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Strategy and Resource Considerations in Selecting a CMS Vendor

Strategy and Resource Considerations in Selecting a CMS Vendor

Susan McEvoy, Western New England College

Background

  • End of the Webmaster era.
  • A CMS will change the way business is done on campus.
  • Admissions led the way in choosing a CMS.

Directives

  • Faster turnaround.
  • Improved navigation.
  • Content consistency.
  • Web site cohesiveness.

Requirements (Information Technology)

  • Extensibility and flexibility.
  • Integration with legacy systems.
  • Workflow management.
  • Security.

Approach

  • Creation of Web Services group.
  • Oversight by marketing.
  • Decentralized administration of content (site “champions” owners).
  • Design template and restrictions.
  • Access to code.

Vendor/Solution

  • Chose Cyclone CMS.
  • Queued pages are published nightly (not immediately).
  • Distributed content module used for news.

Modules Available for Future Implementation

  • Calendar management module.
  • Forms management.
  • Account management.
  • Job management.

Managing Content (Potential)

  • Web site content management.
  • Course catalog.
  • Digital course content.
  • Phone directory.
  • Faculty database.

Other Factors (In Hindsight)

  • Ease use of interface (Graphical User Interface was too complicated; liked the RedDot GUI better).
  • Restrictions imposed by design template.
  • Formatting for publication in print would be nice (HTML only).

Summary

  • Changes required in business environment.
  • Forerunners in bringing institutional change.
  • Goals defined by senior administration.
  • Technical requirements.

Questions

  • Cost? $100,000 to $1,000,000. Three people (Webmaster, site developer, programmer with ColdFusion).
  • Training? Ninety minutes for training, then retraining. Help Desk doesn’t deal with CMS.
  • Policies for content updates? Handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • Promotion? E-mails. Announcement meetings.
  • Users? About 40.
  • Use of the CMS is mandatory for departments.
  • Is there a line of demarcation between formal and personal? No, only faculty can have their own sites.
  • Does this application integrate with legacy data? ColdFusion can be used to integrate with legacy data.

Document: 6/15/04 (JC)

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