Accrisoft. A few months ago, I knew little about Accrisoft or their flagship product, Accrisoft Freedom CMS. In early May, CMS Report met with the company for the first time and it was a great opportunity for me to get to know them better. Accrisoft is a company that anybody who is somebody in the content management business definitely needs to get to know better.
It's not that often I become quickly enthralled with a company and their products. Yet, for the past couple months I can't help but think of the first demo I saw of Accrisoft's CMS. It wasn't just the genius simplicity of their blue/green user interface for users and developers that I'm obsessing about either. It is the fact that Accrisoft convinced me it's not only users that need to rethink how websites are managed, but also the many site owners and developers that incorrectly think they don't need a company like Accrisoft.
Accrisoft is a provider of Software as a Service (SaaS) Web applications and they definitely made a big splash at last Spring's 2011 CMS Expo. During the expo, I was able to meet up with Accrisoft's CEO, Jeff Kline, as well as their chief technology officer, Mark Zeitler. It wasn't just their product, Accrisoft Freedom CMS, that won me over that day but also their enthusiasm and technical vision of what the future holds for web content management.
If Accrisoft isn't on your radar it is time to put it there. For the last five years I've focused most of my attention on CMSs that individuals and organizations are more likely to manage and host themselves. Quite frankly, a portion of my DNA is old-school IT and I've stubbornly been unyielding to any notion of running a content management system in the cloud. I've always wanted to maintain as much control as I could on the servers that host my CMS. Control of your IT assets is a good thing, isn't it? The talk of the cloud is just slick marketing talk, isn't it? Accrisoft, as well as Acquia, have persuaded me to believe that it makes perfect business and technical sense to utlize SaaS CMS.
You can indeed benefit from SaaS without losing control of your development work. I've always looked at SaaS, Platform as a Service (PaaS), and the Cloud as only beneficial to the end-user. Companies such as Accrisoft aren't only positioning their SaaS solutions for the user but also the website developers and all those IT folks associated in maintaining the site. I've always seen SaaS solutions as a competitor of traditional web development. I'm now acknowledging that SaaS is an evolution for current web development practices.
Website development companies have begun using SaaS services such as those provided by Accrisoft and finding out there are benefits to shifting the way we do business. Some of Accrisoft's partners have told me that once they started using Accrisoft's Freedom CMS their development teams began doing something they haven't done in years...they slept at night. Developers using SaaS have found that the paradigm shift for them is they can focus more on website development and less on the software nuts and bolts. We (especially us IT folks) often forget that the goal is to deliver a website to the customer not necessarily the software.
In summary, Accrisoft is is on my radar because they have a great vision of where content management systems are heading. I'm convinced that whether you're offering an open source or proprietary CMS...if the CMS doesn't have a future in the cloud it doesn't have a future at all. Yes, I realize not everyone needs SaaS for their CMS but if the people delivering your CMS doesn't acknowledge SaaS as a vital component for CMS support, I think they're in a rude awakening for how quickly the CMS market is evolving toward the cloud.