According to the Danish Government, Plone is a good CMS. It seems unfair and unhealthy for competition when the government has a favoured system, whether open source or not, in particular in a marketplace as young and dynamic as the CMS marketplace.
To quote Shakespeare: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark".
The statement on Plone is from the Danish National IT and Telecom Agency, which belongs in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. You'll find the innocent looking quote as a part of an IT dictionary on their website.
I agree that Plone is a good CMS and I've also previously called Plone a popular open source CMS, but that does not mean I would blindly adopt it for any web project or recommend Plone on any shortlist for a CMS selection. As you probably know, there are many relevant open source alternatives, e.g. Liferay, Typo3 and Umbraco. On the commercial side I compare Plone to Microsoft SharePoint, mainly due to product strengths behind the firewall, in particular with collaboration. Interestingly SharePoint is very popular with government projects, including in Denmark.
For the government based buyer, please remember that the consulting firms with Plone experience tend to be quite small in size. Also, Plone requires Python knowledge for advanced customisation and is known for having a steep learning curve.
There is a potential role for government in this market. What would be very helpful for government buyers are:
- 3 - 5 recommended content management systems with strengths and weaknesses for each CMS when used in particular types of projects
- a listing of unsupported systems and a good reason for why the system is on the list
To be fair, it is an improvement for the Danish government to recommend Plone rather than having a gov't funded proprietary CMS, which was the case back in 2005.
Does your country's government have publicly stated preferences with regards to CMS? If so, what are they?
UPDATE 30 July: Plone has been removed from the IT dictionary