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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1,862 comments to Silly, Silly, Silly Clickability