Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dodged a Bullet?

Anyone catch this article on Serena Collage to go off into the sunset

Yikes! Serena Collage was a content management system on our short list just a few months ago! It appears to be a solid product and we heard positive reports from current higher ed customers, but I have to admit, this announcement does not come as a complete shock. The first warning flag popped up in my head when I tried to find Serena Collage on their web site. It was not mentioned on their home page and not listed in their fairly extensive Products menu. Rather, it was listed as it is today on the “All Products” page... Can you find it? Just s-c-r-o-l-l...d-o-w-n...t-o...t-h-e...b-o-t-t-o-m. There! Hmm, An outer province of an overextended empire? Maybe Serena Collage fell to the Visigoths?

I am not so far removed from the private sector to remember that “business is business” and restructuring of this sort, especially in the technical world, is commonplace. It's Starbucks in a suburban strip mall. (You're among friends here, you can admit that their coffee drinks are pretty darn good. Does anyone remember Orange Julius? What ever happened to that guy? Coffee and corndogs- Anyone doing that yet?) Dementia aside, I feel sorry for Serena customers who will scramble over the next few months to revisit their content management strategy. But they will prevail. Great thing about working in Higher Education, it is just this sort of challenge and adversity that provides the spark needed by those waiting for an opportunity. And besides who is to say Serena Collage will not be bought by one of the big fish who'll make it even better?

Should we worry that the same thing could happen to Cascade Server? I suppose anything is possible, but as if this mere thought “put it to the universe”* (maybe with a little help from Google Alerts) check out the quick response from Hannon Hill in a March 18th Press release:

Hannon Hill Reaffirms Commitment to Clients of Higher Education Industry - Redefining 'Best Practices' for CMS Vendors

We have talented people here at W&M and no doubt we would have survived using a potential end of life product. But, are we comforted knowing the long-term commitment Hannon Hill continues to demonstrate to Cascade Server and Higher Education customers? Absolutely!!! I think....

Posted by Mark Windley

* A phrase common in my house. When I dare to have a negative thought I am scolded be my wife, “Don't put it to the universe!” This is an increasingly difficult situation for an aging pessimist such as myself. That being said, I expect a lot of traffic on the ride home for writing this.. or maybe a flat tire...

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