritage,” but “technology is rough around the edges.”

You probably see a pattern here.

Isolated incident or a larger systemic issue?

Another question this raises is about the overall health of the social media marketing segment. Have the premium valuations garnered by Buddy Media ($689 M) and Vitrue ($300 M) when they got acquired last year by Salesforce.com and Oracle respectively lulled customers into believing that it is a thriving marketplace? Are we seeing the other side of the coin now in the Awareness saga? Is it just a single vendor failing to keep pace, or is it a signal for the sector at large? I suspect it's a little bit of both.

Our Digital Marketing vendor evaluations pay attention to both technology and vendor intangibles.  You should too. 

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