In January 2003, LSA Development, Marketing and Communications (DMC) launched the new College of LSA website. Besides the complete graphical redesign, new audience-based architecture and revision of content, this was also the first site in the College to utilize the Vignette Content Management System (CMS) Version 6. Implementing a CMS for web content offers numerous institutional benefits, including consistency and usability for external visitors, no programming skills required to update web content, the ability to re-use content easily, and making use of dynamic content (e.g., events calendars) across the organization.
Since that first implementation of V6, the LSA content management system has evolved quite a bit: The system went through a difficult upgrade to V7; the LSA site was redesigned; over 60 LSA units began using the CMS; and the leading content management company, OpenText, purchased the Vignette product and added it to its flagship suite of software offerings. There is no question that LSA is among the leaders in higher education in terms of deploying such an advanced technology across campus for its websites.
In August 2010, the newest version of V7 (version 7.6) was deployed on new hardware and with a rich assortment of new features. At the time, it was by far the most powerful and easiest to use iteration of LSA's CMS implementation.
Fast forward to Fall 2013 when LSA DMC faced the decision of whether to upgrade to the most current version of OpenText, or move in a new direction. DMC leadership decided an independent industry consultant should be brought in to assist with the decision. Hundreds of interviews were conducted with students, faculty, staff and alumni to determine the needs of the web audiences and LSA department content managers were consulted to understand the pain points of the old system and dreams for a new one.
Ten web content editing systems were reviewed based upon the criteria gathered from that process and Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) came out on top. The AEM implementation began in the spring of 2014.