I recently read an article on ragan.com that stated: “To gain more control over content, most communicators are changing their content management system (CMS).”
As I delved into the story, one of the major themes bubbling to the top was the lack of distributed content ownership. It made me think the University of Minnesota is very lucky to have such a robust Web content management system. (Or “luckeee” as Napoleon Dynamite would say.)
UMContent, the University-branded system based on Oracle’s Universal Content Management product, helps couple communication with technology.
Many of you familiar with the system know about Oracle’s pyramid philosophy where the contributors are many, the site managers fewer, and the Web development team even less. This type of methodology allows the University to centrally maintain a resource resulting in lower costs and higher efficiencies.
And there’s more good news… Not only does UMContent empower communicators but separates presentation from content. Splitting the two allows for content to be repurposed on different Web sites, platforms, or sliced and diced in ways I cannot even think of. Looking ahead as the University grapples with social computing, mobile devices, multi-lingual sites, and more, building a foundation where the content can be manipulated, shared, and reused is smart.
As you may know, the University’s home page uses UMContent. But, you may not know the recently redesigned Office of Information Technology (OIT) home page relies on UMContent. Or, that the College of Continuing Education, Academic Health Center, Office of Human Resources, and many others are using the system. If you have not checked out OIT’s new site – do so. It’s a beautiful thing.
By now you are probably thinking, “Yeah, she really drank the Oracle Kool-Aid.” And, there may be a smidgen of truth to that.
Long ago, in a place far, far away, I was responsible for a $1.2M overhaul of internal/external Web system; and, after an exhaustive research process landed on Oracle’s UCM product. At the time, Stellent (which is the company that owned the Web content system which Oracle purchased in November 2006) was named Intranet Solutions. Yup… it was a long time ago.
In addition, I was Stellent’s Web manager and became intimately familiar with the product. Who knew that I would still be working with the system when I joined the University?
Now, I completely understand a Web content management system may not be the answer for every Web site. Of course there are very small Web sites requiring limited maintenance and maybe UMContent doesn’t fit the bill. Maybe there are strong business reasons why not to use UMContent. Only by first identifying the audience, the objectives, and the strategies could a decision on the technology be made.
But… (you knew that was coming, right?), once the business and functional requirements have been documented and it is time to consider the technological solution, UMContent may be the best choice. After years of working with many CMS and Web programs, I truly believe the advantages of UMContent far outweigh its glitches.
P.S. For those of you that wear many online hats—the next mass e-mail user group meeting is coming up. Join the group and enjoy a complimentary Kool-Aid Kool Burst. (Hmmm- I’m sensing there’s some sort of Kool-Aid theme going on with me. Weird.)
Here’s the details:
Friday, April 17