FatWire Quietly Serves BillionsFatWire Quietly Serves Billions
After hearing <a href="http://www.fatwire.com">FatWire Software</a> brag about one of the best quarters in its history, I thought it was a good time to catch up with its CEO, Yogesh Gupta. We spoke about everything from open source to SaaS, with Gupta also highlighting some of the company's recent enterprise 2.0 moves.
March 17, 2008
After hearing FatWire Software brag about one of the best quarters in its history, I thought it was a good time to catch up with its CEO, Yogesh Gupta. We spoke about everything from open source to SaaS, with Gupta also highlighting some of the company's recent enterprise 2.0 moves.Just last year, the company acquired blogging and wiki-based collaboration tools from Infostoria, a move Gupta says gives FatWire customers a way to easily collaborate in a peer-to-peer environment.
"The Infostoria piece is really a style of interaction as much as a set of technologies," said Gupta. He was so impressed with the platform, he pushed for the acquisition less than 60 days after taking the reins of CEO. But as FatWire is prone to do, Gupta quickly circumvented the technology discussion and centered the conversation around the Web experience. "When I was at one of the Gilbane Conferences, everybody was talking about Web content management and the surrounding technologies, but I felt there wasn't enough discussion around how we (vendors) were focusing on delivering a better experience for our users." So, should we credit Gupta with coining the term "Web experience?" It's hard to say, but he was certainly convincing. Gupta said many of the tools used to manage content were very nerd-centric, referring to system interfaces that didn't satisfy the needs of the business user. The user experience message is no stranger to FatWire, it's been evangelizing how to deliver content management to business users for much of its 10-year history. With a user-driven revolution finally taking hold in content management, I asked Gupta to explain why. Broadly speaking, his rationale included the impact of Web 2.0 and the changing face of marketing. Gupta told InformationWeek the two-way interaction of Web 2.0 is starting to get folded back inside the firewall, alluding to how corporate users are seemingly spoiled with Web 2.0's lure of easy implementations and low cost. "We finally have a set of technologies, with things like Web 2.0 and analytics, which allow us to interact with and understand our users," added Gupta. He went on to describe how Web content management (WCM) is, in his words, "growing up." Evidence of that evolution is how Web marketing initiatives have morphed into a broader concept Gupta calls "interactive engagement." "Let's face it, a lot of Web marketing initiatives were never high on the priority list. But in today's environment, clients realize that with the right Web content strategy in place, they can measure all those interactions, allowing them to create the right Web experience," added Gupta. Jumping back into the technology, I asked Gupta about other competitive platforms. "Even today, some of the products just aren't usable. Unfortunately some vendors will partner for capabilities just to check off the boxes," he said. That's never been FatWire's approach, he said. Content Server 7, its flagship suite, has grown organically from day one, built on top of FatWire's own infrastructure. I couldn't help but think I was all of a sudden in the middle of a conversation with one of enterprise software's biggest names, espousing the "integrated stack" message. But that's OK. FatWire has quietly entrenched itself in the midst of the enterprise Web, something Gupta attributes to his company's vision and persistence. "I get unhappy with my team when they call us a Web content management (WCM) company," said Gupta. "When you have customers that have half a billion page views per month, you're doing a lot more than just managing content."
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