Real Story Group Recent Real Story Group Blog Entries Copyright (c) 2015, Inc. All Rights Reserved. : Blogs en-us 07/29/2015 00:00:00 60 New roles for WCM technology in an age of wearables #wcm #mobile Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:48:00 +0000 In the good old days, WCM technology primarily severed 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 changes 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 different types of 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 also sending some snippets to, say a watch, you could consider WCM as a single repository instead of duplicating your content for each different target environment. Several news providers, such as CNN, ABC News, and others now support Apple Watch.

If you are aware of mobile middleware tools for creating and delivering mobile apps, however, 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.

Figure: CNBC App for Apple Watch. Screenshot source:

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 any 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 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 s mitigate the limitations and take advantage of device-specific capabilities. An obvious example of this would be the size of screen on the wearable, or availability of specific sensors on those devices.

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

The marketplace

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


Can mobile middleware tools support IoT use cases? #mobile #Cloud Tue, 28 Jul 2015 18:24:00 +0000 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.

Webinar: The Evolving Role of Portal Technologies in your Enterprise Architecture (August 12) #portals #DigitalWorkplace Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:17:00 +0000 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.

New Advisory and Webinar -- ECM Survey Results #ecm Mon, 20 Jul 2015 10:28:00 +0000 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

Webinar: Best Practices for Selecting the Right Digital Agency or Integration Partner (July 29) #digitalmarketing #DigitalWorkplace Tue, 14 Jul 2015 12:39:00 +0000 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.

New and updated marketing technology evaluations #digitalmarketing #Cloud Mon, 13 Jul 2015 12:00:00 +0000 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.

EMC de-syncs from Syncplicity #ecm #Cloud Wed, 08 Jul 2015 10:22:00 +0000 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.

SharePoint Survivor Stories #sharepoint #DigitalWorkplace Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:29:00 +0000 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.

Webinar - State of ECM Technology: Customer Survey Results (July 22nd) #ecm #DigitalWorkplace Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:14:00 +0000 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.

Updated WCM evaluations include Drupal, Sitecore, Tridion, and more #cms #teamsite Wed, 24 Jun 2015 06:52:00 +0000 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 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.


Liferay Partnering with Red Hat - Implications for the Portals Marketplace #portals #EntArch Tue, 23 Jun 2015 13:00:00 +0000 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.

North Plains: Xinet in-depth evaluation #publishing #DAM Wed, 17 Jun 2015 10:19:00 +0000 Xinet was "work-in-progress" (WiP) DAM vendor focused on pre-press workflows in the print publishing industry when it was acquired by DAM suite vendor North Plains in 2012.

Today, Xinet remains one of the few DAM options truly applicable to pre-press scenarios. In the newly-released version 7.0 of our Digital & Media Asset Management research, our Xinet chapter has been updated to include more analysis around the product's technical specifications and feature sets, in addition to scenario mapping.

With the rise of omni-channel marketing, solutions like Xinet really serve as a single puzzle piece in what may be a multi-tool approach to complex personalized marketing, where print is but one destination among many.

We question whether North Plains' management and current architectural bent will lead Xinet towards supporting digital workflows more extensively, or if North Plains will leave that to the other products in their suite -- On Brand and Telescope.

The overlaps within North Plains' product suite remain extensive, and the vendor's still-evolving strategy has yet to play out.

Subscribers can access our analysis of all three North Plains offerings.

If you don't yet subscribe, you can check out our complimentary review of North Plains Telescope.

[Webinar] The Right Way to Select Web Content and Experience Management Technology #wcm #wcxm Mon, 15 Jun 2015 18:05:00 +0000[Webinar]-The-Right-Way-to-Select-Web-Content-and-Experience-Management-Technology? As you devise or refine your digital strategy plans for this year and next, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) foundation in place.

In some cases, this will mean selecting a new WCM system — either to begin from scratch, or to replace an existing system that no longer works well enough for you. If you’re considering a new web CMS, then join RSG Founder Tony Byrne for this fast-paced tutorial. This webinar will examine best practices for a successful WCM product selection, and reveal potential pitfalls to avoid, allowing you to learn from others' mistakes.

Based on our 15 years of industry experience, we've witnessed many successful implementations — as well as a few failed CMS selections. Tony will share the most important Dos and Don'ts, and examine the overall WCM marketplace to help you determine what tier might be the most appropriate for your business: upper-range platforms, simple products, or mid-range products or platforms. Then he'll guide you through specific steps to inform and prepare you for selecting the best-fitting CMS for your needs.

He'll conclude with the latest trends in the web content & experience management marketplace and preview where vendors are heading.

Register here

Webinar Details:

The Right Way to Select Web Content Management Technology

Date: Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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

I look forward to seeing you there.

The Blurring of Enterprise Lines in DAM #DAM #trends Fri, 12 Jun 2015 09:34:00 +0000 To reflect the disruption that the cloud has caused in the DAM industry, we've changed the way we classify vendors in our Digital & Media Asset Management Report.

Re-Thinking "Enterprise"

Our previous dividing lines focused on the typical size and scale of the customers' DAM operations (big = "enterprise").  But now with even SMBs adopting cloud-based DAMs containing hundreds of thousands of assets numbering in the dozens of terabytes, deployment strategy has become more important than the rather arbitrary term "enterprise."

So version 7.0 of our research classifies vendors by how the systems are sold, and where their deployment focus lies.

Within the DAM industry there are a number of vendors for which DAM is one part of a larger pie (suite) of software products. Most of these vendors are household names, and their products are usually adopted by large companies alongside one or more of the vendor's other (not necessarily well-integrated) products.

Large Enterprise Suite Vendors - mostly deployed on-premise

- Adobe (Experience Manager)

- EMC (Documentum DAM)

- HP (MediaBin)

- OpenText (Media Management)

- Oracle (WebCenter Content)

Cloud vs. On Premise

We then move into two categories of vendors for whom DAM is their main focus, their main source of revenue, and the product for which they are best known. The two categories are separated by the vendor’s orientation towards mainly cloud or on-premise deployments. This is not to say that some vendors offer both options; the categorization simply speaks to which direction they lean.

It is also true that some vendors are entirely on-premise or cloud oriented. We expect that vendors will move from one "team" to the other over time, we also suspect that this movement will most commonly be towards the cloud.

You should treat these new categories as generalizations. Don’t assume that all the vendors you might consider for a certain delivery environment are found in one group, and there are vendors who do both and do both well, and still others who offer hybrid (cloud & on-premise, or private & public clouds), as well as standalone private cloud options as a mid-point between the two.

In order to disambiguate this for you, we have also added “Delivery Environment” as a new section of the technical specifications in the report -- be sure to check these out before you make any decisions.

Pure-play Digital Asset Management: Primarily On-Premise 


- Canto: Cumulus

- celum

- censhare

- Chuckwalla

- Equilibrium: MediaRich for SharePoint

- Evolphin: Zoom

- Extensis: Portfolio

- FotoWare

- MediaBeacon: R3Volution

- MerlinOne

- North Plains: Telescope

- North Plains: Xinet

- WAVE: Media Bank

Pure-play Digital Asset Management: Primarily Cloud-Based

- Brandworkz

- Bright Interactive: Asset Bank

- Bynder

- NetXposure: NetX

- North Plains: On Brand

- PicturePark

- WebDAM

- Widen

- WoodWing: Elvis


Open Source

Another trend in recent years is the growing presence of open source vendors in the DAM industry. Sometimes customers will be in the market specifically for open source options. For this reason and due to the fact we have almost doubled the number of open source vendors covered, we have decided to separate out these vendors.

Similar to above, we advise that you not discount open source vendors without investigating their suitability in terms of delivery environment and other features you might be looking for. There are often multiple choices for hosted, SaaS, and other options available from open source vendors and their communities, so it might be the case that a commercial open source product is for you, even if you were in the market for something else.

Open Source Digital Asset Management Projects

- Duraspace: Fedora

- EnterMedia

- Nuxeo

- Razuna

- ResourceSpace

Broadcast Media Management

We have chosen to maintain the Broadcast Media Management category. These vendors are distinct from, but related to the DAM products covered, and in some cases Broadcast vendors compete with vendors in the other categories.

Unlike what we have seen in the DAM industry, there has been no significant change in vendors' market presence here. This is also true of Deployment options, with Broadcast vendors remaining to offer almost exclusively on-premise deployments.

Broadcast Media Management

- Avid: Interplay

- Cinegy: Workspace

- Dalet: Galaxy

- GlobeCast: Netia

- Harris Broadcast: Nuxeo

- Square Box Systems: CatDV

- TMD: Mediaflex

- Vizrt: Viz One

New Criteria

The changes outlined above come alongside a raft of new scoring metrics to further elucidate the strengths and weaknesses of the vendors that we cover. It is our aim to continue improving the methods by which we evaluate and compare vendors in order to make the process of finding the right one easier for you. Stay tuned for more details.

In the meantime, you can download a complimentary sample of the DAM evaluations (our review of North Plains: Telescope).

Should you consider IoT and Wearables in your Mobile Strategy? #IoT #Wearables Thu, 11 Jun 2015 08:35:00 +0000 First, let's acknowledge that "Mobile" and "Internet of Things” (or IoT) are very large and quite separate technology domains. However, the way current market is evolving, I see some overlap, as shown in the attached graphic (click to enlarge).

At the intersection of Mobile and IOT

Wearables to a large extent fall under the rubric of IoT-oriented, connected devices. However, some fall at the intersection of Mobile and IoT, and you'll want to consider them as part of your overall mobile strategy.

Consider for example devices that are linked to your mobile phone or tablet in some way. Smart watches, such as Apple Watch, are a prime example of this category since you use your mobile phone to provide content and services (e.g., GPS) to the watch. Other types of wearables, such as activity trackers, require an app on your mobile phone for initial configuration and setup.

Besides the ability to be able to deliver content and services to these devices, another example is the ability to push information from these devices back to your mobile phone. Analyzing data from your morning bike ride on your phone, or getting a notification on your mobile app as you check out an exhibit in a museum, represent a couple examples here.

Tool support for wearables?

So as you evaluate tools for enterprise mobility, you should consider what kind of support they provide for phone-connected wearable devices.

Start with what kinds of devices they support. As an example, IBM’s MobileFirst provides some support for Apple Watch and Android wearables. Many other mobile app development platforms also support some sort of content delivery to wearables.

Note however that most of these tools consider wearables as an extension of your mobile device. While that is a good way to quickly scale up your device-delivery capabilities, it could also become a major limitation if you wanted to support wearables more generally.

In our Enterprise Mobile Technology evaluations, we're increasingly examining the wearables dimension. Meanwhile, you can download a research sample here.

Selecting a host for your Wordpress or Drupal sites #cms #digitalmarketing Thu, 11 Jun 2015 08:26:00 +0000 Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) systems Drupal and WordPress are highly popular offerings — but they’re also highly targeted environments for attack. Both systems offer wide sets of plugins and modules to expand functionality, which further complicates security and operating considerations. The challenge for enterprise customers is creating a secure hosting environment while benefiting from the potential richness of a widely deployed platform.

Ensuring reliable, scalable, and secure access to your digital properties are the key motivators for considering a managed-hosting solution. Done correctly, managed hosting takes care of all the technical aspects of your server and application environment, allowing you to focus on sharing great content and experiences.

Numerous firms have sprung up offering managed plans tailored to WordPress and Drupal sites. However, the nature, quality, and extent of the services offered are as variable as the WCM systems themselves -- and require careful review.

For a more extensive exploration of specific considerations when choosing a hosting provider, as well as a survey of some key players in the space, see the Real Story Group advisory paper: “Choosing a Managed Hosting Environment for Drupal or WordPress.”

Advisory Paper Table of Contents: 

  • Key Takeaways
  • Types of Hosting
  • General Hosting Considerations
  • Specific Drupal and WordPress Considerations
  • Survey of Drupal Hosting Options
  • Survey of WordPress Hosting Options
  • Concluding Advice

RSG WCM and Social-Collaboration stream subscribers can download the briefing here.


IBM renames Worklight and tightens WCM integration #cms #mobile Tue, 09 Jun 2015 10:46:00 +0000 IBM’s mobile offering has seen many name changes in recent past. IBM acquired Worklight in 2012 and initially kept the name. Big Blue then renamed it IBM Worklight Foundation in 2014 before recently doing away with the Worklight moniker altogether. It's now "IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation."

Functionally, though, not much has changed. What you get is mainly a platform for building hybrid mobile apps based on Apache’s Cordova hybrid container. There’s support for other types of apps — notably mobile web and native apps, but conditions apply.

More recently, however, IBM has improved integration with their "Digital Experience" suite. What this really means is closer integration between IBM’s WCM and Mobile capabilities. So you can now create content in WCM and make it available, via services, to your mobile apps created using MobileFirst. In addition, there is a new interface/content authoring portlet for creating mobile content (an improvement, since current authoring portlets have major usability issues).

This is a useful capability and something I have discussed earlier, for example in this post.

So if you are already an IBM customer — meaning you have invested in IBM WebSphere Portal and WCM and have entitlements for MobileFirst — this is good news for you. But remember that while this combined solution can target a lot of scenarios, it remains a complex set of platforms. For most of you, it will constitute too many repositories, servers, and integration points, and you will need serious IBM talent to manage the setup. Also, for a lot of mobile scenarios, IBM WCM will probably be overkill. Fortunately, there are simpler WCM alternatives that you can consider.

We take a closer look at IBM’s MobileFirst in our Enterprise Mobile Technology evaluations. Mean while, you can download a sample here.

Digital and Media Asset Management research updates: updated criteria and vendors - Adobe, Xinet, OpenText, and more #DAM #Adobe Mon, 08 Jun 2015 15:38:00 +0000 RSG has released a major new edition of our Digital & Media Asset Management research, which includes more than 50 pages of new analysis and product evaluations.

New Evaluation Criteria

In particular, we've added two new sets of vendor rating criteria:

  1. Industry vertical experience
  2. Ability to deliver in each of five different deployment models -- On Premise, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid, and SaaS.

Confused about where your assets should be hosted, or the software deployed? We help you sort though the options in this latest edition of our research.

Updated Vendor Critiques

We've also updated the product evaluations for Adobe Experience Manager Assets, EMC's Documentum DAM, OpenText Media Manager, Bynder, MediaBeacon, HP's MediaBin, Extensis Portfolio, celum, Equilibrium's MediaRich, and Picturepark.

We've also added new chapters for North Plains' Xinet and Oracle.

Subscribers can access the new research here.

Not yet a subscriber?  Download a complimentary sample.


London Technology Week starting June 15th #mobile #interop Mon, 08 Jun 2015 12:26:00 +0000 Next week Real Story Group will be participating at London Technology Week, and specifically, I'll be speaking on Evaluating Mobile Technology for the Enterprise

Please join me at the session, or let us know if you'd like to meet up some other time during this premier event.

Industry analyst research is invaluable in social-collaboration software selection #DigitalWorkplace #cio Thu, 04 Jun 2015 13:13:00 +0000 Let me warn you upfront that this article may appear to be self-serving. Alas, my (main) motive here is not to promote the value of our research. I am writing this in response to a question we get asked all the time: do you have any data to prove the ROI of your research / advice.

So, I dug into the data from our most recent industry survey on enterprise social-collaboration technology.

In the survey, we asked customers to rate how satisfied they are with

  • the social-collaboration software products they are using (based on functionality and features) and
  • the vendors of these products (based on their responsiveness and support)

In a separate question, we also asked customers about the different inputs that went into their technology selection process.

Here is what we found: Customers who used industry analyst research in their technology selection process were more satisfied with their software products and vendors than those who did not.

Figure 1: Customers using industry analyst research to inform social-collaboration software selection are more satisfied with their products and vendors. Click the image to enlarge.

Could these results be due to chance? Some basic data science (ANOVA / tests of group means, in case you are interested) indeed confirms that the results are statistically significant -- i.e., not just due to random chance. There you go.

I suspect you intuitively understand the cause and effect here.  Expert knowledge about the products/vendors, in-depth understanding about their strengths and weaknesses, the experiences of other customers who used those products -- all get reflected in industry analyst research such as RSG's.

This can help you choose the best-fit software for your requirements and avoid expensive mistakes down the road. Such customers are naturally more satisfied than those who ended with products that don't work as advertised or simply prove to be a mis-match. Time and again, we hear this from our blue-chip customers anecdotally.

Now, there's also quantitative evidence about the impact of analyst research more generally.  I'm certainly happy to be part of your success.

How can you distinguish among .NET WCM vendors? #cms #trends Wed, 03 Jun 2015 17:12:00 +0000 If you take a quick look at the raft of .NET-based Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) technology vendors, their feature sets will look remarkably similar. You might be tempted to conclude that which vendor you select won't make a difference. In reality the tools are actually quite different. So how do you tell them apart?

Checking all the boxes

Let's examine the .NET players RSG evaluates in our Web CMS Report: Sitecore, Microsoft, Ektron (soon departing), EPiServer, DotNetNuke/Evoq, Ingeniux, Kentico, Telerik, Umbraco, and (the partly .NET) SDL-Tridion.

If you simply make a feature matrix, nearly all of these players will check nearly all the boxes: segmentation, content repurposing, microsite management, campaigns, marketing platform integration, and so on.

Look Deeper

When you start looking deeper, some significant differences emerge. Here are some of the dimensions we track in our evaluation research.

  • Licensing model
  • Geographic footprint
  • Breadth and profile of integrator partner network
  • Community vibrancy
  • Long-term TCO
  • Cloudability
  • Ease of use for non-expert employees
  • Third-party module ecosystem
  • Platform vs. best-of-breed architectural assumptions
  • Extent of transition from Web Forms to MVC (this is a big one, folks)
  • Fealty to core .NET functions (pros and cons here)
  • Scalability of the entitlement model
  • Approach to configuration management
  • Degree of architectural decoupling and separation of concerns
  • Page-based versus componentized information models
  • Support for deep taxonomies
  • Effectiveness of the bundled search engine
  • And so on...

Note that the pricier options are not always "better" at these things. In fact, it's difficult to generalize on the list above, except that you should try to isolate the factors that are really important to you.

Beyond .NET

I hope that you would never default to a technology platform (like .NET, Java, or PHP) as your primary filter. Always consider crossing the technology aisle if you can find better business fit or value.

And when you do, look well beyond superficial "features." Take a scenario-based approach -- like you'll find in our ShortList Generator application -- to figure out the best fit for your organization.

When IT and Business Think Differently About Social-Collaboration #DigitalWorkplace #EntArch Thu, 28 May 2015 05:26:00 +0000 Many employee- and customer-facing digital projects can prove very difficult to pull off, but to paraphrase Tolstoy, each is hard in its own way. Partly it relates to how different "silos" in the organization perceive the key challenges.  The two main protagonists in this drama, Business and IT, are very often not on the same page.

But is there is a way for enterprise leaders to pin-point how and where this Business-IT gap shows up?

Consider the Case of Social-Collaboration

Consider social-collaboration technology, where an analysis of the challenges faced by large organizations provides some useful insights about the Business-IT chasm.

RSG's 2014 survey of Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software (get summary here) found that customer satisfaction with social-collaboration technology remains middling and enterprises have not yet achieved a high degree of maturity in leveraging this technology.


Figure 1: Main challenges faced in Social-Collaboration projects, as seen by Business and IT (Click image for full-size version of the chart).

As you can see from the above chart, Business and IT perceive that their social-collaboration initiatives face different challenges. Along with executive buy-in, business stakeholders consider insufficient staffing, training, and lack of best practices to be their main challenges. Apart from executive buy-in, IT stakeholders tend to perceive a very different set of challenges: lack of user adoption, insufficient governance, and funding shortages.

Among the list of main challenges, only "executive buy-in" appears on both sides of the aisle. 

Figure 2: Executive Buy-in is the only common challenge cited by Business and IT.

Some of This Is Normal

Some tension here is to be expected and maybe even welcomed -- a bit.  IT and Business stakeholders have different jobs so you might expect they bring distinct sets of concerns to digital projects.

However, different stakeholders prioritizing separate challenges may indicate teams pursuing different goals and divergent paths to maturity. They may be trying to solve localized or departmental problems, rather than pursuing enterprise-wide objectives.

Do you experiences similar alignment challenges? Talk to us - we can help untangle complex enterprise social-collaboration initiatives.


Last chance to benchmark your ECM systems #Cloud #ecm Fri, 22 May 2015 12:28:00 +0000 We are currently conducting a customer survey on Enterprise Content Management and related aspects such as Document Management and Cloud-File Sharing & Sync (CFSS), including questions about cloud and mobile in an ECM context.

I'm pleased to report we're getting some very interesting insights from customers. If you want a copy of the final summary results, you need to participate -- but you'll want to do so right now, since the survey closes Tuesday, 26 May.

Meanwhile, here are some interesting (provisional) findings.

Traditional File Shares and Email still rule the roost

Okay, to be honest, a high prevalence of traditional file shares and email systems for document management wasn’t totally unexpected. However, such a high percentage is noteworthy -- even within organizations that have implemented more formal ECM systems.

      (Click to enlarge.)


Usability a major concern

Customers can use this survey to benchmark their own implementation against the ECM Maturity Model, a model that RSG co-created with other industry colleagues. Usability is one of several dimensions to compare yourself with peers. More than 50% of respondents found the usability of their systems lacking. How does your situation compare?

  (Click to enlarge.)

How to get the final results yourself

This is just a small sliver of the findings you can expect from the study, and doubtless the data will change when all the entries get tallied. FYI, we're seeing some really interesting trends on mobile and cloud, too.

If you are a customer of ECM technology and have not yet completed the survey, you can still participate (before Tuesday!) and receive a summary of the final findings. Here is the link to the survey.

[Webinar] Digital Workplace at Scale: A Checklist for Large, Global Organizations #DigitalWorkplace #EntArch Thu, 21 May 2015 15:07:00 +0000[Webinar]-Digital-Workplace-at-Scale:-A-Checklist-for-Large-Global-Organizations? If you manage the intranet or digital workplace for a large enterprise, you know that scalability matters — a lot.

Yet "scale" is a tricky concept in technology. In the world of packaged applications — the kind that we evaluate — people talk about scale when referencing very different things, such as feature breadth and scenario diversity (scope), functional depth and richness (complexity), and transaction volumes and traffic intensity (usage).

Since all of these meanings are relevant, notions of scale can become vague, generic, and take on a marketing-speak quality.

You don't want that.

Join RSG Founder Tony Byrne for a scalability checklist for large, global organizations. Designed to align both business and IT leaders, this checklist will help you address the unique problems of super-sized enterprises that vendors often neglect.

Register here

Webinar Details:

Registration: Digital Workplace at Scale: A Checklist for Large, Global Organizations 

Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015

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

I look forward to seeing you there.