OracleOracle is among the largest global enterprise software vendors and like IBM and Microsoft, Oracle entered the CMS marketplace via an acquisition (Stellent in 2007). Oracle Universal Content Management (UCM) is based on the original Stellent product now fully rebranded, much improved and leading the market according to IT analyst Gartner. Does this make Oracle an obvious and safe candidate on your Web CMS shortlist?

We find that Oracle UCM does not come up often in standalone Web CMS selections, which is why it did not appear on our 2009 CMS Shortlist. According to Oracle sales pitches, the product has experienced increased adoption in recent years. As the Oracle customer list is very long and Oracle is known for upselling to the install base and for including UCM in larger deals, this sounds plausible.

Depending on your specific requirements, there are several reasons which might make Oracle a meaningful inclusion on your shortlist.

  • Oracle has continued to invest engineering resources in the product and made several recent improvements to the WCM part of UCM including usability, personalisation and accessibility.
  • As a large software vendor, you may already have a strong existing relationship with Oracle. If this the case, your stakeholders will probably appreciate getting a proposal from Oracle.
  • If you have a strong requirement to manage non-web content, eg. documents, this will play well with the product’s strengths.

Before you go ahead and add Oracle UCM to the shortlist here’s a few bullets for your consideration:

  • License and implementation cost will require a serious budget. The starting price is either US $115k per-CPU or $2,300 per system user. Moreover, Oracle implementation partners are not known for attractive hourly rates.
  • Usability might have been improved, but still existing customers on the newest version of the product are so frustrated with poor usability that they publish commentaries like Oracle, can you improve your poor usability please? by Mark Morrell at BT.
  • You will need to learn the proprietary “Idoc Script” language for Site Studio until 11g release comes out.
  • UCM is a complex product and will be overkill for many scenarios.

Oracle is planning to release the much-anticipated 11g version of Oracle UCM later this year, which we look forward to studying closer. In the mean time, consider talking to Oracle on getting more information about what’s coming.

Thanks to @erikmhartman, @irina_guseva, @TonyByrne and @vesterli for valuable input.