A ground-breaking web CMS, proven across multiple sectors and enterprises, has achieved a release that its developers believe will see take-up explode.
Contensis is already the choice of major companies, universities and local authorities and its new 'R6' release makes it the serious contender for any web CMS requirement. Crucially, the new release also signals a fresh clarity in features and pricing for Contensis which is still a rarity in the sector.
At the heart of the new version are improvements and additions which add simplicity to already easy-to-use software, including multimedia controls that make inserting streaming media, galleries and slideshows into pages a quick drag-n-drop experience.
The product has mature support for social networking, which will feel familiar to users of Facebook or LinkedIn, and integrates Google Apps accounts seamlessly, using a single sign-on for both the website and Google accounts.
Also new to the R6 release of Contensis is a module that provides the ability to deploy sites in multiple languages - and even with multiple dialects of those languages. This feature was soft-launched with client Domino Printing Sciences, which has already published a new site in six different languages using Contensis R6.
Simplicity has always been at the heart of the Contensis ethos, with R6 taking that to a fine point, not only with regard to end users but with the focus very much on quick, simple installation and deployment.
But simplicity does not come at the expense of powerful features, including seamless multi-channel delivery, efficient workflow management and the ability to deploy any of the extensive web 2.0 features such as blogs, forums and commenting in minutes.
Chief Technical Officer of Contensis creators, Genetics Ltd, Richard Chivers, explained: "Given that content is the whole point of a CMS, it's crucial that the people who maintain that content have as many easy-to-use tools at their fingertips as possible. Our focus with Contensis R6 is to remove the traditional roadblocks to making enhancements to a site, such as having to wait for designer or developer input when adding advanced features, like RSS Feeds, or streaming media. We've ensured that content managers can now just drop this kind of content into their page and move on to their next task. It makes a huge difference."
But making content administrators' lives easier is not the only benefit of R6. Richard added: "If you're familiar with Contensis you can install, configure and deploy an entirely new site within 15 minutes. We actually do that in demonstrations - it's not a just a theory or empty boast.
"Of course for newcomers from a development viewpoint there is a learning curve, but that learning curve is vastly less than for equivalent products. A developer familiar with .NET would grasp all that's needed in no time at all. Our experience tells us that with three days training for the devs, they can have an entire new site, with galleries, streaming media, blogs, and more up just a day after getting to work. When potential customers compare that to the competition they're always blown away. Because of this we've had clients move their existing platforms off PHP and onto .NET, just so that they could use Contensis - although another new feature of R6 is the ability to deploy to any platform, using languages such as PHP, for example."
And once deployed Contensis scales quickly, simply and reliably. Content is created and published by Contensis, not created on-the-fly, meaning multiple servers can deliver a site from multiple locations globally if necessary, with minimal server load, whether from an Apache or Microsoft IIS installation.
Neither does R6 stand still once deployed. Software updates, including feature requests, are available to clients on a rolling basis and can be downloaded within hours of being committed to the repository. Upgrades are painless with an automated deployment managed through the user interface, handling clean-ups and config changes automatically.
Richard said: "Whenever we put Contensis in front of people it really opens their eyes to what's possible. There is plenty about Contensis R6 for managers, developers and end users to be really excited about. There are no limits on design flexibility, it supports IE, Firefox and Chrome, the code needed to integrate third-party applications is significantly less than other web CMS solutions and it handles compliance up to WAI-AAA beautifully. We're extremely proud of Contensis R6 and the reception among those who have seen it has been incredible."
With the R6 release Contensis is throwing down the gauntlet to larger competitors, who still believe complexity is a badge of quality, and demonstrating that implementing a web CMS does not have to be as expensive or involved as customers have come to expect.
A new website has been launched to show potential customers exactly what Contensis can do, including a demo of the new controls gallery (www.contentmanagement.co.uk).
Richard added: "We still feel that in this space vendors rely on jargon and obfuscation too much. They don't want to show their hand until they are in front of a potential customer. We're saying that we've got a product that will stand up to scrutiny at every stage and which removes huge numbers of traditional hurdles to deploying and maintaining a web presence, even if that entails dozens or hundreds of sites. Contensis does that already for major companies and institutions and R6 simply moves the goal posts again."
Contensis is already the choice of leading organisations, powering multiple sites for major publisher, Pearson Education, as well as Henderson Global Investors, Macmillan Cancer Support, Fulham Football Club, the Royal Institute of British Architects, Goodwood Estate, plus major UK universities, including Birmingham University, Nottingham University, the LSE and more.
The power of modular extensions also ensures Contensis appeals to public bodies including local authorities and NHS Trusts, allowing them to easily re-purpose information specific to their sectors for web use.