Real Story Group Recent Real Story Group Blog Entries Copyright (c) 2015 RealStoryGroup.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.realstorygroup.com/ www.realstorygroup.com : Blogs en-us 08/21/2015 00:00:00 60 Call for Participation - RSG Survey on Digital Marketing Technology #digitalmarketing #socialmediamonitoring Fri, 21 Aug 2015 15:34:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2889-Call-for-Participation-RSG-Survey-on-Digital-Marketing-Technology? At RSG, we have closely tracked the digital marketing technology space for many years now. We have been advising customers make the right technology selection choices and also helping them derive optimal value from marketing technology investments. Our research is greatly enhanced by the in-depth feedback we receive from practitioners globally.

If you are involved in your organization's digital marketing efforts, please take ten minutes to participate in our Digital Marketing Technology Survey. In return we'll send you a summary of the findings and invite you to a special webinar sharing the results.

More Details

This survey assesses different aspects of digital marketing, like common use cases, tool satisfaction, and maturity levels among organizations like yours.

Here, Digital Marketing Technology refers to the various software products such as campaign management, marketing automation, content marketing, social media marketing, mobile marketing and more. This is an illustrative, not an exhaustive, list.

We take privacy and discretion very seriously. All responses will be kept strictly confidential and RSG will never publicly identify either you or your organization.

In return for your participation, you’ll receive a summary of the report findings when published, to contrast your current state with that of your industry peers. You will also receive an invitation to a webinar where RSG analysts will discuss the survey findings.

Next Step

Here is the link to the survey. Please participate and invite your colleagues to do so as well. Thank you.

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Updated Enterprise Mobile Technology Evaluations Available #mobile #trends Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:32:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2888-Updated-Enterprise-Mobile-Technology-Evaluations-Available? RSG has just released an update to our Enterprise Mobile Technology vendor evaluations.

The new release includes updates to our detailed reviews of IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, FeedHenry/Red Hat, July, Motorola/Zebra, Verivo, Xamarin, and Kinvey.

Enterprise Mobile Technology is a rapidly evolving marketplace and has seen a number of acquisitions. As a result, some vendor names have changed (e.g., FeedHenry) and more importantly, some of their strategies, too.

The wearables and IoT marketplace has also started to make an impact on mobile decision-making. Vendors have started providing support for these devices, although that support remains very nascent. RSG's research calls out specific capabilities where applicable.

Finally, you'll find updates for several existing evaluations based on customer and expert feedback.

As always, if you are a subscriber, you can log in and download your copy immediately. If you are not, you can download a complimentary sample.

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HP MediaBin and OpenText Media Manager: grandaddies who keep on ticking #MediaAssetManagement #DAM Wed, 19 Aug 2015 13:19:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2887-HP-MediaBin-and-OpenText-Media-Manager:-grandaddies-who-keep-on-ticking? There are some days when I feel like a relationship therapist for people who are unhappy with old versions of DAM systems. In particular, our subscribers often ring me up to opine at length about bad experiences with a legacy version of HP MediaBin or OpenText Media Manager.

When those customers inevitably arrive at the moment when they want to consider alternatives, it's often a challenge to even convince them that they should look at the latest versions of HP MB or OTMM vs. whichever alternatives make sense for their new short list.

I might line up dozens of ratings from our research that show how these tools perform across particular use cases, or how well each vendor is applying the latest search or transformation technologies. Sometimes, these ratings demonstrate that HP or OTMM is a stronger fit versus 7 to 10 other vendors.

And yet, I still hear, "I don't care. I just want a new vendor. I don't want to work with them anymore." That frequently-recurring sentiment is usually a reflection of the support relationships, not the actual technology performance.

Both HP MB and OTMM have evolved in recent years. However, compared their competition and in particular the growing SaaS mid-market, they've been comparably slow to innovate. OTMM only debuted an HTML5 interface last year after a long delay (most other vendors did so in 2011 or 2012). We give the edge to the new version of OTMM over HP MB as far as user experience; however the foundations of both technologies still resemble what was laid 12 to 15 years ago.

One advantage both of these systems have is that they are known for scalability.  Also, they boast the functionality to support a very diverse range of complex scenarios, within both marketing and broadcasting. But that comes at a hefty price, and usually as part of a broader enterprise deal that incorporates other HP or OTEX technologies. As such, we don't see SMBs sticking with or even considering these tools.

Also, the majority of deployments for these tools are on premise, not in the cloud, so you'll want to understand your deployment strategy before considering one of these solutions.

In the latest major release of our research, we've updated our evaluations of both of these big vendors' DAM tools. You can also use our RealTime vendor comparison tool to get a look at our detailed ratings, as well.

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First MarTech event in London October 20 & 21 #digitalmarketing #martech Tue, 18 Aug 2015 07:49:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2885-First-MarTech-event-in-London-October-20-&-21? I'm elated to be participating and speaking at the first MarTech event in Europe, to be held in London on October 20 & 21. Similar to what we focus on in our Marketing Automation and Social research, the event will dive deep into the topics of targeted marketing, mobile advertising, and analytics. 

You can use the code "MarTechRealStory" for a 15% discount on registration. If you're a Real Story Group subscriber and plan to attend, please let me know in advance, and you'll receive an invitation to a customer appreciation dinner.

 

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Does Extensis Portfolio have a future in the bigger world of Enterprise DAM? #DAM #digitalmarketing Mon, 17 Aug 2015 12:24:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2884-Does-Extensis-Portfolio-have-a-future-in-the-bigger-world-of-Enterprise-DAM? Extensis Portfolio was one of the first software products to carry the DAM classification moniker. Similar to the early versions of Canto Cumulus, Portfolio was in the category of what I like to refer to as "iPhoto on steroids." 

A step up from what came with your Mac iOS, and priced at less than $1,000 per user, these early workgroup DAM solutions were the first to enable marketing, branding and creative teams to share, find and transform assets.

DAM is very different now; the low-fi, small workgroup DAM scenario that exists simply to establish a searchable "one version of the truth" -- while still relevant -- now at a minimum requires teams to share and distribute beyond their own small team to the broader enterprise, partners, and even directly to customers.

Though Portfolio still mostly supports workgroup / departmental use cases, both the product and the company have come a long way since their early days. Extensis now has over 100 employees, making it one of the biggest pure-play DAM companies in the industry.  

Despite this significant market presence for 20+ years, the company has been slow to innovate and step up to support larger implementations. Heavily used in art departments, creative agencies, museums, and libraries, Portfolio rarely forms part of the creative process -- it usually just stores final assets.

Oftentimes RSG gets engaged in "Portfolio divorce" discussions with our subscribers, who look to us to find a more functionally rich, enterprise-grade solution. As a result, Extensis is losing out to SaaS vendors like Bynder and Widen in particular, who offer a broader feature set, albeit at a higher price.

The question for you as a buyer is: how urgent is the need to grow beyond your departmental Portfolio implementation, and do you want to wait for Extensis to take you there? Will simplicity, low cost, and ease of implementation continue to be enough for Extensis to maintain their market presence?

To facilitate integration, Portfolio does now have an API, and Extensis is increasing update frequency, rolling out of a number of features in order to both retain customers and silence their detractors.

Are they enough for you? We can help you decide. We've just updated our review of Extensis Portfolio in our Digital and Media Asset Management report, or you can use our RealTime vendor comparison tool to get details on how Portfolio compares to 40+ DAM vendor alternatives.

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DAM Industry Heat Maps - Market Share and Customer Satisfaction #DAM #trends Fri, 14 Aug 2015 10:10:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2886-DAM-Industry-Heat-Maps-Market-Share-and-Customer-Satisfaction? The Digital Asset Management (DAM) marketplace has a great diversity of vendors — ranging from sophisticated platform vendors to simple image library tools — but no single vendor dominates the segment.

Reliable estimates of DAM vendor market share are generally hard to come by. However, RSG has derived relative product usage data from our survey of subscribers and other (primarily large) enterprises. Note that this data does not represent formal market share figures, but it highlights key trends in the marketplace around customer uptake and product prevalence.

The industry map confirms that no single vendor dominates the DAM segment. In fact, even the largest vendor's market share doesn't reach double digits.

Figure: DAM customer share based on RSG’s 2015 Industry Survey. (Open image in a new tab for a larger version) 

Note: T, X, and O respectively refer to Telescope, Xinet, and On Brand North Plains products, and that Adobe Scene7 is now part of the AEM Suite. 

A mash-up of this customer share data with customer satisfaction ratings for these DAM products reveals an interesting insight: high market presence does not automatically translate into a high customer satisfaction rating. 

Find this customer satisfaction heat map (different from the above diagram) -- as well as how you can use these insights in your DAM technology selection -- in a new advisory paper, Digital Asset Management Industry Maps, available exclusively to our subscribers.

If your organization is not yet a subscriber, get in touch with us to explore subscription options. 

 

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DACH DAM vendor update: celum and Picturepark #DAM #Cloud Thu, 13 Aug 2015 07:03:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2883-DACH-DAM-vendor-update:-celum-and-Picturepark? One of the longest-standing cloud-inclined vendors in the DAM industry, Picturepark offers a multi-tenant SaaS solution with flexible deployment options and strong metadata management capabilities. Though Picturepark's presence in the US is growing, their implementation partner network is still under-developed, and they serve a mainly European (especially DACH) customer base.

Picturepark is most frequently employed for image storage and organization rather than production and publishing, relying on integrations, plugins and connectors to carry out tasks outside of basic DAM Library scenarios. Does this ever-growing suite of extras and bolt-ons to the Picturepark architecture allow for true enterprise implementations? We weigh in, in the latest edition of our DAM research.

Another DACH vendor who gained prominence in the early to mid '00’s, celum’s market presence has grown steadily over the last 10 years. More recently celum have chosen to focus their efforts on bigger deals and thus larger clients, abandoning some of their less expensive offerings for a bigger piece of the pie. There is some confusion as to how the shuffling of their product line will pan out, but if anything is clear, celum (like HP, OpenText and ADAM) are moving away from departmental and smaller implementations altogether. Perhaps some day soon, to follow on the theme, they will choose to write the name of their company with a capital letter "C".

celum is considered one of the most R&D-oriented DAM vendors, and nothing is set to change in this regard, you just might have to pay for formerly optional and in-progress extras as part of the base package. That being said, celum still offer their main product at a price point that lies somewhere between average and the high end of what we see across the market, especially considering the significant audio / video management components.

In addition to reading the details in our Digital and Media Asset Management Evaluation Report, version 7.0, you can also compare how celum and Picturepark perform across 15 DAM use cases, using our RealTime Vendor Comparison Tool.

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Chicago DAM event just six weeks away #DAM #digitalmarketing Wed, 12 Aug 2015 12:22:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2882-Chicago-DAM-event-just-six-weeks-away? The premier annual Chicago DAM event organized by Henry Stewart will take place on September 23rd & 24th, 2015. On Wednesday the 23rd, I'll be teaching two half-day seminars on the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing Technology (focused on marketing automation, social media intelligence, and analytics), followed by the Fundamentals of Digital Asset Management: the technology in depth. If you're looking to get a solid grounding in these technologies, pick a solution, or take your own skills to the next level, please join me.

On Thursday the 24th, we've got a full conference agenda packed with DAM case studies and discussion with fellow DAM professionals. 

September is a wonderful time to visit the great city of Chicago, so whether you're a local or not, do join us!

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HubSpot in a bit of a spot? #digitalmarketing #trends Tue, 11 Aug 2015 20:51:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2880-HubSpot-in-a-bit-of-a-spot? HubSpot, one of the vendors we evaluate in the Marketing Automation and Social Software Technology research stream, recently witnessed a bizarre drama. The firm's Chief Marketing Officer was terminated, their VP of Content resigned and the co-founder CEO was sanctioned by the board for violating the company’s code of conduct.

The company usually tom-toms its highly transparent organizational culture but has been coy about what transpired here. Apparently, all this is in connection with a soon-to-be-published bare-it-all book by an ex-employee.

What are the implications for you the customer? 

To be sure, the irregularities in question are not about fudging financials or accounting data. To that extent, there is no obvious impropriety.

But there are additional issues to be considered. 

HubSpot champions "inbound marketing" or the intersection of content marketing and pull marketing -- i.e., attracting customers to your brand/product based on the content that you create. Now, the CMO of HubSpot was highly regarded in the industry and is generally considered to be instrumental in positioning HubSpot as the prime case study for successful inbound marketing. Now, the clouded circumstances surrounding the CMO's exit rob some sheen off the company's exterior. 

You have to keep in mind that successful content marketing is not just about the marketing software. In fact, it is more about content actually. To be successful with inbound marketing of the type HubSpot evangelizes, you need to be able to create content that is useful and engaging to customers on a continuous basis.

Needless to say, this is not very easy to pull off. I think it is reasonable to ask if the main architects of HubSpot's content marketing program themselves do not want any critical light shed on at least some internal aspects of that program, how much of it is really steak and how much of it is sizzle. Note that I am just talking about the content marketing program here -- not other aspects of the company or the product. The take-away here is do not underestimate the effort required to taste success in content marketing.

More than this controversy, HubSpot is going to face greater challenges in the future as it tries to turn a corner on profitability. The HubSpot journey so far has followed the by-now-very-familiar playbook of technology startups: chase rapid growth at the cost of profitability. For instance, in the first 6 months of 2015, HubSpot incurred a net loss of $22 million on revenues of $81 million (numbers rounded). But as the example of another high-flying technology company Jive shows, that path to profitability can be long and tortuous.

When a publicly company strives for profitability, the customers can get bombarded with up-sell and cross-sell sales tactics, which if nothing else. can be very irksome. Smart customer executives are those who are immune to such siren songs and do not overbuy technology they do not need.

HubSpot the Technology

As to the HubSpot product itself: In our marketing technology evaluations research, we highlight the use cases for which HubSpot is suitable and the use cases for which it is a misfit. The current goings-on at the company do not fundamentally change this reality. As a potential customer, just remember that tools such as HubSpot play an enabling role and not the starring role in your content marketing success.

 

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[Webinar] DAM: Looking Head-to-Head at the European vs. the North American Markets #branding #DAM Mon, 10 Aug 2015 05:13:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2881-[Webinar]-DAM:-Looking-Head-to-Head-at-the-European-vs.-the-North-American-Markets? The DAM market continues to proliferate with new, small vendors offering inexpensive, SaaS-based DAM on both sides of the Atlantic. These vendors are attempting to grow beyond their borders, with the European-based vendors trying to branch into North America and vice-versa.

How are they faring? Does it make sense to invest in a product with a support base 6 to 9 hours out of synch with yours?

In this webinar, RSG's UK- and North America-based DAM analysts will examine the geographic distribution, successes, and failures of the DAM vendor landscape, as well as review risk mitigation techniques if you are building a multi-country DAM team. 

Register here

Webinar Details:

DAM: Looking Head-to-Head at the European vs. the US Markets

Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Time: 10:00-10:30 AM EST (14:00-14:30 UTC/GMT 15:00 BST)

We look forward to seeing you then.
 

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HP sells off iManage - Could TeamSite and MediaBin be next? #cms #DAM Fri, 07 Aug 2015 12:20:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2879-HP-sells-off-iManage-Could-TeamSite-and-MediaBin-be-next? I've been wondering for some time what HP would do with some of the information management solutions that came over from Interwoven via Autonomy. HP has been a decent steward of these systems, but doesn't seem to have a credible long-term strategy.

As background, recall the rancor when HP discovered that Autonomy had essentially swindled them. The Interwoven tools must seem to HP like a collection of semi-respectable furniture left over from an ex-spouse: not terrible to sit in, but unpleasant reminders of an ugly split nonetheless.

Movement with iManage

HP can now move at least one set of furniture: the iManage document and records management platform.

Last week came news that the iManage leadership team, along with funding support from one of its major customers, essentially purchased the toolset back from HP, taking it independent again. Recall that iManage was originally acquired by Interwoven, and thence to Autonomy, and then on to HP.

Ironically, ECM is one of the areas where customers might find some synergies with other HP offerings, but iManage -- which focuses on services firms (especially law firms) -- was probably too nichey for a big enterprise player like HP.

Still, it raises the question: what about some of the other business systems that came from Interwoven, specifically the TeamSite/LiveSite WCM offering, and HP's MediaBin DAM?

What about TeamSite and MediaBin

On the surface, MediaBin and TeamSite might seem like good candidates for spinning off as well. They each have separate development and sales+support teams. But from there, differences emerge.

iManage has loyal customers and reasonably modern codebase. TeamSite customers are slowly finding the exits amid a platform still architected for the 1990s. (Don't believe me? Check our our evaluation chapter -- it's a free download).

MediaBin is a different story. Its technology, while a bit dated and overly bound to the Microsoft stack, still performs reasonably well. The bigger issue is that it has fallen a bit behind in a DAM marketplace that is shifting rapidly.

Both TeamSite and MediaBin also suffered the misfortune to get "IDOL-ized" under Autonomy, which means they got bound to an over-wrought search engine that has largely failed in the marketplace. It would prove difficult for any future owner to decouple them.

What I think will happen

I don't have any insider scoop on what will happen to TeamSite and MediaBin. But unlike iManage, their future seems too thin for an employee buy-out. I suspect that at some point HP will pull the plug on TeamSite, and try to sell MediaBin to someone else, potentially even an integrator. I don't know when this happen -- of course, maybe never, maybe they'll just limp along indefinitely -- but I don't believe either solution resides easily at HP today.

In our research, we spend ever more time evaluating the vendors and communities around each solution. As a buyer, you should too.

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SharePoint for Digital Asset Management? #microsoft #sharepoint Thu, 06 Aug 2015 12:36:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2878-SharePoint-for-Digital-Asset-Management? Finding a DAM to ‘play nicely’ with SharePoint has been a stumbling block for many organizations, increasingly so as SharePoint has become commonplace within enterprise architectures. Equilibrium MediaRich is the only DAM that's built fully into the SharePoint stack, designed to work exclusively within a SharePoint environment and not as a standalone product.

This symbiotic relationship with SharePoint means that the MediaRich product roadmap develops in parallel with SharePoint's, and several new features and updates have rolled out over the course of this year to enhance the experience of MediaRich within SharePoint 2013. With Microsoft offering SharePoint in the Cloud using Azure, it also follows that MediaRich are also now increasingly focused on Azure-based cloud deployment.

If you're looking to synchronize your DAM and Sharepoint experiences, we evaluate many DAM systems' capabilities ability to integrate with the SP experience, in addition to MediaRich. For more information and a details on some of the newest features available for MediaRich, take a look at the Digital and Media Asset Management Evaluation Report.

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Beware the WCM Vendor Trying to Be Your Integrator #cms #digitalmarketing Mon, 03 Aug 2015 16:36:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2877-Beware-the-WCM-Vendor-Trying-to-Be-Your-Integrator? The Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) market is going through an upheaval, as some vendors seek to win marketshare from aging players, while others jockey for position in anticipation of mergers or public offerings.

Vendors Succumbing to Temptation

In this environment, some vendors seek to get any kind of revenues any way they can, so they fall to temptation and dip into the big pot right under their nose: implementation projects. From a revenue standpoint, WCM implementation fees dwarf license fees by several orders of magnitude. From a bottom-line standpoint, it's a different story, because services work can be low- or even no-margin, but in today's environment, vendors are keener to show investors revenue growth than profitability.

Fine Young Cannibals

This phenomenon is called "cannibalizing" a channel. WCM vendors who made a living going to market through consultancies and integrators may now muscle in to win services revenue themselves.

Ektron used to do this a lot. I've recently heard anecdotes regarding Sitecore, EPiServer, and even WordPress (Automattic). Adobe no longer pretends to favor implementation partners and aggressively pushes its own services arm for WCM projects, though this may reflect the extraordinary complexity of Adobe AEM. On the Drupal front, I recently witnessed an Acquia salesperson declare that his firm "was definitely a systems integrator" -- which might be news to the many Acquia implementation partners.

Don't Fall Prey

This cannibalization happens in cycles, but for you the customer, the consequences are almost always bad.

First, let's review the manifold ways that a software vendor is not a consultancy or SI (a.k.a., services firm):

  1. Services firms tend to focus on long-term relationships and consultant continuity; software vendors tend to focus on short-term projects and shuffle consultants around more readily
  2. Services firms typically bring important soft skills like information architecture and UX; software vendors typically just know how to implement their solution
  3. Services firms -- if they're good -- will look at your situation holistically and recommend other tools that might work for certain use cases; software vendors will tend to define your problems only in ways their tool can fix
  4. I could go on, but you get the idea...

Sure, there are times when a vendor's professional services organization makes sense, for things like architectural audits, or in cases where you have a simple, quick project. For most other scenarios, you'll want to turn to an integrator.

Now More Than Ever

WCM projects are getting more complex as the tools mature and your digital ambitions expand. This is why the services income stream has become so attractive to vendors; you're spending ever more money on it.

We increasingly see WCM vendors putting pressure on their SI partners to become more like loyal re-sellers. For WCM, you don't want a reseller. Look for independent services firms who know a small handful of tools really, really well, then only work with those integrators and consultancies who will sit on your side of the table, rather than just parrot the vendor line.

If you want the inside dope on vendor tendencies, the strength of their channels, and how to make the right decisions, consult RSG's WCM evaluation research. You can download a free sample here.

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New Roles for WCM Technology in an Age of Wearables #wcm #mobile Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:48:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2876-New-Roles-for-WCM-Technology-in-an-Age-of-Wearables? In the good old days, WCM technology primarily served to deliver content to a website -- hence the name "Web Content Management." At best, "multi-channel" referred to the ability to deliver content to more than one type of website; e.g., an intranet and a public-facing website.

Of course, things have changed drastically from there. You not only have to think of delivering content to mobile devices of varying sizes and capabilities, but also to a number of other devices such as hand-held devices, wearables, and other so-called IoT devices.

Use Cases for WCM + Wearables

There are a number of use cases for which you might consider using a WCM for delivering content to devices such as wearables. In fact, if you are sending content to a website and sending some snippets to, say a watch, you could consider WCM as a single repository instead of duplicating your content for each target environment. Several news providers, such as CNN, ABC News, and others now support Apple Watch.

While you may know about mobile middleware tools for creating and delivering mobile apps, you might wonder whether you even need WCM technology at all. Well, even if you are using mobile middleware, you'll still need a digital content repository from which mobile devices and wearables can pull information, regardless of middleware.


CNBC App for Apple Watch. Screenshot source: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/21/cnbc-apple-watch-app-launched.html.

What to Look for in Your WCM

When considering using a WCM to deliver information to wearables (via middleware tools or otherwise), two very important aspects emerge:

  1. Capability to create, store, and manage content in a device-agnostic way
    You should be able to create content without regard to the target device types. This means that the WCM should support a very strong separation of content from presentation so you can adapt content at the time of presentation. In addition, the WCM should have an above-average API for remote access to WCM content and services. It should also allow you to integrate with the middleware tools of your choice.
     
  2. The WCM should be aware of the capabilities and limitations of specific wearable devices
    Your WCM should be able to make appropriate steps to mitigate limitations and take advantage of device-specific capabilities. An obvious example of this would be the screen size of the wearable or the availability of specific sensors on those devices.

At first glance, these two requirements seem contradictory. The first one says the WCM should be device agnostic; the second one says the WCM should be aware of device capabilities. However, both of these are necessary if you want your WCM to deliver content in a truly multi-channel fashion.

The Marketplace

Different vendors have varying capabilities for targeting wearables, but most of them are rather rudimentary.  We will (of course) keep tracking them and let you know what we find, via our evaluation reports.

 

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Can mobile middleware tools support IoT use cases? #mobile #Cloud Tue, 28 Jul 2015 18:24:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2875-Can-mobile-middleware-tools-support-IoT-use-cases? As my colleague Apoorv noted: Internet of Things (IoT) and traditional Mobile remain distinct domains, albeit with some overlap. However, certain middleware tools -- also called mobile back-end as a service, or "MBaaS" -- lie at the intersection of IoT and mobile. We evaluate several of these tools in our Enterprise Mobile Technology research.

Mobile middleware tools provide several useful services for integration, messaging, sync, offline access, data management, data processing, caching, filtering, and so forth. They generally act as as a gateway to other enterprise systems. Many IoT use cases hinge around processing of remote sensor data and on the surface it would appear that mobile middleware tools can support such requirements.

However, we see several differences which will limit the usefulness of mobile middleware tools for IoT use cases.

IoT apps require more than traditional REST protocols

Mobile/Web applications rely on the request-response protocols (e.g., REST/SOAP) for much of their programmatic workloads. IoT devices are far more resource constrained than smartphones and their operating environments are characterized by low bandwidth and low power radio frequency communications.

Rather than REST, the pub-sub protocol is more suited in IoT environments. There are light weight publish-subscribe protocols more amenable for machine2machine (M2M) communications, such as Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) and Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT). Mobile middleware tools currently do not support such M2M-oriented protocols, limiting their usefulness in the IoT context.

IoT use cases have different data processing requirements

Processing of data from IoT sensors is again a different ballgame compared to traditional mobile apps. The volume and velocity of data generated is several orders of magnitude higher.

So, for example, instead of pulling data from persistent SQL datastore, you need to analyze data while it is still being ingested – only then would you be able to identify events of interest (e.g., a rise in temperature) in real-time.

To that extent, you need to deal with more than just SQL or NoSQL databases (which traditional mobile tools support).  You need support for databases optimized to deal with time-series data to analyze time-sensitive data from the sensors.

Testing and simulation tools are not readily available

In the last few years, mobile development tools have made substantial progress when it comes to test simulations of how mobile apps behave in real world.  Even many edge cases can be fairly easily tested from right within the IDE.

However, in an IoT context, you’ll not find such ready-to-go tools where the complexity of the underlying moving parts is abstracted from the developers. Backend IoT development requires simulators for sensors and their data formats which are not supported by traditional mobile tools. 

Some advice

In theory, mobile middleware tools can be flexed for IoT use cases. But in reality, the different architectures, data patterns, and testing requirements mean that mobile middleware vendors have a long way to go before they can claim strong support for IoT use cases.

Therefore, as a technology customer looking to expand your digital footprint, you may need to reconsider your back-end investments as you migrate from mobile to IoT-based engagement.

 
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Webinar: The Evolving Role of Portal Technologies in your Enterprise Architecture (August 12) #portals #DigitalWorkplace Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:17:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2874-Webinar:-The-Evolving-Role-of-Portal-Technologies-in-your-Enterprise-Architecture-(August-12)? 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, and portal platforms can play an important role within broader enterprise architectures.

In this webinar, we will review the portal marketplace and examine scenarios where portal tools provide a better fit than tools from adjacent marketplaces such as web content management or document management.

During this webinar, you will gain an understanding of:

  • Whether you should go with portal or WCM tools
  • Relevant business scenarios, functional services, and technology services
  • The overall marketplace and its key players

Register here

Webinar Details:

The Evolving Role of Portal Technologies in your Enterprise Architecture

Date: Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Time: 12:00-12:30 PM EST (16:00-16:30 UTC/GMT 17:00 BST)

We look forward to seeing you then.
 

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New Advisory and Webinar -- ECM Survey Results #ecm Mon, 20 Jul 2015 10:28:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2873-New-Advisory-and-Webinar-ECM-Survey-Results? Real Story Group conducted an online survey in Q1 2015 to obtain practitioner perspectives on key enterprise content management software-related themes. The survey results included a cross-section of organizations that were drawn from a variety of geographies and industries.

This new advisory paper (subscribers-only) summarizes key results around system usage, how SharePoint is (and isn't deployed), on-premise vs. cloud, and mobility issues. The deck concludes with an analysis of how your peers would rate their ECM efforts against an industry benchmark.

For subscribers and non-subscribers, we are also conducting a webinar to share some of the highlights of the survey findings:

Date: July 22, 2015

Time: 12:00-12:30 PM EDT (16:00-16:30 UTC/GMT) (17:00-17:30 BST)

Register for the webinar

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Webinar: Best Practices for Selecting the Right Digital Agency or Integration Partner (July 29) #digitalmarketing #DigitalWorkplace Tue, 14 Jul 2015 12:39:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2871-Webinar:-Best-Practices-for-Selecting-the-Right-Digital-Agency-or-Integration-Partner-(July-29)? Enterprise customers of digital workplace and digital marketing technologies must frequently turn to outside suppliers -- integrators, agencies, or consulting firms -- for implementation help.  Indeed, for larger projects the majority of expenses falls here.

But how do you select the right services firm? It turns out that many of the same agile methodologies that you should use to select software vendors apply here as well – but with a twist.

Start off on the right foot.  Join RSG's Director of Advisory Services Jarrod Gingras as he leads you through the process of selecting the right integrator for your project.

Register here

Webinar Details:

Best Practices for Selecting the Right Digital Agency or Integration Partner

Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Time: 12:00-12:30 PM EST (16:00-16:30 UTC/GMT 17:00 BST)

I look forward to seeing you there.
 

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New and updated marketing technology evaluations #digitalmarketing #Cloud Mon, 13 Jul 2015 12:00:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2872-New-and-updated-marketing-technology-evaluations? We have just released an update to our Marketing Automation and Social Technology report. Our evaluation reports follow a rolling-update calendar and the vendors updated in this edition include: Oracle, Salesforce, IBM and Act-On. We also added two new vendors Infusionsoft and Vuture to our evaluations line-up. Here is a sneak peek of the detailed evaluations inside. 

Act-On does not provide a lot of sophisticated landing page management functionality or advanced social media monitoring. But it offers decent lead nurturing functionality centered around email campaigns.

After getting acquired in 2014, IBM Silverpop now jostles for space amidst the smorgasbord of marketing software solutions that IBM sells. Silverpop does not offer much by way of social marketing services but has gone beyond it's legacy B2C roots and checks off some advanced B2B features.

Infusionsoft is focused on very small businesses whose needs are very different from large enterprises. Infusionsoft does not cover all the bases but provides an integrated suite for CRM, marketing and sales automation and online shopping use cases. 

Oracle's digital marketing capabilties are dispersed across Marketing Cloud and Social Cloud. Marketing cloud is a collection of acquired tools including Eloqua, Compendium, BlueKai and Responsys. Eloqua is the longest-standing B2B marketing automation tool in the market but is also very complex and an overkill for many mid-size customers. 

Oracle Social cloud or less grandiosely, the Social Relationship Management suite is the amalgamation of Vitrue, Involver, and Collective Intellect. Integration among these social tools as well as with Eloqua / marketing cloud tools remains a work-in-progress. 

Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud is (not surprisingly) comprehensive but complex. The learning curve for marketers can be steep but you can pursue various digital marketing scenarios. 

Salesforce ExactTarget Email is (as the name suggests) intended mainly for B2C email campaigns. Not yet 100% integrated with the other components of the Salesforce marketing cloud but the connections are improving. 

Salesforce Pardot offers you the trade-off of ease of use/simplicity versus depth of functionality - which is the case with other SMB-oriented solutions as well. 

Vuture is a UK vendor targeting the marketing automation requirements of professional services firms but is well-integrated only with certain CRM systems. 

This 295 page report is available for immediate download to RSG's Marketing Automation and Social Technology subscribers.

If you are not yet a subscriber, you can still download a sample evaluation.

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EMC de-syncs from Syncplicity #ecm #Cloud Wed, 08 Jul 2015 10:22:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2870-EMC-de-syncs-from-Syncplicity? Private equity firm Skyview Capital is acquiring Syncplicity from EMC.

Acquired by EMC in 2012, Syncplicity is a cloud-based file sharing and sync service (CFSS), focused on enterprise customers. Some other similar services are Citrix ShareFile, Oxygen Cloud, Box (which now wants to move beyond CFSS), and host of other, mostly consumer-oriented services like Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, and others.

Here are some interesting tidbits from the release:

  • EMC's salesforce will continue to sell Syncplicity
  • Syncplicity will remain an EMC partner
  • EMC says it remains committed to Syncplicity’s growth
  • Syncplicity did quite well as an EMC business

So why is EMC selling it?

Customers have found a considerable synergy between Document Management/ECM products and CFSS services. As a result, a number of ECM vendors have built or acquired CFSS services. Alfresco, OpenText (Tempo Box), Oracle (Oracle Documents Cloud Service) and most other ECM vendors now have an offering. In fact, just last week IBM and Box made a big splash with their partnership.

So when every ECM vendor is going after this space, why is EMC seemingly giving up on this?

EMC says it wants to focus on its core infrastructure business and that Syncplicity is a “step away” from that. The company's presser also hints Syncplicity needed to be on its own to take advantage of a fast-evolving CFSS marketplace.

As our research subscribers know, Syncplicity differs from other ECM vendors’ CFSS offerings in a couple of ways. While most others focus on collaboration (with sync thrown in), Syncplicity’s strength lies in advanced synchronization services (for details, see our ECM Report). Syncplicity also has some good security and policy-related features for administrators that other tools lack.

However, as a stand-alone service, Syncplicity probably wasn’t lucrative enough for an EMC sales strategy that focuses on large deals. Moreover, customers who were not "EMC shops,” and other vendors will probably find it easier to deal with a stand-alone Syncplicity instead of EMC.

Is EMC really giving up on CFSS?

Even though EMC has divested Syncplicity, I don’t believe they have given up on CFSS services. In fact, in my opinion, they can’t, while they still sell Documentum licenses (and no, i’m not speculating that they are spinning off Documentum as well).

EMC has multiple other similar services in its arsenal. There’s VMWare Airwatch and then there’s Mozy. Sure, they target different use cases -- Mozy targets online backups and Airwatch is known for MDM/EMM -- but both of them have capabilities for file sharing and sync.

What’s the impact on Syncplicity?

Sure, it’ll get more flexibility and will be able to target customers who’d usually stay away from EMC. However, this is a very rapidly evolving marketplace and as I’ve written before, it will be very tough to remain a stand-alone CFSS service. Will they get acquired by another vendor in near future or remain with Skyview is something only time will tell.

What about you the customer?

If you are a Documentum-only customer but were evaluating Syncplicity, you must spend more time in due-diligence and get a committed roadmap from EMC in regards to future of integration as well as plans for potential alternatives. Finally, if you are evaluating CFSS services, remember that in addition to Syncplicity, you have several other enterprise-focused options, most of which we evaluate in our ECM Report.

Subscribers can also experiment with some permutations using RSG's RealTime vendor comparison tool.

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SharePoint Survivor Stories #sharepoint #DigitalWorkplace Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:29:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2868-SharePoint-Survivor-Stories? I have already circled back to you about the dimming of SharePoint's dominance as the de facto platform for workplace collaboration. Now, I'm back with some survivor stories culled from the same survey. This is more animated and agitated because it is straight from the (customer) gut.

Text in the graphics is verbatim from customers responding in their own words about their SharePoint experiences.

May this Share-Pain-Point prove a wee bit therapeutic for you. Don't suffer in silence.

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Webinar - State of ECM Technology: Customer Survey Results (July 22nd) #ecm #DigitalWorkplace Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:14:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2869-Webinar-State-of-ECM-Technology:-Customer-Survey-Results-(July-22nd)? RSG conducted an online survey to obtain practitioners' perspectives on key enterprise content management (ECM) related themes, including common use cases, tools, vendors, implementation patterns, and challenges.

This webinar will review key survey findings:

  • Usage patterns
  • Satisfaction with the technology and vendors
  • Extent of usage of cloud and mobile
  • ECM Maturity Model

Register here

Webinar Details:

State of ECM Technology: Customer Survey Results

Date: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Time: 12:00-12:30 PM EST (16:00-16:30 UTC/GMT 17:00 BST)

I look forward to seeing you there.
 

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Updated WCM evaluations include Drupal, Sitecore, Tridion, and more #cms #teamsite Wed, 24 Jun 2015 06:52:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2866-Updated-WCM-evaluations-include-Drupal-Sitecore-Tridion-and-more? RSG has just released a significant update to our Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) vendor evaluations. That's version 22.5 for those of you keeping track.

Updates

Updates include:

  • HP-Autonomy TeamSite: still chugging along, but still not really worth your consideration, no matter what Gartner and Forrester say
  • SDL-Tridion: a venerable player still playing catch-up
  • Microsoft SharePoint: where even Redmond appears to be giving up the ghost on WCM
  • Sitecore: doubling down on its go-it-alone strategy
  • Drupal: still surprisingly complicated as the community awaits the next big release
  • Joomla!: stalling a bit as the community figures out which way to go

And changes...

With this latest edition, we add Crafter Software, built on the Alfresco open source repository. Crafter resembles Magnolia a bit, as a commercial, Java-based system, but customers will want to mind important architectural changes afoot.

In this release, we also drop Percussion, Salesforce, and Ektron as viable WCM players, though RSG subscribers can review the archived chapters.

See for yourself

If you're an RSG subscriber, check out all the new reviews right away.

Not sure if your employer subscribes to RSG research? Check here.

Not yet a subscriber? Download a sample evaluation, of HP-TeamSite/Livesite.

 

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Liferay Partnering with Red Hat - Implications for the Portals Marketplace #portals #EntArch Tue, 23 Jun 2015 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2865-Liferay-Partnering-with-Red-Hat-Implications-for-the-Portals-Marketplace? Liferay and Red Hat have entered into a partnership to combine Liferay Portal with Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP). JBoss EAP is Red Hat’s key middleware/application server. As of now, the partnership is limited to EAP but Liferay says it will gradually expand to include integration with other Red Hat middleware products.

What does it mean for Liferay and Red Hat?

First, a refresher.

Red Hat has its own Portal product called Enterprise Portal Platform (EPP). EPP is based on the GateIn project, which was a joint initiative between Red Hat JBoss and French vendor eXo. Since both JBoss EPP and eXo platform were based on GateIn, functionally, both were quite similar in terms of presentation functionality. However, Red Hat’s differentiator was its middleware expertise and as a result, Red Hat integrated the core GateIn project with other JBoss tools and technologies, tested, and certified them.

This announcement puts curtains on EPP. Red Hat has stopped offering new subscriptions to JBoss EPP. Unfortunately for them, the EPP was never very successful. If you subscribe to our Portals research, you know that It lacked many key features and its development was rather slow. Incidentally, eXo (Red Hat’s partner in the Portal project) has also moved away from being a horizontal Portal product. Going forward, I'd expect Red Hat to focus more on selling middleware licenses to Liferay customers.

For Liferay on the other hand, this announcement pretty much leaves them as the last major open source player standing. The Portals technology marketplace is shrinking, and while IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft still provide plausible offerings in this space, overall it's becoming an oligopoly.

What does it mean for customers?

For Red Hat customers who invested in EPP, this is bad news. Red Hat will support you until March 2018, but effectively this is a dead product and you should start looking at alternatives. It's a lesson, too, that "open source" does not always mean more stable or durable.

While Liferay will seem like a natural alternative, there are some others as well. You should also carefully evaluate if Portal technology is still the best alternative for building what you need to build.

For Liferay’s customers, this won’t have an impact in the short term. Liferay has always supported the JBoss application server (among others), so no big changes there. However, as Liferay and Red Hat gradually improve the integration, their joint customers will see benefits in terms of integration with JBoss operations network and other Red Hat tools.

For detailed evaluations of all the key vendors and their major weaknesses and strengths you can subscribe to our Enterprise Portals Technology research.

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