Ford to use Microsoft Content Management Server

Microsoft on Thursday announced that Ford Motor has signed a deal to use its Content Management Server 2001 as its content management solution for its Ford.com Web site.

Content Management Server, which Microsoft acquired from EnCompass Labs in May of last year, features Web site development and management capabilities, template-based content publishing, content workflow, scheduling and archiving, and dynamic content delivery.

At its TechEd conference in New Orleans next week, Microsoft will show off tighter integration between Content Management Server and its SharePoint through an Integration Pack, which will be downloadable from the Microsoft Developers Network. The Integration pack is expected to be available at the end of April.

"The tighter integration makes it easier to share documents with SharePoint right out of the box, and also results in improved document management capabilities and [the ability] to publish those documents to a Web site," said Chris Ramsey, a product manager on Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft's Content Management Server team.

Microsoft officials said they plan to release the .Net version of the Content Management Server some time in the second half of this year.

As part of its deal, Ford contracted with Microsoft's Consulting Services (MCS) to help them with the implementation as well as with a road map for the site going forward. Working with MCS, the company was able to essentially rebuild Ford.com in 13 weeks.

Ford decided on Microsoft's product because it scaled better than others they considered and for several of its ease-of-use features, company officials said.

Company officials added they have increased site reliability and availability to 100 percent uptime as well as decreased exiting hardware requirements by about 60 percent.

In related news, Microsoft also announced that its Xbox video game system business has implemented the Content Management Server 2001 for building, managing, and deploying its Xbox.com Web site.

"We need the ability to keep the site fresh with new content about Xbox, which is key to drawing new and repeat visitors to Xbox.com. We think [Content] Management Server makes this process very efficient and quick because the content producers publish their own content," said Don Hall, director of Xbox at Microsoft.

Xbox-related games, consoles, and accessories handled as many as 4.9 million page views and supported more than 223,000 unique users on the day it was launched last November.

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