Re: [Evangelism] Strategy focus decisions - Plone-the-product vs. Plone-the-platform – Discovering a blog entry by Paul Everitt from 2008

Ken Wasetis [Contextual Corp.] ken.wasetis at
Tue Dec 1 17:13:57 UTC 2009


It would be great to get a list of the things Plone would need to do to 
be considered categorized as Enterprise by CMS Watch.

If I were to venture a guess, it might be:

1) Gartner and/or Forrester have a good rating on this CMS

2) Have a large vendor behind the product that provides a 
warranty/support, similar to RedHat with Linux; training and 
integrators, we handle pretty well already, I think.

3) Support for open (and other) standards, such as CMIS and DoD Records 
Management, and out-of-box connectors with 'Enterprise' databases that 
shops already support, such as Oracle and MS SQL Server, as Alfresco has 
a) DoD RM:

b) CMIS:

c) Enterprise version of Alfresco supports Enterprise DBMS

4) Other standards that the usually Java-based CMS tools support and 
that sometimes appear on Enterprise CMS RFPs I see are JSR-170 (content 
repository standard) and JSR-168.

I know it seems silly that a client would basically be locking itself 
into Java by mandating that a CMS support these two standards (maybe 
that's not true, though), but it is yet another brick in the wall in 
getting into the Enterprise market.

This articles illustrates a twist, though, that applies to public sites 
and those of a more collaborative, community-contributing nature with 
respect to a shift in handling of portlet standards, and I think is a 
good response to would-be CMS clients:

5) Terabyte storage solutions.  Documentum and their DMS-based ilk have 
handled this for years.  How many large-scale storage Plone case studies 
are there on  Many a time, Plone integrators can't discuss 
the few successes that may exist here.  Hopefully, this story improves 
with BLOB storage in Plone 4.

I'm really interested to hear what their answer is though.  Thanks Matt!


Matt Hamilton wrote:
> On 30 Nov 2009, at 09:18 PM, Dylan Jay <djay at> wrote:
>> These are awesome points. I think unique and challenging reality is 
>> that plone is both product and a platform but we've been trying 
>> market both through the same channels which is why the message has 
>> sometimes been confusing. Eg we say plone is easy to install but in 
>> reality only in drvrloment mode not production mode so that is really 
>> a platfom message not a product message.
>> Drupal delivers drupal the product message via it's dot com site and 
>> it's platform message via it's dot org site.
>> I am also thinking we are better off concentrating on selling plone 
>> as a platform. Not just because we need more develepers and 
>> integrators to gain greater momentum but recently I've been 
>> discovering plone doest sell well as a product.
>> If someone comes to us (as PretaWeb) and says
>> A) we need a website that can blah blah then plone is easy to sell.
>> If a customer comes to us and says
>> B) we're considering to purchase plone as a cms or intranet it's a 
>> really hard sell.
>> This is even though we sell training and support and that both 
>> solutions would need to be equally customized. Why?
>> People picking products tend to pick product companies. Makes them 
>> more comfortable. They feel like they can sue them and that will act 
>> more to help them to protect the reputation of the product etc. Plone 
>> has no product company.
>> I guess this is why open source works better for platforms than 
>> products.
> I'm at a show so only a brief reply now, but just say that CMS Watch 
> recently recategorised their vendor listings and now split by platform 
> vs product and by size. IIRC Plone is in the Mid-range Platform 
> category. Along with Drupal and Typo3. Alfresco is in Upper-range 
> platform. Joomla and Terminal4 are in Simpler Products.
> The CMS Watch stand is near us at the show I'll try and get some 
> feedback on their views as to what went into categorising them.
> -Matt
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