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Frequently Asked Questions

About Our Research

[+] How do I know your evaluations are truly independent?

We are not affiliated with any vendor, period. None of the analysts on our team consult with, advise, or otherwise work with vendors. Other analyst firms frequently struggle to reconcile potential conflicts of interest between consulting for buyers and advising vendors. We have decided to make our lives simpler by never advising -- or working in any capacity -- with vendors. We don't publish their white papers. We won't speak at their conferences or sanctify their webinars. We don't wine and dine on their tab. We work only for you, the technology buyer.

You can read more about our distinct approach here.

[+] We already subscribe to Forrester, Gartner, etc. -- why should we subscribe to you?

Many of our customers subscribe to multiple research outlets, to get a rounder perspective before making key technology and implementation investments. But, we're different. Customers tell us our research is more deeply technical and harder-hitting than they find elsewhere. We also typically cover more vendors around the globe at a time when you have an unprecedented breadth of choices in technology suppliers.

[+] I want to subscribe; can you help me justify the expense to management?

Sure. Explain that for less than 1-2% of your total project expense, you can substantially reduce your risks by:

  • Understanding vendor pricing and mitigating potential cost surprises.
  • Reducing the likelihood of selecting a vendor or product that proves ill-suited for your needs.
  • Making sure that you are considering all the plausible vendors for your project size and scope.
  • Educating you about the many pitfalls encountered by those who went before you.

You can also reduce your company's time and resources by:

  • More quickly coming up with an accurate vendor shortlist without sitting through mind-numbing demos.
  • Having ready access to a list of questions to ask yourself (and your bidders).
  • Being guided by a step-by-step solution selection approach focused on finding the right match for your needs.
  • Keeping at your fingertips detailed technical and historical information about dozens of vendors.

[+] What makes your research different from buyers' guides?

We provide more than simple checklist charts; we explain the real differentiators among products and vendors, which stem from how they execute certain features and what makes certain offerings better or worse suited to particular use-cases. We talk to real customers and dig into the products at depth, to explain how they work and whether they might be right for you. Also, we're simply much tougher on the vendors; we take the customer's viewpoint. See what else makes us different.

[+] What happens when you update your vendor evaluations?

We update our vendor evaluations on an ongoing basis. If you are a subscriber, you'll receive notices alerting you about each vendor review that's been updated. Please note: if you are not a subscriber, you will not receive updated evaluations. Contact us for more details.

Purchasing Our Research

[+] Can I just download the evaluations without subscribing?

Yes. Simply select "one-time download" (a.k.a., "Basic") and you'll get a PDF of the complete evaluation report. If you want to receive ongoing updates, best-practice briefings, and personalized advisory time with an analyst, then you'll want to subscribe.

[+] What are my payment options?

You can pay by credit card at our secure online store and obtain a login to your research in minutes.

Alternatively, you can subscribe via purchase order by simply submitting a P.O. number and any other instructions via e-mail, or faxing a P.O. to us at +1 617 340 3541. You will be sent download instructions via e-mail. If you have any questions about this process, call our customer care line at +1 617 340 6464, or 800 325 6190 (North America only).

[+] Do we receive a discount if we subscribe more than one stream at a time?

Yes. You receive a discount ranging from 5% to 33% for additional research streams, depending on the subscription duration. This discount is applied automatically when you use our secure storefront. You receive the same discount if you subscribe to multiple streams via an institutional purchase order.

Sitewide subscriptions (to all channels) are the most cost-effective of all. Contact us for details.

[+] Can't I just subscribe to all your research like I do with other analyst firms?

Yes, you can. We offer sitewide subscriptions that entitle you to all research at a substantial discount.

[+] What is your refund policy?

We offer a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee. If you are dissatisfied with our research, write us within 30 days and we'll provide a 100% refund. Simply fax or mail us a signed letter on your company's letterhead explaining the reason for your return and certifying that you have destroyed all electronic and print versions of all research.
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Deciding Which Report or Research Stream

[+] What's the difference between Web Content Management and Collaboration/Community/Social technology?

For the most part, these are two distinct disciplines and technology marketplaces, although they do overlap.

CMS technology helps you manage web publishing processes (formal or informal), as well as content destined for the web. Certain Web CMS tools may also help you to manage visitor interaction, including various "social" services like commenting.

Collaboration and Community technologies focus more intently on the interaction itself, as opposed to enterprise publishing. Some tools in this space can also support limited types of formal web content management, particularly for websites that are first and foremost community-oriented properties.

[+] What's the difference between Web CMS and Portals?

You can find a variety of definitions for content management systems and portals, and most of them will overlap; hence so much confusion in the marketplace.

An enterprise portal generally delivers content so it can be consumed, but portal software also typically aggregates content and data from a variety of locations. Perhaps more importantly, portals are designed to deliver a variety of services as well: including search, collaboration, document management, business intelligence, business process management, and more.

A web content management system generally supports the production of content, but some products deliver content as well, which can make them "portal-like." This is especially the case in the open-source world, where the systems often grew out of dynamic page delivery systems.

In the marketplace, you'll find distinct portal and content management products, although some vendors offer both. For a list of portal products, click here. See a very different list of web content management solutions here.

[+] What's the difference between CMS and ECM?

CMS (or Web CMS, or WCM) technologies manage web content publishing and, to some extent, website management. Document Management (ECM) generally refers to processing and collaboration use-cases involving document and image files.

From the perspective of operational practice, there are many similarities between web content management and enterprise content management. As a practical matter, however the different tools are designed to perform very different tasks, and solve different business problems.

In the marketplace, you'll find distinct ECM and Web CMS products, although some of the largest vendors offer both. Note that ECM vendors typically have distinct Web CMS products, and vice-versa. For a list of ECM products, click here. See a somewhat different list of web content management solutions here.

[+] I'm interested in SharePoint, but what about its competitors?

We cover Microsoft SharePoint in two ways. Our dedicated SharePoint research service helps you evaluate SharePoint and its software partners for enterprise-wide adoption.

Our other research streams cover a particular technology sector. And in each relevant case we evaluate SharePoint in the form of a single chapter comparing its strengths and weaknesses against its peers in that sector.

On the enterprise side, our ECM, Enterprise Search, DAM & MAM, and Portals & Content Integration streams all cover SharePoint and its competition.

On the Web side, the Web CMS and Collaboration & Social Software channels evaluate SharePoint and its competition in those segments.

[+] What's the difference between Web CMS and Digital Marketing Technology?

They are very different, albeit complementary, categories of tools. Web Content & Experience Management products help you with in-bound marketing, after you've lured someone to your site. Digital Marketing tools support more outbound marketing, reaching out to prospects and customers via email and social media, among other channels. We don't know of any vendors today that do both things (Web CMS and Digital Marketing) equally well.

Problems With Your Subscription

[+] What's the difference between an "Admin" and a "Regular" subscriber at my organization?

Admin subscribers can administer your organization's account with us. This includes:

  • Designating other subscribers as Admins
  • Adding and removing users
  • Scheduling advisory time
  • Renewing your subscription online

[+] How can I become an Admin user for my organization's subscription?

Have another Admin at your organization designate you. Contact us if you need help.

[+] My login/password doesn't work, or I can't remember it. What do I do?

Your login is always your e-mail address.

Click the "Forgot password?" link in the "My Research" box on any page, to reset your password and have a new one e-mailed to you. After logging in, you can change to your preferred password.

Still having problems? Contact us and we'll work with you to sort it out.

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