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“Web Content is the Backbone of Any Digital Experience”

Why Forrester’s Web Content Management Wave Matters to Commerce

A few weeks ago Forrester Research released its much-anticipated Web Content Management Systems Wave. Acquia was named a Strong Performer and made the biggest leap of any vendor since the previous wave in 2013. David Aponovich, Sr. Director at Acquia and former Forrester Analyst (and co-author of the 2013 wave) gave us his take what the report means here.

It’s a pretty lengthy report, but like a gossip magazine after an awards show, we all want to see who wore it best. I’m willing to bet that 90% of readers first quickly scan the report looking for that well-known wave graphic (it’s on page 11), dying to see which vendor landed where, who was cut, and if there were any new vendors who made the wave. However, even those readers will catch the leading key takeaway on the first page:

Web Content Management Is The Backbone Of Digital Experiences
Web content management (WCM) began life as a simple dynamic web page hosting product, but it has grown over almost two decades to become a multifaceted toolkit for building, managing, delivering, and optimizing digital experiences, the bedrock of your business technology agenda.

This is why the WCM wave matters for commerce. Today, a simple commerce platform is no longer sufficient. To provide beautiful and engaging commerce experiences, retailers need “a multifaceted toolkit for building, managing, delivering, and optimizing digital experiences.” While commerce platforms offer commerce managers some level of control over the content, these platforms are purpose-built for commerce and lack the robust experience management tools leading retailers need. The best WCM capabilities are found in a WCM platform, purpose-built for experience management. Retailers who want to provide best-in-class experiences should consider using a leading WCM platform integrated into their existing commerce platforms.

Last month Forrester came out with their Wave for B2C Commerce Suites. The report talks a lot about the four foundational pillars of commerce:

  • Experience Management
  • Product Information Management
  • Commerce Management
  • Order Management

When Forrester looked at each commerce suite broken down by those four pillars, they found that none had a robust offering in all four. While the analysts focused on how each vendor performed in all four pillars, we don’t agree with the vision that one single commerce suite can meet the ever-changing needs of a retailer. Last fall, a CMSWire article questioned the notion that one firm can provide a complete digital experience. In it, the author argued that a one-size-fits-all solution does not exist, and likely never will.

We “Think Different”
We fundamentally disagree with the vision that one vendor should meet all of your needs, so we’ve taken a different approach. Our open marketing approach stems from our roots in open source software and is the antithesis of the closed marketing suite. We believe that best-of-breed means something different to each brand and each retailer, and that everyone should have the freedom of choice when it comes to their technology ecosystem.

This approach is resonating, both with our clients and with Forrester. In the recent Web Content Management Wave, Acquia got the highest marks for its API strategy and component ecosystem, and we are putting this into practice in the commerce world. By integrating the Acquia Platform into their existing commerce platforms, our clients are able to create their own best-of-breed ecosystem, whatever that means to them.

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