July 2009
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Silly, Silly, Silly Clickability

Well, I had to go down and see a guy named Mr. Goldsmith
A nasty, dirty, double-crossin’, back-stabbin’ phony I didn’t wanna have to be dealin’ with

Someone at Clickability has had a really bad idea. Firstly, they decided it was a clever to launch a smear campaign against one of their competitors. Secondly, they made the mistake of misquoting a few sources while doing it. The negative tactics and bad journalism were enough to annoy many people, so Irina just kicked them in the nuts. You should read her post before carrying on with this one.


If you want to download the “white paper”, you can get it here. When filling in the details form, use the email address “sales@clickability.com” and your mother in law’s phone number. I’m not going to talk about the bad journalism. I’m going to talk about the dodgy content, and I’m going to use their tactics and quote a few random passages from the “white paper”.

Like Salesforce.com, Clickability is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) company that lives in the cloud.There is no expensive software or hardware to buy or install. We provide our solution entirely in the cloud with a tested reputation for reliability, performance, security, and scalability. In contrast, Vignette’s installed software model is flawed (the same is true for any installed-software WCM vendor).

Like Salesforce.com indeed. And is it “the cloud” that has this tested reputation? In fact, this whole passage makes no sense. Slight diversion, but I hate the use of the word Cloud for *aaS. A data centre or two does not a cloud make. LBi have two data centres where we host sites for our clients. We don’t call it a Cloud. I’ve ranted about this before.

Here’s the key takeaway to remember once you start managing your content in the cloud: it fundamentally changes the relationship the vendor has with you, the customer. Clickability is now responsible for ensuring the availability, reliability, security and scalability of your websites.

Ho hum. Damn this cloud, it develops the sites too? Remember that, unlike CrownPeak who only offer the Content Management aspects as a service, Clickability also offer the delivery service. And you write your own templates. If I write some crappy, slow template code that is laced with cross site scripting holes and SQL injection, is Clickability responsible for the reliability and security of the site? Bad PHP developers rejoice! It’s all Clickability’s responsibility now.

Installed-software customers must wait for costly upgrades, usually based on 18-month development cycles. In contrast, by using an agile development model, Clickability delivers daily enhancements to its platform, matching real-time market needs and the rapid technology changes on the Web.

Daily? Holy shit! Really? WordPress does it every few months and we all know what a headache that can be. And don’t get me started on maintaining my FaceBook applications with their rate of change. Unless all changes really are always 100% backwardly compatible with everything, which I seriously doubt. That said, I don’t know enough about the product to say this for sure. It is possible that customers love seeing new things arrive as if by magic. My customers like to test things before they change.

Are you a Vignette V5 or V6 User? Did you answer yes to this question? If so, be afraid. Be very afraid.

The story about going from V5/V6 to V7 is old, old news. V7 is 5 years old. The real pain is actually to 7.4. After that, it gets easier. I’m guessing V 7.4 -> V8.0 will be relatively painless. Touch wood. V8.0 looks quite nice from the demo. It’s too thick just to be lipstick.

Magic Migrations

Clickability is the only company with real world experience migrating Vignette customers (from mid-size to Fortune 1000 companies) quickly into the cloud. If you want to migrate to another installed solution similar to Vignette, it will take months to deploy and you’ll still be stuck in the traditional installed-software, release-and-upgrade paradigm. With Clickability, your Vignette migration will be handled by experts and take only weeks. It will not affect your current site or result in down-time during the transition.

Wow. No down time? It won’t affect my current site?  Wow. I can’t think of any part of any of my existing Vignette implementations that can’t be easily, automatically ported into the cloud at all. No, sir. I presume that one big differentiator is that, because The Cloud is so much bigger than A Server, it is much easier to migrate into. And also, Clickability will provide experts to migrate the site, while the other competitors will presumably provide morons. Expert don’t need to worry about these content migration issues.

As stated earlier, the goal of this document is to provide strategic data and insights that will help in your decision-making process regarding Web Content Management and migrating off Vignette. The decision is yours. But please know that Clickability is here to show how a simple migration can affordably change your entire business in a matter of weeks.

Sweet! Aren’t Vignette customers lucky. First, FatWire offers to save them with a cheeky, yet believable, migration path. Now Clickability go even better. I dream of simple migrations. One wonders why Fatwire think a specialist migration partner is needed, while Clickability can migrate one of my Vignette clients in a few weeks. If anyone from Vamosa or Kapow reads this, a comment would be welcome. And can you put my big, back end transactional systems in your cloud too? In fact, if anyone at Clickability is reading this, could you outline the migration process and ballpark costs. It would be genuinely interesting.

I’m going to stop now as it is getting late. But I could go on. This document is appalling.  On the other hand, I have heard a lot of good things about Clickability. One thing in particular that the analysts (how ironic) mention is their excellent customer service. Maybe the customer service guys should have a word with the marketing guys, ’cause this “white paper” was a really stupid mistake. You’ve not made any friends in these here parts.

Well, I had to go down and see a guy named Mr. Goldsmith
A nasty, dirty, double-crossin', back-stabbin' phony I didn't wanna have to be dealin' with
But I did it for you and all you gave me was a smile
Well, I cried for you - now it's your turn to cry awhile
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37 comments to Silly, Silly, Silly Clickability

  • ROFL. my fave line: “Ho hum. Damn this cloud, it develops the sites too?” Thanks, Jon, this post is a thing of beauty :)

  • We appreciate the energy you’ve put into this post. John Girard, CEO of Clickability, would be more than happy to talk about the contents of the white paper: john@clickability.com

    • Thanks for commenting here. I guess what I’d like to see is a bit of meat on the bone. I’ll admit I don’t know Clickability as well as I should, but most of the claims in the “white paper” seemed ill-informed and impossible. Forgetting the Cloud Buzzword hype for a second, can you (or John Girard) point me to any case studies/examples of migrations from Vignette (any version) to Clickability that have only taken a few weeks? And maybe some technical information about how the migration actually could work? You’ve either got some very very clever technology or are promoting a big bottle of snake oil. Unless people like me see evidence to support the former, we’re going to assume it’s the latter.

      I think the fact that myself, Irina, Kas (and hopefully others – anyone from 451 reading this?) jump to the defense of Vignette (wow!) shows just how much this kind of tactic annoys us. And it has, strangely, made me think more about the good bits of Vignette and less about the historical problems that you guys are focusing on.

      I’ve got a bad feeling that you guys knew you’d get a backlash, but figured that all publicity is good publicity. I hope it isn’t, and I hope our rants aren’t exactly what you wanted. The tweets coming from your people make me worry …

      • Robert

        Thanks, Jon. I appreciate your perspective. With all due respect, did you jump to Microsoft’s defense with the “I’m a Mac, You’re a PC” campaign? Did it make you think about all the things you like about Microsoft instead of their historical problems?

      • Jon,

        Thanks for your opinions. I’ve really enjoyed this debate. As CEO of Clickability, I stand by the accuracy of the Vignette white paper: http:bit.ly/14lAm2. In fact,CMS Watch has agreed to an open discussion about the white paper. I’m confident it will satisfy your questions.

  • Great stuff Jon (and Irina :) ), I have been entertained as usual. Now, back to being a moronic migration consultant… ;)

  • Short Storie

    ROTFL. Good luck migrating my crazy ancient TCL ninja code and wading through my maze of twisty SQL scripts all alike. Mwuhahahahahahaha!

    There is no such thing as a free lunch.

    • You’ll be fine, Shorty. TCL actually stands for The Cloud Language, so Clickability is actually the perfect platform. You just need to drop anything written in The Cloud Language onto the cloud, and it will self-optimise and modernise itself as you go. And if it doesn’t, just whip out the SLA you’ve been given and demand the cash from the penalty clauses. It’s their responsibility now.

  • Charlie

    Way to pile on, Jon! You sure showed how you can, uh, pile on! Keep finding other reactionary stories and pile on to those, too! I can’t wait!

  • LOL “TCL actually stands for The Cloud Language, so Clickability is actually the perfect platform.”

    @Clicability, Can we get the response of John Girard, CEO of Clickability, on the claims?

    Any way i have posted my own take. http://www.yuvalararat.com/2009/07/clickability-attack-on-vignette/

  • Super. Too much entertainment in a single post :) . I love “The Cloud Language”

  • I’ve said it before Jon, I am just looking forward to the book! Entertaining post.

  • Chris Regan

    If v8 is lipstick, they must have one hell of a make-up bag… Comparing that even to early v7′s seems to indicate that with lipstick alone they could make me look like Heidi Klum!

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