Customer Segments - SWOT Analysis

by jonstahl — last modified 2008-12-30T20:03:00+00:00

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)

Free

Pluggable auth/CAS

Python as "glue"

Multi-site hosting

Multi-platform support

Easy-to-use

Enfold Desktop

Distributed security

TCO (low cost)

Low barrier to entry

Customizability

Metadata support

Integration potential

Scalability

Accessibility (+1)

The WebLION project

Internationalization

Distributed CRUD

Good out-of-the-box story

WYSIWYG editing

Document management



*Weaknesses*


Learning curve, risk of long-term maintenance issues due to staff turnover

Collaboration tools

Deployment

Migration

Hosting

No offline mode

Failed "EduPlone" effort



*Opportunities*


Emerging "Open Courseware" market

Rostering/groups/teams

Calendaring

Micro-publishing (blogs, wikis)

Poorly-done proprietary, domain-specific platforms (also a threat!)

Infiltration via individual faculty

Research/bibliography features (+1)

Education bundle

Improved integration with ID management solutions

Better collaboration tools (+1)

Improved document management

Integration with existing diverse systems (e.g. LMS)

Rating/marking of content

Filtering content, quotas

Investigate EU Funding opportunities

Need a mass deployment solution

Focus on students

WSRP integration


*Threats*


"Old school" IT attitudes

Entrenched proprietary domain-specific platforms (e.g. Blackboard)

Top-level mandates

Moodle, Sakai, Clarolia (LMS)

Drupal

Joomla

Sharepoint


GOVERNMENT

 

*Strengths*


Security (+2)

Accessibility (+4)

References

Complex workflows (+1)

Internationalization & localization (+5)

Ease of use (+2)

The open source process

Users&

Add-on products (+1)

No vendor lock-in

Licensing

Content-level collaboration

Flexibility

PloneGov initiative


*Weaknesses*


"Tender-hostile" (i.e. hard to bid Plone in government tender/RFP processes)

Content delivery systems

Document management

No "Plone lobby"

ZODB isn't SQL

No single responsible vendor

Activity-based workflow

No regulatory compliance

Few vendors on GSA schedule

Perception of an "exotic" technology stack (+2)

Relatively limited support & consulting options (+2)
Content export

Print-ready formatting

Static deployments

Perception of vendor lock-in

Not sold by big corporations

Management of paper forms, scanning & imaging


*Opportunities*


Desktop integration

Application-level integration

Activity-based workflow

Transforms

Search/catalog improvements

Records management applications

Better collaboration tools

Reuse functionality  - between state gov't, cities, etc. implementations

Governments are getting more positive about open source

Political campaign management

Accessibility regulations & laws

Local governments & developing countries

MS Office integration

Training

Open Office

Hosting

Activism/outreach



*Threats*


Hard for small consultancies to penetrate government processes

Budget for commercial options

Movement towards Java & .NET

Wholesale deals with Microsoft & Oracle (+1)

Bad news stories about open source (& Python?)

Entrenched providers

Admin overhead of gov't projects


NONPROFIT

 

*Strengths*


Cheap/easy to evaluate

Free

Open source license

Windows installer

Easy to get running quickly and skin

Internationalization (+1)

Accessibility

Values & culture alignment between nonprofits & open source (+1)

Search engine friendliness (+1)

OpenID support

Good reputation

Web syndication

Ease-of-use, little training required (+3)

Kupu WYSIWYG editor

Easy to get involved in the Plone community

Allows content to maintained without a webmaster on staff

Great case studies

Paul 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 studies

Hard (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-box

Difficult to estimate the cost of customization/extension

Kupu WYSIWYG editor

Hard to maintain/migration issues (+1)



*Opportunities*


Through-the-web scripting

Through-the-web content type creation

NGO distribution for Plone (+1)

Shared instances

Africa & South America as growth markets

Investigate EU funding opportunities

Constituent relationship management integration (e.g. Salesforce), and stronger marketing of this work (+5)

More case studies

Project collaboration workspaces (+2)

Static deployment of content

Blogging

Offline replication of content for low-connectivity environments

Proven on-demand scaling (via, e.g., Amazon EC2)

Lots of potential social networking tool integrations (e.g. pyfacebook)

Developer/integrator documentation

KARL (OSI's Plone-powered community intranet project)



*Threats*


Turn-key targeted solutions

Large commercial vendors

Perception of Plone as hard, fat and complicated

Google Groups, Basecamp for project collaboration

Heavily discounted Sharepoint

Drupal + CiviCRM

LAMP stack deployment story

Wordpress for blogging and brochure sites

Low-cost PHP developers

Openplans



LARGE ENTERPRISE

 

*Strengths*


Web publishing

Flexibility/extensibility (+2)

Usability

Accessibility (+1)

Internationalization/multilingual (+1)

Workflow allows us to model business processes (+1)

Security

LDAP/Active Directory Integration (SSO)

Aftermarket ability to expand features

Low cost

Strong integration story

Feature rich

Good reviews (+1)

Enfold Desktop (Windows desktop integration)

Schemaless, hierarchical content

PAS

Rapid deployment cycle




*Weaknesses*


Lack of large consulting firms (+2)

Hard to find consultants (they are often busy!)

Scalability (# of users, speed) (+2)

External file storage

Data import/export

Static content publishing

Perception that low cost = low value

ZODB

Python & Zope are perceived as "too niche" (+1)

Low visibility

Perception that Plone is "not enterprise worthy"

Perception of open source

Versioning

Documentation (esp. for sys admins)

Backup/restore procedures unclear

Integration with widely used monitoring/backup systems

Upgrades/migrations

Lack of marketing materials

Lack of published success stories



*Opportunities*


Collaboration

RelStorage (uses Oracle DB as ZODB storage)

Growing Python awareness

Auditing (who did what, when)

Through-the-web content type development

RDBMS integration (via SQLAlchemy?) (+1)

Enfold/Windows integration

IBM Guideshare (network)

OEMs

Marketing materials (+1)

CSV support

Enterprise distribution

More content deployment options (e.g. Entransit, CMFDeployment/static)

Document management

More layers, better packaging, more decoupled stack

Certifications (and publicizing them!)

Networks of companies/consultants

Documentation of our various APIs



*Threats*


Anti-open source attitudes

Big consulting firms

Microsoft ecosystem

Java, .NET

Alfresco (+1)

Sharepoint (+2)

Rhythmx (+1)

Red Dot (+1)

Entrenched systems adding "CMS" features

Products backed by large corporations

"Thinking we should do enterprise"


SMALL/MEDIUM BUSINESS

 

*Strengths*


Plone community (+1)

Out-of-the-box experience (+1)

Packaged installers

Low TCO (+1)

Easy extensibility, grows with the business (+1)

Happy customers evangelize Plone for us

Users can control content, no webmaster needed

Vast number of add-on products (+1)

Ease of use (+1)

Easy to setup

End-user manual (from Gocept)

WYSIWYG editor

Search

Security

Workflows (+1)

User & group permissions

IRC provides free, live support



*Weaknesses*


ecommerce

Performance

Difficulty of themeing

Vast number of add-on products (confusing!)

Suspicion of ZODB (unfamiliar)

Integration with relational content

Low-end hosting is not as low-end as LAMP

Fewer hosting providers support

Calendaring

Documentation (+1)

Scarcity of skilled consultants

Hard to theme (+1)

Upgrading third-party add-on products

End-user manual lacks translations



*Opportunities*


Through-the-web development (w/ roundtrip via GSXML)

XML import/export of content

Hosted Plone service + evangelism thereof

A new, easier themeing story, with documentation (+1)

Small business bundle, including Active Directory auth

Better app development story via WSGI

Calendaring

Integration success stories

More metric & stats

Predictable deployments

More consistent configuration

Free Enfold Desktop

E-Commerce (+1)

Supporrt

STartups

Co-existence with Django

Event Registration

Email newsletter integration

Product certification

Through-the-web download & install of new products

Static deployment


*Threats*


Hard to hire Plone people / developer scarcity

Joomla w/ VirtuMart (ecommerce)

.NET, Java based CMS

"Hosted" solutions

Google Apps/Suites (+1)

Sharepoint

Alfresco

Ruby On Rails (custom app dev) (+1)

Amazon e-Commerce services

Wikis

Blogs




MEDIA/BROADCASTING

 

*Strengths*


Solid core features (+1)

Clean, elegant UI

Community passion, buy in (+1)

Workflow (+1)

Security

Custom metadata

GSA integration

Relationships

RSS

Zope has penetration already in this market

Ease of use

Collaboration

Buildout for deployment

Photo albums

Searching (incl. PDF, Word indexing)

Friendly URLs

Search engine friendliness

Media reputation


*Weaknesses*


Large file handling (+3) + delivery

Templating changes frequently

Scaling (# of documents)

Highly transactional sites

Difficult to theme

SOcial networking features

Blob storage

Staging/versioning

Syndication

RSS aggregation

Streaming (+1)

Commenting & moderation

Content delivery performance

Lack of media-specific transforms

Content export

Categorization

Kupu support for media objects



*Opportunities*


Alternate content representation

Tramline/ static deployment of media files

iTunes

Blob as large file solution (+4)

Plone + media standards

Content reuse (+1)

Ratings (+1)

Metadata handling

Plone4Artists (+1)

Zope 3

Mashups

Kupu

Jackrabbit

Tagging

Commenting

Separate content management from delivery

Integrate with content delivery networks


*Threats*


Django (newspapers) (+1)

Services (facebook, etc.)

Brightcove/Blip.tv/YouTube (?)

Drupal media plugins, community add-ons (+1)

Wordpress + plugins

Industry-specific solutions

Fluxiom

Akamai (?)



DEVELOPERS



*Strengths*


Python (+5)

Security model (+1)

Python's readability, ease of learning

Not PHP

Community (+1)

Prestigious high-tech clients/sites

Open-source

Strong potential to earn money as a developer

#plone

Sprints (+1)

Strong community processes

Database transactions

ZODB (+1)

KSS

GPL license

Through-the-web development

Installers

Component architecture

Test-driven development practices

Buildout

Plone Foundation

PLIP process

Release management

Customization


*Weaknesses*


Complexity

Moving targets

Steep learning curve (+4)

Not PHP

MVC confusion (with Archetypes)

Different ways of doing things

Server restarts required during development

ZODB

Quality of add-on product varies (+1)

Tests run slowly

Documentation is poorly structured

GPL

Not fun to work on

No proper layering of concerns

Stack complexity (+1)

MacYET on IRC

SQL integration

Expectation management

Rapid pace of change

Hard migrations (+1)

Themeing too hard

ZCML

"Code is documentation" attitude
 
Zope 2 legacy

Archetypes

Lack of API/documentation



*Opportunities*


Reducing complexity

New developer mentoring program

WSGI/Repoze

Distinguish Plone from rapid frameworks

How to make money with Plone

Good defaults with configuration options

Better documentation (+1)

AGX/UML

Web services

Better build system + deployment systems

Push pieces of Plone out of Plone

TTW content types, theming to ease learning curve (+1)

Screencasts

Google Summer of Code/GHOP

TTW installation of products

Promote Python to Java programmers

Local Ploneability events!

Sprints

SQLAlchemy




*Threats*


Integrated suites (Microsoft, Java)

Rapid frameworks (Ruby on Rails, Django)

Software as a service (e.g. Google)

Cleverness in Plone's codebase

Internal ("Plone doesn't do X")

Continuing steep learning curve

Perception that free software is cost-free

Other python frameworks

Python 3000

Schools teaching Java & .NET only

Drupal

Pissed off developers bad-mouthing us, damage control

Sharepoint/Alfreco

Lack of human resources