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VMblog Expert Interview: Brightspot Talks GraphQL and Headless CMS Powering Digital Transformation
interview brightspot walker

VMblog recently spoke with Omavi Walker, Senior Software Engineer at Brightspot, to learn more about the company, and to dive deeper into GraphQL and how it contributes to a headless CMS solution.  Find out what else Brightspot is up to as the digital content management space continues to evolve and heat up.

VMblog:  Can you give VMblog viewers a quick background on Brightspot and what sort of customers you work with?

Omavi Walker:  At Brightspot we believe technology should enable content-focused teams to work smarter, faster and more seamlessly to move businesses forward. With decades of collective experience in publishing and media, we provide a powerful content management platform (CMS) and world-class delivery team to help companies transform their business content and digital experiences by creating enterprise applications at scale with astonishing speed. In our eyes, every business is a content business - as such, we work with partners across the board, including media organizations, corporate teams, eCommerce brands and more. 

VMblog:  One of Brightspot's key offerings is headless CMS.  Can you explain what a headless CMS is for readers who don't know?  Why might an organization want a headless CMS as part of their tech stack?  What are the common benefits and challenges of a headless solution?

Walker:  Today many organizations are looking for more flexibility in where they can share their content and how it appears. With a headless CMS, the presentation layer is removed and content is delivered purely as data, enabling content to be repurposed for multiple channels and audiences. 

Headless enables easier sharing of content across channels, which allows for faster publishing, which is key in our always-on world. Headless CMS experiences help with being future-proof since they're API-first, allowing new channels to be seamlessly added as needed. This lets organizations keep the same base technology that they're familiar with and adapt for the future at the same time.

As with anything, there are drawbacks to each CMS architecture - and no one approach is better than the other as it depends on your organization's unique needs. With headless, one consideration is technical complexity. Yet, if a team has concerns about choosing headless, they don't have to accept the limitations of a traditional CMS either. Brands can choose a decoupled CMS, which offers a lesser degree of separation, or they can create a hybrid CMS that combines parts of the three. Companies can also connect their CMS with any mainstream content systems that they already use.

When it comes to choosing a content tech stack, there's no right answer. Brands should think carefully about their needs and which solution, or combination, will fit best. 

VMblog:  Brightspot is a proponent of GraphQL.  What is GraphQL and how does it contribute to the power and flexibility of a headless CMS solution?    

Walker:  In short, GraphQL is a query language that enables flexible intersystem connection via APIs that can be utilized for a myriad of use cases, such as supporting headless CMS integrations. It's an alternative to the traditional RESTful style of web services, and works well due to its industry adoption as the go-to structured API standard and APIs being central to a headless CMS. 

When paired with the right developer knowledge, headless and GraphQL can work together to create flexible and powerful customer solutions. When you send a GraphQL query to your API, it always returns predictable results, giving you exactly what you need. Apps using GraphQL are fast and stable and allow you to get all the data that your application needs in one request. It also enables applications to be quick even with slow network connections.

At the end of the day, GraphQL helps organizations be future-forward. You can evolve your API without versions, add new fields and types without affecting existing queries, and deprecate and hide aging fields - all with ease.

VMblog:  There is often friction between developers and content creators/marketers, which can impact content processes.  How does a headless CMS make life easier for developers and reduce this challenge? 

Walker:  Amid all the benefits to headless CMS that I mentioned above, one of the most important is that it reduces friction between developers and content creators.

Usually when a member of the content or marketing team has a problem, they have to file a ticket and wait for developers to help. And when the back end of the content system is connected to the front end, a problem with one might make the other stop working. Since headless fully separates the front and back ends, developers can make fixes and improvements on the back end without disrupting activity on the front. As a result, front-end team members have less downtime and can create and distribute content faster. Additionally front end developers have the ability to choose their favorite programming languages and frameworks. When developers utilize tools that they're familiar with, bugs are less likely to occur. 

At Brightspot we believe that enabling teams to work with speed is one of the most important advantages that a business can have, as it lets you move faster onto what's next, which is why we're laser-focused on increasing the speed of content processes.  

VMblog:  The digital content management space continues to evolve and grow.  What trends should customers pay attention to?  What are Brightspot's priorities for 2021 and beyond? 

Walker:  Modular content and segmentation are key trends that are growing in importance. If they didn't prioritize it already, over the past two years, publishers, organizations and brands have really taken a step back to put the customer experience first. Businesses are increasingly trying to become more human and appeal to multiple different markets in order to build loyalty with their customers.

With segmentation, marketers segment their audiences into groups with shared interests. To make it easier to share personalized content across these groups, smart brands leverage modular content, which turns content into small, reusable components while the source material remains singular. A modular content strategy uses content like building blocks, and pieces can be assembled in various ways for faster presentation that stays consistent - a critical factor to building brand trust among your customer base.

To tie this back in with the conversation above, a headless CMS solution works well for teams who are leveraging modular content, as it makes it easy to distribute the modules to different channels and audiences, reducing work needed to create new content. Additionally, all content is centralized in the headless CMS, making it easily accessible for reuse.

Another important trend we're seeing is brands wanting access to higher-quality technological capabilities at lower costs. Out-of-the-box content solutions are offering just this, and support businesses in reducing the heavy impact of content work on their development teams, which causes slowdowns. This type of solution can also serve large brands who want to use a ready-to-build version of their CMS for a certain piece of their business, such as a microsite.

With an OOTB solution, it's important, however, to still provide the same type and quality of content services, even though the delivery and setup is different. This was our goal with the recently-launched Brightspot GO, which packages Brightspot's powerful CMS offering into a product that's ready to launch quickly so that teams waste no time in creating digital experiences at scale. 

VMblog:  How can someone learn more about Brightspot's digital content management solutions?

Walker:  For more information, please visit, where you can access detailed information on Brightspot's headless CMS and GraphQL offerings. The website is also a hub for articles, guides, case studies, webinars and more explaining everything that Brightspot can do. You can also connect with our company on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Published Wednesday, August 11, 2021 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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