Stellent: A Smaller FryBy Baselinemag | Posted 2005-05-04 Email Print
Stellent goes toe-to-toe with bigger rivals' technology, but customers say it sometimes seems strapped for resources.
Stellent's customers say it provides a top-flight enterprise content management system that keeps getting betterbut that the company sometimes lacks the firepower of bigger rivals.
Sierra Pacific Power uses Stellent's content management system to handle more than 1.3 million documents. The utility first deployed the software in 1998, and the product has improved every year since, says programmer analyst Darlene Huff. "They've grown and learned what the market wanted," she says. "Our wish lists have turned into features in the product." For example, Stellent is adding the ability to convert engineering diagram files into Web-viewable images.
But Stellent offers training only at its Eden Prairie, Minn., headquarters and its San Francisco and London offices. That was a limitation for Larry Hibbs, applications development supervisor for the city of Aurora, Colo. Because of a tight rollout deadline, he and his team couldn't attend training sessions and had to learn how to use Stellent's Web publishing software on their own. "We didn't have the training, so we really had to hack at it," he says. "It would have been nice if they offered training in our area." (Stellent says it offers on-site classes for teams as well as online training on 19 topics.)
Meanwhile, Stellent's alliances with other vendors have faltered at times, according to Michael Abbene, director of application services for Arch Coal, a coal producer in St. Louis. He picked Oracle's portal software in 2002 largely because Stellent said it planned to develop connectors to the Oracle software. Then, when Oracle upgraded its portal, Stellent's connectors didn't work anymore. Abbene says Stellent first told him Arch Coal would have to pay for the additional development before eventually delivering what it promised. "I was pleased they came through," he says. A Stellent spokesman says Oracle remains one of the company's premier technology partners.
Some customers believe Stellent mainly needs to get the word out. Steve Kissinger, director of accounts payable for DHL, says Stellent's enterprise content management system is as comprehensive and full-featured as those offered by EMC's Documentum unit and FileNet, but he feels that the company hasn't been as effective at generating buzz: "I think their marketing department needs to do a better job of promoting the product."
Stellent operating results*
*Fiscal year ends March 31; FYTD reflects first nine months
Source: Company Reports
Source: Company ReportsOther Financials**
Total assets - $187.23M
Stockholders' equity - $154.23M
Cash and equivalents - $45.76M
Short-term investments - $17.90M
Long-term debt - None
Shares outstanding - 28.28M
Market value, 4/25 - $191.01M
**As of Dec. 31, 2004, except as noted