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Episerver News & Analysis

Who Wins, Loses in Ektron-EPiServer Web CMS Merger?

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The merger between Ektron and EPiServer announced Tuesday forms a tech alliance that could compete with web content management system giants like Adobe and Sitecore, according to industry analysts.

Or, as one analyst said, it could be "another venture capitalist effort to milk software license maintenance revenues out of an ailing vendor."

"It’s not the first time we’ve seen a struggling software vendor taking a private equity bailout," Boston-based Nucleus Research Vice President Rebecca Wettemann told CMSWire after Accel-KKR bought Nashua, N.H.-based Ektron last month.

Days later, the investment firm bought Stockholm-based EPiServer. This week, it confirmed reports it was merging the entities.

Ektron customers "at least have a clearer view of where the company actually stands," Wettemann said, adding that the first 90 days will be critical to both customer bases as the new executive team lays out its strategy.

Told You So: Ektron is Merging with EPiServer

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Accel-KKR, the private equity firm that closed 2014 by buying Stockholm-based EPiServer and Nashua, N.H.-based Ektron, today confirmed what CMSWire reported more than seven weeks ago.

It's combining the two web content management systems (CMS) under the EPiServer name to "create the most complete digital experience platform in the cloud."

The news came at the exact time winter storm Juno was pummeling Ektron's New England headquarters — an irony not lost on former employee Fred Bals. Bals, who left Ektron in November after five years as manager of its customer advocacy and media relations programs, said simply, "One natural disaster deserves another."

But not everyone was as pessimistic. Ed Rogers, who joined Ektron shortly after his brother Bill founded the company in 1998, said it was potentially positive news. Rogers, who was fired in 2011 and went on to launch Akumina, told CMSWire, "New leadership signals a cultural change. I'm hopeful the new team will put the customer first, something that should be good for Ektron clients."

Not a Rumor: Accel-KKR Invests in EPiServer

Say what you will, but sometimes the scuttlebutt that emerges through Twitter (and that we report on) happens to be the truth, or pretty close to it anyways. We can now confirm that Accel-KKR has made a “majority investment” in (and may very well own -- read on) EPiServer. This news comes to us direct from EPiServer, which says that it can’t provide further comment right now.

Hats-off to Martin Henricson, CEO of EPiServer, for letting his customers, partners, employees and anyone else who might be affected by the news know that there’s something significant going on.

Ektron: Good or Bad Software? Depends On Who You Ask

2014-08-December-Coin-Toss.jpgSale. Investment. No sale. No investment. Merger with EpiServer. No merger with EpiServer.

Whatever the heck's happening at Ektron, this is a technology company.

And the future of the Nashua, NH-based .NET Web CMS provider comes down to a simple question: Do people like its software?

The answer depends on who you ask. Some say its usability is poor. Others think the product's never been stronger. Some think its lifetime support model is its sweet spot. Others say that support's inconsistent.

"My take is that the product has never been stronger compared to older versions but that the competition in the CMS market is full of strong players that are rapidly expanding into the ‘content marketing’ world," said Chris Chodnicki, co-founder and executive director of strategic partnerships and alliances at R2integrated, a Baltimore-based Ektron partner. "If the funding means Ektron can integrate their product to meet the challenges we are seeing with clients and what other platforms are bringing -- and at a very accelerated pace -- then this will be welcomed news."

Is Newly Sold Ektron Merging with EPiServer?

It's hard to separate fact from fiction in the continuing saga of Nashua, N.H.-based Ektron.

But we wanted to share the newest rumor this morning — namely, that the company that just bought Ektron is also buying EPiServer and has plans to combine the technologies.

Company President Tim McKinnon, the guy who runs the day-to-day operations at the web content management firm, told CMSWire today that he doesn't know anything about the alleged merger.

But McKinnon also told us yesterday that Ektron's minority investor — a private equity firm called Accel-KKR was not buying the company — just before a document that refutes that statement surfaced online. You can view it in the story here.

How to Engage the Other 98 Percent of Your Visitors

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In today's hyper-competitive environment, many marketers would be happy if 2 percent of their website visitors made a purchase. But what about that other 98 percent?

The importance of addressing those potential customers came up repeatedly yesterday during a CMSWire webinar entitled "Be More Agile with Real-Time Insights."

The program featured Donna Pahel, director of digital marketing and e-commerce solutions for EPiServer, and Joakim Holmquist, the company's digital marketing manager. EPiServer also sponsored the session, which you can watch by clicking here or at the end of this story.

In a 'Troubled' WCM Sector, Analysts See 3 Innovators

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Fireworks may explode in the night sky as the US celebrates the Fourth of July weekend, but things are much quieter in the web content management market.

The frenetic pace of nine-figure WCM acquisitions of the past four years ended before Christmas, and the once-deep river of venture capital funding for fledgling players ran dry long ago.

Market shifts and technology trends -- the somewhat surprising strength of mobile, the stampede to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), a growing infatuation with digital marketing -- were missed by many players, leaving the field "fragmented" and "troubled," according to fresh research by Matt Mullen and Alan Pelz-Sharpe at 451 Research.

There's More to E-Commerce than Mobile and Social

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Mobile and social. Invest in them now, right?

Well, if it's not those two surging platforms that are doing the trick for your organization, why put so much stock in them?

EPiServer’s third annual 2014 e-Commerce Survey of e-commerce practitioners, conducted at the 10th annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, the world’s largest e-commerce event, revealed that mobile and social may not be as "surging" as they seem.

For instance, 64 percent of those surveyed claimed less than 20 percent of their business sales came through mobile transactions. But mobile ranked as the top priority in regards to future investments for those surveyed. 

Similarly, 93 percent of those surveyed said transactions are made through their website rather than their social site. However, social ranked third in terms of future investment areas for those surveyed.

EPiServer's message? Put your money in what's working now.

EPiServer Release Focuses on Multichannel Content

EPiServer is out with version 7.5 of its CMS, which, like other content handling systems, is facing the challenge of adapting content to so many kinds of devices.

Bob Egner, Vice President of Product Management, told CMSWire the key improvement in the new release is enhanced adaptive rendering of content. In 7.5, he said, “the rendering is different based on who will be looking at it,” and the device on which it is being viewed.

Mobile Impacts Customer Loyalty More than Transactions

What is the impact of mobile on your bottom line? According to a new survey from EPiServer, the biggest return on mobile today is from increased customer loyalty and personalization, rather than mobile transactions.

Episerver 7.1 Released, Adds Multivariate Testing, Enhanced Social Reach

Digital marketers will appreciate the Episerver 7.1 release because it includes multivariate testing and an enhanced Social Reach add on.

Recession Relief: New Job Openings at Klout, EPiServer, Verisign, Mindjet, CoreMedia, Yammer and Salesforce (07-Mar-13)

Start off the New Year with a new gig -- we've got a shopping list of hot jobs for you to browse. Our featured jobs list is a great collection of opportunities spanning specialties and continents. Here's who's hiring this week (and if you're hiring, post your open jobs here).

EPiServer Connects SharePoint Content to the Website

Wednesday, EPiServer releases a new connector that allows organizations to collaborate on website content within SharePoint.

EPiServer Debuts Silverpop Marketing Automation Integration

What's a powerful Web CMS vendor to do without a built in, advanced email and social marketing tool? Build their own? Nonsense, EPiServer says.

Recession Relief: New Job Openings at Apple, Eloqua, Percussion, Kentico, Moxie, EPiServer and Twitter (23-Nov-12)

Start off Fall with a new gig -- we've got a shopping list of hot jobs for you to browse. Our featured jobs list is a great collection of opportunities spanning specialties and continents. Here's who's hiring this week (and if you're hiring, post your open jobs here).

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