Looking for the good and bad and the ugly, got recommendations?
UFV is considering Terminal Four, Hannon Hill and OU Campus, love to get your comments and experiences if you would like to share...
When we were looking for a CMS a few years ago, our final choices were very similar in features. I'm glad we went with OUCampus - their customer support is really really good. We're a small institution so to me, that makes all the difference.
Matching our requirements with the right CMS was a key issue. We needed a web-based environment (not client-based), WYSIWYG editing (not exclusively form field-based), software as a service (hosted app), and easy non-technical user adoption. The last factor is critical. If end users don't embrace the solution, then it will ultimately fail. OmniUpdate filled the bill.
As a one-man web department, managing the deluge of web content update requests was something that had to be resolved in a way that met the needs of the various departments and academic areas on-campus.
For me, OU Campus started meeting (and exceeding) that need in October 2006, and the ease-of-use and flexibility of the system has caused users around the campus to embrace it and they all continue to use it! I am managing content on Apache running on Novell NetWare/UNIX, and simultaneously, from the same web interface, I am managing content on a Network Solutions-hosted website for Community Education. OU Campus will manage any content, anywhere you can access it via FTP, and give you the ability to provide your non-technical users a simple editing environment that they will appreciate and use.
I use it to edit source code, upload ZIP'd sites for testing (OU Campus auto-extracts them for you), provide users with a simple site/content management solution, manage workflow-based publishing campus-wide, and with a short-5-step video tutorial I created, I don't even have to provide in-person training to anyone anymore.
My 5-step video tutorial : http://www.vvc.edu/videos/oucampus-5steps/
Of course, I will still meet with them if they have additional questions, but they usually find everything they need in those 5 steps (login, edit text, upload/link to their document/pdf, link to another web page, edit the left nav menu for their site).
If they want to edit/insert images, manage an RSS feed, convert and embed video, create new pages, etc., then I sit down with them for a few minutes and show them that particular feature (I need to create a second 5 step video tutorial with those steps - in fact, I'll do that today and re-post here with the link).
Do yourself a favor, get OU Campus immediately. Why spend your limited time evaluating different options when you could be spending that time solving your problems with OU Campus?
The system is great, the company is great, the user community is great, and your users will say the same (after you get it, of course).
Sorry for the long reply, but I could not do what I do at my institution without OU Campus and that's after trying PHP-Nuke, Drupal, Joomla!, exteNd [Novell], Virtual Office, Novell Teaming, and Liferay portals installed and NOT meeting our needs from 2006-2007 (and I'm implementing SharePoint as we speak, but I will NOT be using it for web content management, because it simply doesn't compare to OU Campus in any way, shape or form).
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions/comments.
Justin Gatewood | Webmaster | Victor Valley College | firstname.lastname@example.org | 760-245-4271, ext. 2697
Hey, thank you Kathie, Drew and Justin! This is great info and you all sound really positive on OU Campus. Did you consider Terminal Four or Hannon Hill also? Are there any issues you've had with OU Campus we should look out for?
Carol, FWIW, all are excellent products. Your selection process should be focused on which one will better fit your environment and work patterns, because from a technology POV, you won't likely be disappointed with any of them.
All that said, depending on your timetable, we'll have the results of the .eduGuru CMS survey this December, which might help you with some of the more qualitative opinions of the various platforms. We're on pace to top more than 500 responses total, and each of the three you mentioned are currently leaders in the numbers (except maybe T4, but I know they are announcing it to their clients at their user conference this week).
Great, thanks Michael, looking forward to that. We hope to make our decision early December, hopefully we can get a peek at this before our decision is made.
I'm sure I could be persuaded to give you some early data if it will help your decision, just shoot me a message with what you're interested in.
We have been around the CMS block quite a few times in the last ten years. We currently us OUCampus from OmniUpdate and we are very happy. More importantly, our users across campus maintaining content are very happy. We have found that no matter how many "cool" things a CMS can do, if the users do not find the system easy to use, quick to get their work done, and well supported by the campus team, then it really won't matter.
So, without boring you with all our details here, we are happy with OUCampus, have a great bit of insight in other CMS systems, and would love to share more with you if you would like to chat. Let me know if you would like more details.