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AUGUST 30, 2010

Compass Guide to WCM, Q3 2010
Evaluation of Sitecore

By: Tony White

express or implied. relating thereto. All statements and analysis are based on Ars Logica’s experience and opinion. You agree to honor the Ars Logica copyright by not distributing this report without Ars Logica’s express written permission. You are permitted to use this report solely for your own personal use or your organization’s internal use.Business Users Report Card Evaluation Criteria .Technologists 3 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 All content copyrighted by Ars Logica. All information is provided on an “As Is” basis. and further agree that Ars Logica shall not be liable under any circumstances for any result of their. Readers assume all responsibility and liability for their usage of this report.TABLE OF CONtENtS Ars Logica Position Notes & Resources Vendor Overview Vendor History & Key Recent Developments Profile of the Ideal Customer Key Product Strengths Key Product Limitations Vendor / Product Report Cards Report Card Evaluation Criteria . and Ars Logica makes no warranties. . or anyone else’s. usage of this report.

2 Product Evaluation By: Tony White Date: August 30. . No Vendor Influence Ars Logica retains complete editorial control over the Compass Guides and receives no funding in their production. 2010 ArS LOGicA pOSitiON Sitecore is without question the marketing-leading . implementation monitoring. California. including Sitecore. Relative to its most direct competition. The company’s dramatic growth rate over the past three years demonstrates the market’s recognition of the product’s strengths and its appreciation of Sitecore’s pricing. Vendor responses were always independently verified through customer interviews. Customer Interviews Ars Logica interviewed users of every product covered in the Compass Guide. Ars Logica founder Tony White has kept close tabs on ongoing WCM implementations. Subsequent product updates supplement these results. enterprisescale CMS platform. Implementation Monitoring Since the 1990s. NOtES & RESOurcES Compass Guide Vendor Questionnaire Some company and product information contained in this report was collected via Ars Logica’s 172-item Vendor Questionnaire. Some of this knowledge is represented in the Compass Guide reports.NET-centric.Sitecore CMS 6. headquarters in Mill Valley. Sitecore’s pricing is a bargain. and hands-on product testing. Hands-On Product Testing Ars Logica conducted hands-on product testing in April 2009 at Sitecore’s U. with an excellent functionality-to-price ratio. and the user interface generates the market’s highest ease-of-use ratings from non-technical business users. Ars Logica’s comprehensive knowledge base.S. The product boasts some of the most robust online marketing capabilities on the market today.

Government Product Profile Product Name: Sitecore CMS Version: 6. The company was founded in Denmark in 1999 and it released Sitecore 1. demonstrated ease-of-use for non-technical users. Highest-Value Use Case: Departmental or Enter- 4 Copyright © 2010 Ars Logica. Copenhagen and Bay Area.NET environments. and the vendor has done a surprisingly good job of maintaining strong partner relations and high customer satisfaction ratings (which usually suffer with such rapid growth). e. market-leading. Sitecore’s recent growth rate has been among the highest in the market.NET Key Strengths: Ease of Use. All Rights Reserved. . The vendor currently markets its CMS platform to midsize to large enterprises with . significant number of non-technical business users (marketers. North American headquarters in Mill Valley. Online Marketing Capabilities Lacks the last bit of high scalability prise deployment at midsize to large organization with a . and a strategic focus on engaging website visitors. Publishing Top Competitors: Interwoven (Autonomy). iCrossing. Razorfish. Day Software Retail. Flexible Architec ture.NET technical infrastructures and requirements that include online marketing campaign management.2 Product Evaluation Sitecore Vendor Overview Sitecore is a midsize. Ogilvy SDL Tridion. California. California Employees (or FTE equivalents): 200 Geographies: Global Revenue: $35 million (est.2 Next version release date: July 2010 Market segment: Enterprise Average Sales Price (License Only): $105.).0 in 2001 after two years of growth as a CMS professional services firm.g. and robust online marketing requirements.NET infrastructure.Compass Guide to Web Content Management Sitecore CMS 6. Key Vertical Industries: Education. Molecular.000 Technology Platform: .) Product Types Offered: WCM Commercial or Open Source: Commercial Strategic Implementation Partners: Accenture. Key Limitations: Strictly for . Company Profile Year Founded: 1999 Headquarters: Copenhagen. based CMS vendor.

EPiServer. with similar results. the company repeated the success by opening other offices throughout Europe. Foundry. and Web Forms for Marketers modules. Early initiative in this area has positioned the vendor as a market leader in the emerging area of Web Engagement Management. The vendor’s growth stems from a number of factors. Ingeniux.S.NET product architecture and reliance on a network of development partners. Sitecore has focused the bulk of its attention on the development of the marketing campaign management functionality contained in its Online Marketing Suite. allowing the vendor itself to focus almost exclusively on product development. its first commercially-available offering. Sitecore immediately off-loaded as much implementation work as possible to partners. Ars Logica believes that Sitecore will center its development efforts around improving scalability to support ultralarge websites and providing the technical foundation for large-scale cloud-based deployments. Key Recent Developments Since 2008.NET-centric technologies with a heavy reliance on Microsoft-defined standards. but relevant to . there is some risk that Microsoft itself may launch a product competitive with Sitecore CMS. and Alterian.  . and this includes other Microsoft-centric CMS vendors such as Ektron. After opening offices and doing quite well in Sweden and Germany. Ars Logica believes that this risk is so near zero as to be completely negligible. In 2004.Compass Guide to Web Content Management Sitecore CMS 6. This phenomenon has resulted in an unheard-of 93% of the vendor’s current revenue coming from product licenses. Whereas some CMS vendors with beginnings as systems integrators continued to rely on revenue from their professional services business after launching their first software product. For the remainder of 2010 and into 2011.2 Product Evaluation Vendor History & Product Evolution Founded in Denmark in 1999 as a professional services company. As with other . Copyright © 2010 Ars Logica.0. All Rights Reserved. Aside from such competitive considerations. a major factor behind Sitecore’s ability to keep its prices low relative to other similarly functional offerings in the marketplace.NET infrastructure. but chief among them are the its focus on a pure . Sitecore launched in the U. Microsoft has never demonstrated serious interest in WCM.. Sitecore productized in 2001 much of what it had developed for its clients in the form of CMS 1. despite initiatives over the past 10 years ranging from the acquisition of NCompass Labs (2001) to the latest release of SharePoint (2010). SEO. no other vendor has so tightly tied itself to Microsoft technologies as Sitecore.

And although improvements in scalability are on the vendor’s short-term product roadmap. and therefore relatively inexpensive..NET developers to implement and maintain the product properly. • Significant Online Marketing Requirements As a core strength. Much of the product’s value proposition rests on the widespread availability of .NET application development. It is also important for Sitecore buyers to realize that. the online sales and marketing capabilities of Sitecore CMS distinguish it from many competitors. or any other non-.NET develoeprs and their facility with configuring and customizing the Sitecore platform. and PHP shops should move along. Sitecore’s . • Web Engagement Initiatives Managed by Non-Technical Resources Sitecore leads the industry in product usability. Ars Logica recently ranked Sitecore the #2 vendor in this category. This would be impossible if customers were using many Sitecore’s professional services. This may result in considerable savings over time when compared to the development and maintenance of CMS platforms based on proprietary tools and technologies. under the hood.NET development environment will want to look elsewhere. open source. As we have said before -. but its recent gains in retail reflect the quality of the product’s online marketing capabilities.this product is only for companies with engrained Microsoft application development standards. the customer who can extract the most value from the product is typically a midsize to large enterprise with a preference for . 93 percent of Sitecore’s revenue comes from software licenses.NET Development Environment Although nothing prevents other companies from using Sitecore.NET foundation benefits from a plentiful. The product’s $105.000 average sales price leads some to underestimate its complexity. . far more than any other vendor that we know of. If. PHP . As evidence of this.. You will need an significant pool of .but don’t feel we can say too often -. The vendor’s traditional strengths in the retail and government sectors result primarily from the high value of the product (“bang for the buck”).  Copyright © 2010 Ars Logica. For companies with heterogeneous technical infrastructure (and therefore no real loyalties to any one development standard). pool of developers in the marketplace.2 Product Evaluation Profiling the Ideal Buyer The ideal buyer of Sitecore CMS is normally a midsize to large company with a Web presence that underlies mission-critical marketing initiatives. Java. All Rights Reserved. Sitecore Will Not Be a Good Fit. which makes it a favorite among non-technical users. the product is a complex one.Compass Guide to Web Content Management Sitecore CMS 6. Customers dedicated to Java. to date the platform has not demonstrated the “last bit” of enteprise scalability that would be required to run the largest of websites. • Midsize to Large Company with .

Vendor Questionnaire Copyright © 2010 Ars Logica.NET development best practices. Foundry. these modules make the product a leading candidate for non-technical marketing resources. and we believe that Sitecore’s intuitive user interface provides a best-ofbreed content creation. In conjunction with the product’s superior usability.2 Product Evaluation Key Product Strengths Sitecore consistently gets the highest ratings from its customers for ease-of-use. Technical flexibility of Sitecore CMS is very good. Within a . This achievement on the part of Sitecore should not be underestimated. customer interviews. as it is easier for entry-level products to achieve excellent usability. Lacks the last bit of large-enterprise scalability Online marketing & sales capabilities Technical flexibility of the platform . Our socre of 9. Key Product Strengths and Limitations Below are several key product strengths and limitations that potential buyers should keep in mind when assembling vendor shortlists. We know of no better success in this arena than Sitecore. due in part to the product’s clean architecture and its consistent compliance with . Ars Logica recommends shortlisting Sitecore (barring any unusual requirements). Sitecore CMS.NET environment will not appeal to Javacentric customers High functionality-to-price ratio may cause some to underestimate the product’s complexity (not strictly a product limitation. whereas enterprise products must always balance usability against complexity. and editing experience for non-technical users. FiGurE 1 Sitecore 6. but rather a potential buyer’s misperception). Ars Logica’s product testing confirms these ratings. high user adoption rates. SEO.Compass Guide to Web Content Management Sitecore CMS 6. if product usability. along with four optional modules (Sales and marketing capabilities (Online Marketing Suite. All Rights Reserved.2.NET environment. 7 .0 on the Product Report Card is the highest score for any of the vendors covered in the Compass Guides.NET environment ideal for Microsoft-centric customers Excellent functionality-to-price ratio Source of Information: Product testing (January 2010). and online marketing campaigns are among the potential buyer’s top evaluation criteria. This standards-based approach improves long-term product viability and reduces the risks of vendor lock-in. and Web Forms for Marketers) provide strong online sales and marketing capabilities. KEY STRENGTHS Industry-leading ease of use KEY LIMITATIONS . publishing.

2 Product Evaluation Key Product Limitations Ars Logica believes that Sitecore CMS lacks the last bit of large-enterprise scalability. We have seen customers conclude that since Sitecore offers more featurefunctionality than some other CMS applications at a similar price. In this market. . we believe that any remaining scalability issues for on-premise implementations will be resolved in the 7 . if not sooner (while the final version of this report was being edited. Ars Logica has long been annoyed by market misperceptions of Sitecore based solely on the product’s price. and whether lower license costs will be negated by higher staffing levels over time.NET architecture.).3.0 release. unlimited cloud-based scalability. That said. they also commonly rely on analyst reports that group WCM products into price-based tiers. it is important to keep in mind that technically similar products sometimes vary in price by factors of two or three (and sometimes more). PHP enthusiasts. And even in the unlikely case that Microsoft does become a direct competitor. All Rights Reserved. their WCM reports become outdated as a result of reliance on information from customers with three-to-five year-old implementations. we certainly understand why customers sometimes group products together on this basis. as evidenced by anecdotal market feedback and the vendors’ own comments on enhancements to the next version of the product. what IT expertise will be required on an ongoing basis. some worry that Microsoft may become a competitor of Sitecore. this is not a shortcoming of Sitecore the vendor. this will not be a problem for all but the largest of global websites. Sitecore customers will bear little risk of vendor lock-in since Sitecore CMS is built on a very clean . One of Sitecore’s key product strengths is also one of its key limitations. as Microsoft has never been very serious (in our opinion) about WCM. Not only do potential customers themselves tend to underestimate the product’s sophistication as a result of the high functionality-to-price ratio. Aside from this partner approach. Given the recent evolution of SharePoint. The flip side of this high functionality-to-price ratio is a caveat not to underestimate the complexity of implementing Sitecore CMS. Sitecore is addressing this issue in part by laying the technical foundation with hosting partners such as Fujitsu and Rackspace to offer dynamic. Given the amount of inaccurate vendor and product information available to prospective WCM buyers. Ars Logica will publish vendor update later this quarter. whether added product complexity will reduce user adoption rates. To be fair. But we are left to conclude that among analyst firms that do not perform product testing.  Copyright © 2010 Ars Logica. For all the benefits the product offers Microsoft-centric companies. This is not always true. but rather a wisely chosen strategy that has enabled Sitecore to distinguish itself both from other CMS vendors and Microsoft itself. Sitecore announced the availability of 6. it must be a better choice. it estranges Java shops. Ars Logica does not believe this will be the case.Compass Guide to Web Content Management Sitecore CMS 6. Customers must take into account how long product implementation will take. and open source proponents.

All Rights Reserved. and technical underpinnings of WCM products vary wildly.Compass Guide to Web Content Management Sitecore CMS 6. In using these ratings. For example. functions. as do the customer requirements they are intended to satisfy.9 8. a Scalability score of 9 for an “Enterprise” product does not equate to the same score for an “Entry Level” product. FiGurE 2 Sitecore CMS Report Card for the Business User Figure 2 shows Ars Logica’s rating of Sitecore 6. Still.3 6 4 2 0 Source of Information: Product testing (January 2010). customer interviews. Ars Logica is frequently asked to rate products in categories such as those in Figures 2 and 3. the only reliable way to assure the best product fit for a particular client is to spend anywhere from several weeks to several months assessing the client’s specific needs and analyzing product capabilities line by line.0 8 8. Refer to Page 11 for an explanation of the evaluation criteria.2 Product Evaluation Vendor/Product Report Cards The features.2 in four categories of critical importance to business users. Product Viability 9. Vendor Questionnaire Copyright © 2010 Ars Logica. Multi-lingual Market Presence. please take care not to compare products in different market segments (see the Product Profile section of Page 4). Multi-channel. Usability 10 Marketing & Sales Tools Multi-site.1 7.  . For this reason.

customer interviews.Compass Guide to Web Content Management Sitecore CMS 6. Refer to Page 12 for an explanation of the evaluation criteria.3 8.0 7.7 6 4 2 0 Source of Information: Product testing (January 2010).2 Product Evaluation FiGurE 3 Sitecore CMS Report Card for Technologists Figure 3 shows Ars Logica’s rating of Sitecore 6. Scalability 10 Flexibility Development Tools Ease of Administration 8 7. All Rights Reserved. Vendor Questionnaire COLOR KEY SOLIDS GRADIENTS 10 Copyright © 2010 Ars Logica.2 in four categories of critical importance to technologists.0 8. .

deliver content to multiple channels on multiple devices. present. streamlined task completion (i. and so on. • Multi-Site. minimal number of steps to complete a task). Criteria for Business Users • Usability Usability refers to the relative ease of learning and using a WCM application. Product Viability The Market Presence. draw customers back to their Web sites. and documented high user adoption rates among a vendor’s customers. and create. Scores in these categories represent averages of a large number of detailed criteria. contextual editing capabilities. Ars Logica has established a set of evaluation criteria. increase average transaction amounts. For non-technical business users. which at the highest level can be separated into four categories for non-technical business users and four categories for technologists.Compass Guide to Web Content Management Sitecore CMS 6. disseminate. Scores in this category represent an average of a product’s capabilities in all three of these broad functional areas. enterprises are relying on marketing and sales tools within WCM applications to improve sales conversion rates. If these two factors are not aligned with each other. Multi-Channel. Copyright © 2010 Ars Logica. Multi-Lingual Capabilities This category assesses a product’s ability to support multiple sites. Product Viability category rates both a vendor’s overall market presence relative to competitors and its dedication to the continued development of its WCM products. • Marketing & Sales Tools Increasingly. an explanation of why will be included. store. integration with the desktop. and/or translate content into multiple languages. This category rates the presence and quality of such tools.e. analyze online behavioral patterns. All Rights Reserved. • Market Presence.2 Product Evaluation Report Card Evaluation Criteria In the process of analyzing WCM solutions.not as a substitute for painstaking requirements and product matching. 11 . factors contributing to high scores in this category include intuitive and consistent user interfaces. and are meant to be used as a means of quickly comparing products within the same market segment -.

ease of system management. e. PDF generators. query efficiency. development tools. • Flexibility Flexibility denotes a product’s ability to integrate easily with existing enterprise infrastructure. such as page templates. • Development Tools This category describes the quality of a product’s integrated development environment (IDE). including operating systems. Factors contributing to scalability are database size.2 Product Evaluation Criteria for Technologists • Scalability Scalability refers to the ability of a product to function well as system demands increase.). Roughly speaking. and so forth. and any other software that enables or eases the production. and overall ease of customized application development. Although this category refers primarily to development frameworks (Eclipse. databases. portals. bandwidth consumption. and mass content deployment capabilities.Compass Guide to Web Content Management Sitecore CMS 6. Web servers. This category rates the relative resource intensity required to keep the system running smoothly. CRM. where higher scores reflect less work. All Rights Reserved. directories. WYSIWYG editors. 12 Copyright © 2010 Ars Logica. load balancing. caching efficiency. search. document management systems. higher scores also indicate better coordination of application components due to more methodical system design. the technologies that the IDE incorporates.g. and other enterprise applications such as ERP . other ad hoc tools are also included. • Ease of Administration Some WCM products require significantly more work to administer (sometimes 5-10 times more) than others. formatting and dissemination of content. HTML/XML editors. .

Ars Logica maps clients’ functional. marketing campaign management. Custom Engagements Ars Logica’s expertise in WCM and related technologies such as digital asset management. and strategic requirements to potential WCM solutions and identifies the software vendors whose products best satisfy these requirements. MA 02116 www. The number of inquiries submitted throughout the year is not limited. We also assist vendors in developing strategic roadmaps. Ars Logica offers unlimited direct analyst access through its Analyst Anytime advisory services.4575 75 Arlington Street Suite 500 Boston.com Software and Technology Selection In our Software and Technology Selection engagements. selecting and assembling software solutions. Contact Tel: +1 617 . records management. We maintain a continuously updated comprehensive matrix of the feature-functionality of most WCM vendors’ products and solutions. These annual.arslogica.226. analyzing software products and vendors. assessing technology requirements. technological. We also receive frequent briefings from these vendors and have in-depth conversations and consulting engagements with their customers. subscription-based services provide guidance by phone or email within 24 hours on a wide range of issues. crafting Web strategies. and running corporate educational seminars. and portals.943. gives us the open-ended ability to help clients on a wide range of projects. To address clients’ content management-related questions and problems that arise throughout the year. search. .SErvicES Advisory Services Ars Logica is a vendor-neutral analyst firm helping companies evaluate their WCM requirements and select appropriate WCM software. including: building the internal business cases. and we and present our view of the WCM market at industry conferences and end-user events. ensuring that we always understand the actual state of vendors’ offerings as well as their forward-looking strategic directions.5611 Fax: +1 617 .