CMS and Project Management System for Financial Services Company
August 6, 2011 9:38 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find the right Content Management System for a 90-person financial services company.

I'm the executive producer in the marketing department for a $5.9B, 90-person financial services company. We need a CMS that will house content for our website, mobile apps, emails, marketing collateral pieces, RFPs, etc. Content would include real-time data feeds, static text, images and most likely other things I haven't thought about. Must be cleanly exportable. I have experience with CMS's in the web world (Expression Engine, Drupal) but don't know the ins and outs of how those would scale/integrate in this type of environment.

Bonus question: recommend project management and traffic/resourcing/collaboration system for the same environment. No MSProject, no Basecamp.
posted by hapax_legomenon to Technology (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
There is a similar question that I answered here previously. The right system is the one that people will use the most. Don't overlook the training that is necessary to migrate, ensurce compliance and get people loving the new system. If people hate a system, they will devise their own system, even if it means squirrelling away files in unsecure places.

There are many large CMS systems out there. It can take up to a year to implement a new system, just to warn you. Too many organizations buy into a system hoping it will magically fix their problem, but it turns out that it doesn't because the user aspect has been ignored.

Most likely you live near a chapter of friendly ARMA International members - they are records management professionals and can likely point you in the right direction. ARMA International also has a huge online buying guide -

Hope that helps! I will try to find that other thread for you.
posted by Calzephyr at 9:52 PM on August 6, 2011

Anything CMS: Ask Deane at He can get you headed in the right direction.

But you're talking about a lot of different stuff, some of which doesn't really sound CMS-ey to me. You're in Marketing but it seems like you're tasked with something that most would call an IT project.
posted by circular at 9:52 PM on August 6, 2011

Here is the thread that I mentioned:

Good luck! I trained and maintained eRoom back in the day and it was a decent tool. I have also been on projects where two systems were merged into a new, custom built CMS. It can be hard work, but the results are worth it - your organization will benefit for years to come ith the right choice.
posted by Calzephyr at 9:55 PM on August 6, 2011

I work in IT in financial services. With the regs your firm is subject to (eg Sarbanes-Oxley) you've got, I'm assuming, document retention and management requirements most other industries don't have to worry about when choosing software and applications. If no one in your IT or procurement depts have experience with this, it's the perfect time to do an RFP and/or hire a consultant to make sure it's done right.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 11:21 PM on August 6, 2011

Hmmm... this sounds a bit more specific and a bunch more complicated than what a traditional CMS might be used for, though I know there are some kludgy "enterprise" CMS's that might purport to do some of what you want, but might be a real pain to integrate fully as mentioned above.

I mean, at the most barebones, you can look into Drupal/EE/WordPress, since they all have some form of user access control, a media library, and a plugin infrastructure, but depending on how you want to utilize or allow others to utilize the data you're storing in the system, they might require some serious customization to get them to where you want to be.

If you have any sort of budget, I'd recommend you discuss things with a web development firm to at least walk you through the requirements gathering element and to help wrap your head around just what you're looking for. (I run such a firm, link in my profile, so feel free to memail me if you'd like.)

There's definitely not enough information on the specific ways you want to use this information, and your specific use cases to really suggest a canned-but-customizable CMS, or to suggest you start from scratch, but there are some options out there that may get you 70-90% of where you need to be, depending on those specifics.
posted by disillusioned at 11:22 PM on August 6, 2011

May I also recommend RealStoryGroup (formerly CMSwatch) for unbiased evaluations of enterprise-level CMS solutions.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 6:58 AM on August 7, 2011

Thanks for the responses, all. I should have mentioned that I will not be implementing this myself but will be one of the key decisionmakers re: what system(s) we ultimately choose, and my team will have primary responsibility for the output from said system(s) so I'm trying to educate myself about options. I've been in the situation noted above where a crappy, klugey system was put into place and it just made things worse.

I will definitely be conducting a needs analysis/developing a comprehensive user requirements doc (I've done this many times in my former life as a web/digital producer) to help frame the situation and guide the selection process.

Bottom line: I think we'll ultimately hire a consultant to nail down the technical requirements, make recommendations and do the implementation -- I just want to walk into that engagement with some idea of what's being used in the industry currently so I can participate in the discussion from a not completely ignorant position.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 8:29 AM on August 7, 2011

My company has implemented systems like you're talking about for financial services companies using ExpressionEngine before and it worked out pretty well. I'd definitely advise you look into that option (which you mention in your question). The companies were comfortable with it because we were able to cleanly integrate with their VPNs, RSA IDs, etc… and be implemented in accordance with PCI rules.

Remember that scaling is both a hardware and a software problem. Most CMSes will work really well if the database scaling is "invisible" to them; as in, they still access the database using a single hostname or IP and then you do the clustering/load balancing "behind" that hostname.
posted by unionsquarepark at 3:16 PM on August 7, 2011

Anecdotally, Eroom seems to be losing market share to Sharepoint right now, with most of our collaborators switching in the last few years. It's obviously more expensive and you're marrying SQL server + Microsoft, but if you're already an Exchange/Office company it may be easier in the long run. Sharepoint Foundation is "free" with server 2008, but requires SQL server licenses for databases greater than a certain size. Sharepoint 2010 includes site admin/auditing features and widgets to view Exchange mailboxes. Add-ons exist to comply with most regulatory needs, but you'll have to price them out. IMHO, it's more suitable for an intranet/document management lite system than an external-facing website.
posted by benzenedream at 9:26 PM on August 7, 2011

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