Cloud Connected



"I have been searching for a product like Cloud CMS for over 10 years.

After false starts with some typical content management solutions, we were finally able to design the content repository that our business required."
James Baddiley
James Baddiley, CEO
ChilliSauce
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The top 3 features that differentiate Cloud CMS from the competition

You have determined you need a Content Management System (CMS) and have begun the daunting task of reducing the number of CMS products to a manageable number to evaluate in depth.

Having reached this article you are aware of, or interested in, CMSs that can be described as: Headless CMS, API First, Platform as a Service (PaaS), Decoupled CMS, Cloud-First. I am sure there are more beautiful categorizations and terminology provided by the latest analyst buzz. As much as I may not like the catagorizations, they are useful in that without them what would you search for?

But as you will have discovered, there are a number of CMS products catagorized as Headless CMS, or API First, etc. Cloud CMS is just one of many products you will find with a simple search. How to evaluate further: features, cost, trial, openness of information? It is still difficult to compare products.

At Cloud CMS we believe we have the best product as I am sure all our competitors believe in their products. To an extent we are all telling the truth and it really depends what criteria or features are important to you.

Top 3 Features that differentiate Cloud CMS

To help you evaluate further: here are the top 3 features of Cloud CMS that differentiates Cloud CMS from the competition:

1. Cloud CMS is available both On-Premise and SaaS

We are a Cloud based company embracing the SaaS model. We love the SaaS model. What has changed - in a word “Docker”. Docker containers have allowed us to distribute the Cloud CMS product easily for On-Premise/Private Cloud installation. Whilst SaaS may offer many benefits, On-Premise is still a desirable option for some companies for the following reasons:

  • Regional restrictions: ie the content must reside in a particular region. This may be legal or a business restriction.
  • Internal Security. Some organization have security restrictions/policies that either don’t allow applications/content to be hosted externally or the getting through the security procedures make it quicker and easier to go for on-premise options
  • Control: A benefit of SaaS is that updates and bug fixes occur ‘continuously’. Usually the whole process is transparent to the customer. For some organizations and application the constant change is not acceptable. A change could introduce a change of behavior in the application which could adversely affect users. Hence, on-premise can stabilize a release and allow the customer to control the release cycle for their users.
  • White label / customization
  • MicroService: With your own on-premise installation you can scale and fine tune the Cloud CMS components. Not least, reducing network latency by hosting close to your applications and users.

2. Cloud CMS is a headless CMS with powerful ECM features

Some of the basic functions of creating and managing content that you rightfully expect to be in Content management systems are surprisingly not always there – check! Our background is in Enterprise content management systems so we have designed Cloud CMS to include these features for all our offerings:

  1. Workflow
  2. Versioning and audit
  3. Branches / Workspaces
  4. Content model
  5. Roles / groups / teams
  6. And many more (honestly – take a look)

3. Architecture

This is the CMS your architects would build if they had the time and resources (and were in the CMS business). Cloud CMS runs on top of MongoDB, ElasticSearch and Amazon AWS.

Good luck with your CMS evaluation

I hope this article has saved you some time. Either you have found out early that you are looking for a different type of CMS, e.g., a page builder CMS, and Cloud CMS is not for you. Or, this has helped encourage your interest in Cloud CMS and you would like to find out more - please Contact Us to ask a question, request a demo or call, or start a trial.

Return On Investment (ROI) with Cloud CMS

ROI and Content Management Systems (CMS) are rarely used in the same sentence due to the uncomfortable pricing models from all legacy CMS vendors - as well as the spiraling costs of implementing them. Often so much investment has been made in the CMS that changing is not a realistic consideration.

This negativity only increases when you start using the term Enterprise Content Management (ECM), where suddenly vendors start seeing dollar signs, but offer no additional functionality e.g., Alfresco, Documentum, Adobe CQ5, and many more. Rather, creative “Per User” or “Per CPU” pricing makes selling to the Enterprise very attractive to vendors.

At Cloud CMS we strive to provide exceptional value with a CMS which will meet your current and future needs. The benefits of the Cloud CMS approach can be realized in many ways but occasionally you need to have a “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” conversation.

Some potential ways to realize your ROI with Cloud CMS:

Freedom

We adhere to an API First, or “headless” approach to content management. This means all content and CMS functionality is available via our 1,300+ APIs. Every UI, including our packaged console, uses these APIs. Create and manage content thru our console, and call the APIs to access any content on your frontend applications. This provides greater freedom rather than being limited to a CMS vendor’s templating options.

Future Proofing

  1. Reuse: Through the separation of the CMS and the presentation layer you can create amazing websites and application with the frontend technology of your choice. Whenever you need to refresh or redesign the presentation layer, the CMS and content can be reused in-place. Minimizing the changes and maximizing reuse is huge benefit to any project from the technical, marketing, and business perspectives.
  2. Multi-channel/Device: three possibilities for cost savings:
    1. One CMS, creating content which can be deployed anywhere as needed
    2. What are your future device and application requirements? What devices are coming up in the next 6 months+? The frontend costs are maybe unknown but you can limit the risk and costs by using a CMS that provide the Content via APIs. No change to the CMS
    3. Reduce Time To Market: having the content available in a Headless CMS allows for an organisation to respond to changes and the requirements for new devices and channels.

Software as a Service

  1. SaaS CMS services can convert expensive capital outlay for servers and network equipment into a monthly operating expense, while also reducing the IT resources required to manage enterprise records. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_content_management
  2. Scalable: Cloud CMS scales seamlessly to meet your needs. Again, no upfront costs.
  3. Always on latest version: Cloud CMS continues to grow with new and enhanced features, performance, bug resolution. No need to wait and plan large upgrade projects.

Feature rich

Cloud CMS is a lot more than a well architected repository and API. Jeff Potts summarized this nicely in his blog Content-as-a-Service Review: Cloud CMS: “..Cloud CMS is an extensible platform with a long list of features. This is more than just a place to stick content and an API to get it back out–this is a full-featured CMS that happens to be running as SaaS in the cloud. ..”

Flexibility - Fits with your infrastructure

  1. Application development and delivery teams at publishing organizations, media companies, and branded manufacturers already use API First CMS tools alongside multiple other sets of API-first micro-services to build out new digital products.
  2. Flexible Deployment Options (https://www.cloudcms.com/developers.html ): whether SaaS or On-Premise, direct API, custom Application server, or using our NodeJS module.


At Cloud CMS we have a straight forward honest approach. We care about what we do and how we do it. We are essentially engineers that want to create the “right” solutions and see our customers get value from their CMS. Needless to say we are proud of what we deliver.

If you have any questions or comments please email info@cloudcms.com

Assessing the CMS cost options?

The risks and costs associated with CMSs can be frightening. Many organizations have entered a CMS project, and are still to come out. Frustrated by the on-going costs of getting the CMS to work and then the costs of keeping it working. Partly this is due to unrealistic expectations but the primary reason is not looking at all the costs upfront and assessing the resources available to support a complex IT initiative.

A basic for assessing your immediate and ongoing costs for any application is where the application a lives and how will it be supported. If you have limited IT resources then you need to be careful where you use them. Ideally, the CMS should be a tool to facilitate you doing business and allow your resources to do what they do best.

Traditional On-Premise

Examples:

  1. Initial Purchase cost
  2. Annual maintenance/subscription
  3. Could be user/CPU/both cost model
  4. Support means product support (not the services to configure)
  5. Additional costs
    • Services
      • Installation
      • Configurations/customizations
      • Upgrades
      • Best practices and getting the most from your investment
    • Environments (Hardware, 3rd party software, Operating Systems, Network,..)
    • Resources (IT team)
    • Additional modules: be careful when getting quotes to ensure all the features you are looking for are included in the price. Deployment, clustering, Records Management, WCM, DM,.. are often priced separately like a ‘Chinese laundry’ list

Open Source

Examples:

There are various flavors of Open Source. Check the features in the Open Source release and the level of support available. Open source companies have a commercial model which you should understand.

Community release vs enterprise release: the Community release has had limited testing, no support from the vendor or partners, and can have limited features. Essentially it is good for proof of concept before purchasing the enterprise release, small companies that cannot afford the enterprise release, or for non-business critical applications. The Enterprise release usually has a (not insignificant) annual cost for maintenance/support which is usually the same model as above for the Traditional On-Premise products.

With Open Source it is not for the faint hearted. There are significant additional costs: cost of hosting the server yourself, hiring IT/devops or custom developers, maintaining it between releases, etc. For either enterprise or community, that’s very non-trivial.

SaaS – (Software as a Service)

Examples:

A SaaS type model can be very appealing to a business in that it allows resources to concentrate on their business.

SaaS CMS services can convert expensive capital outlay for servers and network equipment into a monthly operating expense, while also reducing the IT resources required to manage enterprise records. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_content_management

  • typically monthly fee (often annual commitment)
  • Pricing model can be stepped on parameters such as: users, memory, files size, bandwidth, projects, tenants

Cloud Content Management Systems

Examples:

This is an emerging category and is a subset of SaaS. From a high level the differences are: - Designed from the ground up to work in the cloud. So what I here you say! - Content API: the focus of this group is the value of content and presenting the content for developers to integrate in any website or app. - Cost: much cheaper than traditional SaaS CMS vendors

Managed Service

Examples:

This may appear like SaaS but there are be variations on where the software is installed (vendor/on-premise/cloud/SaaS) and levels of responsibility defined in the Service Level Agreement. Additional Services may be included to handle customizations which can include broader IT and support needs .

Summary of Options

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