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How to Select a Web CMS Solution – CMS Connected Event

December 16, 2011
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Back in September I attended an excellent CMS Connected webinar that essentially debated the pros and cons of proprietary software versus open source.  I wrote a running commentary on it that received some good feedback and also a suggestion I do similar for other such events.

The original ’round table’ on display in my home county of Hampshire UK

Today’s event was a round table discussion in a sparkling new format – a live video stream and Twitter ( #cmsconnected ) as the back channel. As I was transfixed by the folks in the virtual studio (which I assume was a very ‘green’ room/box for the participants) and following the Twitter hashtag stream I didn’t take many notes and this format rather negates the type of commentary I did for that previous event.

So… for the second time this year I’m finding myself somewhat redundant :( Awwwwww ;)

What I will say however is that it was great to see these folks whose written commentary I have followed in recent years talking live. Scott was as clean-cut and sharp suited as I imagined and Irina was – well how do I put this … razor sharp, with some wonderful quips about workflow and training -  (together with fabulous outfit and hairdo too of course). I found myself relating most to the Skype participant Carmine Porco from Prescient Digital and the useful role they can play in proceedings as ‘bad cop’ – asking those awkward questions that might make the real difference between a good choice and a not so good one.

In summary, the key takeaways for me …

1. The importance of describing scenarios that transcend yes/no checklists and getting hands-on with the tools to test these scenarios for yourself

2. It’s more about selecting the right implementation partners than the tools, particularly with the breadth of offerings available today

3. Don’t just take up the references provided by vendors and implementors, go through their client lists and talk to others about their experiences

4. You need a project sponsor with some authority and also the support of the IT folks to ensure what you select for business objectives plays nicely in their patch too

5. Never underestimate the time it will take to migrate content – automation is not all it’s cracked up to be  (although I’ve personally had some good experiences recently with Drupal Commerce ;) )

Finally, I think it would be useful to get some clearer answers on budgeting as I found the responses today somewhat skewed towards proprietary based projects with the ‘three times licensing cost’ model.

Well done to all participants – Looking forward to the next one :)

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