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The Business Case for Adobe CQ5 by:

January 13th, 2012

In making the case for an expensive software integration, short term vision is rarely going to bare out the costs. But midterm expenditures show, from a variety of viewpoints, the value and utility of an integration with the Adobe CQ5 platform. The coming updates (CQ5.5) on the venerable Adobe WCM/CMS will make an even more intuitive authoring environment that behaves more and more like the applications users utilize on a daily basis.

As an IT manager, the last thing you want to see is ANOTHER integration in your enterprise. CQ5 is different though: it lightens the load because it’s a self-contained system that takes full advantage of the Java technology stack. This means that you can stand up your CQ5 enterprise in a modular fashion, giving you a cohesive system without worry about being tightly coupled to the rest of your enterprise systems. It also allows you to integrate CQ5 with the rest of your backend systems at a pace that suits your enterprise.

From the point of view of the UX designer, CQ5 is a tool like many other WCM’s which can integrate any vision for your website or web application. CQ5 is flexible enough to allow the implementation to control what goes where and how authorable content appears. CQ5 provides a seamless platform for content governance. The design and implementation of the CQ5 templates, pages, and components, ensure that there is no way for unauthorized users to modify anything other than the content on designated areas, ensuring content approvers control what content is actually published. CQ5’s templating model ensures that new pages look and behave just as intended by the designer, controlling what kinds of content can be placed on different areas of the page.

As a business user or brand manager, CQ5 provides a nearly instant platform for delivering new or modified content to your users and customers. In a traditional application framework such as Struts, Spring, Java ServerFaces, PHP, ASP.NET, Cold Fusion, etc., business users need to change content, often resulting in a change order that has to be delivered to the software development department or software contractors. But with CQ5, as soon as you have your change requirements firmed up, content authors can make these changes and content approvers can publish them. Changing content on a CQ5 web page is frequently as easy as editing a Word or Power Point document.

A past customer was spending in the region of one million dollars a year maintaining about 400 hundred JSP pages with their out sourced IT partner, who on average took 3 weeks to turn around even the simplest modifications, such as changing verbiage on the page or swapping out a Flash presentation.

Now: imagine an enterprise where the manager of any given department decides that they need to update some content or revise some media. As soon as they know what content or media needs to be updated, they can begin editing page content and uploading new images, media, or files to the CQ5 Digital Assent Manager (DAM) and inserting those new files into new or existing pages. Then it’s just a matter of submitting the new or updated content to the content approver for publishing.

The publishing workflow can be as complex or as simple as needed, including content approvers from any corporate department, such as legal, IT, marketing, etc. Once the content approver(s) receive notice of a change and can approve it, the new content is published to your live site for your customers.

CQ5 is a complex platform and learning how to wield it to make real business changes is difficult. If you have any questions about CQ5 functionality, or want to know how NavigationArts is optimizing the platform, feel free to leave a comment below.

Tags: Content Management, Strategy, ,

2 Comments on “The Business Case for Adobe CQ5”

  1. Mads Pedersen says:

    Is it still a valid business case to compare to static/hard coded websites? Are there really companies out there using this approach anymore?

  2. Ross Raphael says:

    Mads, without divulging names, the answer to your question is a shocking yes and you would be surprised at how big some of those names are.

    Furthermore, don’t be fooled by CMS/WCMs, CQ5 is a capable platform for not just content based sites, but also web applications. A recent engagement involved a customer who was collecting user information, returning user information on purchases with an eye toward using their web application as a point of sale. One of my first CQ5 customers was spending 16-20 weeks with a legion of developers rolling out new Spring based instances of their sub-sites for nearly every major product retailer you could name in the US. They provided certain after sale services. We spent 20 weeks developing their first new sub-site on CQ5.3 and another 3 weeks adding more functionality to their second sub-site. Now if they are not looking to extend or modify existing functionality for a new sub-site, they can launch in under a week if they have all of the new content. 16 weeks vs 1 week. It’s not a fair fight when you have one trained CQ5 professional replicating a site and a handful of business users updating the content and having it out the door, facing new customers in a week.

    Choosing a CMS/WCM with such a user friendly authoring interface, as CQ5 enables business users to make the kind of trivial changes which normally would have been put upon a software development or maintenance team. This frees up those staff members talents can be more efficiently directed. Don’t forget, the typical dynamic site is displaying results from a database for things product lists, user info, etc. There are plenty of other aspects of a website which have been ignored like marketing touts, sales promotions, rebranding of logos or adding entirely new products or services.

    In short, there are a lot of Java and .NET web applications that could benefit from a move to a modern WCM. The web is moving fast, content needs to change rapidly to suit both content providers and content consumers. In the time a company would spend drafting a change order, developing formal requirements, scheduling time with an internal or external software development team, they could simply have their business users make the desired modifications in a fraction of the time and obviously at a lower cost.

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