With many enterprises operating globally, consider how the vendor deals with localization – either using option modules or through standard functions. These can range from native support for XLIFF (XML Localization Interchange File Format, a widely adopted translation standard) to ways for repurposing corporate content for country-specific Web sites.
Personalization is an especially hot topic since it lets organizations target content to specific users. This can be done by requiring visitors to log in or also based on how a person anonymously navigates your site. Some systems offer this as a standard feature, an add-on module, or a separate server product, or they work with a third-party personalization engine. No mater how personalization is accomplished, at some point you'll likely want this feature, so do your homework upfront to minimize future costs and implementation effort.
How much will it cost? Midmarket CMS costs are all over the map. But after surveying the major products, some trends emerge. Basic CMS licensing costs can be as low as $7,000, with a more realistic average of about $85,000. At the high end with all frills included, expect to budget $500,000 or even more.
Startup efforts for a modest public site or intranet – system setup, templates, scripting, workflow design, and training – will probably range from $25,000 to $50,000. Thereafter, add about $50,000 for yearly operating costs. Support and development for open source CMSes usually fall within this range.
Without question, as a system grows in complexity costs rise exponentially. It's reasonable to budget at least $1.5 million for a one-year development effort and $1 million yearly for maintenance of dynamic corporate sites.
CMS vendors and solutions
On the commercial front, Ekton's the value leader with CMS400.NET, currently at Version 7.5. The system offers a plethora of easily implemented and used features, including social networking, document management, enhanced search, integration with portals plus other content delivery options, and many ways to control content (such as built-in form tools).
RedDot offers several WCM products. RedDot CMS has an intuitive interface, so public-facing or intranets can be maintained by nontechnical users. The software is very good at handing localized content, has a workflow, and includes a digital asset manager. Stepping up, RedDot's Enterprise Content Management adds document and business process management functions. Finally, LiveServer dynamically assembles content from multiple sources and presents a custom view to registered users. Additionally, LiveServer can deliver these mashups to Web sites or portals, such as SAP, IBM, or Microsoft SharePoint.
SilkRoad's Eprise Enterprise is a mature product containing many solid features. Business users easily add content with an in-context editor while templates control consistent site design and branding. Importantly, you target information based on user preferences, roles, and business rules. For large organizations, multi-tenancy lets you host many sites from one Eprise instance. Additional modules include document management, digital image management, internationalization, and search. What's more, the standard configuration is very search engine-friendly.