There are a TON of CMS's out there to choose from, but a good place to start would be to write down what you want your site to accomplish first. if you need a basic site that can easily be edited from a WYSIWYG editor, you'll have a bunch to choose from. If you're looking to build a more complex site that needs to take into consideration user ACL, social aspects, banner ads, subscriptions, eCommerce, ect, then you'd starting to narrow down the prospects.
Another thing to consider might be what language you're more familiar with (PHP, ASP, ASP.NET) since there are CMS available in all of them.
For me, I prefer using as much Open Source software as I can which made me eliminate ASP.NET Storefront, DotNuke, and some others. After that i looked at some of the more popular systems out there and looked to see how many people were using it, what they were using it for, how many people/groups were actively developing extensions for it, etc. I ended up going with Joomla which has allowed me to easily design different "themes," add social components, eCommerce, manage site advertisers and a whole lot more. There is a HUGE community for joomla and millions of users across the globe that are actively developing "extensions" (many of which are free to use on your own sites) and answering questions on the Joomla Forums.
Thanks for your help MainStWebGuy, we've been using Joomla for a couple of years but as we're looking to add business units & our needs fall into the "more complex" area, we were hoping to find a vendor that could accommodate our expansive needs: database, e-commerce, social, advertising, and of course, content.
I agree that open source has great community resources, but we were looking for something more "sophisticated" & user-friendly - something that doesn't require much IT knowledge to operate & has excellent customer service when we run into problems.
We ran into a lot of hurdles with Oxcyon/Centralpoint - their system required quite a bit of IT knowledge to operate, they couldn't do list exports (key to our business) and their staff was incredibly RUDE!!
No problem Katey, glad to help. Have you looked at Drupal at all? it's open source and very fluid. The community that develops for it is much smaller than Joomla though and in my experience, some features require custom coding which is a turn off (for me at least).
One other CMS/storefront i've used which is very user friendly is Pinnacle Cart. It's focus is more on the ecommerce side, so i'm not sure if it'll be a good fit for what you're looking to do, but setup is easy and their staff is great to work with.
When you decide on one, i'd love to know which way you went! Best of luck
When you ask for alternatives, what areas bring you to believe that an alternative is required?
I think that asking the question that way could be helpful to an actual discussion on what could be done with the system and what comparative tools would be equivalent / better / worse.
I do consulting for a few different platforms, and would be happy to help you out in either figuring out what to do with the Centralpoint system, or providing comparitive tools on a case by case basis.