Open source, portals and social software at Gilbane

The annual Gilbane content management event is two weeks away, slated for December 1-3 here in Boston.   I’ve got a full dance card this year and am busily prepping for several sessions:

The Rise of Open Source in Content Management

Open source guru Seth Gottleib and I will present this session on what’s happening with open source content management.  I’m going to take a very market-focused look, updating some of the work I did in a report (sorry, 451 login required) earlier this year on the group of European (or otherwise international) open source players entering the US market.  I’ll also incorporate some preliminary data being gathered and analyzed now by 451’s CAOS (Commercial Adoption of Open Source) team on open source adoption drivers and benefits generally.  Seth will look at how open source affects both software procurement and selling processes and offer lots of good advice for those contemplating or already working with open source content management software.

Are Enterprise Portals Back?

This panel will no doubt take me back to the days (I hate to say 10 years ago) when I was an analyst dedicated wholly to the enterprise portal market.  Is there even any such thing anymore?  The users and consultants on this panel will discuss that, along with the role of portal (and other) standards, SharePoint and open source.  I’m keen to discuss whether or not portal adoption has ever really waned, even though all the marketing buzz around portals surely died down.  Are the drivers today any different than they were ten years ago?  Or does the rise of social software in fact make portals more useful than ever, as an aggregation technology for social content and functions?  Even if present-day social software vendors steer far clear of the portal lingo…

Social Publishing and WCM

On this panel, some senior folks from Acquia, Awareness, Day Software, FatWire Software and Jive Software will debate the intersection, overlap and potential convergence of social software and WCM.  As it features WCM vendors with a social software play, pure social software vendors and Acquia (Drupal probably comes closest to sitting somewhere in between), it is likely to be a lively discussion.  I hope to get the panelists talking about the difference between community sites and community features and how this distinction can affect product selection, particularly for different use cases.  Is there an ongoing play for social software products that can’t address content management needs?  Or is WCM likely to be overtaken by social alternatives (likely a hard sell to this content management audience)?  Is it really about integration?  Will the markets consolidate?  And where does SharePoint fit in all of this?

And finally, I’ll sit in on the annual analyst panel as well.  It will be a busy couple of days but please do drop me a note if you’ll be there.

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1 comment so far ↓

#1 Ken Wasetis on 12.05.09 at 2:24 pm

As evidenced at Gilbane, open source CMS tools have been gaining much more wide adoption. While that is true, we still hear FUD from commercial vendors that such tools are developed by ‘hobbyists’ or that while there isn’t a license fee with such tools, the implementations costs will bite you in the behind.

I would think there is a market for a commercial report by a group such as yours to do the analysis on TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of commercial vs. open source CMS tools over a 3-5 year period.

I think this would both point out that the commercial vendors and analysts are right when saying an organization shouldn’t only consider acquisition costs of a CMS, but all the costs.

At the same time, while there are integration costs with open source CMS tools, in my experience, an entire project is implemented with less budget than what a commercial vendor charges for only their ‘Quick Start’ partial implementation of a client’s site, and on an hourly rate basis the commercial vendors are more expensive.

For the record, our firm specializes in implementing Plone, so my making such claims doesn’t hold much weight as being an objective view (since facts and experience ‘taints’ my view.)

Let the chips fall where they may, but I think that there’s a strong demand in the marketplace from a tool-agnostic analyst to answer the question of how commercial vs. open source CMS implementation, custom extension, support, and maintenance costs compare to one another.

It would be great if your clients would opt into such a study as I think you’re a widely respected analyst group.