The evolution of the content management market is, has, and will continue to be deeply discussed by a group of insiders, analysts, and pundits. And for a relatively brief period from 2010-19, I was one of them as an analyst for Forrester Research.
In 2016, I helped recognize and substantiate the rise of headless CMS, and I coined the term “Agile CMS” in 2018-19. This new market label reflected how dramatically CMS customers’ needs had deviated from the solutions provided by CMS vendors.
Thus, my vision for the ‘collaborative creation, curation and reuse of assets across channels and journeys’ and my decision to join Oracle are connected. I continue to believe that Oracle Content Management’s strategy and features set it apart from the crowd in achieving this vision.
As the creator of the Agile CMS wave category at Forrester and a member of the product management team shaping this product, here are a few thoughts on how Oracle Content Management fits in this category.
Agile CMS: A vision for CMS solutions to converge and evolve
To understand the need for a new category, let’s first review a few givens:
- Since 2000, the number of customer-facing channels has exploded. Customer engagement now consistently spans mobile, social, web, email, SMS, third-party marketplaces, advertising, and more. “Channel” content management systems like web CMS stopped making sense when desktop browsing slipped to a minority share of digital interactions. Headless CMS strategies tried to solve for this but failed to provide non-developers with essential tools.
- Centralized Digital Asset Management no longer makes sense when the long tail of content types is in chaos. CMS solutions like Digital Asset Management that only control a thin slice of content types (i.e. branded, rich media sponsored by corporate marketing teams) are fantastic. However, they fail to solve for the long tail of images, video, text, documents, and new formats for emerging channels that come from every corner of the enterprise—and the user community. The broader body of content remains woefully unmanaged.
- Disconnected, ad-hoc content planning and analytics no longer make sense. In formalized solutions, project management does happen. However, in many cases, teams still manage content with spreadsheets and email, making it impossible to determine the cost versus content value. Today, content is a collective responsibility and requires adequate governance. Going forward, practitioners need content services in the systems where they already work.
A comprehensive CMS that’s designed to be different
Over the years, Oracle acquired many products in the CMS space (e.g. Stellant, BEA systems, Fatwire, Compendium, and most recently Sauce Video). And much of the expertise of the founding architects and engineers remains at Oracle. But despite the alignment to “WebCenter” branding for a number of years, I won’t hold it against you if you haven’t heard much about Oracle’s CMS strategy.
However, when Chris Stone and Girish Bettadpur joined Oracle in 2018, everything changed. Oracle Content Management (a.k.a. Oracle Content and Experience) refined and accelerated its product strategy to offer a powerful tool that supports every channel, type of asset, and practitioner.
- Every channel. By beginning with a cloud native (and no, I don’t include managed-hosted versioned software in this designation), API-first, scalable foundation, Oracle Content Management enables omnichannel needs for our enterprise customers. There’s no channel bias for content modeling, and all content is enabled with a very strong and extensible taxonomy service to maximize reuse.
Like the headless model, developers get started fast with a rich set of code samples, documentation and native Git integration. And when you need to enable a ‘basic’ website editor experience for WYSIWIG controls to create landing pages and blogs, we have that too.
- Every asset (and lifecycle). When your content volume scales, Oracle’s underlying database, indexing, and search solutions scale to match. Oracle Content Management routinely handles image, copy, channel content (e.g. components, templates), articles, blogs, and (excitingly) video. Support starts with planning, project management, and variant management and runs all the way through delivery (including streaming video) and ultimately archival. Very few competitors can support as diverse a range of assets—from branded rich media to enterprise contracts—from the cradle to the grave.
- Every practitioner. With strong workflow, identity, and access management based on Oracle Process Cloud, Oracle Content Management starts out fundamentally stronger than almost any startup. With native Content Management controls and access from within Oracle’s Marketing, Sales, and Service applications via an embeddable, API-enabled UI, Oracle Content Management reaches further than any enterprise “suite” solution. And don’t forget the developers. Oracle Content Management has deep roots in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, and we’ll continue to accelerate our developer-ready assets and tools.
Get started with Oracle Content Management
The CMS space is one of the most mature (20+ years old) and least consolidated (50+ vendors) enterprise software spaces around, which can lead to wild claims that are hard to validate. But given my track record, I hope you take this one more seriously than most:
Very few competitors in the CMS landscape have cloud native roots and developer-friendly tooling, diverse asset-type and lifecycle support, or broad practitioner tooling, and I’m confident that no one but Oracle can make all these claims at once—with one product.
And we continue to accelerate. The rate at which we identify and solve customer and partner needs, including Oracle’s diverse corporate and software business unit partners, is absolutely dizzying and fun.
I’m keen to start the Forrester DXP Wave coming later this year to showcase our CMS strategy and how it fits into Oracle’s broader Marketing strategy. Join us on Oracle’s Cloud Customer Connect to ask questions and learn about our roadmap, or take a trial instance for a spin. I for one am looking forward to the future of the Agile CMS market!