Darren Guarnaccia’s Blog

My thoughts on Sitecore, WCM and doing business on the web

CMS Vendor Meme — The Sitecore response

Posted by dguarnaccia on March 20, 2009

 I’m not sure if Sitecore’s been tagged yet but never to one to left out, we’re entering the fray. Overall, some very thoughtful questions, nicely done @kasthomas

 “WE GET IT” CHECKLIST FOR VENDORS
1. Our software comes with an installer program.
Of course! We provide a simple, wizard driven installer.

 
Sitecore Installation Wizard

Sitecore Installation Wizard

 

Rating: 3 Stars

2. Installing or uninstalling our software does not require a reboot of your machine.
Yes, Sitecore is a traditional .NET web application, and can be installed and installed to your heart’s content with nary a reboot.  

Rating: 3 Stars

3. You can choose your locale and language at install time, and never have to see English again after that.
Most certainly. Administrators can set default language/locale settings, while users have the ability to choose their language preferences. 

 
Language and locale selection screen in Sitecore

Language and locale selection screen in Sitecore

 

Rating: 3 Stars
4. Eval versions of the latest edition(s) of our software are always available for download from the company website.
Sort of.  We provide evaluation software upon request, but we do like to understand who is working with our software from an evaluation standpoint.  We also encourage developers who want to build up their skills in Sitecore to download our Sitecore Xpress Personal Developer Edition. This is a reduced feature version of our product but is a great way to skill up on Sitecore, and allows to run your own personal website on Sitecore.  Since it doesn’t contain the full Sitecore feature set, it’s not used for product evaluations, but it’s free to download, experiment , and build personal projects. Xpress.sitecore.net
Rating: 2 Stars

5. Our WCM software comes with a fully templated “sample web site” and sample workflows, which work out-of-the-box.
Yes. Sitecore offers the Sitecore Starterkit. This is a sample website with 3 facets.  A fully flashed out website, and empty shell site from which to experiment and a instructional tutorial site to learn how to work in Sitecore.

starterkit-sample-site

 
Rating: 3 Stars

6. We ship a tutorial.
We do, our Starter kit includes a tutorial.

starterkit-tutorial

 

Rating: 3 Stars

7. You can raise a support issue via a button, link, or menu command in our administrative interface.
Excellent idea, but currently that product doesn’t ship with this feature. Sitecore’s help system is really design to allow developer to build incontext help for end users and authors while editing content in context. Sure, you can easily add it, but to be perfectly honest it’s not out of the box, so we’ll score ourselves with a 1.

Rating: 1 Star

8. All help files and documentation for the product are laid down as part of the install.
No, Sitecore provides all of our documentation on the Sitecore Developer Network.  Since we are constantly evolving our documentation, and provide a rich developer community, we think it more important to bring developers back to the community on an ongoing basis. And, we think it’s a little crazy to try to lay down 15,000 documents, code snipets, shared source modules for each and every install. This strikes me as  little old school thinking, expecting vendors to phyically install files, when they should be centrally maintained. All of our documentation can be downloaded of course, but since we’re constantly improving existing documentation, and adding more documentation, it just doesn’t make sense to lay them down at install time. We’d rather keep them updated centrally and drive traffic to the developer community.  
 

sdndocs
Rating: 1 Star

9. We run our entire company website using the latest version of our own WCM products.
Yes, even one better, we run the next generation releases on our site.  We’ve been running our next edition of our product on www.sitecore.net for over 3 months now. We’ve learned many great things, and the product has gotten better because of this. We definitely believe in drinking our own Champagne.

Rating: 3 Stars

10. Our salespeople understand how our products work.
Absolutely.  Everyone of our sales people can demo our product and use our product.   We don’t believe in tethering a sales engineer to a sales person to do all their demonstrations. That’s just dangerous. If your product is so complex that the sales guy can’t handle the first hour or two of a demo, you have a problem. Sure we have pre-sales engineers for the more complex topics, and developer deep dives, but everyone of our sales people know our product well, and can show customers how they can be successful using the software. That’s critical for us.

Rating: 3 Stars

11. Our software does what we say it does.
Of course.  This is even more important when you don’t do your own professional services. We leverage our partner channel to deliver most, if not all of our professional services work.  We think this is a key differentiator.  When WCM companies do their own professional services work, they often are tempted to “cheat” and claim functionality that they just don’t have, but since they are doing the services work, they can work some “PS Magic” and deliver what the customer requested.   When you are delivering through a partner network, you don’t have that option, since someone else is doing the delivery.  While Sitecore is a very extensible application, we have to be very clear what is out of the box, versus what can be implemented.  

Rating: 3 Stars

12. We don’t charge extra for our SDK.
Of course not.  Our API has over 1200 classes and over 6000 methods, and not one bit of it costs a dime. This is true of the smallest footprint we install in, to the largest enterprise class license we sell.  

Rating: 3 Stars

13. Our licensing model is simple enough for a 5-year-old to understand.
Yes, much to the confusion of our customers.  Our licensing is so simple, it often throws our customers.  It’s simply the number of Servers you need, and how many concurrent editors you require. That’s it.  No extra modules to buy, we don’t nickel and dime you with a million extra things.   When we present our pricing to customers, we get the response “That’s it?” We’ve made it a goal to make our licensing dead simple, and once they get over their initial shock of how simple it is, it becomes a real positive in their experience with Sitecore.

Rating: 3 Stars

14. We have one price sheet for all customers.
Certainly. Many currencies of course, but 1 price list.  

Rating: 3 Stars

15. Our top executives are on Skype, Twitter, or some similar channel, and: Feel free to contact them directly at any time.
Yes, we’re out there listening, blogging and commenting.  I’m personally out on Twitter @dguarnaccia and skype with dguarnaccia. Many of our executives maintain blogs, such as our VP of Technical Marketing, Lars Neilson whose blog can be found at http://larsnielsen.blogspirit.com/  as well as our VP of Product Development, Kerry Bellerose at http://kerrybellerose.blogspot.com/.

Rating: 3 Stars

 So how does Sitecore Stack up? Let’s have a look.

 sitecore-wcm-meme-rating

Now for the fun part, let’s tag some folks too shy to step up.  Come on Interwoven,  and Tridion, both of you get off  the sidelines.  We’d also love to see our friends at Fatwire, Alterian and Ektron answer the call.

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13 Responses to “CMS Vendor Meme — The Sitecore response”

  1. […] 40/45 – Sitecore […]

  2. Jon Marks said

    Nice answers. Love the champagne comment. And your reasoning for not shipping help files can’t be faulted. Probably my favourite response so far. Kudos.

    • Thanks Jon. I just hate the dogfood analogy, champagne is far tastier :) While every vendor will interpret these questions to their best advantage, it’s still and excellent exercise, and reminds us all that we’re here to make our customers succesful. Noone buys content management to have well managed content, they are trying to improve their business results using the web, and we vendors need to keep reminding ourselves of that.

      • Jon Marks said

        Don’t get conplacent On the downside, it is the ugliest of all the “star images” generated. Maybe it is the colour. Not sure I’ll link to that on my blog. I guess better than the responses without an image. But not by much ;-)

      • Ouch, well, I never was a very artistic person (can’t draw a straight line with a ruler), and I didn’t want to unleash my creative team on this, then you’d have had to look at spinning, flamming stars. Oh well..can’t win em all

  3. bdelacretaz said

    Hi, just adding the meme id here: 9c56d0fcf93175d70e1c9b9d188167cf so that this page eventually appears at http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=9c56d0fcf93175d70e1c9b9d188167cf

  4. […] SiteCore in next. They gave themselves a modest 40/45. A very nice response though. My favourite was the response to the Dog Food question. Not only do they use pre-release versions on their site, but they call it Champagne instead of Dog Food. Also link their answer to the documentation. I’m starting to think that the Documentation question probably doesn’t belong on the checklist. Online documentation is probably more useful than locally installed documentation. Thanks for playing, SiteCore. But I’m not going to link to your ugly red image cause it is 500 KB big. […]

  5. […] SiteCore in next. They gave themselves a modest 40/45. A very nice response though. My favourite was the response to the Dog Food challenge – not only do they use pre-release versions on their site, but they call it Champagne instead of Dog Food. Also like their answer to the documentation. I’m starting to think that the Documentation question doesn’t belong on the checklist. Online documentation is probably more useful than locally installed documentation. Thanks for playing, SiteCore. But I’m not going to link to your ugly red “star image” cause it is 500 KB big. […]

  6. […] och ska trycka på “web2.0 värden” som ofta glöms bort i dagens upphandlings- och förfrågningsunderlag. Kvalificerade frågor blandas med tämligen irrelevanta som är lätta att […]

  7. […] Jahia, Hippo CMS , Magnolia, EPiServer, Nuxeo, GX, Midgard, infopark, Day, Alfresco, CoreMedia, Sitecore, OpenText, Alterian, dotCMS, Vignette, Autonomy/Interwoven and […]

  8. […] Jahia, Hippo CMS , Magnolia, EPiServer, Nuxeo, GX, Midgard, infopark, Day, Alfresco, CoreMedia, Sitecore, OpenText, Alterian, dotCMS, Vignette, Autonomy/Interwoven and […]

  9. […] 40/45 – Sitecore […]

  10. […] here: CMS Vendor Meme — The Sitecore response By admin | category: Object | tags: actually-collected, extra-modules, find-the-parts, […]

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