While Oracle has made it clear that WebCenter Sites (WCS) is the product that will, in time, become its core solution for web experience management, it hasn't yet put an end to WebCenter Content - Site Studio (SS).
Based on their different feature sets and price points, both solutions may appeal to different users in different situations.
So, if you are deploying a new website, should you use WCS or SS? And if you are on SS already, should you be rushing to migrate to WCS? Is the fact that Oracle's statement of direction for WCS leaves us in no doubt that this is their strategic product going forward enough to make it strategic for you?
Unique benefits of Oracle WebCenter Sites
WCS is one of a new breed of web experience management (WEM) platforms that go beyond the role of traditional web content management solutions. WEM platforms like WCS introduce functionality that is specifically aimed at help your business understand its audience, analyse their behaviour and personalise their web experience. This is all done with the aim of elevating the customer experience and monetising your web presence more efficiently.
In order to achieve these goals, WCS ships with powerful new features including:
- Easy-to-use content authoring and design tools
- Sophisticated audience segmentation, analytics and content personalisation tools
- Centralised business-user management of both mobile and traditional websites
- Automated optimisation and delivery of website to thousands of mobile device types, without the need for responsive coding
- Integration with social media for seamless social login and sharing
- User-generated content features including comments (fully moderated), ratings, reviews and blogs
- Customisable gadgets for personalisation of the web experience
- Highly-scalable web content management platform for delivery of a rich, global web presence
- Ability to integrate with Oracle's CRM and e-commerce applications, enabling an integrated, multichannel customer experience
By automating previously labour intensive operations such as audience segmentation, big data analytics, content personalisation and mobile presentation, WCS frees-up CIOs, CMOs, CTOs, webmaster and contributors to channel their efforts into more valuable areas of the customer experience.
Strengths of WebCenter Content - Site Studio
Webcenter Content - Site Studio (SS) however is not dead. In fact, at the time of writing, it is still being shipped with WebCenter Content. Further to this, the sun setting of the product has not been officially announced. While development of the product has ceased, most rumours put the end of life (i.e. end of support) at 2019.
While SS may not have the web experience management functionality of WCS, it's still a very strong web content management (WCM) platform, employed and enjoyed by many. More than this however, SS also has a reputation for having a strong set of enterprise content management features and integrations - features which cannot be directly matched by WCS. In particular the Digital Asset Management (DAM), content conversion and information management features of SS are not directly replicated in WCS.
Thus, if your requirement lies in the traditional website arena or is more aligned to enterprise content management that it is to customer experience management, you could still get a good few years' service out of SS without any significant new investment.
Managing the customer experience
If your requirement is however in the multi-channel customer experience arena, WCS surely has some attractive features that you should not ignore. The ability to understand, optimise and personalise each user's experience if powerful indeed and aligns well with CIO and CMO customer experience and customer journey objectives.
With WCS you can implement your customer journey vision quickly and with minimum redevelopment, enabling you to drive engagement and conversion rates, revenue and profitability.
Migrating from Site Studio to WebCenter Sites
If you are currently operating on SS but want to take advantage of WCS' powerful experience management tool set, you are going to need to migrate some or all of your assets to the new platform. Careful planning of such a migration is essential to ensure its effective execution within budget and timescales. For guidelines and a methodology for migration from SS to WCS, all based on our real world experience, download our migration whitepaper.