Ektron + EPiServer – What Does the Merger Mean for Customers?

February 17, 2015

Ektron + EPiServer - What Does the Merger Mean for Customers?

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In December 2014, equity firm Accel-KKR purchased the content management platform EPiServer, as well as controlling interest in Ektron. With two content management solutions in hand, they basically had two available options. They could try to combine the two into a new product, or keep them separate under a common label and offer customized solutions as per clients’ requirements. It seems they have chosen the former, combining the two products to create “a single platform in the cloud”. Technically speaking, such a combination could bring forth a leader in digital experience delivery, which no existing platform is capable of being, as per a Q3 2014 study conducted by Forrester.

Ektron + EPiServer – How well will they gel?

Granted, both Ektron and EPiServer have earned their places in the mid-range market of web development solutions. However, there is a fundamental difference between the two products – Ektron is, at the end of the day, a product, whereas EPiServer is a platform with multi-faceted features that can be customized to suit the need of customers. Also, should Accel-KKR choose to integrate the two, we have major concerns about the outcome, given their vastly different internal architecture and code.

Clients of EPiServer seem to have little to worry about

The way we see it, existing EPiServer clients do not have anything to be concerned about, for now. They can simply continue with their existing setup and see if they can get additional features incorporated into the platform from Ektron. It seems like there is happiness in store for them, all the way.

Clients of Ektron should receive support, but updates look unlikely

To be honest, we are a bit worried about the future of Ektron. While the merged organization is likely to offer support for existing Ektron clients for years to come, any new development will likely be on EPiServer alone. In order to take advantage of those upgrades, clients will have to migrate their existing sites to EPiServer anyway.

EPiServer is good, but migrating to other CMS-s is not a bad choice, either

Do not get us wrong, we feel EPiServer is a powerful web platform. Especially, its excellent support for e-commerce can be pretty handy for e-retailers. However, other CMS-s like Sitecore and Drupal can be good, solid alternatives for customers, who feel they will be forced to migrate from Ektron to EPiServer in the near future, without any major benefit. Both are highly customizable and offer features that can simplify not just web content management, but related processes, as well. Sitecore, for instance, can be integrated with CRM systems to deliver preferred content to visitors. Drupal, on the other hand, offers extreme scalability, allowing customers to upgrade as site traffic increases. With Sitecore, existing Ektron customers would need to get new licenses. With Drupal, they would not have to bear any additional expenses for license. However, they might want to opt for professional platform support from Acquia, to ensure better results in the long run. WS Group (Web Spiders) is well-positioned to serve its Ektron customers in any of the scenarios above.

Bottom line – we believe existing Ektron customers with e-commerce sites can consider migrating to EPiServer, whereas those with information-based sites can choose to stay with Ektron for a few years, or migrate to a different CMS like Drupal or Sitecore.

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