May 2009
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OMG! Open Text buy Grandpa Vignette

We grew up together
From the cradle to the grave
We died and were reborn
And then mysteriously saved.

I gotta admit, this one took me by surprise. Open Text has just announced that they are aquiring Vignette. There were the usual rumours in the air, but I don’t think many people took it seriously. I know I didn’t. First RedDot. Then Vizible. Now this. Anyone remember Gauss and Obtree? I’ve been using Vignette since 1999 and have become very fond of it. Maybe this is the Stockholm Syndrome, but anyway.


I’m not going to write much now – I need time to digest things – but there is a lot to think about here. But off the top of my confused head:

  • The Vignette name will probably vanish in the same way that the RedDot name recently did. How about “More Open Text Web Solutions”? That’s catchy. The end of an era, as I blogged about here.
  • I suspect that Vignette Content Management is going to be around for a while. A lot of customers have been through a lot of effort recently to get onto the latest versions. I can’t see Open Text messing with that baby. So it looks like three Open Text CMS choices for a while – the original, the ex-RedDot and the ex-VCM.
  • Vignette have a Collaboration product, and have recently announced their new Vignette Community Services. OpenText have a large Collaboration and Community Management component. Something is going to happen here.
  • I think the Portal will stay as it is. Open Text currently have the Open Text Portal Integration Kit. Expect to see this become tightly ingrated with VAP via the JSR-168 portlets. Hopefully it will replace Dynamic Portal in the longer term. Open Text don’t have their own portal.
  • The needs to be some Records Management consolidation I would think. No point have both Open Text Records Management and Vignette Records Manager is there? I’m guessing one of these will become dominant, and customers will be (slowly) migrated. This will take many years, though.
  • Maybe there will be a similar product collision in the Imaging/Workflow/Capture area, and the Business Process Management areas. I don’t know much about this stuff, so ain’t going to guess anything.
  • Open Text have a more more mature DAM offering in Artesia. I wonder if the much heralded, newly launched Vignette Rich Media is going to have a long and healthy life. Maybe some of the fancy front end technology will get used (Vizible is more fancy). I suspect the Vignette’s DAM days are numbered.

I really really hope that this is going to be a good thing for Vignette. Maybe it is exactly what they needed. But, on the other hand, maybe it isn’t. In my experience, these things are never that smooth for the company that gets absorbed. I do worry about the existing Vignette employees. These kinds of deals are never without pain, and I hope that the people that have been sweating blood for VIGN aren’t badly affected. I also worry about the existing Vignette customers – I see roadmap changes on the horizon. I’m sure the customer-centric analysts will have a lot to say here.

And finally, I wonder how much fun Tony Byrne is going to have drawing the 2010 Content Technology Vendor Map. The number of big stations is getting smaller every day.

Can’t talk any more now. Got a call with a Vignette OpenText client.

[UPDATE: It seems not everyone was as surprised as me! Laurence "@piewords" Hart gazed into his Crystal Ball and called it in January. And the Big Men On Content picked it up last August. Matt Asay even had the numbers right back then. They've got their ears to the ground.]

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271 comments to OMG! Open Text buy Grandpa Vignette

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