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Embrace the opportunity of your CMS vendor’s acquisition

Sometimes changes are good – a job promotion, a new home, going somewhere exotic on vacation. Other times change can be the source of anxiety and agita – a job promotion, a new home, going somewhere exotic on vacation. In any case of change, there is always an upside if you look for it – optimists would call this “opportunity”.  To you, in the case where you have just found out that your content management system (CMS) vendor has been acquired, it may be difficult to see the silver lining on this big dark cloud that has just drifted over your world, but trust me, its there.

Time to reflect.

Most companies take great care when selecting a new technology – the selection team consults with their stakeholders, gathers requirements, considers business objectives, and carefully considers the technology options available. More often than not (unfortunately) such prudence, or anything close to it, is not repeated again until there is a (perceived) breakdown with the CMS to such an extent that a replacement technology is being considered.

The frequency with which you should “check in” with your CMS is the topic for another post, but certainly, whether you just signed your contract, or you are preparing for renewal negotiations with your vendor, the news that your CMS vendor has been acquired provides you the perfect excuse and a great opportunity to reflect on how well your current CMS technology is working for you and your company.

So many questions.

Once the acquisition news hits and sinks in, you, your team, and your leadership will have more questions than there will likely be answers for. Press releases and press coverage is a great starting point to answer questions such as:

  • What was the rationale and reasoning for the acquisition?
  • What will the leadership, at least for the short term, will look like. (Note: This can often tell you a lot about the value the acquiring company puts on the acquired technology.)
  • When will the deal be finalized?

Supporting documentation, like FAQs and customer outreach communication, will likely address, at least at a high level questions about:

  • Account management
  • Support services
  • Planned customer events
  • What will happen to the acquired technology

Even with all this information, you will have other questions and want more detail. Who do you turn to?

You could call your CMS account representative, but they may be a bit preoccupied. Other sources of insight include your service provide (agency, systems integrator) or an industry analyst. Connected and in-the-know, these valuable resources often have multiple contacts that help them to validate or discount the rumours and unofficial word-on-the-street about the acquisition, the new owners, as well as the longer-term plans for the acquired technology vendor.

You will undoubtedly hear from other CMS vendors. It is after all a fairly tight knit industry and news travels fast. Don’t trash these emails just yet – they may come in handy should you decide to explore other CMS solutions.

Learn from others.

As any owner/users of Telerik’s Sitefinity, Ektron’s CMS, and a plethora of others CMS’s can tell you, acquisitions are a way of life in the web CMS industry. But these changes in ownership don’t have to add to the digital disruption within your organization. Don’t panic. Take a deep breath, and look at this change as an opportunity to examine and explore how well your current CMS technology is meeting your needs. Once that is assessment is done, and your initial dread from the acquisition news has subsided, you will be in a much better place to make a decision on what your next steps should be.

Need some guidance?

So has your CMS has been acquired? Want to know what to do if it happens to you? Then listen to a replay of a webinar I presented on Thursday, March 26 for some helpful tips and advice on how to navigate through the disruption an acquisition can cause.


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