Since we began in December 2002, DotNetNuke has grown into the largest and most vibrant open source project in the Microsoft ecosystem. Our mission was (and remains) to help people build professional web sites easily and quickly. By every metric, be it downloads, installs, registered community members or participation, we’ve exceeded our goals and become the unrivaled leader.
We’re fueled by a virtuous mutually reinforcing cycle – Community feeds Commerce, and Commerce feeds Community. The more we give, the more we get; and, the more we get, the more we are able to give. To put it succinctly, DNN and our community have created a win-win relationship.
In 2009, we made a change, and expanded to offer commercial solutions with the open source platform as the foundation. Our commercial success has enabled us to improve the platform, while the strength of the platform has furthered our business goals. Our expansion into commerce proved a great complement to Open Source, and everyone continued to win.
As we’re all aware, the only constant in the world is ‘change’, and today, July 9th, we made another big change in our company, our solutions, and our community. We’ve taken a leap forward to refine our identity and establish an updated brand, solution and platform that will better describe us as we continue to grow.
‘Change’ causes discomfort, but sometimes discomfort is a good thing. We should keep in mind that:
- ‘Change’ is what keeps things fresh.
- ‘Change’ is what leads to transformation involving new life and energy.
- ‘Change’ is what keeps things both relevant and valuable to the marketplace.
‘Adopting’ change AND ‘Adapting’ to change is a pre-requisite for both survival and success … for individuals, for technologies, for business organizations … for almost anything and everything.
While the mission behind our software remains the same, the world around us has changed drastically since 2002. The prototypical Internet user has morphed from an early adopter technologist to being any and every person; from being patient and understanding to being very demanding; and from being stationary to being on the go. As a result, web sites have morphed from being a novelty understood mostly by technologists to being easy to use applications used every-day by marketers & other business folks.
This means that, in today’s world:
- Any business user should be able to manage and administer a web site – INTUITIVE USER EXPERIENCE
- Any marketer needs to be able to ‘launch’ a new web site (corporate web site OR micro site) in pretty much real-time – REAL-TIME CLOUD DEPLOYMENT
- Websites need to be accessible by people ‘on the go’, which means they have to be accessible by devices of all form factors – Desktops, Laptops, Tablets, SmartPhones etc – MOBILE
- Websites don’t just need to be ‘content rich’, they also need to enable ‘interaction’. In other words, Web Sites have gone social – SOCIAL
- Websites are ‘revenue generators’, which means they need to talk to CRM systems, Marketing Automation Systems, Social Media Management systems, amongst others – MISSION CRITICAL
We have constantly evolved our software to meet the changing needs of the market, and our most recent platform and solution offerings clearly address the needs of today’s users. Our branding and corporate positioning- the way we communicate the value of DNN to the world- has until now lagged behind our technology. Today we change the wrapper and label to better reflect the company we’ve become and the technology we’ve created to meet the changing face of internet users.
Summary of Changes
The changes we are making today include:
Change in Company Name
DotNetNuke Corp will now be known as DNN. A big part of the reason for this change is that the name “DotNetNuke” presents us as a company that provides solutions only to customers inside of the Microsoft ecosystem.
We have found that, as our software has become richer in User Experience & functionality, we have had customers outside of the Microsoft ecosystem using our software. We expect this to further accelerate with the launch of our product lines on the cloud, allowing real-time deployment of our software, and making the stack on which we are built immaterial to the user.
While we did deliberate changing our name, we also didn’t want to move away from our roots. As a majority of our ecosystem (community users, customers, partners, developers, skin vendors, module vendors etc.) already refer to us as DNN, we decided to rename the company “DNN” with the domain dnnsoftware.com, instead of going for a completely new name.
Change in Product Names
The naming of our products has reflected a more ‘technology’ focus – ‘Community Edition’, ‘Professional Edition’ and ‘Enterprise Edition’ make us appear like a technology company focused on a developer audience. Most of our customers in 2009 were the IT departments of organizations. This made sense at that time. Our product model to date has looked like the below:
These days, our customer base has drastically expanded to include business users and marketers. We’ve also refined our commercial offerings to be more solutions-focused, rather than a set of tools. We expect this to further accelerate with the next set of releases.
In addition, we wanted to clearly identify the value proposition between our commercial solutions and the free open source platform. We wanted each of them to be distinct and therefore branded differently, while at the same time showing the “connection” or “bond” that holds them together. Our product model going forward will look as follows:
Change in Branding: Our branding to date has appeared loose and disjointed. It is almost as if we wrote a bunch of content and then affixed the branding to the content as an after-thought.
We have had some excellent products that are making a big difference to the lives of a lot of customers and users. We had a powerful story to tell. So, we first rewrote the story to make it much more value-focused and compelling. At the same time, we ensured that our ‘brand’ was ‘fully integrated’ into the story itself to make it one cohesive whole.
That is what you see in the new website – one integrated message.
There were an enormous number of ideas, discussions, brain-storming sessions, disagreements and agreements with a lot of different people … before we all agreed on the brand identity and the core message.
The final message we have tried to communicate with the imagery, colors, and content of our website is best represented below.
Our mission remains … To make web interactions insanely easy, insanely affordable, and insanely productive to organizations worldwide.
Insanely easy to us means … easy to try, easy to download, easy to buy, easy to provision, easy to administer, easy to maintain, easy to upgrade … insanely easy for the complete cycle.
Insanely productive to us means … the value we add to a user or customer with our product is so compelling that they will choose our product irrespective of the technology stack we are built on, and irrespective of the technology stack they have standardized on.
Insanely affordable to us means … A user or customer gets more value for every dollar he invests in our product than any other product in our domain. On the day of the Kindle Fire launch, Amazon’s web site had this sentence … “There are two kinds of companies. Those that work hard to charge the customers more. Those that work hard to charge the customers less. Both approaches work. We are firmly in the second camp.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
No, we aren’t under any illusions that we have reached our destination. But, you can be rest assured, we won’t rest until we get there.
While this is a massive change at some level, at a deeper philosophical level, we continue on the same course we set in 2002.
Our commitment to continue getting better with every release hasn’t changed. Our commitment to maintaining the balance between yin and yang; between community and commerce; between give and get; between the developer and business user; between free and paid … hasn’t changed, and won’t change.
We are making the changes to our public identity after a lot of deliberate thought and discussion … We firmly believe that these changes will benefit both the open source ecosystem and our paying customers. We believe they feed off each other, and building a great business means taking care of both effectively.
We thank you very much for your patronage, your contributions, and your consideration and we look forward to continue travelling with you on this journey.