Forget about making Forrester's list of the top online customer experience platforms, that's a nice to have. Look instead at Ektron's latest financial report and the launch of its new global community practice to get an idea of where this Web Experience/Web Content Management vendor is headed.
Let's Start with the Money
Ektron isn't a publicly traded company so we don't get to dish the hard numbers. Instead what we can tell you is that Ektron's third quarter continued on their growth spree with a 31% increase in global software licenses -- if you go through to the end of September it is 41%.
The launch of Ektron 8.5, complete with a new multi-tiered architecture, new search integration and a revamped interface had a bit to do with getting some of the bigger named clients. As did a number of strategic alliances including PR Newswire, Engage Group, Razorfish and more.
So it's been a good year all in all. But I think what is helping Ektron become the successful company it is, is the recognition that it takes more than a good product to be successful, it takes good partner and customer relationships too.
Which is why:
Ektron Established a Global Community Practice
We chatted with Ektron's new VP of its -- also new -- Global Community Practice (GCP), Erick Mott. Mott told us that the GCP is a proactive integration of traditional media, social networking and more to support all of Ektron's communities in a single location. This includes marketers, developers and implementation partners.
It is a cross-functional initiative where everyone at Ektron is plugged in. The goal? To share stories. To listen and learn and, of course, to enable some business goals. Mott said that content is at the center of Ektron's world, whether it's planned communications and campaigns, or more conversational via social media, personalization, etc... What the GCP will help do, is share the stories of how others are working to provide content to their customers, so what works, what doesn't.
And obviously there is an objective to show how the content management system is at the center of all this communication. The GCP will help mature the business and educate others on how to use Ektron's platform.
Erick Mott will do a lot to help out here. He has over 20 years industry experience having worked for companies such as Sitecore, Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, Lyris and more.
Erick is adept at creating and integrating a wide variety of channels and media to reach, engage and empower community stakeholders, ” said Tom Wentworth, Ektron Chief Marketing Officer. “He joins Ektron at an important time as we invest more in helping customers, partners and developers connect content to revenue via key digital channels – including websites, email, mobile and social. Erick will play a major role in sharing web innovation, success stories and best practices gleaned from the global community we serve.“
And Erick does seem to understand the focus Ektron has on enabling and growing its global community. He is also on board with Ektron's best of breed approach to its platform, integrating functionality in a hub and spoke manner.
There seems to be a lot of discussion on whether Ektron's approach is the right one. Is integrating best of breed with a core web content management system the way to go? Or do we need a platform that does it all out of the box? I'm not sure there is a right answer here. In the end, it may depend on what works best for the customer. And it seems in Ektron's case, something is working right.