|Type||Subsidiary of OpenText|
|Industry||content management, portal, collaboration, document management, and records management|
|Founded||1995, Sigma Partners|
|Headquarters||Austin, Texas (registered)|
|Key people||Mike Aviles, Chief Executive Officer|
|Employees||about 670 (2008)|
Vignette Corporation was a company headquartered in Austin, Texas that offered a suite of content management, portal, collaboration, document management, and records management software. Founded in 1995, Vignette was bought by Open Text Corporation in 2009.
Targeted at the enterprise market, Vignette offered products under the name StoryServer that allowed non-technical users to create, edit and track content through workflows and publish it on the web. Vignette held more than 70 U.S. patents and provided integration for enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and legacy systems, supporting Java EE and Microsoft .NET.
Many large websites ran Vignette's StoryServer, including CNET, UnitedHealth Group, Disney, Wachovia, Martha Stewart, Fox News Digital, National Geographic, MetLife and BSkyB. Vignette provided the technical platform for the 2004 Summer Olympics website. In 2008, NASA credited Vignette Portal as a "key tool the team uses in-house to keep the content organized."
In November 1995 Ross Garber and Neil Webber started Vignette with the goal of making web publishing easier and more personalized. The company's seed round investors were Austin Ventures and Sigma Partners. In a second round, Vignette secured $10 million of venture funding in July 1997 and $14 million in May 1998.
Vignette's first product was called StoryBuilder and handled large-scale content management workflow. This product was announced but never released on its own. During the initial StoryBuilder development, Vignette partnered with CNET, which had developed its own technology called PRISM that allowed for the creation and delivery of large, database-driven websites. CNET, which wanted a third party to commercialize the product, decided to transfer the technology to Vignette, and invested $500,000, for a 33% stake in Vignette. Vignette rapidly developed the technology into a product called StoryServer, which was released in January 1997. StoryBuilder was later merged into the StoryServer product, and was released in September 1997.
Vignette was an early adopter of XML. StoryServer 4, launched in July 1998, featured strong support of the technology. In January 1998, Vignette and Firefly Networks proposed the XML based Information and Content Exchange (ICE) protocol for content syndication and submitted the specification to the World Wide Web Consortium standards body on 26 Oct 1998. Vignette became the primary ICE vendor through Vignette Syndication Server, released on February 22, 1999.
In June 1998, Garber hired Greg Peters to succeed him as chief executive officer, and Garber became chairman of the board. Garber left the company in 1999, and Webber retired in early 2000.
Vignette's initial public offering (IPO) took place on February 19, 1999. On the first day of trading, the company's stock more than doubled from $19 to $42.69 per share. By June 2000, Vignette's stock had risen more than 1,500%, to $300, giving the company a market capitalization of nearly $9 billion.
The company made several acquisitions, including e-business application vendor OnDisplay for $1.4 billion in 2000, enterprise portal software vendor Epicentric for $32 million in 2002, CMS vendor Intraspect for $20 million in 2003, Tower Technology, an Australian-based provider of enterprise document and records management software, in 2004 for $125 million, and Vidavee, a SaaS-based Web video publishing company in 2008.
In 2008 Vignette suffered a marked decrease in gross profit and net income (Q2 2008 vs. Q2 2007). The company reported a loss of a little over $863,000 in Q2 of 2008, compared to a net gain of $4 million in Q2 of 2007. However, the company had no debt and approximately $150 million in cash. Vignette launched a dozen products in 2008 but needed to prove the value of these products by producing license revenue.
Vignette was criticized for being very expensive. Traditionally Vignette aimed at the high-end of the market with the typical deployment costing over $250,000. Newer offerings (i.e. Video, Recommendations and Social) were priced well under $100,000.
The user interfaces of Vignette's products were considered to be complicated, non-intuitive and hard to learn. Later product versions were aimed at addressing these criticisms.
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- U.S. Patent Office
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