Microsoft consolidates its position as a main stream Web Content Management (WCM) player
It's all about to change
Yesterday, Monday 16th July 2012, saw the release of the public beta of the next generation of SharePoint and Office technology, code-named ‘Wave 15’ and to be released as ‘SharePoint 2013’. Having had a chance to examine the new product since February of this year I’ve found myself barely able to contain my excitement. The Microsoft SharePoint team has invested heavily in the Web Content Management feature set as it continues to move deeper into the main stream WCM space. Until now organisations have used SharePoint as a WCM platform based on the ‘Unified Platform’ story with increased efficiencies and cost reduction to be found by running a single platform. There was always an expectation that organisations would need to make additional investments in order to customise SharePoint in a public facing web scenario or deal with feature limitation when it came to WCM. Let me assure you this is all about to change in a big and positive way!
Microsoft have listened
The SharePoint team has clearly listened hard to the market and their customers and has plugged the gaps in the platforms architecture to provide the services and features needed to run a large public dot com site. With one of the largest ecosystems around, SharePoint is now capable of integrating with analytics and Customer Experience Management (CXM) vendors such as Webtrends, as well as a host of other commerce providers. Microsoft has often be criticised over the years for not taking into account market feedback into future products releases and on occasions releasing products that could be perceived as not quite ready for the market, but to use an analogy SharePoint 2013 looks to be much more like Windows 7 than Windows Vista.
A winner in the WCM space
The combination of the enhanced features and easy integration makes a compelling story for SharePoint in the WCM space; a story that competing vendors really should start listening to. The proof will be in the real-world application of course, but don’t be surprised if SharePoint starts hitting that top-right Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management; watch out OpenText, Autonomy, Oracle, SDL, SiteCore and FatWire.
Improved WCM features
I’m looking forward to writing a series of short articles that will explain in depth the eight key feature areas that will make SharePoint a very serious player in the Web Content Management space. For anyone like me that can’t wait to find out here is a brief overview of the new WCM features available:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tools – On page SEO tools, automatic site-map creation and optimised HTML
- URL control and multi-lingual/localisation management
- Improved on page content management and content aggregation
- Enhanced mobility and multi-channel management
- Flexible meta-data driven Information Architecture (IA)
- Search based user experiences (using FAST technology that is now fully integrated)
- Catalogue management
- Integrations with Independent Solution Vendors (ISVs)
- Watch out for my next article, coming soon…
Article first published on CMS Wire.
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