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Why the acquisition by Open Text was bad for RedDot CMS

Sorry, Vignette can’t replace RedDot CMS

Although Open Text have confirmed that they will continue both product lines for the next couple of years. Here are some solid facts why those products cannot easily be combined. These two CMS solutions are playing in entirely different leagues.

RedDot CMS

  • based on Microsoft technology
  • most of the CMS code is ASP / ASP.NET
  • targeting the mid-size ECM market
  • taking between 2-6 weeks to get a project up and running
  • extremely cheap with the right partner on board


  • based on Java technology
  • most of the CMS code is Java
  • targeting midsize to highly scaleable ECM clients
  • taking between 3-6 months (!) to get a project up and running
  • therefore more expensive than RedDot

There are Vignette components which can be used for social media integration. They work great and they can improve your RedDot CMS based project to an extent every enterprise CMS requirements matrix is looking for, but it cannot work as a replacement.

Forcing customers to migrate? A plan doomed to fail!

It might look nice on paper to replace or migrate from RedDot to Vignette at some stage. No one at Open Text seems to even bother talking or listening to a technical consultant or maybe their integration partners about what is possible and what makes sense.

Open Text doesn’t seem to think or care about

  • Customers having to switch to another technology
  • Existing OpenText Partner with Microsoft technology experience and a large code base which will be excluded from any further projects due to the Java based nature of Vignette..
  • Existing customized solutions which need to be rewritten from scratch for Vignette

An acquired CMS customer is valuable because switching costs are really high.
To switch to another product, a customer would need to rebuild its web site, migrate its content, and retrain its people.
Unless the product is totally doomed, the customer will probably stick around and pay support and maintenance for a for a while.
The acquiring company can increase profitability by cutting down on product development, support, and sales.
Most of these cut-backs directly affect the customer.
The vision for the product will get cloudy. Enhancements will come out slower.
Technical support and professional services will be less knowledgeable.
Market-share will gradually decline.
In some cases, the product will be totally retired in favor of an alternative offering by the same company.
If there is an option of terminating support and maintenance, it is probably a good idea to exercise that option because the value of the service is likely to decline steadily.
- Seth Gottlieb, Content Here

Does the above sound familiar?
It looks like Niels & Anke Metger’s as well as Daniel Kraft’s successors have joined the dark side or have always belonged to it.

Which options do you have as Open Text customer and partner?
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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