Salesforce Hybrid CMS Launch – Is it going to shake things up in the CMS space?

Salesforce Hybrid CMS Launch – Is it going to shake things up in the CMS space?

Authored by Ranga Srinivasan, President and CTO at Ameex Technologies on 27 Nov 2019

Having been in the content management space for more than a decade, I must say this has been one of the most interesting times to live in. As CMSs have become a more mission-critical, strategic part of the MarTech Stack, the launch of Salesforce CMS doesn’t come as a surprise. 

And this is not the first time Salesforce has ventured into content management. Salesforce’s site.com was launched in 2012 with few big enterprises coming onboard but faded away after it became very difficult for Salesforce to meet the evolving content needs of large enterprises.

Can Salesforce make an impact this time?

Unlike the previous attempts, I see a much stronger intent from Salesforce. Their investment in Automattic – the company that owns WordPress, while building a hybrid CMS from ground up shows their commitment to build a feature-rich CMS in the long run.  By strengthening their CMS capabilities, Salesforce can be well-equipped to compete with other Digital Experience Platform providers such as AEM, Acquia, Sitecore, Liferay, etc

The new hybrid CMS from Salesforce aims to empower customers to easily create content and then deliver it in any channel – all connected to customer data through Salesforce’s CRM. Salesforce CMS offers drag and drop interfaces, headless APIs that can put content across websites, mobile apps, desktop and other screens – and more importantly personalize content to customers at every touchpoint. 

One of the biggest challenges for businesses today has been to build an extensible platform that can integrate with other systems like connectors, tracking, asset management, object storage, etc. According to Anna Rosenman, Salesforce’s VP of Marketing Community Cloud and B2B Commerce,  “the built-in flexibility is the differentiator as the hybrid CMS provides a native experience channel or touchpoint, but also gives you the flexibility to present content to any touchpoint built on a third-party system.”

Would it replace current CMS platforms?

The addition of CMS could potentially shake up the DXP / CMS landscape, especially big players like Adobe, Sitecore, Acquia and Oracle. Marketing teams looking to leverage their Salesforce CRM data will be interested to explore the hybrid CMS.  It promises to have drag and drop UI, APIs that can put content everywhere, connections to external and internal sites and apps and more importantly personalization based on data. 

But enterprise clients would not view Salesforce CMS as a replacement for their existing CMS right now. Many of their content management systems are built around a complex ecosystem connected to multiple components that will be very expensive and complex to migrate. But Salesforce customers should keep a close watch since the new CMS functionality is expected to impact their B2C and B2B Commerce solution first. I see a good opportunity for small and medium Salesforce users with minimal content management needs to quickly leverage the hybrid CMS to connect data for understanding their users better and to deliver a personalized experience anywhere.  And non-Salesforce customers should wait until Salesforce outlines a clear CMS roadmap and reaches a maturity with which it can serve enterprise CMS needs.

The Bottom Line 

Content Management has always been a weak spot for Salesforce, and many in the industry expected an acquisition of a big player in the CMS / DXP space, but with the recent investment in Automattic and CMS developed in-house, Salesforce has made it very clear. They want to cement their position as a leader in the DXP race and to provide customers with an easy-to-use, flexible, content management system that can scale up and also deliver 1:1 personalization.