[Evangelism] Article: Is Plone a Good CMS

Dylan Jay djay at pretaweb.com
Tue Aug 4 07:21:55 UTC 2009

Dylan Jay, Plone Solutions Manager

On 03/08/2009, at 7:56 PM, Matt Hamilton wrote:

> On 23 Jul 2009, at 09:34, Matt Hamilton wrote:
>> On 21 Jul 2009, at 21:00, Matt Hamilton wrote:
>>> Janus Boye just published an article entitled 'Is Plone a Good CMS?'
>>> http://www.jboye.com/blogpost/is-plone-a-good-cms/
>>> A fairly even article saying basically 'Danish Govt say Plone is a  
>>> good CMS, but is it fair that they pick one?'
>> There are some fantastic comments at the bottom of this post now by  
>> Martin Aspeli and Ken Wasetis. Great work guys, some nice insights  
>> into 'big firm' consulting and how they go about things.
> In a further development on this, I privately emailed Janus to ask  
> him:
> "One question to a point slightly raised on your
> post. You mention that Plone consulting companies are generally quite
> small.  How does this compare to the other Open Source systems you
> mentioned, ie. Umbraco, Liferay, Typo3? Do they have larger consulting
> companies?"
> As I was genuinely interested to see if Plone consulting companies  
> are *really* smaller than others, or if it is just a perception  
> thing. His response as this:
> "I would say Umbraco has been the most successful in attracting larger
> consulting companies. I am speculating this may be due to large
> consultancies with .NET skills using Umbraco as a low-end  
> alternative to
> commercial systems such as EPiServer and Sitecore.
> Let me know your thoughts and then I'll write a blog about it."
> This is a very interesting point. So he is saying that there are  
> some larger companies using other .NET CMSs such as EPiServer and  
> Sitecore, but when that company needs to do something low end they  
> are using Umbraco.
> So is this a good thing? What does it mean to the Plone community?  
> Are there companies out there that say something like 'We normally  
> use Vignette, but in this smaller case we will use Plone'?

I was talking two a founder of a .net/sharepoint shop the other day. A  
couple of things are interesting.

1) .net/sharepoint seems pretty common (or other CMS). Consultancies  
working on bespoke work at the .net level and doing CMS work when  
called on. I've come across some bigger java/jboss type shops that are  
similar. I suspect they are supported by big corporate custom systems,  
the sort of thing that doesn't get done in python. Being a generalised  
software consulatncy is going to broaden your client base and so  
increase your growth as a company I suspect.

2) They do ok for reselling sharepoint licenses. It's extra revenue.  
And in general the market value of .net work is higher than python.

I'm not sure where this leaves us, but I think that it is really  
interesting that plone as a community doesn't know much about its  
integrators. A survey on all the companies servicing plone would make  
an excellent talk at the conference... at least for me.

Think about it this way. If Plone were a propriatory product, the  
mother company would know a awful lot about it's value added  
resellers. The reason is, they are an essential part of creating a  
successful product. Modern software companies know that enabling your  
channel partners and resellers to make a successful business means the  
product gets out there and in more useful ways than the mother company  
ever could by itself. Plone as a community is as interested in growth  
as much any propriatory company is. Understanding our who our  
integrators are could be a valuable first step to increasing it's take  

> At the moment I think we are often trying to pitch against the big  
> boys saying our system can do everything they can. But maybe the  
> message that Umbraco is using is 'we are lighter/smaller/quicker/ 
> cheaper etc' than the big boys. I know in reality Plone can/does use  
> both messages.

We generally pitch it as an enterprise system for those that want more  
flexibility. Plone isn't really simple enough for a small web  
consultancy to pick up for the odd jobs. It's really a full time  
thing. We also try to sell it into the bigger market because plone  
plone can compete where others can't... workflow, flexible security,  
web document management, multisite deployments, so the customers value  
it more.

If you want something to put up a quick brochure ware site then your  
compete against all teh cheap php coders and it's a waste of plone  

> What are your thoughts? I want to gather them up to send to Janus.
> -Matt
> -- 
> Matt Hamilton                                       matth at netsight.co.uk
> Netsight Internet Solutions, Ltd.           Understand. Develop.  
> Deliver
> http://www.netsight.co.uk                             +44 (0)117  
> 9090901
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