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Content Management Systems are a very useful tool for any organization making an effort to streamline processes, inform to optimize the day to day activities of all their employees. One of the most notorious products for this is Microsoft’s Shar platform. This is a high-cost, high efficiency tool available for any firm willing to take on the cost and implementation pains of it.
Of course that asks the question about those firms that may not have the capital for such a project. What do they do?
Before we direct those companies to Atlanta’s local Ikea’s filing cabinet section, we should explore another option, a FREE option.
Drupal is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) and content management framework (CMF) written in PHP. It is used as a back-end system for at least 1.5% of all websites worldwide ranging from personal blogs to corporate, political and government sites including whitehouse.gov and data.gov.uk. It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration
Okay, let me break it down for you a little bit more. It’s not entirely free; you will still need a PHP rock star to come in and handle the task of customizing it to fit your needs, but that’s a far cry from licensing fees.
Let’s take a look at cost. This will always be the first question for any responsible CEO or CIO. With products like SharePoint you are required to purchase the license and pay per user as well, all before you really “see” the product. Let’s take a moment to discuss that “pay per user” concept. Whether that person uses the system 1 hour per year or 24hrs a day, your company will still pay the same price. Also, that demonstration that really knocked your socks off about SharePoint probably included many customizations that were added to enhance the performance, and look and feel of it. The product you will get will be “out of the box”, which means $$ in billing for a lucky SharePoint developer who will come in and give you the “look and feel” you were originally hoping for.
Although with Drupal you are looking at consultants hourly rates for enhancing the character of the site, you did not have to make a significant expenditure initially just for the privilege of trying. At Innoppl, we have consultants and Project Managers who specialize in creating these sites for clients, everyone from a non-profit organization helping children to a premiere diamond retailer. In addition to the basic software costs, SharePoint needs to be run on Windows 2003 server or higher, whereas Drupal can support multiple operating systems. Finally, in addition to initial costs, ECM’s carry many hidden costs as well. There are a multitude of “optional” features up for sale, except those features are about as optional as the steering wheel on your car.
The complexity of SharePoint is certainly in a league of its own, and to Microsoft’s credit, they have done a decent job in what used to be tedious tasks like custom web parts a lot easier to manage in SharePoint 2010, but there is still a lot more room for improvement. Some people argue it is like that because Microsoft likes to leave room for partners to “pick-up where they left off” or that kind of complexity is there to give the end user as many options as possible. Although, both of those responses do carry a bit of merit, the open source community decided to come up with their own rebuttal by allowing as many add-on feature that can be added just by a simple download, no mess or fuss about it. Now if a client is looking for something in particular, they can turn to their vast open source community. That’s probably one of the best benefits of using an open source platform like Drupal; there is really no shortage of advice or assistance. Moreover, if you elicit the help of a company like Innoppl, not only do you have the communities help, but you have our company satisfaction guarantee. Innoppl promises 1 hour call backs 24/7. I am pretty confident you’d still be listening to Microsoft’s changed menu options in the time is takes Innoppl to get back to you.
All things considered, Innoppl knows no two clients or solutions are created equally and will never try to treat you as such. Whichever one you choose has to ultimately feel right to you in the end and Innoppl promises to effectively guide and encourage you and your business initiative the entire way.
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