July 16, 2014, 12:07 PM

A vendor debuts a mobile-first content management system

Raw Engineering developed the technology on top of its built.io mobile platform so clients can manage content across any device—from big desktops to tiny smartwatches—from one simple interface.

Lead Photo

Web and mobile development firm Raw Engineering Inc. has released a new content management system, or CMS, that has its roots in mobile. With the new tool, clients can publish or change content quickly on any of their web or mobile sites and apps—even on more avant-garde devices like Google Glass or smartwatches—from one web dashboard.

For example, a retailer could update one product description in the CMS and ensure the update pushes out to all its sites and apps immediately. Or, it could set rules so that a higher-resolution image with a 500-word description appears in its desktop product catalog, but a smaller image and just a 50-word description appear in its mobile app.

The CMS, called contentstack.io, is built on top of Raw Engineering’s built.io mobile commerce platform. As such, all the content is stored and shared in an easily transferrable, mobile-friendly format from the get-go, according to chief operating officer Matthew Baier.

Raw Engineering decided to build a mobile-focused CMS after years of noticing that, as soon as it launches a new site or app for any client, the content needs updating, Baier says. But, because most of the firm’s clients had massive CMS tools that over time had become bloated with features and customizations—including ad hoc additions to accommodate ever-more types of devices and screen sizes—managing content across every web property and for all types of devices had become a nightmare. And the problem was only getting worse.

“Seven years ago clients were still all figuring out mobile,” says Raw Engineering CEO Neha Sampat. “Today they have a mobile strategy, a mobile team, a mobile budget—it has become a really important part of our customer strategy. If you’re not doing mobile-first, you’re behind the times.”

Contentstack.io’s mobile-first design also means a client is able to use existing web content to create a mobile app, for example, and vice versa, Baier says. While the client would still need a web developer to push out that new app, she could have it up and running in a couple of days rather than a couple of weeks, thanks to the content already being in the appropriate format, he adds.

One Raw Engineering customer that has been testing the technology, catastrophic risk modeling and software provider Risk Management Solutions Inc., cut the time to make a single content change on its web site from around four hours to a few minutes, Baier says.

“There are hundreds of CMS products, but for us it comes down to what’s the fastest and easiest for us to use,” says Anthony Zambataro, senior director, brand and creative marketing at Risk Management Solutions. “Both of these are strong features of contentstack.io and that’s why we love the product so much.”

Contentstack.io is aimed at large corporate clients, Sampat says. Each deployment of the web-based technology is custom built for clients, allowing them to maintain any corporate rules or policies, such as which staffers have access to which parts of the software. It costs roughly $15,000 to $150,000 for an annual subscription, depending on how much customization the client needs, she says. That fee includes all web hosting and any upgrades to the software, which push out automatically over the Internet.

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