October 27, 2015
Roundedcube prides itself on our highly focused mission: providing the digital experience our customers need and want. To do this, we focus almost exclusively on three platforms and CMS technology partners – Umbraco, Kentico, and Sitecore. I often speak of these as three flavors: Umbraco is our license free, open-source extensible CMS. Kentico is a proprietary platform that offers fully loaded CXM capabilities for a great value and Sitecore is the unparalleled leader in the enterprise .NET CMS/CXM space. These three options provide a solution for every size, every need, and every budget.
We are rarely assessing them side-by-side since the differences are so profound. The business requirements can point to the features and functionality available or lacking on each platform, but it always comes down to total cost of ownership as the chief and deciding factor.
I wanted to take the time now to talk about Kentico, its unique value proposition and its future, as I see it, in the CXM marketplace.
The following represents my opinion to why Kentico will succeed spectacularly in the coming years:
Strength in numbers
Kentico currently powers tens of thousands of sites all over the world. That may pale in the face of generic open-source like Word Press or Drupal, but in terms of software sales, that’s a significant number, which is steadily growing month over month. This foundation provides Kentico with an active customer base and word of mouth.
Kentico’s customers tend to become evangelists. We see this time and time again. A customer switches to Kentico (usually from bad implementations on older, legacy platforms or sprawling ASP sites) and begins extolling the platform with praise right away. In part, I believe this is because Kentico’s product team really listens to their customers. Over the past few years, we’ve seen advances and enhancements that include MVC modelling support, upgrades towards continuous and automated integration, and other improvements that really help IT teams develop and support the platform alongside with digital marketing functionality that doesn’t require development at all.
The partner program and ecosystem
Kentico has proven to be a great technology partner. They are friendly, fast and focused when there are questions or concerns about the product. The sales team is supportive and intelligent and its engineers are constantly talking to partners to figure out better ways of doing things. This has produced a devoted group of partners and developers. Kentico’s transparency with pricing and licensing also makes them a simple CMS to assess, recommend and sell.
The proprietary platform advantage
There’s a free version, so Kentico can truly grow with a start-up from the most humble of beginnings. Also, unlike many software providers available today, Kentico offers a hassle-free experience for license holders. They offer clear pricing for life-time licenses with affordable yearly maintenance costs. If you want to buy the source code for whatever reason, they let you. That’s confidence that their customers prefer to stay on the upgrade path coupled with the understanding that some companies want a completely customizable route. They also upgrade and patch often.
Kentico has a vision
This is true with their product development path, their partner and subscription services, and their commitment to the space they find themselves in as a middle-tier value provider. When all the other mid-market .NET providers in the space raised their license costs, Kentico kept theirs low as a competitive advantage. They aren’t represented in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant because of this commitment and the company seems determined to get there (Annual sales of $15mm+) based on their value-pricing and simply selling more licenses. I for one feel like the E-Marketing Suite (EMS) Version of their license ($14,999) will eventually get them there. We’ve seen customers take a wait and see approach to some of the functional capabilities EMS offers, only to buy all-in later once their CMS foundation was up and running. I expect this type of CXM upgrading to be a long-time trend.
Finally, CXM is the new reality
With companies like HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo and countless others offering 3rd-party tools for marketing automation, there’s the growing realization that traditional digital marketing is much more than just website content and social media sharing. Customers are looking for messaging and marketing that matters to them; and most other forms of advertising fall on deaf sometimes cynical ears. Kentico’s answer, like many CMS providers is to integrate this technology into the CMS platform. After all, why would you build a patchwork of providers to achieve this level of personalized marketing if your CMS came with it natively?
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