Last week application development tool vendor Progress Software made a bit of a splash by announcing its intent to purchase Telerik AD. Founded in Bulgaria, Telerik is a .NET-focused development toolset provider also known for its Sitefinity Web CMS product that we evaluate in our Web Content & Experience Management evaluation research. The deal is slated to close this December.
It's a splash because Progress had previously been downsizing by selling off various business software pieces, and also because they paid a goodly amount (US $262m) for Telerik.
The WCM Angle
Let's look at the WCM angle. I always thought Sitefinity was a nifty if somewhat underbaked alternative to the heavier .NET-oriented WCM products in the marketplace. Telerik has continued to invest R&D in Sitefinity, even as the vendor's core developer tools business really took off.
My concern now is that the WCM product could get a bit lost at Progress, which has reshaped itself in recent years to focus on selling software to developers, not digital marketers and workplace leaders. The history of Web CMS tools within these kinds of "portfolio vendors" (read: holding companies) has not been promising.
It's telling -- and a bit disconcerting -- that the joint Progress/Telerik press release doesn't mention Sitefinity or web content management at all.
Advice for Customers
If you're an existing Sitefinity owner, there's no need to rush to any exits, but you should keep a close eye on atmospherics next year. If you're in the market for a new Web CMS and looking at Sitefinity, this latest development should give you some pause. We'll keep watching...