"Everyday people are now able to manage content,” says Darren Guarnaccia, VP of product marketing for Sitecore. Sitecore, founded in 2001, is a San Rafael, Calif.-based company that provides web content management and portal software for organizations. This month, the company will add Foundry to its product offerings in order to address the needs of decentralized organizations.
Since its inception 6 years ago, Sitecore has grown steadily in the content management industry. The company currently boasts more than 1,400 client installations utilizing its enterprise-class .NET web content management and portal software. Sitecore’s clients—mainly mid-size to large organizations—include Microsoft, GlaxoSmithKline, and PepsiCo.
Sitecore’s CMS packages are scalable standards-based solutions that allow for personalization, multilanguage, multichannel output, and versioning, as well as portal and extranet support. The CMS is also browser-based, allowing users and administrators to access Sitecore flexibly and easily from virtually anywhere. The introduction of Foundry this month, however, is intended to bring a whole new meaning to “ease-of-use” with regard to deployment and maintenance of organizations’ websites.
Many companies today are not centralized in one location. In fact, they are often spread out around the country (if not the world), and they have smaller affiliate branches that would each like individual sites. Foundry is a template-based solution designed to make it easier for organizations with many branches or chapters to offer centralized services and branding, while facilitating the creation of individual websites. “We want smaller business units to be able to manage their own content,” says Guarnaccia.
With Foundry, Sitecore makes deploying a website more self-explanatory so that less technical users can contribute, organize, and edit online content. According to Guarnaccia, with Foundry, “People who have no idea what content management is can navigate a site, place new content, write new copy, and assign multiple languages basically as simply as editing in Word.”
Using this web-based solution, a user can add and edit text and access typical content management features. Foundry also includes a calendaring system with which users can create events and then view responses to invitations to those events. Furthermore, Foundry’s wizard-style interfaces allow a user to choose the site’s design based on templates that can be maintained for consistency across an organization. The software features a multisite management control center, as well as multiple language options and the ability to manage thousands of sites on one server. With this offering, Sitecore is striving to put content control into the hands of those who have the best interest of their individual sites at heart—not overtaxed IT people at a corporate headquarters but everyday people working at smaller branches.
The market targets for Foundry include government, franchise-based businesses, and nonprofit organizations. For example, one of Sitecore’s clients, the Boy Scouts of America, currently uses Sitecore’s software to manage its content. However, the Boy Scouts is a large, nationwide organization with hundreds of affiliates. Rather than the main organization attempting to deploy and manage separate sites for all 300 local councils, each council could easily set up its own site using Foundry.
Beyond its enhanced feature set, though, the main idea behind Foundry was to create a new generation of content management in which the average user is actually able to use the system. As Guarnaccia says, “We want this to be something people can readily grasp. If it’s too complex, we have missed the mark.”