Michael Assad

Member for

10 years
About

I am the co-founder and former CEO of Agility Inc. – makers of fine content management software. A casualty of the dotcom bubble burst in 2001, I turned to freelance web development. Over the last 11 years, I led the growth of Agility to become the fastest growing web development company in Canada for multiple years running, and then on to become a leading CMS provider. I am also the founder of Unbound Media – an online publication dedicated to demystifying digital for brands and publishers. I am a boarder, golfer, F1 fan, and fitness nut who loves a good Munich lager and appreciates a fine Cuban cigar.

Latest Posts

Office 365 Review: Confessions of a Modern IT Guy

One of my responsibilities at Argenia is the office IT guy. More by necessity than by choice, but I don’t mind stringing cables and installing software as a break from the everyday.

Early on I saw a gap in how we handled email and managed shared files. Email was a POP service hosted by Bell Canada Business (trash) and file sharing was done on a rickety Windows XP machine with a death rattle. DropBox was being used to share files as well, but this proved costly when a virus swooped in and encrypted their files which then automatically updated their DropBox versions.

Weebly Review: A Worthy WordPress Challenger

As many of you know, I recently sold my shares in Agility – the web CMS company that I co-founded. Over the last three months, I have been experimenting with new technologies as I formulate the next step in my career.

As a first project, I decided to build a new website for a product that my wife’s company developed – the ClearBlue Ionizer. ClearBlue is a new technology for purifying water in pools and spas that drastically reduces the amount of chemicals required.

CEO Corner: Proprietary CMS Vendors: It’s Us Vs. Them

I just finished reading Dave Scalera’s post on the Acquia blog “Open Source lies: Confessions of a former Commercial CMS Salesperson” and it got me thinking about the Open Source vs. Proprietary thing.

I know, here we go again Smile

What I’ve come to realize is that it doesn’t matter what’s better. It matters what people believe is better.

CEO Corner: CMS Has Become One-Size-Fits-None

A few months ago, CMS Australian enthusiast Said Salameh posted this excellent breakdown comparing the number of steps required to complete simple tasks between eight leading open source content management systems. He illustrates how simple things like editing a page or adding an article can take ten steps or more – far more than necessary. His post spawned a discussion on the Web Content Management group on LinkedIn drawing out frustrations from many in the industry about the complexity of content management systems – particularly open source systems.

CEO Corner: Analyzing the CMS Analysts: Which one is right for you?

Those of you who have been in the content management industry a while will remember the CMS Watch report. I’m not sure when I first heard of it, but I think it was at an AIIM conference in 2005. I remember thinking that if we could just get Agility into that report, we would have it made. Looking back, it’s amazing to see how many of the systems that ranked well in 2005 are either gone or no longer relevant.

A few years later, I saw an article on CMS Wire that Ektron had made it into the Gartner Magic Quadrant. I realized that it was going to be hard to complete with this level of recognition, no matter how superior Agility is.

CEO Corner: CMS Build or Buy–Where's the Respect?

I've been pitching one of Canada’s largest and most interesting brands for about 5 years now. It’s one of those dream customers that every CEO has. They are the perfect fit for our unique mix of capabilities and I was fully convinced that with a little patience, we would be given the chance to prove it to them. My systematic, persistent relationship building and follow-ups finally paid off early this year when a they emailed me an RFP for a new CMS.

I became giddy as I read through it as it basically described the features of Agility in minute detail.

CEO Corner: Cloud CMS vs. Installed CMS

If I learned anything from my open source vs. proprietary CMS post, comparing CMS’s based on the method used to code them is no longer that relevant. Following the great discussion that was triggered convinced me that comparing along this dimension no longer contributes much to the CMS selection process.

The other thing I learned was that being cheeky, while good for attention, probably isn’t the most forthcoming way to educate the readers of this great publication. So this time around, I promise to be more thorough and objective!  Hopefully we’ll get some insights from the community again as well!

CEO Corner: Open Source vs. Proprietary CMS

The first thing I did when I sat down to write this article was search the Google Keyword Tools for ‘Proprietary vs. Open Source CMS’. I wanted to see what kind of traffic this article might get. I got 0 searches per month globally.  A flip of the terms to the title I chose nets a whopping 22.  With < 10 in the United States.

My curiosity was piqued, so I checked ‘Open Source CMS’ and ‘Proprietary CMS’ and was not surprised with the 9,900 global searches for the former to 91 for the latter. This is out of 450,000 searches globally for ‘CMS’.

What I am surprised about is that more people aren’t looking for information comparing these two very different approaches to CMS.

CEO Corner: CXM is DOA

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of what the content management industry is calling 'Customer Experience Management', or CXM.  To be clear, I firmly believe that it's important to manage your customer experience.  What I don't believe is that your content management system vendor has the answer.

Yesterday, Robert Rose from Digital Clarity Group posted a great article on CXM. However, I came to very different conclusions based on the facts he described.