Ektron (news, site) announced their Enterprise Technology Partner Program in November of last year. Since then they've developed a number of key partnership designed to integrate the best capabilities into their web engagement management platform. Today, they add to that partner list with video asset management provider Brightcove.
Going Enterprise with WEM Platform
Ektron is best known as a provider of web content management to small- to medium sized businesses. But like many other SMB vendors, it has a desire to go further and over the last few years has set its sights on the enterprise. And it has made a number of inroads both in terms of its capabilities and partnerships, and in the customers it now serves.
These last few years have seen growth in a number of areas for Ektron. The vendor is in its 8th edition of its web content management solution, CMS400.NET, in 2010 it came out with a Marketing Optimization suite which included personalization, testing and CRM integration). It also offers social software capabilities and an eCommerce module.
Technology Partner Program
Ektron has all the makings of a Web Engagement Management (or Web Experience Management) platform. According to Ektron's VP of Web Solutions, Tom Wentworth, the last eighteen months has been focused on developing its new Technology Partner Program. This program is designed to bring together best in breed technology solutions and integrate them with the Ektron platform. This enables Ektron to focus on the capabilities it knows and understand best, but also be able to offer additional key capabilities not core to the platform.
Already included in this partner program are analytics vendor integrations from Google, Omniture and Webtrends, and Baynote's recommendations technology (Wentworth says Ektron is the only WCM vendor that works with Baynote).
Brightcove for Video Asset Management
Today Ektron officially announces integration with Brightcove for video asset management. When asked why Ektron chose Brightcove, Wentworth said that Brightcove is considered a leader in video delivery and Ektron's intent is to integrate with market leaders, offering the best capabilities to its customers.
A Brightcove video widget has been developed for CMS400.Net that enables customers to easily add video capabilities to either a website or a marketing campaign. Customers can work within Ektron to upload videos, transcode audio and also use Brightcove player embed codes for customized video experiences.
How the Partnership Works
We were also curious about how licensing works for Ektron partner technology. Savas Gundaz, VP of Ektron's Alliances and Channels explained that Ektron has a "crawl, walk, run strategy". Currently it is in the crawl phase where Ektron is focused on building tight integrations, but the customer works with both technology companies separately for licensing. The plan is to grow into a reseller (walk) and then eventually bundle partner technology through an OEM strategy (run). But of course that all takes time.
What's Coming in CMS400.NET 8.5
Our talk with Ektron wasn't all about the technology partner program and the Brightcove announcement though. We also got a sneak peek into what the next version of CMS400.NET is going to look like. Wentworth said that 2011 is about the developer experience, which means that 8.5 is focused on improvements that should make many developers happy.
CMS400.NET 8.5 will have completely redesigned APIs and .NET controls, all around a modern framework. Ektron has also embraced the MVC design pattern and will support it in 8.5. Another very nice addition is embedded FAST search technology to the core platform.
There are also some interesting things happening around cloud capabilities, specifically the Azure cloud environment, but that's news for another day.