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The 2010 CRM Service Awards: Rising Stars -- Clickability (The Deliveryman)
In a fragmented Web content management field, Clickability's on-demand solution is delivering results in unexpected places.
For the rest of the March 2010 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Even in the Web content management (WCM) space, being a pure software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendor can’t be easy when you’re ranked against the likes of Vignette by Open Text and Autonomy Interwoven. Clickability, however, is not only standing its ground but gaining territory—fast.

Analysts often emphasize just how fragmented a market WCM is, with Gartner’s August 2009 Magic Quadrant, for example, comprising 18 vendors (including Clickability in the Visionary quadrant). With that many players, says Stephen Powers, principal analyst at Forrester Research, it’s difficult to call even the larger on-premises vendors well established, let alone SaaS players such as Clickability. Nevertheless, Clickability has a solid reputation, at least among the on-demand players in this space—and, considering SaaS is where companies increasingly are looking, that’s saying a lot. 

Mary Laplante, vice president of client services and senior analyst with The Gilbane Group, says that, ever since she began following the company in 2005, Clickability “always had a vision for where the SaaS infrastructure could go, especially within the enterprise.” On-demand delivery models are no longer reserved for small and midsize businesses, allowing Clickability to gain traction among the larger organizations targeted by the February 2009 release of Clickability Corporate Solutions (CCS). 

That announcement highlighted the company’s positive returns from the enterprise-class implementations of Australia-based packaging supplier Amcor, financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, and high-tech company NetApp—validating its success in verticals beyond the media and publishing world of early customers such as Philly.com and the Tribeca Film Festival. “One of [its] great accomplishments in 2009,” Laplante says, “was actually gaining traction in the enterprise market.”

As digital marketing’s role in revenue generation grows, companies are increasingly looking for technologies that allow them to adapt quickly and accelerate a go-to-market strategy. “The traditional owners of enterprise WCM are being challenged right now,” Laplante says. “There’s still a place for those companies, but when we work with a company [on requests for proposals] in WCM, [they’re] looking for more contemporary architectures and solutions.” As a result, she says, on-premises WCM vendors are now losing deals to SaaS players. 

Clickability’s global expansion will hinge on its development of deeper multilingual capabilities, Laplante says—a challenge that may require the company to aggressively pursue a wider ecosystem of partners, effectively putting it “in a different position on the [WCM] map.” A stronger and more-formal partner alliance, she adds, will give Clickability “the edge in competitive situations.” According to Gartner, however, Clickability’s focus on capturing the enterprise market may hamper its ability to execute in regions outside of North America. 

Growth will also depend on the company’s ability to provide true enterprise integration, Laplante says—something much stronger than what it currently offers. She says that she’d like to see Clickability support industry standards such as the content management interoperability services spearheaded by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. That commitment, she explains, will enable a single interface to connect multiple content-related systems and has “the potential to benefit users of content management of all flavors if it gets the market traction that it needs.”

A SaaS delivery model may give Clickability a boost in terms of market reach for now, but Gartner says the company could be using SaaS to greater advantage. Forrester’s Powers also warns that slowing down is not an option for Clickability—not when on-premises vendors are hinting at adding SaaS functionalities of their own. 


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