Goodbye Morello, Hello Alterian CME

  • 21-Aug-2009

Contrary to what you'd might have heard, in the Web CMS space, products rarely disappear without a trace. However, product names do often vanish in acquisitions. So as a public service, if you're reading this because you were searching for either Mediasurface Morello or Immediacy: both products are now "Alterian Content Manager."

In fact, they have some of the longest product names in our Web CMS Report. Immediacy is now "Alterian Content Manager Corporate Edition," version 6.2; since that's too long to type more than once (let alone to fit in a tweet) the abbreviation is CMC. Mediasurface Morello has been renamed to "Alterian Content Manager Enterprise Edition," version 5.9; the acronym for that is CME. (Though I admit I much prefer Philippe Parker's suggestion to call it ACME. That would be one of the coolest product names in the industry, even if ACME products are largely known for inflicting pain, and Alterian strives not to.)

The main problem, of course, is that calling both products an "Edition" of "Alterian Content Manager" shrouds the fact that these are two very different offerings. Mediasurface Morello, now CME, has traditionally been a Java/Oracle product (also available in a .NET/MS SQL flavor), with Morello as a fat client for Windows. Immediacy, or CMC, is a much more straightforward, page-oriented .NET system. Even though they are starting to share some tools (like taxonomy management and the SharePoint connector), they each address their own scenarios, have their own set of partners and supporters. Because of that, we still evaluate them separately in our research.

Alterian is still catching its breath from integrating Mediasurface into its ranks (and Mediasurface hadn't quite finished integrating Immediacy yet). So I'll forgive them for over-simplifying the tools on their website as a generic "Content Manager" for now. But I do hope they'll start to be more transparent on the technical details of both tools in the near future.

In the meantime, if you're adding products to your shortlist and are considering Alterian -- make sure you specifically identify either CME or CMC, and know which is which. Because if you ask for "Alterian Content Manager," you're letting Alterian choose for you. In the end, that's something you'll really want to decide for yourself.

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