Vignette's Partners Laud Product Tweaks

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Vignette is repackaging and repricing its content management software in an effort to help partners sell departmental solutions.

The new strategy, which comes on the heels of lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales, also includes simplified pricing and a redeployment of Vignette's sales force so it can better support solution providers in smaller engagements.

Vignette initiated the changes in September, when it released its V6 enterprise content management suite. The new agenda, detailed at a partner conference in Las Vegas last week, was well received by some.

>> Vignette Content v6 Standard Edition packaged for departmental deployment
>> Simplified CPU-based pricing starts at $200,000 for six-processor license
>> Sales force refocused


"Most of the partners are pretty excited about this," said Chris McLaughlin, global practice director for content management at Inforte, a Chicago-based

e-business consultancy. Vignette is "very focused and very driven to make this happen."

Partners say Vignette has been hampered by a perception that its software is expensive, complex and only suited for large deployments.

"There is a perception that they're being priced out of the market," said Tom Fornoff, vice president of alliances at Sapient, Austin, Texas, who added that the company's moves could change that view.

Vignette now offers a $200,000 standard edition that includes most of the features found in its enterprise edition, minus a management console, search engine and analytics tools. The enterprise edition starts at $400,000, which includes a 14-processor license.

The CPU-based pricing replaces what Santi Pierini, vice president of product strategy at Vignette, described as a 64-page document that required "a seasoned sales representative" to interpret.

While partners said the simplified pricing will make the sales cycle easier, more important may be the redeployment of Vignette direct-sales representatives, who had been focused exclusively on a set of named accounts. Now a sales team has geographies in which it can work with partners to drum up departmental engagements, partners said.

Over the past year, Vignette has also cut its professional services organization from 900 to about 300 consultants.

McLaughlin said he views these shifts as signs of "a continuing commitment on [Vignette's part to push more services to partners."

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