How to choose the best CMS software in 2018

Organizations have to continually improve customer experience while reducing costs and driving innovation. Choosing the Content Management System (CMS) for your organization is key. There are so many capabilities and features to consider that getting it right can be a challenge. This blog will help you decide which features are important when you select your CMS software.

With so much of today’s content being created and delivered online – as web pages, digital documents, social media and email, an effective CMS is crucial to the success of your content strategy. As we mentioned in an earlier blog post, there is some confusion when defining an enterprise CMS when compared with and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution or a Customer Experience Management (CEM) platform. So let’s start there.

What is a content management system?

We are now in the third generation of CMS solutions. In the first generation, CMS software was designed to only create and publish content on websites that it assumed that those sites would only be displayed on desktop PCs or laptops. Second generation CMS solutions introduced the ability to customize content for different channels. However, these were still primarily web-based – websites, microsites, intranets and extranets. This generation of CMS solutions started to embrace mobility and move towards responsive design.

The current generation of CMS tools makes two major leaps. First, it is designed to provide a seamless omnichannel experience. Secondly, it enables content to be highly personalized and customized to drive that customer – and employee – experience. At its core lies Web Content Management (WCM) software. The best WCM tools comprise content management software to manage content for creating, publishing and distribution.

However, we can define an enterprise CMS platform that goes a step further. It combines WCM software with systems and strategies to gather, manage, store, distribute and analyze content from a broad range of sources. This includes dedicated content creation of course, but also incorporates other sources such as social media, internal communications and direct communications with customers.

Features of enterprise CMS software

So what are the key capabilities that you should look for in the best CMS software? Some of the key aspects when selecting your CMS tool include:

Content sourcing

  • Your CMS solution should allow all relevant digital content, both structured and unstructured, should be pulled together in a single repository. You may need content from outside your organization – social media, partner sites, syndicated content – as well as within, and how your CMS system does this should be carefully considered in your choice. You’ll need to ensure that the CMS meets your enterprise’s technology standards, risk management profiles and related security requirements. The CMS software you choose must support all the types of content you’ll need – both now and in the future – from basic documents and web pages to rich media including video and audio. Ensure that the CMS solution you select can capture the content at source – usually through source files with associated metadata –and automatically bring it into the CMS repository where it can be edited, managed and stored.

Content management

  • Making sense of the wide range of content you’re likely to accumulate is a prime concern. Extensive metadata capabilities are essential for your CMS solution. These allow you to (as much as possible) automatically classify, categorize and tag your content. This is the foundation that lets your CMS software:
    • Sort by content type – The CMS makes it possible to search for documents, images and web pages as well as rich media streams such as video, audio and 3D images. It can identify which stage of development the content is at – ie. still being prepared or completed, with work trails for approval and distribution tracking.
    • Control access – Your CMS software should be able to isolate levels of access down to the individual user to make sure only the right people have access to the right content, with tiered levels of engagement.
    • Manage workflow – Your CMS tool should be able to organize the workflow steps in the development of any piece of content, tracking rewrites, edits, notes and full oversight.
    • Assemble content from external sources – Your CMS solution should be able to pull in relevant content from a variety of sources, including news feeds, social media and product catalogs. Metadata definitions and the access controls for incorporating content from these remote sources are crucial.
    • Use all necessary languages – Global operations require that your CMS website software includes the capacity for all relevant languages that can be automatically translated on the fly by the software, including metadata.

Content delivery

  • Content needs to be delivered to any channel required, and increasingly, mobile devices, so your CMS solution should incorporate responsive web design as well as advanced targeting and personalization capabilities. The CMS should be able to dynamically deliver content to target audiences based on predefined factors, including personal profiles, general audience characteristics or other data-driven attributes. The best CMS software will enable a highly personalized, omnichannel solutions where each individual has a tailored experience. This should be able to be delivered at scale from one to many millions.To facilitate sharing, your content should also be optimized for integration with social media platforms and relevant third-party websites. To help with this, your CMS software should feature tools and techniques to actively push content into the right social environments.

Content analytics

  • To gauge the effectiveness of your content you’ll want to use analytics to track its use. This could be with an analytics system you’re already familiar with, in which case it will need to be compatible with your CMS. Or your CMS software may already incorporate its own analytics. In either case, check that the analytics will be able to deliver the metrics that you need.

Why choose OpenText for your enterprise CMS solution?

OpenText is a leader in CMS and WCM with a suite of solutions designed to reduce costs involved with the growth of content and its increasing complexity within your enterprise. In fact, OpenText was the only organization to have two CMS solutions in the Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a Web Experience Management Solution, 2016–17.

OpenText™ TeamSite is a key element of the suite. As a specialized Web Content Management system, it gives your organization the ability to target, segment, personalize, and optimize content for richer customer experiences – leading to better business outcomes. One Healthcare consultant told Gartner: “The tool itself is great for web content management, the ability to grow and adapt to new trends is really amazing.”


OpenText is the leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM). Our EIM products enable businesses to grow faster, lower operational costs, and reduce information governance and security risks by improving business insight, impact and process speed.

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