Salesmen: Let’s explain it a last time!

This post should be sent to all the salesmen which should sell Sitecore instead of other CMS’s and keep asking you why Sitecore is so unique.

What’s the main reason to buy Sitecore for my customer?
Sitecore is one of the fastest developing CMS’s in the world. It’s based on Open Standards, so it should be easily extendible. It has a user friendly management panel / client, and it’s fully webbased. The interface looks like a Microsoft Windows Vista ‘terminal’ and in the latest versions, Sitecore has the same speed as Vista has.
Other advantages for the client are the possibility to easily configure the standard amount of functions delivert at a clean installation. Next to it, Sitecore delivers Open Source solutions for extending this, already huge, amount of features.

You are talking about a GUI, what’s different between Sitecore and other AJAX GUI’s?
The Sitecore GUI – it’s called Shell – is for 90% written by Sitecore. Sitecore has actually optimised everything for their main goal: delivering a full functional client to the world which is fast enough to work with over the internet. Other GUI’s are based on third party solutions which aren’t bad, but doesn’t have the advantage Sitecore has: controlling the full process.
Maybe, I go a little bit to fast for the non-techies… I’ll give you 5 differences between Sitecore’s ‘AJAX’ GUI and another AJAX based CMS client.
1. Sitecore Shell is more user friendly(find the differences between Sitecore and Windows). Other GUI’s look like Outlook or CRM 3.0 but not one of them has also intergrated the Office 2007 look!
2. Sitecore is faster then other solutions.
3. Sitecore Shell is divided in different applications which allow Admin and Editors to work in 1 and the same screen, but with other functionality, without getting overloaded of functionality.
4. Sitecore doesn’t require Active-X components, Flash-movie or Java. It’s even so that it does work in Firefox! Without customising anything…

Sitecore is developed in .NET isn’t it? What the main advantage of this?
You can say that Sitecore is a level on top of .NET. It has the same structure as .NET. It does use the same best practices and it actually has cloned most of the architecture. Maybe that’s a little abstract. Again for the non-techies: When you will find the fucntionality StringBuilder in .NET(an options to merge lettres, figures, words, sentences, etc, which each other), you’ll find the same functionality in Sitecore, but extended for Website development.
When an engineer has worked with Microsoft products in the past, he can easily switch to Sitecore. Even when you are used to Java, Sitecore is a good way to explore the .NET world.

What about the future?
Yeah the feature. I have been talking about the fact that Sitecore has actually cloned the architecture of Microsoft. It’s so that Workflow is getting more and more important in the ‘information-worker’-world. Microsoft is about to release a new product called ‘Windows Workflow Foundation’. It does give the possibility to use Workflow on the Operating System level. Or on any higher level, as required.
Sitecore has actually cloned the same structure, which means Sitecore can be easily intergrated with Windows Workflow Foundation.
Sitecore is based on XAML/Sheer. That’s a way to create a GUI with just XML. XML is a kind of file-based database with a userdefinable structure. Microsoft is about to release XAML/Windows Presentation Foundation. Sitecore does already work over a year with it.
I can continue using Microsoft terms and products: What about Collaboration and Intergration? Is it possible to intergrate my Sharepoint-based Intranet with Sitecore? Ofcourse! Sitecore has a module for it. Delivering your content while you travel? Ever heard of InfoPath? Sitecore has it. Altough Microsoft actually thinks more in the ‘Always connected’-way. Intergration with Word has never been a problem for any CMS… This means ofcourse that Sitecore does have a module for this.

Customer question: We are working with a Service Oriented Architecture in our network. Does Sitecore fit in this design?
Yes and no? No? It can be just a stand alone product on one server without any connections to other critical or less-critical systems.
Yes, because Sitecore has webservices and Sitecore is able to use Remoting(serializing data tranfers between servers). Sitecore also has a staging module. With these three options Sitecore can fit in any (large) environment as long as experienced (CMS-)architects are involved in the implementation and deployment. As Sitecore has all of these fucntionality built-in, it won’t affect the development-time, just the deployment time.

You are just talking about architectures, SOAs, intergration and collaboration, but my/our customer want’s results, as quickly as possible.
Sitecore is currently working on easier ways for engineers to set-up Sitecore. By grouping all functionality in, for example, the brand new ‘Developer Center’, the possibility is created to setup a big environment in less then 3 days. In the past a big environment, for example, an intranet, could take 6 to 8 days, depending on the design. Again, end-users won’t actually see this Developer Studio, so it won’t hurt their experience.

For Enterprise solutions, I guess it’s better to go for Tridion, Microsoft or Open Text?
When you talk about Enterprise Content Management, most of the time people won’t realize you are actually talking about a combination of Document Management with Content Management. Like all the other names spelled above, Sitecore has document solutions. By default the solutions are just for basic file storage. But again it’s easy to extend. Most of the time you’ll see advanced DMS’s used in different companies. More then 90% of the available functionality isn’t used even it will not be used in the feature. For these situations/companies, Sitecore can be the ECMS without much customisation on developer side.

Hope the above words clears up a little. When you, the salesmen, still got some questions about Sitecore or my entry, don’t wait to post a reply!

1. Made the post more readable, sorry for my bad english…
2. Please read the comment of Lars Nielsen. He gives some extra information about the storage of the Media Content. I use the term ‘file storage’, Lars is explaining that this doesn’t mean that files are actually stored on disk.

5 thoughts on “Salesmen: Let’s explain it a last time!”

  1. Nice “read-from-this” sheet. Think i’m gonna print it and keep close to the phone 🙂

  2. Alex,

    Again this document is a proof of your great insight to Sitecore. Well done!

    One thing though. You write that Sitecore uses a file based storeage. Sitecore does that in the current version, but v 5.3 (release within a month), stores files in data storeage, allowing you to add versioning, publishing dates, and workflow to physical attachments.

    Despite this, this is an excellent document. Kudos to you!

    Lars Fløe Nielsen

  3. Hi Alex. Good post.

    I love that photo at the top of this page. Where was it taken?

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