Porsgrunn, Norway-based eZ Systems kicks off its annual user conference in Paris tomorrow. The two-day event, eZ Conference 2016: Beyond the Web, is the largest gathering of the open source content management system's worldwide community — and a perfect opportunity for eZ Systems to showcase its latest solutions.

The open source content management system provider released two next generation solutions, eZ Platform and eZ Studio, in November. The first, eZ Platform, replaces eZ Publish Platform 5.x. The other, eZ Studio, is a commercial solution based on eZ Platform and offers additional, fully integrated features that allow editors and marketers to better manage a website or app built with eZ Platform.

Company executives have described them as the biggest and most important releases for the company in more than a decade. They are designed to help developers, content editors and marketers create digital experiences that engage customers.

A Look at eZ Conference

In the run up to this week’s conference, CMSWire spoke to Bård Farstad, co-founder and chief of strategy at eZ Systems, to find out what will be happening at the event. This year, he said, eZ Systems will focus on the two new releases, how they feed into enterprise content strategies, and how they can be used to provide exceptional user experiences.

Farstad said the company develops solutions with the needs of three personas in mind: developers, content marketers and channel users. Traditionally, he said, eZ has been a very technical platform. We have been focusing on developer usability. We want to keep that, because that’s our legacy,” he said.

But for the past several years eZ has broadened its aim to editorial usability, with an increasing focus on content marketers and those who produce content.

“Then there are the channel users and the focus here is on channel user experience. What we are looking at here is how eZ, as a digital agency, can build superlative user experiences for our users, clients, subscribers whatever they are,” he said.

eZ Community

The conference will provide an opportunity to gauge reaction from the eZ community to the new releases. Farstad said the idea was "to reduce the number of steps in all customer facing experiences and build the most efficient interface, rather than build the most beautiful interface.”

He said eZ Platform and eZ Studio can provide "the right content flows into the right channel at the right time," regardless of platform.

The software also allows organizations to manage multiple sites or apps from a single, secure platform, and deliver their content in different languages to engage local audiences.

Guest Speakers at eZ Conference

Farstad will share the stage with his brother and co-founder, eZ Systems CEO Aleksander Farstad, to look at eZ’s strategy and vision as well as the eZ product roadmap. They will also look at the evolution of content management technology and shed light on the future of CMS.

User experience and digital transformation consultant Paul Boag, who we talked to recently, will look at how traditional businesses are adapting to the digital economy.

Yann Gourvennec, CEO and founder of Visionary Marketing, will discuss the relationship between content marketing, social networks marketing and word-of-mouth marketing.

Richard Jones, technical director of Inviqa, will look at the development of Content-as-a-Service (CaaS), where content is created and managed independently of the place it will be consumed.

Over the next two days, we will be reporting more from the eZ Conference floor.

Title image by John Towner