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2/27/2008
09:55 AM
George Dearing
George Dearing
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Vignette Gears Up For A Better Web Experience

I caught up with Vignette as details were emerging about its updated Web content management tools. This week, we learned a little more about the Web Experience Platform, the company's new and improved approach at managing your content.

I caught up with Vignette as details were emerging about its updated Web content management tools. This week, we learned a little more about the Web Experience Platform, the company's new and improved approach at managing your content.CTO Con O'Connell was quick to point out that Vignette's upcoming releases are more than just a new facade with some Web 2.0 lipstick.

"What we're providing our customers is more fundamental than Web 2.0," said O'Connell.

"We like to think of it as personalization 2.0. Today's digital environments are multichannel, with users taking on different personas and roles. It's really not about the technology anymore, it has more to do with delivering the right content to users as their personas shift. Whether users are in social networking environments or inside the firewall, we have to be able to deliver relevant content."

Building on O'Connell's notion of personalization 2.0, Vignette announced three new product releases that most likely will be the core pieces of its Web Experience platform.

Vignette says by combining its Recommendations platform, Web analytics integration and Rich Media Services, organizations will have the ability to connect with users on a more emotional level and understand the intent of an individual site visit.

Vignette's focus underscores a broader industry trend around understanding the behavior of Web users and how they interact with content.

"Web content management today is all about engaging the user and personalizing their Web experience -- and then measuring the effectiveness of that experience so it can be continuously improved," said Melissa Webster, program VP at IDC.

According to Vignette, the Recommendations engine immediately tailors content based on visitor's intent rather than past history, giving customers the ability to identify and leverage the virtual communities of like-minded visitors on any given site.

And Vignette's spruced up Web analytics offering comes to users by way of an integration with Omniture SiteCatalyst. It has numerous site-reporting capabilities and, when combined with the analytics integration, should help customers deliver high-value content to media properties, social networks, and other knowledge repositories or portals.

"Our Internationaltrucks.com Web site serves a number of purposes, but the primary goal is to present potential customers with a compelling enough experience that they reach out to or visit one of our dealerships," said Chris Howard, manager of interactive marketing at International Truck and Engine. "Vignette and Omniture SiteCatalyst together help us deliver more personal, interactive Web experiences to our customers, determine which online touch points are most successful, and measure conversion rates."

Vignette's improved Rich Media Services, an early 2008 release, will give users better control over the digital assets needed to run a web operation. It aims to significantly reduce the time it takes organizations to ingest, manage, manipulate, and publish media assets.

"We make a significant investment each year to showcase our state-of-the-art equipment and patient care services," said Scott Smiser, corporate IT director of clinical infrastructure and Web development for Baptist Healthcare System, based in Louisville, Ky. "Vignette Rich Media Services gives us the opportunity to leverage our extensive library of rich media including television spots, radio commercials, virtual tours and images of our facilities to create an online experience that distinguishes us from regional health care systems."

Vignette says the latest version features enhanced metadata capturing, right-to-left language support, and an optional desktop client that allows users to quickly and easily manipulate images and the associated metadata.

It should be an interesting few months for Vignette as its strategy continues to emerge. I'm curious to hear more about its enterprise 2.0 strategy, something O'Connell was happy to address.

"We've been laying the groundwork for our enterprise 2.0 plans for some time now. We're confident we've got the right approach and continue to build on our strengths to get there."

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