Take 10: Vasont Updates Content Management Software


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Article ImageVasont Systems is releasing the newest version of its Vasont content management software at the Gilbane Conference in Boston this month. Vasont's CMS is designed to enable users to manage, organize, and reuse content for multiple print, CD, wireless, and Web formats. In fact, Vasont boasts that its clients report 71% content reuse.

The newest release, Vasont 10, includes better client-server communications and improved integration with search capabilities than its predecessor, according to Bret Freeman, eastern regional sales manager. The software system can manage various types of content, from basic text and graphics to multimedia and sound clips. In addition, Vasont can store content at the component level or as entire documents, enabling different users to determine the level of detail that is most advantageous. 

The previous version of the software, Vasont 9, was released in August 2004. That version also had numerous upgrades from its predecessor, but still required ongoing communications between the client and server in order to load and search for content. In version 9, the server must request type of content, content subset (paragraph, sentence, etc.), and other chunks of information from the client, requiring a large amount of logic processing on the client side. In the new version, this processing is done on the server side after a single request from the client. Rather than loading information a slice at a time, the new version loads the information, then "chunks" it, Freeman says. "This eliminates a lot of the information going back and forth over the network," Freeman says. Without the need for ongoing client-server interaction, the entire process is faster. While it takes six to seven hours to load a 10-megabyte document into Vasont 9, the same operation requires only 90 minutes with Vasont 10, Freeman says. 

The new release also includes new document management and digital asset management capabilities. Users now have access to thumbnail views of content and can append the thumbnail views with additional information, making them easier to file and find again. 

Another advance in the new release is stronger integration with authoring tools Framemaker, Xmetal, and Epic. The user can work with Vasont 10 using the authoring environment with which he is most comfortable, eliminating much of the learning curve in using the Vasont software, according to Freeman. The new interface includes "drag-and-drop" content management and digital asset management functionality. "There's a much cleaner user interface," Freeman adds. "Users can find a graphic or other content much easier."

The new version is available now. The price for new users starts at $30,000 and depends on the scope of the implementation. Each new release of the software has helped Vasont add new clients, according to Freeman. The company has about 30 clients now, ranging from small companies to Fortune 1000 firms. Current clients get the upgrade automatically as part of their annual maintenance agreement. Freeman expects customers, which include companies like HP, Motorola, and Symantec, to upgrade to Vasont 10 within the next six months. With previous new releases, most customers have upgraded within the first 30 days. 

In addition to the client-server model of its software, Vasont also offers a Web application for remote users, an ASP model featuring hosted content that is available on a subscription basis, and Vasont SG, which is designed for small editorial groups (five or fewer users). Vasont SG is a smaller, client-server version of the company's flagship product. 

(www.vasont.com)