Customer Segments - SWOT Analysis

In this exercise, we considered again the six customer segments we used earlier:

we also addressed "Developers" as a separate, cross-cutting audience

... for each, we considered Plone's strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats for each segment.

EDUCATION

 

*Strengths*

User & group permissioning (+1)Open source (+1)FreePluggable auth/CASPython as "glue"Multi-site hostingMulti-platform supportEasy-to-useEnfold DesktopDistributed securityTCO (low cost)Low barrier to entryCustomizabilityMetadata supportIntegration potentialScalabilityAccessibility (+1)The WebLION projectInternationalizationDistributed CRUDGood out-of-the-box storyWYSIWYG editingDocument management

*Weaknesses*

Learning curve, risk of long-term maintenance issues due to staff turnoverCollaboration toolsDeploymentMigrationHostingNo offline modeFailed "EduPlone" effort

*Opportunities*

Emerging "Open Courseware" marketRostering/groups/teamsCalendaringMicro-publishing (blogs, wikis)Poorly-done proprietary, domain-specific platforms (also a threat!)Infiltration via individual facultyResearch/bibliography features (+1)Education bundleImproved integration with ID management solutionsBetter collaboration tools (+1)Improved document managementIntegration with existing diverse systems (e.g. LMS)Rating/marking of contentFiltering content, quotasInvestigate EU Funding opportunitiesNeed a mass deployment solutionFocus on studentsWSRP integration

*Threats*

"Old school" IT attitudesEntrenched proprietary domain-specific platforms (e.g. Blackboard)Top-level mandatesMoodle, Sakai, Clarolia (LMS)DrupalJoomlaSharepoint

GOVERNMENT

 

*Strengths*

Security (+2)Accessibility (+4)ReferencesComplex workflows (+1)Internationalization & localization (+5)Ease of use (+2)The open source processUsers&Add-on products (+1)No vendor lock-inLicensingContent-level collaborationFlexibilityPloneGov initiative

*Weaknesses*

"Tender-hostile" (i.e. hard to bid Plone in government tender/RFP processes)Content delivery systemsDocument managementNo "Plone lobby"ZODB isn't SQLNo single responsible vendorActivity-based workflowNo regulatory complianceFew vendors on GSA schedulePerception of an "exotic" technology stack (+2)Relatively limited support & consulting options (+2)Content exportPrint-ready formattingStatic deploymentsPerception of vendor lock-inNot sold by big corporationsManagement of paper forms, scanning & imaging

*Opportunities*

Desktop integrationApplication-level integrationActivity-based workflowTransformsSearch/catalog improvementsRecords management applicationsBetter collaboration toolsReuse functionality  - between state gov't, cities, etc. implementationsGovernments are getting more positive about open sourcePolitical campaign managementAccessibility regulations & lawsLocal governments & developing countriesMS Office integrationTrainingOpen OfficeHostingActivism/outreach

*Threats*

Hard for small consultancies to penetrate government processesBudget for commercial optionsMovement towards Java & .NETWholesale deals with Microsoft & Oracle (+1)Bad news stories about open source (& Python?)Entrenched providersAdmin overhead of gov't projects

NONPROFIT

 

*Strengths*

Cheap/easy to evaluateFreeOpen source licenseWindows installerEasy to get running quickly and skinInternationalization (+1)AccessibilityValues & culture alignment between nonprofits & open source (+1)Search engine friendliness (+1)OpenID supportGood reputationWeb syndicationEase-of-use, little training required (+3)Kupu WYSIWYG editorEasy to get involved in the Plone communityAllows content to maintained without a webmaster on staffGreat case studiesPaul Everitt :-)

*Weaknesses*

Lowest-end hosting isn't as cheap/easy as LAMP (+2)Good consultants are booked solid and relatively expensive (+2)Hard to find good case studiesHard (and thus expensive) for non-developers to customize (+1)Missing online donation/ecommerce features (+2)No email blasting tools (+2)Out-of-the-box speed (+2)No good blogging story out-of-the-boxDifficult to estimate the cost of customization/extensionKupu WYSIWYG editorHard to maintain/migration issues (+1)

*Opportunities*

Through-the-web scriptingThrough-the-web content type creationNGO distribution for Plone (+1)Shared instancesAfrica & South America as growth marketsInvestigate EU funding opportunitiesConstituent relationship management integration (e.g. Salesforce), and stronger marketing of this work (+5)More case studiesProject collaboration workspaces (+2)Static deployment of contentBloggingOffline replication of content for low-connectivity environmentsProven on-demand scaling (via, e.g., Amazon EC2)Lots of potential social networking tool integrations (e.g. pyfacebook)Developer/integrator documentationKARL (OSI's Plone-powered community intranet project)

*Threats*

Turn-key targeted solutionsLarge commercial vendorsPerception of Plone as hard, fat and complicatedGoogle Groups, Basecamp for project collaborationHeavily discounted SharepointDrupal + CiviCRMLAMP stack deployment storyWordpress for blogging and brochure sitesLow-cost PHP developersOpenplans

LARGE ENTERPRISE

 

*Strengths*

Web publishingFlexibility/extensibility (+2)UsabilityAccessibility (+1)Internationalization/multilingual (+1)Workflow allows us to model business processes (+1)SecurityLDAP/Active Directory Integration (SSO)Aftermarket ability to expand featuresLow costStrong integration storyFeature richGood reviews (+1)Enfold Desktop (Windows desktop integration)Schemaless, hierarchical contentPASRapid deployment cycle

*Weaknesses*

Lack of large consulting firms (+2)Hard to find consultants (they are often busy!)Scalability (# of users, speed) (+2)External file storageData import/exportStatic content publishingPerception that low cost = low valueZODBPython & Zope are perceived as "too niche" (+1)Low visibilityPerception that Plone is "not enterprise worthy"Perception of open sourceVersioningDocumentation (esp. for sys admins)Backup/restore procedures unclearIntegration with widely used monitoring/backup systemsUpgrades/migrationsLack of marketing materialsLack of published success stories

*Opportunities*

CollaborationRelStorage (uses Oracle DB as ZODB storage)Growing Python awarenessAuditing (who did what, when)Through-the-web content type developmentRDBMS integration (via SQLAlchemy?) (+1)Enfold/Windows integrationIBM Guideshare (network)OEMsMarketing materials (+1)CSV supportEnterprise distributionMore content deployment options (e.g. Entransit, CMFDeployment/static)Document managementMore layers, better packaging, more decoupled stackCertifications (and publicizing them!)Networks of companies/consultantsDocumentation of our various APIs

*Threats*

Anti-open source attitudesBig consulting firmsMicrosoft ecosystemJava, .NETAlfresco (+1)Sharepoint (+2)Rhythmx (+1)Red Dot (+1)Entrenched systems adding "CMS" featuresProducts backed by large corporations"Thinking we should do enterprise"

SMALL/MEDIUM BUSINESS

 

*Strengths*

Plone community (+1)Out-of-the-box experience (+1)Packaged installersLow TCO (+1)Easy extensibility, grows with the business (+1)Happy customers evangelize Plone for usUsers can control content, no webmaster neededVast number of add-on products (+1)Ease of use (+1)Easy to setupEnd-user manual (from Gocept)WYSIWYG editorSearchSecurityWorkflows (+1)User & group permissionsIRC provides free, live support

*Weaknesses*

ecommercePerformanceDifficulty of themeingVast number of add-on products (confusing!)Suspicion of ZODB (unfamiliar)Integration with relational contentLow-end hosting is not as low-end as LAMPFewer hosting providers supportCalendaringDocumentation (+1)Scarcity of skilled consultantsHard to theme (+1)Upgrading third-party add-on productsEnd-user manual lacks translations

*Opportunities*

Through-the-web development (w/ roundtrip via GSXML)XML import/export of contentHosted Plone service + evangelism thereofA new, easier themeing story, with documentation (+1)Small business bundle, including Active Directory authBetter app development story via WSGICalendaringIntegration success storiesMore metric & statsPredictable deploymentsMore consistent configurationFree Enfold DesktopE-Commerce (+1)SupporrtSTartupsCo-existence with DjangoEvent RegistrationEmail newsletter integrationProduct certificationThrough-the-web download & install of new productsStatic deployment

*Threats*

Hard to hire Plone people / developer scarcityJoomla w/ VirtuMart (ecommerce).NET, Java based CMS"Hosted" solutionsGoogle Apps/Suites (+1)SharepointAlfrescoRuby On Rails (custom app dev) (+1)Amazon e-Commerce servicesWikisBlogs

MEDIA/BROADCASTING

 

*Strengths*

Solid core features (+1)Clean, elegant UICommunity passion, buy in (+1)Workflow (+1)SecurityCustom metadataGSA integrationRelationshipsRSSZope has penetration already in this marketEase of useCollaborationBuildout for deploymentPhoto albumsSearching (incl. PDF, Word indexing)Friendly URLsSearch engine friendlinessMedia reputation

*Weaknesses*

Large file handling (+3) + deliveryTemplating changes frequentlyScaling (# of documents)Highly transactional sitesDifficult to themeSOcial networking featuresBlob storage Staging/versioningSyndicationRSS aggregationStreaming (+1)Commenting & moderationContent delivery performanceLack of media-specific transformsContent exportCategorizationKupu support for media objects

*Opportunities*

Alternate content representationTramline/ static deployment of media filesiTunesBlob as large file solution (+4)Plone + media standardsContent reuse (+1)Ratings (+1)Metadata handlingPlone4Artists (+1)Zope 3MashupsKupuJackrabbitTaggingCommentingSeparate content management from deliveryIntegrate with content delivery networks

*Threats*

Django (newspapers) (+1)Services (facebook, etc.)Brightcove/Blip.tv/YouTube (?)Drupal media plugins, community add-ons (+1)Wordpress + pluginsIndustry-specific solutionsFluxiomAkamai (?)

DEVELOPERS

*Strengths*

Python (+5)Security model (+1)Python's readability, ease of learningNot PHPCommunity (+1)Prestigious high-tech clients/sitesOpen-sourceStrong potential to earn money as a developer#ploneSprints (+1)Strong community processesDatabase transactionsZODB (+1)KSSGPL licenseThrough-the-web developmentInstallersComponent architectureTest-driven development practicesBuildoutPlone FoundationPLIP processRelease managementCustomization

*Weaknesses*

ComplexityMoving targetsSteep learning curve (+4)Not PHPMVC confusion (with Archetypes)Different ways of doing thingsServer restarts required during developmentZODBQuality of add-on product varies (+1)Tests run slowlyDocumentation is poorly structuredGPLNot fun to work onNo proper layering of concernsStack complexity (+1)MacYET on IRCSQL integrationExpectation managementRapid pace of changeHard migrations (+1)Themeing too hardZCML"Code is documentation" attitude Zope 2 legacyArchetypesLack of API/documentation

*Opportunities*

Reducing complexityNew developer mentoring programWSGI/RepozeDistinguish Plone from rapid frameworks How to make money with PloneGood defaults with configuration optionsBetter documentation (+1)AGX/UMLWeb servicesBetter build system + deployment systemsPush pieces of Plone out of PloneTTW content types, theming to ease learning curve (+1)ScreencastsGoogle Summer of Code/GHOPTTW installation of productsPromote Python to Java programmersLocal Ploneability events!SprintsSQLAlchemy

*Threats*

Integrated suites (Microsoft, Java)Rapid frameworks (Ruby on Rails, Django)Software as a service (e.g. Google)Cleverness in Plone's codebaseInternal ("Plone doesn't do X")Continuing steep learning curvePerception that free software is cost-freeOther python frameworksPython 3000Schools teaching Java & .NET onlyDrupalPissed off developers bad-mouthing us, damage controlSharepoint/AlfrecoLack of human resources