A Chat with Glenn Conradt of Core Media

CoreMedia is a leading provider of Web Content Management (WCM) software to organizations demanding engaging, context-driven online experiences for their customers regardless of channel or touchpoint.

We had a chance to have a chat with Glenn Conradt, VP of Global Marketing and asked him about the company, it's claim to fame and how best it can help customers achieve success online.

CC: What can you tell us about CoreMedia?

Glenn Conradt

GC: Over 14 years ago when CoreMedia delivered its first system to manage a media clients website, the internet was in its infancy and most of us were unaware of how this medium would impact our personal and business environments.

CoreMedia’s close roots to the disruptive and demanding challenges of the media and telecommunications industry has ensured its organic growth and technological leadership since then and today it is the platform of choice for many of the highest traffic portals in Europe and around the world. While competitors continue to provide the delivery of static websites, CoreMedia in 2006 pioneered the ability to deliver personalized content in real-time with it’s Content Application Engine and followed this up as the first vendor to deliver integrated social media functionality. While the market was talking multi-channel, CoreMedia was talking and delivering multi-touchpoint.

Today CoreMedia, while a late entrant into the North American market, is able to address the complexity of managing the online ecosystem, ensure high performance and reliability, while delivering a personal, mobile and social user experience. As a result, organizations can more effectively execute their online strategies to engage consumers, build customer loyalty and ultimately drive greater revenue and profitability, even in the most complex, highly-trafficked environments.

CC: What are the main products that CoreMedia offers and how do they integrate / communicate with one another?

GC: CoreMedia’s core product is CoreMedia CMS. The latest version, CoreMedia V, manages and delivers every type of digital content for the Web including text, video, images, music and complex multimedia. Designed to make content management easy, it features a highly customizable user interface and out-of-the-box editorial tools and workflows that can be tailored to the way web managers work. We will be rolling out CoreMedia VI towards the end of the year – and introducing a new way of working with content – so be on the lookout!

CoreMedia CMS is comprised of three primary product sets: CoreMedia Adaptive Products, which enables enterprises to deliver context appropriate content to users based on the interaction between the user, environment, device and content; CoreMedia Social Products, which enables enterprises to engage with users via social network integration and community building; and CoreMedia Open Products, which allows seamless integration with back-office systems, core applications and business portals based on open standards. All of these products are integrated into CoreMedia CMS.

CC: There are many claims on the CoreMedia website with regards to the ROI and other benefits to using CoreMedia products. How do you back up these claims? Do you have case studies to prove these statements?

GC: We do!  Hundreds of companies worldwide place their trust in content management software from CoreMedia. Our customers use our software to run their corporate websites, intranets and high traffic portals offering video services, e-government, shopping and customer services. CoreMedia technology helps media businesses with their cross-media publishing, provides social software to help companies manage their change to Enterprise 2.0 businesses and protects content with a standard suite of software for digital rights management.  You can check out some case studies below:


CC: What was the biggest CoreMedia success story of this year for your company / clientele?

GC: It’s been a great year for CoreMedia thus far; we’ve expanded our presence in the US with the opening of an office in San Francisco and a growing marketing, sales and professional services team. We’ve seen significant traction with our WCM technologies in Europe and Asia as companies evolve the ways in which they engage with their customers online, so our North American expansion was a natural next step.

On the customer front, the last year has seen some significant growth.

1.      Earlier this week we announced a major deal with Internet Broadcasting to replace their current web publishing solution with our Cloud-based technology platform.

2.      We completed a project with Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). MedEdPORTAL is an interactive web portal designed to promote educational collaboration by facilitating the open exchange of peer-reviewed teaching resources such as tutorials, virtual patients, simulation cases, lab guides, videos, podcasts, assessment tools, etc.

3.      We were also incredibly excited to support the official portal for the largest sporting event in the world earlier this year; our selection and the subsequent success of the website was a huge affirmation of the reliability and scalability of our solution that we’ve been promoting.

4.      In what is believed to be the largest technology investment ever by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, CoreMedia was chosen as their online publishing platform. “Unleashed”, the first of three sites that were to be migrated, went live recently.

We’ve also seen tremendous recognition for the importance of web content management. In Gartner’s recent WCM Magic Quadrant, they predicted that WCM software will generate more than $1 billion in revenue for its vendors, up from $890 million in 2009. CoreMedia fared quite well in this year’s report- from 2009 to 2010 we experienced significant movement up and to the right to the Visionary quadrant. We feel this is a huge endorsement of our strategic focus over the past year, and plan to continue this momentum with a number of significant announcements on the product and customer side, further growth from our North American operations, and expansion of our partner ecosystem.

Lastly, we launched our new corporate website, reflecting our new branding and an improved user experience – and obviously built on our own CoreMedia CMS platform.

CC: Why do you feel CoreMedia is unique in its offerings?

GC: We covered our ability to deliver content in context, but another unique element to our story is how we can handle even the most intricate content situations. As a result of extensive M&A activity and additions of layers of new technology systems and applications, the content organization within many large organizations can be incredibly complex. Content is often spread across silos, in many different systems and repositories. CoreMedia is able to make these complex scenarios simpler, providing a robust, scalable solution for organizing and managing content between heterogeneous systems, whether internal or external. Our platform leverages open standards to easily integration with external systems, including ERP, CRM, digital asset management and video repositories. This easy integration ensures seamless content management and delivery from one single source, and makes our platform an ideal solution for companies that have a complex, highly trafficked environment.

In addition to being able to handle complex environments, CoreMedia excels at creating and publishing digital content of any type from text to rich media in a highly personalized way, creating a truly engaging experience for Web users. Our Content Application Engine enables organizations to automatically adapt content to the user’s context at that point in time- factoring in user ratings and comments, GPS information, device parameters, time of day/year, or user profile data from CRM and other back office systems- to create a personalized user experience. This is a huge advantage, especially factoring in the burgeoning number of web-enabled mobile devices, in addition to the basic Web.

And speaking of devices- mobile capabilities are another key differentiator for CoreMedia. CoreMedia’s strategic partnership with Sevenval addresses this trend by enabling businesses to immediately deliver Web content customized to both the individual consumer and the parameters of their specific mobile device- we support over 11,000 of them!

CC: How does CoreMedia assist customers, learn about, interact with, and best present their products to their customers?

GC: Businesses recognize the importance of providing excellent cross-channel experiences to improve the customer experience. In fact, a recent Forrester Research study showed that 80 percent of customer experience decision makers said that improving cross-channel interactions was one of their key priorities in 2010. Consumers consistently rate satisfaction levels for cross-channel experiences as poor, however, so it is apparent that businesses often struggle to deliver.  Organizations that wish to engage with their customers online must move beyond just delivering web content to various touchpoints, such as a mobile device, PC or social media platform. They should instead consider how content will be consumed by creating a personalized experience that addresses the user’s context (e.g. device, physical location, time-of-day, season, social networking “Likes”, relevant friend recommendations, etc).  This is the benefit that CoreMedia can deliver to our customers- helping them improving the quality and consistency of their interactions with their audience by supporting multiple channels and devices with a single core content offering that automatically adapts to each user as an individual. By intergrating content within social media networks like Facebook, organizations are able to engage directly in online customer discussions, making the dialog with their customers two-way rather than just one way.

From a bottom line perspective, CoreMedia provides organizations with a more cost-effective way of engaging with customers, no longer making it necessary for various departments to have their own in-depth technical expertise to communicate across different touchpoints. By delivering relevant and contextualized content, companies can capture customer mindshare, build brand loyalty and ultimately drive revenue. It also drives down the cost of managing and delivering digital content, and increases conversion rates and revenues through more precisely targeted cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. And finally, improved self-service applications can empower customers to help themselves, either directly or through self-supporting communities, reducing the impact on already over-stretched contact center resources.

CC: Your website states that CoreMedia WCM allows users to maximize their return on engagement. Can you define this term (as you see it)?

GC: Consumers use several sources of information before making purchase decisions – they may seek independent opinions, speak to customer service agents, or examine goods physically. And they are accessing information via myriad channels, including mobile devices, social media and company websites.  As a result, there are endless opportunities for brands to engage directly with their customers. Without a solution that converts channels into touchpoints to engage with consumers in a contextualized way, you risk losing business. By synchronizing, updating and optimizing your digital content and delivering relevant content as and when your customers’ needs and situation changes, you can quickly increase the return on your customer engagement, making each interaction productive and ultimately more profitable.

CC: What is the CoreMedia Social Software package and the Social Application Connector and how can they assist customers make the most of their content?

GC: CoreMedia Social Software enables businesses to turn their websites into vibrant online communities. It offers all of the features that a community demands – personal profiles, preferences, blogs, discussion boards, forums, ratings, comments and tags. CoreMedia Social Software is a comprehensive solution designed to be low maintenance, giving you the opportunity to listen to, learn from and engage with users.

By creating a community around your products or services, businesses can empower users to help each other to resolve issues, thus dramatically reduce the support costs;

get invaluable feedback on your current products and services through ratings and comments; follow the threads on discussion boards and forums to get instant insights into what is really on the minds of their users; and create forums around specific products and services, gauge opinions, test new ideas and get honest feedback quickly.

CoreMedia Social Application Connector enables companies to engage directly with social networks, listening to the discussions and making your content freely available.

Since users meet, discuss and share ideas all over the web and, in particular, on social networks, CoreMedia Social Application Connector enables businesses to build an application inside social networks so they can listen to the discussions and put across their point of view.  Businesses can deliver content on their website based on feedback from social networks to ensure that a seamless conversation runs between the corporate website and independent social networks.

CC: What do you feel has been the greatest advancement in WCM/CMS market over the past year or so?

GC: First generation WCM technology delivered static websites. The trend to “rip and replace” these older technologies is driving by the emergence of the mobile, social and personal web. The rapid adoption of mobile technologies by consumers has placed entirely new demands on how companies manage and distribute content to their customers. Providing rich user experiences across a growing number of devices while ensuring brand consistency and cost efficiency requires a non-siloed approach. CoreMedia’s extensive work in mobile-forward Europe, together with our partnership with Sevenval, has enabled us to provide a scalable, cost effective and consistent Web experience from a single source that automatically adapts to over 11,000 mobile devices. While many WCM vendors have inadequate responses to the mobile trend, there is a clear absence of any, apart from CoreMedia, that can address this while enabling social dialogue and a personalized contextual experience.

CC: What is your vision for the next couple of years in this market? How has CoreMedia positioned itself to be the “go to” player?

GC: The mobile Web channel has often been treated as an afterthought, with poorly-conceived Web content and an unsatisfactory Web experience for the customer. In the US and Northern Europe, however, mobile penetration is approaching 100 percent, and Gartner research indicates that mobile devices will overtake PCs by 2013 as the primary channel for Web access.  There are also reports showing that China is skipping PCs altogether, using mobile devices as their sole connection to the Internet; this phenomenon is happening in Africa, as well. CoreMedia is helping meet the consumer demand for personalized, consistent, context-specific content that is tailored to their individual needs, preferences and device.

Rather than treating multi-channel as a barrier to content delivery, CoreMedia’s latest generation of context-aware content management effectively treats each interaction as input for a more sustained customer relationship, cumulatively gathering knowledge about the customer and engaging consumers in way that creates added value for them while still delivering greater returns for the enterprise. CoreMedia’s Web CMS enables enterprises to create a truly engaging experience for users across multiple touchpoints, treating customers as individuals through websites, mobile phones, PDAs and iTV, as well as through social media channels. Our software automatically adapts the content and layout of a Web site to the unique capabilities of a mobile access device, such as navigation concepts, screen sizes, browsers, markups and multimedia formats.

The release of CoreMedia VI at the end of 2010 will challenge the outdated and siloed content models that have been unable to keep pace with the complexity of managing content and multi-touchpoint delivering across the online engagement ecosystem. A new approach is needed and we believe that CoreMedia is well positioned to deliver.

Learn more about Core Media and their offerings here: http://www.coremedia.com