To all Vignette employees: The open-source grass is greener

Vignette is just one example of where proprietary companies are failing. It's the beginning of the end.

CMSWatch describes the sad demise of a great company, Vignette. The company used to be one of the heavyweights in the web content management world, but has since dwindled in importance. My own company has welcomed its exodus of employees and customers.

It seems that the only way for proprietary companies to continue to thrive is to consolidate into mega corporations that are somewhat impervious to the pressures of SaaS and open source. For the more niche proprietary players like Vignette, there is no safety in remaining proprietary.

Here's a good description of the problem:

In any event, we think Vignette's troubles are probably larger than any temporary tumult in the banking industry (or even in the U.S. economy). Vignette's product release cycles are long. Its sales force seems unfocused. The company is under pricing pressure (something CFO Pat Kelly admitted in the earnings call). And as CEO Mike Aviles himself suggested, Vignette is not the bastion of innovation it once was.

To all my Vignette friends: The grass is greener in open source.

We'd welcome you at Alfresco, where most of our solutions engineers are ex-Vignette. But you'd be equally valuable to Acquia, Magnolia, and other open-source content management projects and companies. There is life after proprietary software, a life rich in customers and rich for customers.

Disclosure: I work for Alfresco, an open-source competitor to Vignette.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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