The first step in choosing a new Web Content Management System (CMS) was to find an objective voice to help LSA determine the best system for its needs. A number of vendors were interviewed and R2Integrated (r2i) was selected to produce a digital scorecard for comparison of the leading Higher Education content management systems.
Last fall, r2i met with stakeholders in a variety of roles to understand the current CMS (its weaknesses/strengths) and the business/technical requirements for a new CMS. From these meetings, r2I was able to gain insight and understanding into how LSA currently utilizes its current CMS (Open Text) and its intentions and desires for a new CMS. Stakeholders included LSA DMC staff (including the entire Web Services Team), LSA IT, ISS, Key Administrators, CMS users (customers) and the Dean's Group.
r2i utilized those meetings, as well as its existing CMS knowledge, to put together a scorecard of the products and recommendations for a new system. The systems reviewed by r2i for use by LSA were: Open Text (the current CMS used by the College), Adobe Experience Manager(AEM), Ektron, Drupal, Hannon Hill, Liferay, Ingeniux, Vosao, Magnolia and Alfresco.
r2i scored each CMS against requirements that were gathered during user interviews to determine the best course of action for LSA. The requirements were broken into four sections:
- Create and Publish
r2i then put together recommendations according to these categories:
- Strength of CMS relative to LSA requirements.
- Ability for University of LSA to support the CMS long-term.
- Effort needed to implement CMS.
Their final recommendation was the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM):
"While all solutions provide a framework for implementing the short-term needs of the College, a major focus area was the long-term marketing needs of the CMS. An upgrade to any modern CMS can provide the overall framework; however only Adobe was able to provide the marketing tools and automation to support the College’s long-term strategy."
Our team conducted research of AEM by talking to web services professionals at Oklahoma University (Case Study), NYU,and the University of Cincinnati. Other Adobe customers in this space include Penn State, Villanova University, Boston College, the University of Buffalo, Bowling Green State University, and Dalhousie University.
This white paper can provide you with more in depth information if you are interested.
LSA DMC, in partnership with r2i, is currently in the first phase of implementation of the new CMS. This phase - termed Discovery and Direction - involves gathering information from a variety of audiences, including, prospective students, parents, faculty and staff, alumni and donors to determine a direction for how the information architecture of the College and departmental sites will be constructed.
A representative from Adobe will be attending an upcoming CMS User Group meeting to demonstrate the software and respond to questions. An announcement about the date of that meeting is scheduled for the week of February 10.
In a letter to Chairs and Key administrators, Dean Susan Gelman said, "Our goal is to begin launching sites during this calendar year ...We are committed to a smooth transition at the department level. We made significant strides in this process during the last migration and, while transitioning to a new system is never painless, we will work tirelessly to minimize the disruption to you and your staff during this process."
Phase 2 of the implementation involves data migration, building templates and components, integration, testing and finally deployment of new sites.