First of all, choosing a new CMS, or any other enterprise software, should only ever come after a critical and comprehensive analysis of business requirements, strategic objectives, current technology infrastructure, existing and expected operational processes, and a determination of service provider involvement. And once you’re ready to start looking at the options you need to pay attention to the employee, partner, and customer experience from the start if you want to ensure adoption and success. The whole process is less obvious and sure to involve way more effort than you anticipate.

Below are a selection of four conference sessions and two workshops at the upcoming Gilbane Conference that will be especially relevant to anyone considering a new CMS product, platform, or environment.

P2. Aligning Technology with Strategy – Harvard Business Review

The Harvard Business Review Group launched a redesigned site in November 2014, a big step forward for the company in terms of both strategy and technology. The team adopted new technologies for the both the front end and back end that were not only designed to push our capabilities forward, but chosen in close collaboration with business stakeholders with a deep understanding of where our business is heading. HBR’s goals are similar to any other magazine/publishing/media company, to grow the business by creating and retaining subscribers and simultaneously meet the changing needs of digital advertising as print revenues potentially decline. As the primary place where more and more people and clients engage with us, HBR.org has become the center of our strategy. The old site served us well for years but our new technology choices now allow us to form the direct relationships not only with our audience, but more importantly with each subscriber. Topics we’ll cover in our talk will include: advantages of modern UI frameworks and why we built our own, migrating from traditional relational databases to a big data/nosql database.

The presentation will consist of at least three parts: setting the stage for change, evaluating options for new technologies to meet the need, choices made with a retrospective on lessons learned.

Wednesday, December, 2: 2:40 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
Moderator: Kevin Newman, Director of Technology, Harvard Business Publishing
Panelists:
Fred Lalande, Technical Production Manager, Harvard Business Publishing
Daigo Fujiwara, Web Developer, Harvard Business Publishing
Matt Wagner, Web Developer, Harvard Business Publishing

T4. Benchmark Your WCM Environment

Join Real Story Group for a fast-paced, hands-on session where you will assess your existing WCM environment in a series of structured Q&A exercises. Then find out how your situation stacks up against your peers’.

Thursday, December, 3: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Speakers:
Tony Byrne, Founder, Real Story Group
Jarrod Gingras, Senior Analyst and Managing Director, Real Story Group

T5. When and How to Move to a New CMS / Digital Platform

Replacing a content management system has always been a daunting task, but is now more difficult than it ever. As CMS’s have matured they have taken on more functionality, much of which overlaps with other systems thus forcing choices about which system should be responsible for which function. The marketing technology landscape and the variety of technology stacks it suggests are possible is scary indeed — even though your own existing environment provides some constraints. The speakers in this session are consultants who have been through this with many clients and have some great advice to share.

Thursday, December, 3: 9:40 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
Moderator: Barb Mosher Zinck, Content & Product Marketer, MarTech Analyst, Publisher, BMZ Content Strategies / Digital Tech Diary
Speakers:
Rob Martinez, Director of Professional Services, NorthPoint Digital
When to Abandon your Existing Technology and Start Afresh
William Thayer, Principal Consultant Technologist, Avalon Consulting, LLC.
Strategies for Migrating to a new Web Content Management System

T6. CMS Alternatives – Bespoke to WordPress

When you need a content management system you have lots of options. In this session our speakers advocate for two alternatives that have been controversial choices for “enterprise-class” requirements. At one end of the spectrum, WordPress, the most popular “content management” system, is often thought of as too lightweight a solution. At the other end of the spectrum, building your own custom system means it can do whatever you want, but the cost of development and maintenance required is considered too high a cost. Both speakers are Gilbane conference veterans and know our audience so will be well prepared for any challenging questions!

Thursday, December, 3: 11:40 p.m. – 12:40 p.m.
Moderator: Barb Mosher Zinck, Content & Product Marketer, MarTech Analyst, Publisher, BMZ Content Strategies / Digital Tech Diary
Speakers:
John Eckman, CEO, 10up
Building a Better Author Experience: WordPress as a CMS platform
John Petersen, Programmer, Sutro Software
Throw Away Your CMS

Also see these pre-conference workshops for deep dives:

Workshop C. Insiders’ Guide to Selecting the Right WCM

Tony Byrne, Founder, Real Story Group: Tuesday, December, 1: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Workshop D. Foundations for Best-Fit WCM Service Provider Selections

Cathy McKnight, Partner and Principal Analyst, Digital Clarity Group: Tuesday, December, 1: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

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