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Why the acquisition by Open Text was bad for RedDot CMS

NewOpenTextLogo-by-jonontech.comOpen Text’s externally focused growth strategy.
Is it a CMS graveyard and how can you benefit from it?
(image by Jon)

I read an article yesterday from J.Boye and you should read it too, here.

Killing a product might make commercial sense for the vendor,
but customers are left to pay for the consequences
- J.Boye

Is it too late to wake up from the buyout fatigue?

RedDot CMS is alive and Open Text confirmed that they will continue their RedDot product line for the next couple of years. Still, there is not much buzz about OpenText’s leading enterprise CMS for the mid market these days. And the discussions about the buyout fatigue last year seem to be more than justified.
After the 2005 acquisition of RedDot Solutions by Hummingbird it was expected that things needed to settle in and development would take some time to gain traction. Another buyout 3 years later gave RedDot consultants and customers the impression to have stopped any momentum for innovation for almost 4 years.

RedDot CMS is still a leader in the ECM market

The CMS remains one of the leading ECM solutions on the market.
New modules and innovations were only available through Open Text partners and motivated RedDot CMS freelancers. Those were for a long time the only ones able to extend the core product functionality while the vendor appeared to be too busy planning new marketing strategies.
Until the release of version 10 not many new features were introduced by Open Text.

History repeats itself – Obtree to be replaced by RedDot CMS to be re.. – hold on – again?

Obtree is another acquisition victim of Open Text and was meant to be replaced by RedDot. Rumor has it that RedDot CMS will be replaced or merged with Vignette.
Now imagine a customers IT manager or marketing director having to explain why they had to move on from Obtree to RedDot CMS and now have to face something completely new again.. Cruel much? Yes. Indeed.
Even in a far future merging those two product lines is not feasible or will end in a disaster as Jon Marks pointed out last year.

RedDot can’t be replaced with anything within Open Text’s portfolio. And it doesn’t have to!

The Marketing 2.0 people at OpenText just seem to be looking at the Executive Summary and the theoretical revenue in Sales for Vignette as an option to replace / crossgrade from RedDot CMS. This is not feasible, not just technically. It is also guaranteed that customers and partners will be jaded and/or run away. How is that for revenue? Exactly. Bad.

Can Vignette maybe replace RedDot CMS?
Read more »

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About the author:

Markus Giesen Markus Giesen is a Solutions Architect and RedDot CMS Consultant, formerly based in Germany. Travelling around the world to find and offer solutions for a better world (in a very web based meaning). He just found a way to do this as part of a Melbourne based online consultant house. On this blog Markus shares his personal (not his employers) thoughts and opinions on CMS and web development. In his spare time you will find him reading, snowboarding or travelling. Also, you should follow him on Twitter!


8 comments for “Why the acquisition by Open Text was bad for RedDot CMS”

  1. Fantastic read! I just started upgrading to version 10 of RedDot (I refuse to call it the other thing) I am a bit concerned that in a few months we will have to move to something else, or be unsupported

    Posted by Chris | March 15, 2010, 1:21 pm
  2. I believe RedDot will be around a bit longer. But as revenue decreases and investors decide to not re-invest in development and research the product will disappear. And then the next CMS product will be acquired and then Vignette will cease.. A never ending story.
    Where vendors ever customer focused?

    Posted by Markus Giesen | March 16, 2010, 2:00 am
  3. Well done, Markus.

    Posted by Tiffany France | March 16, 2010, 9:00 pm
  4. Open Text is dedicated to supporting both the RedDot CMS and LiveServer and the Vignette products going forward – this strategy has not changed since it was announced last year. There are many good points here but also a few inaccuracies. For more detailed comments, I have posted a response at


    Posted by Marci Maddox | March 17, 2010, 6:04 am
  5. The 10.0 release was quite good on both sides. (CMS and LiveServer) Look forward to the 10.1 release this summer. Is it a release with substance? That counts.

    Posted by Christoph Straßer | March 17, 2010, 10:56 am
  6. Nice post man.
    It sounds like nothing has changed in the time of my personal reddot abstinence. =)

    Posted by Eugen Kraft | March 18, 2010, 11:49 am
  7. Excellent post and good analysis.

    How should RedDot survive if there is at least not a single sales person left who is dedicated to the product and who is trying to make competitors happy?

    Posted by Christoph Mause | March 18, 2010, 12:50 pm
  8. Nice post (even if it sounds a bit scary for RedDot customers).

    Reading it I thought that one might be able to get a glimpse of RedDot’s future by looking at how VIP and Obtree were handled.

    Posted by Michael | March 22, 2010, 10:42 am

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