Aarhus University selects Typo3

Aarhus University (AU) in Denmark announced in late June that they have selected Typo3 as their new common content management system for the entire university. Typo3 beat Sitecorein the final stages of the evaluation and will be implemented by Linkfactory, a small Danish consultancy.

Aarhus University selected their existing CMS (a local system called SIAB) back in 2003 and did their homework before deciding upon Typo3. They did several interviews with other universities to learn about their experiences. Aarhus University also looked beyond the CMS and carefully considered the system integrators as they needed help for the implementation. The main criteria for selection was the long term prospect for the CMS coupled with scalability, as the Typo3 solution will gradually accommodate all faculties and departments over the coming two years.

According to the publicly available project plan (in Danish), the project team has since been busy planning the migration. AU seem determined to build their own skills and have graciously shared a detailed report from their visit to the 2009 Typo3 conference, which was held in Frankfurt in September. The conference attracted more than 350 people from 30 countries. To quote from the update:

The mantra for future development of TYPO3 is “strong defaults – expert options” – a slogan we fully support.

I’ve previously compared Typo3 to a solid German car, which resulted in many constructive comments; partly because it publicly asked about the future of Typo3. It seems to me that Typo3 is growing in popularity and has a very strong foothold in higher education in the German-speaking market. When the upcoming version 5 hits the market it will be with a brand new interface. As usual, only time will tell how smooth the experience will be for contributors and how painless the upgrade experience will be for existing customers.

While open source systems are generally popular among higher education, there is still no clear market leader. To share some individual examples, King’s College in London uses Microsoft SharePoint, New York University uses Day Software and the University of Southern Denmark uses Sitecore – so no clear trends here.

Full disclosure: Aarhus University is a member of our peer groups. Boye & Co was involved in the CMS selection at Aarhus University