The content management sector has witnessed the start of a consolidation trend that will ultimately leave consumers wondering where their best options lie. Recently Autonomy purchased Interwoven, and now Open Text has purchased Vignette.
In both these cases there had been a fair degree of overlap between the companies. The result is that certain platforms and software are retired. When Open Text bought Red Dot, the casualty was Open Text's own web content management system (WCM or CMS) LiveLink WCM PS. Open Text has since announced the sunset status of LiveLink WCM PS and is offering existing customers licence offers and migration assistance to move to the Red Dot WCM platform.
Now the question is which CMS will Open Text champion - Red Dot or Vignette's rival WCM? Vignette is often considered the more 'enterprise' or 'higher end' offering, but the recent marketing effort undertaken by Open Text to persuade its user base to switch to Red Dot might suggest that Red Dot will win out.
However, if I was either an Open Text or Vignette user, this lack of clarity would be troubling me, especially if I was in the market to replace my existing WCM. My worry would be that I might back the wrong horse and find myself purchasing and implementing a 'legacy' application.
There are alternatives, of course, and open source will be seen by many as the increasingly stable option - less risk of the system being mothballed after a company takeover, the freedom to implement and customise as required, as well as the lower start up costs. Open Source means that you can do more with less, with a greater sense of security that your chosen platform will survive and mature.