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Back from Internet World - a few thoughts

OK, we are back from the Internet World 2010, the largest Internet fair in Europe (at least according to their website and their sales material).

For Webnodes this has been a fantastic event. We had a really good location, next to Sitecore, and close to EPiServer and Ektron. I would in fact like to honor our competitors, they were really nice people, and in-between the hectically periods of demos and sales, we had some really good chats about the industry, and shared views of the future etc. There was a sense of mutual respect.

We had a lot of people coming to our stand and wanting to have a demo of our CMS. I hope history will show that this was our first breakthrough outside Norway. We had over 20 applications for partnership, which for us is a really good start for forming a future partner network of certified Webnodes partners outside Norway.

For me personally, after being several years away from the IT industry, it was interesting to come back and learn how much the CMS segment had evolved over the last years. The most positive discovery was that CMS is now a very well known category in the marketplace. Clients actually knew a lot about CMS and came to the exhibition with knowledge of price levels, functionality, web applications and modules that they want to run on their website. They understood the importance of the CMS architecture and its flexibility. Many people that I spoke to also seem to agree that probably all websites will run on some type of CMS in the future.

One question that I was asked several times was: "How come that all known CMS', comes out of Scandinavia"? Considering this strange phenomena, I guess it's fair to say that Norway has yet a long way to go before we can consider us equally important as Sweden and Denmark, but we at Webnodes intend to do something about it....

The CMS mid market segment is a growing market with a large number of different CMS providers, but at the same time there is only a handful of really known international brands, and strange enough, most of them being from Scandinavia.

It also seemed that the good old; "there is nothing like a free lunch", is still valid even in the IT industry. Several frustrated people dropped by our stand and complained about the costs and the complexity of customizing their open source CMS. Often the case was that they needed extended functionalities as their businesses were growing, and regretted that they hadn't thought about this in the beginning. To me this is very simple; nobody works for free (surprise..) Open Source charge for support (and there will be a day when you need it), Webnodes charge for licenses and offer free support, and we are (as the company developing the Software) 100% responsible for the quality of the product we offer.

After the financial crises and the effects it had (and still have) on several parts of the international economy, I also observed that some known and larger international companies (that before the crisis probably would never even consider mid market CMS providers), where showing great interest in our category. Large companies seems to be trading downwards on the CMS axis, but at the same time some of the well established CMS brands seemed to be trading upwards. This has created a market window in the lower end of the mid market segment.

I hope that Webnodes together with our partners will understand and know, how to benefit from this market opportunity. Hopefully we will be clever and hardworking enough to grab this opportunity, and together become a internationally known CMS brand, with a worldwide network of Webnodes partners.

Best regards from
Managing Director

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Posted by: Fredrik Thrane Holst
Categories: CMS  Internetworld 
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