Does content management send you to sleep?

With all the talk of cloud computing, mobile widgets and rich web experiences these days, I fear some of the engine room components of the total technology stack may be getting rather less attention than they deserve.For example, a pal of mine used to head up a company that sold storage enclosures and RAID controllers.

With all the talk of cloud computing, mobile widgets and rich web experiences these days, I fear some of the engine room components of the total technology stack may be getting rather less attention than they deserve.

For example, a pal of mine used to head up a company that sold storage enclosures and RAID controllers. How dull can you get right? Not necessarily, storage can be a great subject – and given the size of the planet’s ever-multiplying data store, it’s more important than ever.

Similarly, content management seems to have slipped off the techie trend scope, perhaps from a news perspective only though. A search on ZDNet.co.uk will mostly show you white papers if you go trawling for this subject.

So aiming to set the record straight. Who makes the biggest headlines in Content Management Monthly (actually, I don’t think it exists) these days? Well one of the mavericks appears to be dotCMS, it is an enterprise open source CMS that is annoying the hell out of some of the bigger proprietary players.

Talking of big proprietary players, the Gartner CMS magic quadrant is made up of IBM, EMC, Open Text, Microsoft, Autonomy/Interwoven, Vignette, Day, Hyland Software, Xerox and lastly despite its unreadable press releases, Oracle.

So that’s the open source rebel alliance and the usual suspects covered, but the company that caught my eye most during a casual web search for CMS news this last weekend (yes, I know I need to get out more) was UXA Technologies Limited, who trade under the name 10CMS.

The 10CMS User eXperience Application platform is web focused offering designed to improve site performance metrics by managing image and video content for a more, wait for it, “compelling user experience”. Shell recently bought into this product so that its content editors could deploy it and (this is the good bit) build a “sophisticated homepage that drives navigation through the global site.”

I like that. Web design news arguably suffers from an overly biased focus on the front end. This is key back end stuff, for my money anyway.

10CMS has (not a term you hear all the time) multi-tenanted architecture so that it works with other platforms; and the company appears to be very focused on monetising its ventures; as such it works closely with its client’s e-commerce frameworks.

How does it work? “Editing 10CMS UXAs requires no technical skills at all, making it the ideal medium for online marketers and e-commerce merchandisers as they can update their content as often as they require without involving a third party designer or developer,” said Fergal O’Mullane, CEO at 10CMS.

Content management is, in fact, way further over on the sexy tech scale than you might have imagined. As a pure play application development consideration, its proximity to web development is extremely close. I mentioned it in passing to Mark Fraser, managing director of Green Jersey Web Design Ltd this weekend and he gave me the below quote…

“We build quite a few open source CMS web sites for SMEs. Apart from design and development, we often spend plenty of time helping them establish good editorial and publishing practices. Without these, they simply can’t exploit the power of their CMS. It’s remarkable how many organisations spend a lot of money on CMS technology but little on harnessing it. Whichever platform is used, the human qualities of intelligence, creativity and discipline are needed to feed it.”

So if you are still awake – and I do hope you are – perhaps content management systems deserve just a few more headlines now and again. At least with this one I feel I’ve done my part.

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