How Your Web CMS Should Enable a Digital Experience

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Web content management is no longer about managing pages on a website; instead, it’s now at the center of where marketing activities and customer engagement is carried out. Once holding a focus on publishing and management of web content, marketers can now expect CMSs to improve the development and management of entire digital customer experiences. Digital experiences that are driven by content, optimized with data, and delivered across all online channels. Additionally, a modern web CMS will utilize and manage data from CRM, ERP and other applications to deliver unique, personalized experiences.

Consumers expect a seamless digital experience. The following are just a few of the ways your web CMS should be helping to make this a possibility:

Personalized Digital Experiences

Modern CMSs are making it easier than ever for small businesses to go beyond personalized emails to engage customers. They are able to design and content elements across websites, portals, mobile apps and more, create various user personas or user segments, display targeted and contextual content to these different user segments, and personalize the design on the basis of various criteria that has proven to work via analytics. Although it delivers profoundly better results, it is still by no means “easy.” Marketing managers still have their work cut out for them as they test and iterate working with CTOs to outline the depth of personalization while creating a map content to specific user groups and scenarios.

Multi-Channel

Instead of multiple marketing teams taking on efforts to globally promote an array of products and services on a single website, this should be done across various digital properties – microsites, mobile apps, social media, augmented and virtual reality, and more. A modern CMS natively supports an API-first approach to content management that enables multi-channel content authoring, publishing and delivery. Additionally, complete separation of presentation from content and data, and support for any type of UI development framework, combined simplify the task of delivering a wide variety of digital experiences across multiple platforms.

Data-driven

Everything a customer does on your web properties yields insights. This data can then be used to optimize the customer experience.  Because of this, you’ll want to look for CMSs equipped with full support for A/B testing, customer journey tracking, customer engagement analysis, predictions and recommendations, goal tracking, campaign tracking and other actions related to analyzing customer data. It’s in your best interest to go above and beyond and use CMS that offers intuitive backend interfaces with integrated BI insights along with the administrative capability to take swift actions on these insights by just a few clicks.

Ease of Integration

Your customers view your digital experiences as one entity. Because of this, if you do not integrate with siloed platforms like CRM, Portals, BI, analytics and other key systems and applications, then you’re just spinning your wheels. Your goal of reaching a 360-degree customer view will be in vain.

Modern CMSs enable easy integration by offering out-of-the-box connectors for major CRMs, search platforms, e-commerce, language translation, databases, publishing platforms, analytics, etc. Additionally, you need to be able to easily integrate with existing systems and web applications through APIs.

Next Steps

It is necessary for every company or organization to identify their own unique challenges, marketing objectives as well as their desired business outcomes, goals and expectations. This should be done prior to beginning the journey of selecting and implementing a web CMS. The key is knowing how to use your choice of tools. If you have any questions about how a modern web CMS can support your enterprise’s digital experience, drop us a line at Crafter. One of our professionals will be happy to discuss a solution with you.

7 Web Content Management Predictions for 2017

2016 is squarely in the rearview mirror and we’re off to the races with 2017.  Digital experiences for customers and employees continue to be a top priority for most organizations.  Let’s look at some of our predictions for the coming year.

#1. WCM Migration to the cloud will continue en masse

There’s not much we need to say here, today, 93% of organizations with one thousand (1000) or more employees have at least one IT solution in private and public clouds.  WCM in the cloud has been growing steadily and will continue at an accelerated rate for the next several years.  Today’s WCM vendors need to provide the full range of deployment options from on premise, public and private hosting to Software as a Service. Security and integration continue to be a concern for customers and a limiting factors for some vendors.

#2. Augmented and virtual reality will become mainstream digital channels

Every year we see new channels emerge. The last two years of technical advances and product marketing have brought augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) channels and use cases out of niche territory and into a the public consciousness.  Organizations of all sizes are waking up to the value of these technologies for a wide range of use cases including marketing, training, education, sales aids, gaming, along with many other inclusive, immersive experiences.  In 2017 we’ll see innovative CMS technologies offer the ability to manage and deliver VR and AR content and applications.

#3. The geo-political climate will drive data hosting and security requirements around Personally Identifiable Information (PII) & other personal data

Data security has been a hot topic for a long time but today’s political climate will drive the issue even harder. From on-soil data rules to network security requirements, you can expect much more regulation over the next several years.  The ability to store and retrieve your customer data in/from a distributed, global infrastructure with the proper application and network security capabilities is going to be more important than ever that leverage customer data as a strategic asset.

#4. Beacon / IoT technology is a key component part of delivering digital/physical experiences

The Internet of Things IoT is here to stay. From thermostats, light switches and refrigerators to automobiles, everything is going on-line. The public is becoming more and more comfortable using their mobile device as a way to interact with and control their physical space. Furthermore, beacon, technology is taking hold.  While the previous examples above illustrate your mobile devices and laptops initiating a conversation with an online resource, beacon technology allows the resource to initiate the conversations enabling a much more interactive and reactive experience.  We can expect to see more and more digital / physical convergence built out using beacon technology this year.

#5. Developers and tech ninjas will be key in crafting experiences and will demand agility and process at parity with other kinds of software development.

WCM is often intended as technology to assist non-technical users in the creation of digital experiences.  On the other side of the coin are the developers who extend the CMS to enable the authors and experiences.  Developers have been underserved by the CMS market with often difficult technology and a host of proprietary frameworks.  Given that the experiences we are creating today are more sophisticated than ever, many WCM vendors can expect a backlash from developers.  A WCM in 2017 and going forward needs to be as good for developers and systems/operation teams as it is for authors.  Developers will demand integration with their tools and process if they are going to be able to keep up with the demands they face.

#6. Multi-channel expansion will drive architectures like micro services, CaaS and component based experience.

Like predication #5, we can see that growth and innovation is not only placing demands on WCM vendors for features but it’s driving architecture.  How your CMS is built defines what it can do.  Not all CMS architectures are created equal or have the same amount of flexibility and runway for innovation.  Scale, performance and topology challenges will drive the need for more decoupled, highly scalable architectures that can support both push and pull publishing along with global/remote deployments.  Support for Micro Service architectures, Content as a Service (CaaS) and experience as a service are a must going forward.

#7. Best of breed and integration approach will gain traction all-in-one suites

The pendulum swings one way and then it swings back.  Many large organizations have invested heavily in suite based WCM solutions that are inclusive of a wide array of marketing automation and marketing insight.  Those investments have not panned out for a variety of cost, capability, human resourcing, agility and architectural reasons. Throughout 2016 we saw analysts and organizations waking up to the fact that putting all of your eggs in one vendor basket is dangerous and limiting.  2017 will show much more leverage of best of breed approaches that integrate technologies rather betting on a single vendor.

 

Why It’s Time to Select a Headless and Content-as-a-Service CMS

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Believe it or not, your enterprise will soon need to move beyond the web. In fact, some companies have already made the move. So, what is stopping your enterprise from moving forward? Richard Jones, perhaps most known for his work as the technical director of Inviga, a London-based tech company specializing in content management systems, e-commerce and digital innovation recently spoke at a tech conference and offered his thoughts on the emergence of Content-as-a-Service (CaaS) and just how much it affects the creation of content. At the conference, Jones detailed how CaaS can be positioned as the digital hub of any given enterprise. Yes, even yours. But to add perspective to how to adopt CaaS and Headless CMS, it’s important to have a clearer understanding of what they are exactly. The following explanations should do just that.

Understanding CaaS and Headless CMS
CaaS refers to a use case in which the content on the web is created and written separately from the place it will be used. Its objective is that it will be consumed by a wide range of digital channels such as mobile apps, websites, social networks, virtual reality experiences, among others.

CaaS is only supported by certain, modern content management systems that provides robust APIs on the back-end. It is a component of a headless CMS. Unlike the original concept of a CMS, there is less concern about how the content will be delivered through a website’s pages, it has the single goal of providing content creators the tools to enhance their workflow to a point where content is ready to be consumed in any of a number of CaaS use cases.

Focused Content Creation
Irrespective of the technology they use, enterprises of all industries need to properly address and have a good understanding of their audience.  Not knowing the consumer is one of the biggest challenges, if not the biggest challenge for content creators. Additionally, the problem will only worsen as the Internet of Things (IoT) only gets even more embedded into the enterprise.

CaaS can enable the process of content creation for countless applications and devices. This means the content can be shaped accordingly to those likely to consume it. However, customer behavior is constantly changing – much faster than the ability of content developers have to keep up. Because of this, content creators are struggling to meet the needs of customers. There is a huge need to be innovative with the ways content is being brought to the consumer. But the questions remain, how do we present this data out to any given device? What are the possibilities and how might they change?

The Need for a Modern CMS
Organizations need CMS platforms that help them go beyond traditional static page thinking, the truth is, content creators need to think beyond pages, too.

Fueled by Mobile Apps, IoT, Virtual Reality, and other future digital channels, enterprises no longer have a choice — they must move forward despite their struggles with managing effective web presences and their natural reluctance to go beyond the web.  The sooner they make a change to a modern CMS, the better. The change is too dynamic to stop, and enterprises must jump on the bandwagon now to stay relevant and competitive.

To learn how Crafter CMS supports Content-as-a-Service and can prepare your organization for the digital future, contact us today.

New Tool Tests Your Website for Mobile Friendliness

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A recent global mobile study has shown that, collectively, Americans check their smartphones 8 billion times per day. From shopping and checking social media to paying bills and responding to emails, that comes out to about 150 times a day per person. For those keeping tally, that’s up 33 more looks per day than last year. The frequency at which users look at their phones is a huge factor in the popularity of mobile-friendly sites. More than ever, companies are quickly discovering that their website speed and mobile-friendliness is a huge factor in sales and customer loyalty.

When things aren’t moving fast enough, users get frustrated and more than likely switch to a competitor’s site. In fact, according to Google, an average user will leave the site if it doesn’t load within three seconds. And, since more searchers occur on mobile devices than on computers, it has become excruciatingly clear that if a potential customer can’t get through to your company’s site in that timeframe, they are five times more likely to leave. Plainly, a good mobile design is crucial to the success of your business.

Because of this need, Google has come out with mobile speed testing tool to give enterprises an idea of just how fast (or slow) their site loads. They run all the numbers for you to help you take the guesswork out of it. You are even given a report showing where your site fails so you can upgrade your system.

The concept is simple. Using a scale of 1-100, the speed testing site takes your company’s URL and measures the loading speed and mobile-friendliness. Everything from HTML, CSS, and Javascript to how long it takes images to load (on both desktop and mobile) are considered. In addition to how well your site fares, you can also see the specific spots that need improvement. Knowing is half the battle, and seeking development in the inadequate areas as soon as possible will help you keep your company out in front of customers, and far ahead of your competitors.

Ironically, Google failed its own test receiving a 59/100 on mobile speed and a 66/100 on the desktop speed. Both are listed as “poor” ratings.  But these statistics are what Google will use to improve their site.  According to the tool, Google’s desktop speeds could be improved by optimizing images and prioritizing visible content. Certainly interesting (and no doubt humbling considering they got slapped on the wrist by their own site!).

In a mobile world, there’s no reason to have a slow, inadequate website. Allow your company to stand out by giving your users the mobile experience they are looking for – a fast, easy, user-friendly design.

If your company is one of the many out there that has a slow website or poor mobile support, rest assured, an upgrade to Crafter CMS will improve your website and make it mobile-friendly and blazingly fast.

Check out Google’s new tool here: https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/

Rethinking the Content Management System for Media and Publishing in the Mobile Era

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Ask anyone from the staff at Buzzfeed to the owner of your neighborhood antique store, and they will agree: it’s time to reinvent the CMS so every publisher has the same tools to succeed in a mobile world. After all, in a world of smartphones, users have come to expect a better experience on mobile. Whether they are flipping through apps consuming content from left to right or experiencing rich magazine-like features, keeping the reader engaged is a top priority.

When it comes to moving beyond the desktop, “themeing” in the CMS is necessary to build these experiences across multiple screens. The goal of responsive design is a good starting point, but it doesn’t do the job completely. We need to take it a step further with the CMS being WYSIWYG and component-based. By doing so, any publisher can deliver a rich, touch-enabled experience regardless of the screen or device or wearable the reader uses.

Creating richer experiences on mobile enables engagement, and even monetization, to live within the CMS. Up until now, most CMSs had monetization relegated to the right rail of the page, but with so many users experiencing sites via mobile, it’s become necessary to shift to in-stream experiences. Dynamic experiences and monetization is now living symbiotically with the content. While many legacy CMS vendors have created bridge solutions, the real solution in the long-term is to make the CMS the place where native advertising is created and trafficked in sync with a publisher’s existing ad server. And this requires a CMS built for today’s era of mobile engagement.

Of course, every reader has different tastes and expectations for any given site so in order for native ads to be a success, personal relevance should be a major factor. Rather than a chronological feed, a personalized feed directed at the user’s own interests is needed.  Personalizing the user experience for each individual reader should be at the core of any given CMS. This provides a superior reading experience and users are much more likely to frequently engage with the site.

It isn’t just responsive design that has changed, users have changed their online activity as well. They are no longer simply reading content, leaving comments and moving on. Today, they are sharing more than ever and CMS for the mobile world needs to offer the seamless ability to connect with the online community.

Additionally, writers or anyone interested in creating content should have the option to write on mobile. Unfortunately, CMSs built a decade ago are not a viable option on mobile. Authors should be able to write content from their phone as effortlessly as they tweet.

While we aren’t totally there yet, this reinvention will surely happen. Publishing has drastically changed since the mobile shift and there’s no doubt that reinventing the corresponding CMS software will occur in the near future.

To learn how Crafter CMS was designed and built for the modern era of mobile engagement, contact us today for a personalized demonstration.

 

3 Major Advantages of a Headless / Decoupled CMS

In a nutshell, a headless CMS, sometimes called decoupled CMS separates the content of a website from how it is displayed on separate independent applications.  The term “decoupled” has been increasingly used as a synonym for headless in recent years. However, “decoupled” is also used by CMS technologies that completely separate content authoring and delivery technology. This kind of architectural decoupling has its own set of advantages.  The term “headless CMS” refers to CMS technologies that are capable of delivering content that is completely void of presentation concerns and is delivered to a content consuming application via APIs / Content as a Service (CaaS.)

Headless CMS/CaaS architectures are the best choice for enterprises who feel limited by the front-end restrictions of a legacy CMS. Rich digital experiences, content apps, highly custom layouts and JavaScript MVC frameworks don’t really fit into the architecture of a CMS which closely controls how content looks and is rendered.  In recent years, the CaaS architecture has become so important that several CaaS ONLY CMS technologies started popping up.  It’s our belief that CaaS is an extremely important capability but on its own it creates yet another content silo.  Any CMS worth its salt needs to be able to handle both traditional content delivery as well as CaaS to deliver the true benefits of a headless architecture.

#1 Get More Out of Your Content

A headless CMS helps to reduce the quantity of managed content by eliminating duplicative content with slightly different presentations and at the same time and by the same means reduces the time-to-market factor. Content editors are freed from needing to worry about the exact presentation on every single front-end that consumes content. The headless CMS will push the updates across all the digital properties, so you don’t have to. By separating content from presentation, you easily save two valuable factors: time and money.  With a headless CMS like Crafter, the possibilities are endless when a single content item is combined with a number of different presentations.

#2 Author Once, Consume Anywhere

Captivating the general audience and converting them to be your brand advocate requires a Customer Experience Management (CXM) tool that goes beyond simply introducing them to your website. The most effective and powerful brands create interconnected, simplified experiences on all levels of customer interactions. This means that both in-person and web touch points are crucial to connecting with users and potential customers. Technical agility as well as the ability to manage content is key. This is best done by providing businesses with a platform like Crafter CMS that has headless CMS capabilities that enable marketers to push their content beyond the company’s website. With a headless architecture, you can more easily manage the entire user experience from one central location and serve that content to any platform throughout the customer journey.

#3 Build and Roll Out Content Enabled Apps FASTER with Content APIs

New content-enabled applications and use cases show up all the time.  The faster we can roll the out apps, the more we enable a great experience for our customers.  By supporting CaaS, we make it easier for our organizations to build content-enabled applications. Well defined APIs are what developers need in order to create applications quickly. A headless CMS like Crafter gives you those APIs and lets your developers focus on creating application features rather than re-inventing the CMS wheel or working around content deployment and presentation issues presented by legacy systems. Furthermore, APIs can be documented and made available to third parties or the public which opens the door for innovation outside your walls.  Simply put,  headless CMS technology speeds development and enables innovation.

Introducing Crafter CMS 2.5 Community

We’re very excited to announce the release of Crafter CMS Community version 2.5.0! This release of Crafter delivers a brand new authoring interface and a new Crafter Studio architecture in addition to a number of other features, enhancements and bug fixes that are sure to help your team create and deliver more engaging digital experiences! Here is a quick summary of what’s new:

Updated Authoring Interface

Crafter Studio, Crafter CMS’s authoring component just got a facelift and a major upgrade.  Let’s walk through a number of the changes:

 

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Modernized Look and Feel

The first thing you will notice when you log in to Crafter Studio is a brand new look and feel.  2.5.x does not drastically change the basic navigation of the application but the interface is cleaner and more modern.  We’ve also begun to transition our Studio interface code to Angular JS.

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Internationalized Interface

We’ve also added internationalization support for the Studio interface. New translation packages for the application are easy to produce and install.
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Improved In-Context Editing

The easier it is to identify and quickly make content changes to your pages and components, the more engaging content and experiences your team can create.  In Crafter CMS 2.5 we’ve updated the in-context editing to make it faster to set up and easy to use.
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Improved Drag and Drop

We’ve also improved drag and drop.  The interface is cleaner, more beautiful and authors now have better categorization and organization of their available widgets.

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Improved Code Editing

Now it’s easier than ever to update your scripts and templates in Crafter CMS.  We’ve improved our code editor with a more functional, full screen code editing experience and our new code templates make coding easier and faster.

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New Project Blue prints

Crafter Studio 2.5 also ships with a number of new Project Blue Prints that provide examples and help you get up and running with your project quickly.

  • The Pluton Theme which demonstrates how Crafter easily supports any kind of markup or responsive design framework
  • The Angular JS Example Memory application which demonstrates how Crafter is a perfect platform for content as a service, single page applications and Component based content.

Improved Architecture

In previous versions of Crafter Studio, our authoring tools were an extension of the Alfresco Share application and integrated with in-process Alfresco services.  In this release we moved Studio to it’s own independent application. Now communication takes place with the underlying repository through an abstraction layer and over CMIS for Alfresco.  This allows us to continue to provide a deep integration with repositories like Alfresco but to manage the lifecycle and upgrade of Studio independently.

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Improved Engine and Development Capabilities

Crafter Engine, the dynamic content delivery server in Crafter CMS continues to improve and impress. As many of you know Crafter Engine is by far, the fastest and most scalable dynamic content delivery server on the planet. It’s used to run many of the world’s largest web properties, mission critical portals and apps.  With Crafter 2.5 we’ve made some changes that will make the development of your sites, applications and other digital content applications so fast and easy it will blow your mind.

Server Side Scripting

featured-Groovy-3MIn our 2.4 release we introduced a Groovy scripting capability that along with Freemarker templates enable developers to write and deploy applications and RESTful services very quickly without heavy deployment.

Many developers in the Java space that are looking for the power and flexibility of the MEAN stack are finding Crafter Engine’s Spring MVC, Groovy and built in MongoDB integration a much better solution than switching out their application tier for Node.js and the Javascript language on the server. They know Spring, they know Groovy, it’s tried, true and there is no comparison performance-wise. Crafter Engine blows Node.js out of the water.

In Crafter 2.5 we’ve continue to improve our scripting capabilities. Building on our ability to script page, component and RESTful service controllers we’ve added support for interceptors (Servlet Filter like functionality) and scheduled tasks. AWESOME!  While you will always be able to create Java backed Spring beans, with Crafter Engine 2.5 there’s almost nothing you can’t do in script.

Support for GIT, SVN and Other Source Code Repositories

Developers love Crafter Engine because it’s fast, familiar and easy to develop for.  With the 2.5 release, development just got EVEN BETTER.  With 2.5.x we support full development of your applications and websites on top of GIT and other source code repositories.  Developers simply point Crafter Engine to their Source Code Management (SCM) check out location and start working.  Every change is tracked and shared with the team by SCM.

This is useful for any kind of application development but it’s AMAZING for WCM and digital experience projects.  The developer/designer vs author split has long been a huge point of pain for web teams of all sizes.  Everyone wants to use the tools that are best for them.  Crafter CMS now bridges this divide in a simple, beautiful way that lets developer and authors each use the workflows and tools that are best suited to their needs.  It’s powerful, it’s elegant and only Crafter can do it.
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Easy to Install and Setup!

Installing enterprise software can be tough.  With Crafter CMS 2.5 we’ve simplified our packaging and made the installation as simple as downloading and opening a zip file.  It doesn’t matter if you are installing on Windows, Linux, or OSX, it’s all the same simple install.  Give it a try!

Alfresco 5 Support

Crafter CMS adds support for the latest version 5.x of Alfresco’s open source, enterprise-class content repository.  Alfresco is the leading open source content repository in the world and continues to improve year over year.  Our architectural work in 2.5 enables us to more easily provide deep integration with Alfresco and certification.

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Crafter is the award-winning Web content and experience management solution that allows leading enterprises to build personalized digital experiences across all online channels. To learn more about the open source Crafter CMS project, connect with our community and download Crafter CMS 2.5.0 here.

The Enterprise Edition of Crafter CMS, which includes commercial licenses, production support, cloud offerings and integration services, is available through Crafter Software and its certified partner network.

Content.gov 2015 Recap: Taking Back Control Over Content

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Content.gov 2015 brought together industry experts, IT leadership and developers with extensive implementation experience who gathered to exchange ideas and explore best practices on managing content and documents digitally. Attendees learned from experts with extensive practical experience garnered from large real-world enterprise content management implemented into the public sector.

“Document management done well can bring order to an increasing volume of electronic documents, help organizations meet legal and regulatory compliance requirements, and reduce paper documentation.” Apoorv Durga, Analyst, Real Story Group.

This event showcased the undeniable growth of content and how new opportunities can emerge, especially in the public sector. One example illustrating this is the large growing number of content, documents and processes moving online. The government has the perfect opportunity now to build a better work environment through a modern, user-friendly and collaborative multi-channel application that allows for faster, convenient access to the growing volume of content. This approach will enable the public sector to become more effective and efficient, in organizing, securing, processing, and locating all of their content.

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Russ Danner, VP, Products, Crafter Software

Each year Alfresco’s Content.gov conference attracts leading vendors in the enterprise content management  space.  Crafter Software sponsored the event to share our expert knowledge on Web Experience Management solutions, and to demo Crafter CMS – our modern award-winning Web CMS platform solution for Alfresco, that allows organizations to build and manage rich online experiences on the web, mobile, social, and all digital online channels.

At the start of the event, attendees sat and listened to the to the first talk on “Modernizing Today’s Business” by Doug Dennerline, CEO at Alfresco. During his speech, Mr. Dennerline pointed out how enterprises can benefit in a number of ways by having all of their content stored digitally and located in one centralized place.

Next up were keynote speeches from Directors, Senior Architects, Program Managers, CIOs and VPs, with one common mission in mind: to show how companies can gain control over their content with a digital solution.

Lisa Haralampus, Director of the Federal Records Management Policy Section, Office of the Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government, NARA, was truly passionate about document management. Her talk emphasized how large the government can be and made a simple point to explain that a one size fits all approach does not fit all in the public sector. She also conveyed the need to archive and classify all of the nations important documents and communications within National Archives and Records Administration. This is where Alfresco helps to solve this issue with their simple, smart and secure technology allowing the NARA to enforce the policies of Managing Government Records Directive in a way that is secure and easy, allowing stakeholders to access information across all departments.

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Candid shot of the Executive Panel Discussion

At the conclusion of keynote speeches, Alfresco and FedScoop held an executive panel discussion to answer questions and address key topics in the IT Government community related to solutions to manage all documents and content in a digital solution.

Event Summary: Intimate event hosted by Alfresco with ample time to talk with industry experts, IT leadership, developers and vendors, about enterprise content management in the public sector. Plus, the great location and food made for a relaxed learning environment.

Like to learn more about enterprise and web content management in the public sector? Check out Crafter CMS or email us at info@craftersoftware.

 

Introducing Crafter CMS 2.4.0

We’re excited to announce the release of Crafter CMS version 2.4.0! This release of Crafter delivers a number of exciting features as well as small enhancements and bug fixes that are sure to help your team create and deliver more engaging digital experiences! Here is a quick summary of what’s new: Continue reading

Happy New Year! Are You Ready for 2014 and The Era of Engagement?

It’s a new year.  Time for introspection and change! Your customers changed a long time ago.  They are now living in the “Era of Engagement”, online all the time and wherever they go.  Consumers are also more informed than ever before and have the ability to connect, share and collaborate directly with their vendors and each other.  Leading companies are leveraging this changing landscape to create exceptional customer experiences and build brand loyalty. As more and more companies move to adapt, consumer expectations are changing such that experiences like mobile readiness and social media engagement that were novel in years leading up to 2013 are now a must-have in 2014. Are you ready? We’ve got some great ideas for you to help you get up to speed for the era of engagement in this new year.

Ok, you’re ready for some change! Right?!  Now, where to start?  One thing to keep in mind is that all organizations are unique. Each organization is at a different level of maturity and sophistication when it comes to the digital experience they offer their customers. Some organizations are very early on in the maturity model and are just trying to get to a place that’s easy for authors to create and maintain fresh content while other organizations are fairly advanced and are working to bring different parts of the organization like marketing, sales and execution together to deliver memorable consistent experiences.  No matter where your organization is at, one thing we all have in common is a need for the proper architecture for the era of engagement.

Here are five foundational aspects of any content management architecture designed for success in 2014 and beyond:

Continue reading