Stellent: A Smaller Fry

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2005-05-04 Print this article 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 better—but 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."

Enterprise Content Management

7777 Golden Triangle Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
(952) 903-2000



Robert Olson
Chairman, President and CEO
Founded the company, then known as IntraNet Solutions, in 1995. Previously ran Technical Publishing Solutions, a document management software firm he founded in 1990.

Mark Ruport
Executive VP, Operations
Heads sales, consulting services and alliances. Previously was CEO of Optika, a provider of imaging and business process management software that Stellent acquired last year.


Universal Content Management software provides a repository for documents, Web pages, images and other multimedia elements, providing common services such as access control, security, searching and workflow. Additional application modules offer features specifically for Web content, document management, collaboration, records management or digital asset management.

Reference Checks

Sierra Pacific Power
Darlene Huff
Programmer Analyst
Project: Electric and gas utility serving Nevada and northeastern California uses Stellent's content management system to store 1.3 million documents.

DHL International
Steve Kissinger
Dir., Accounts Payable
Project: Shipping company converts 100,000 paper invoices per month into electronic documents stored in Stellent's system.

City of Aurora
Larry Hibbs
Applications Development Supervisor
Project: City government in Colorado rolled out Stellent's system to manage 69,000 records and documents and 5,000 Web pages for 17 departments.

Arch Coal
Michael Abbene
Dir., Application Services
Project: Coal producer uses Stellent to let employees publish Microsoft Word files and other documents to its intranet.

Georgia System Operations
Gary Williamson
Chief Dir., I.T.
(770) 270-7690
Project: Utility in Tucker, Ga., stores images of 350,000 paper records, 21,000 electronic documents and 3,200 Web pages in its Stellent system.

Fordham University
Gene Fein
Senior Associate Dir., Technology
Project: The New York university's enrollment group uses Stellent to manage an archive of more than 500,000 documents, such as financial aid forms.

Executives listed here are all users of Stellent's products. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.

Stellent operating results*

2005FYTD 2004FY 2003FY
Revenue $78.28M $75.77M $65.43M
Gross margin 69.5% 68.8% 68.6%
Operating loss -$3.36M -$11.88M -$32.62M
Net loss -$2.89M -$10.51M -$32.40M
Net margin -3.7% -13.9% -49.5%
Loss per share -$0.11 -$0.48 -$1.45
R&D expenditure $13.28M $13.26M $15.77M

*Fiscal year ends March 31; FYTD reflects first nine months

Source: Company Reports Other 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


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