On 9/15/2011 I attended a great session from IBM on the IBM Customer Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Version 8 Beta given by Lauren Wendel, Brian Chaput, Nicole Carrier and Thomas Stober of IBM. They gave some great insight into what new capabilities will be coming in Q3 in the upcoming beta.
Four Key Investment Areas
There are really four key investment area IBM is making and these align very well with what we see in the industry with our customers.
One of the new additions in Q3 2011 is a new Content Template Catalog. This includes a new set of templates and pages that you can copy an modify to really jump start your content delivery. Often one of the most time consuming parts of a WCM project is creating the libraries, base work-flows, sites, templates, etc. Having something usable that you can just modify instead of starting from scratch can save significant time. The general direction is to integrate content easier and more seamless so instead of having content as a portlet, you will have content as a site.
Mobile comes up in almost every conversation with every customer at some point. One of the new capabilities available in Q3 is a new mobile theme which targets the WebKit based browsers which have essentially become the de facto standard mobile browser. There is also an update to the mobile portal accelerator if you still need to support thousands of legacy devices for your mobile delivery. I could go on for many, many paragraphs here but I’ll leave that of a post on its own.
Understanding how your users utilize your portal and what they do while active, and then adapting to their behaviors is really at the heart of analytics. Analytics goes well beyond just capturing what pages have been viewed. Portal really enables this through multiple analytic integration points and support for leading analytics tools such as CoreMetrics, Unica, Omniture, and WebTrends. These integration points allow you to see in real time and in context how your portal is used and understand your users’ behaviors.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time here but IBM is pushing hard to integrate portal and Connections closer so that they are truly a seamless experience. This is evidenced by their community pages which integrate with Connections blogs and profiles. There are many more integration points on the horizon too.
One of the complaints I’ve heard over the years about IBM products is that they don’t really integrate well. That is not the case anymore. IBM has listened and is clearly executing on their promise to bring their product line of portal, social and mobile tools together.