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Web Cms News & Analysis

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.

Once Red Hot Ektron Reportedly Sells for Paltry Sum

Privately held companies have it easy: they can vaguely boast of double-digit growth, record profits, strong cash balances and bright futures even when reality seems to suggest otherwise. At least that seems to be the case with Nashua, N.H.-based Ektron.

The web content management firm, which was consistently ranked one of the fastest growing tech companies in New England in the early 2000s, seems to have come to a stunningly disappointing end.

(UPDATE: Ektron confirmed to CMSWire this afternoon that it closed a second round of equity funding with Accel-KKR, but stopped short of acknowledging a sale.

In a conversation with CMSWire's Virginia Backaitis, Ektron President Tim McKinnon claimed the company is profitable and growing — and contended that rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated.

In a press release issued mid-afternoon today, McKinnon stated that the Accel-KKR investment "provides strong support for Ektron as it delivers upon its vision and mission to provide solutions to customers," and adding that the company is "well positioned for continued growth in 2015."

Greg Williams, managing director at Accel-KKR and a member of the Ektron board, noted in the statement that the private equity firm has been "more than impressed by the momentum, profitable growth in the business and the results the team at Ektron have been achieving."

The press release contains no comments from — or makes any mention of — Ektron CEO and co-founder Bill Rogers.)

Pantheon Hires a Heavy Hitter to Lead Its Marketing

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Tectonic plates are shifting in the CMS market and at Pantheon, a start-up that came to market just over two years ago and is actively positioning itself to be the leader. And in the increasingly open source area of the web content management, you can’t to do that without a heavy hitter who knows both marketing and how to engage with developers.

That’s why Matt Stodolnic, a Pivotal, VMWare and SpringSource vet, is a perfect fit for Panthoen. He has joined the company as its senior vice president of marketing and alliances.

Has Personalization Hit a Dead End in CX? #Gilbane

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BOSTON -- Martha Elliott started to catch on through her bank's home page. Each time she logged on, the home page included images of African-Americans. 

Elliott is African-American.

"I didn't like it. I like diversity," the technologist told CMSWire today at the 700-registrant Gilbane Conference at the Boston Renaissance Marriott Hotel. "I want a bank that's diverse."

Instead, she got some back-end personalization she felt was "disingenuous." Pretty much the opposite of personalization, right?

Trends in Web Content Management From #jboye14

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I've been to my fair share of J. Boye events both in Philadelphia and in Denmark, and always come away with the same conclusion: J. Boye events are different. They're more than just traditional conferences, they’re really centered around networking and sharing knowledge among peers in a friendly atmosphere. It’s an event organized by people with a passion and deep understanding of the online space, not built around the wishes of vendors (read sponsors). This three day event filled with interesting speakers from around the globe leaves you feeling like part of the J. Boye community.

Turn to a Platform to Tame Your Web CMS Chaos

The last thing you want in a web content management system (CMS) is something kludgy.

Josh Koenig preaches this — and he knows the industry well. He's co-founder and head of developer experience for Pantheon, a San Francisco-based website platform for Drupal and Wordpress sites.

Where should web CMS users be headed in 2015 and beyond? In a webinar hosted by Pantheon and CMSWire yesterday, Koenig said the best option is a platform that leverages open source technology.

"A good platform lets you realize full value of open source," said Koenig, who's also the co-founder of Chapter Three, a San Francisco-based Drupal agency. Platforms, he added, make managing websites easier and faster, and helps drive standardization in an organization's web development and management processes.

Q4/Q1 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (19-Nov-14)

Our industry event planner gives you the heads-up on what key industry events are coming around the corner. If we've missed something, don't hesitate to add your event to the list. (You can also view the full calendar here.)

You're Invited: Information Governance and Real Customer Successes

Join CMSWire and Opentext on December 2nd for a one-hour webinar with customer success stories on how information governance improved their businesses  


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Sketchnotes from Total Customer Experience 2014 #TCXUX

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As I was scanning the Twitter feed for voices from Altamont Group’s Total Customer Experience 2014 conference in San Francisco yesterday, a few very interesting images caught my eye. The work of Bobby Meeks, user experience architect at AutoZone, were some of the best designed “notes” I’d ever seen. 

“I grew up thinking I was weird for not taking notes in a linear fashion,” Meeks told CMSWire.  “My textbooks, folders, and composition books all had doodles in them instead of bullet points. Fast forward to present day … I found the awesome book by Mike Rohde, The Sketchnote Handbook, that put a name to the practice and went deeper into how to be more disciplined when doing it.  Now I do it as part of my daily routine.”

I was so intrigued by Meeks’ note-taking talents, I asked him if he would expand on them and give us his perspective on Day 1 of the Total Experience conference, which focuses on customer/user experience, as well as experience design.

SDL Will Consolidate Its Marketing Cloud in 2015

At a time when its larger rivals are building up their marketing clouds, SDL is planning to consolidate its cloud in January to just four product groups from the current seven.

The shift in strategy follows a turnaround year for the UK-based customer experience management company, which began 2014 with a major restructuring that is now paying dividends. 

SDL only adopted its focus on customer experience 10 months ago, but is now boasting of record revenue. Executives said plans for the coming year include doubling the global sales team, launching a major brand advertising campaign and, possibly, making new investments in digital agencies and social media.

Who Are the 100 Fastest Growing Software Companies?

Modesty is an uncommon virtue among software vendors. It doesn't matter what part of the technology market they represent — customer experience, digital marketing, social business, web content management systems ....

Everyone claims to be the best, either overall or at least in some niche of its market. And everyone claims to be growing — fast, faster, fastest of anyone in the market.

Now how is that possible? More importantly, how can you validate these growth claims?

It's a tedious, messy job. But someone has to do it. And fortunately, in this case, Deloitte stepped up to the task.

Keeping Up with B2C: How B2B Suppliers Keep Customers Happy

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B2B suppliers are trying to keep up with the standards set in the B2C world by expanding their e-commerce platforms and overall omnichannel capabilities. And that's a good thing, according to a new study that found consumer shopping habits are influencing how B2B purchasers expect to buy from suppliers.

Nearly half of business buyers (49 percent) prefer making work-related purchases on the same websites they use for personal purchases — prompting a whooping 83 percent of B2B suppliers surveyed to recognize a need to upgrade their e-commerce capabilities.

More than half of all business buyers expect at least half of their purchases to be made online within three years, according to the study, Building The B2B Omni-Channel Commerce Platform of The Future, conducted by Forrester Consulting in North America, France, Germany and the United Kingdom on behalf of Accenture and hybris.

Newcomer Bluetrain.io Claims it's a 'True Cloud CMS'

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Officials at startup web content management system (CMS) provider Bluetrain.io claim their platform shakes up the cloud CMS world.

They're so confident that they boast they can take on the Acquias, Pantheons, Sitecores, Drupals and WordPresses of the world. In an interview with CMSWire, Bluetrain.io officials said their CMS platform is better because it's a multi-tenant, multi-client, multi-brand offering and the first multi-site cloud CMS that's natively responsive.

The platform is the brainchild of Web CMS veterans who have worked on the most popular systems in the world, said Steffan Berelowitz, CEO and co-founder of Cambridge, Mass.-based Bluetrain.

"What innovation we can bring to CMS industry?" Berelowitz asked. "Most platforms were never designed to be multi-surface and multi-screen but most were designed as single instance architecture and never benefited from massive scalability of the cloud."

Acquia's Digital Experience Platform Gets Personal #AcquiaEngage

The customer experience train takes a pitstop in Boston with Acquia. Well, Acquia doesn't imagine the train stopping exactly.

Targeting the ever-increasing customer need to feel loved, Acquia this morning at its first customer conference debuted the "Acquia Platform," which company officials say upends proprietary, siloed IT models and brings together seven years of Acquia’s innovation around open source.

It's all about targeting customers' needs and desires through metrics like conversion, satisfaction and loyalty.

Serious Drupal Flaw May Have Compromised Thousands of Sites

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Thousands of websites running one of the world's most popular open source web content management systems (CMS) may have been compromised by a "highly critical" security flaw.

The team at Drupal acknowledged last week that a vulnerability that affected every site running Drupal 7 was about as bad as it could get — and that websites that did not update or patch promptly should probably assume the worst.

"If you did not update your site within seven hours of the bug being announced, we consider it likely your site was already compromised," the team noted in a security announcement.

Getting to the Center of Customer Experience

2014-31-October-Center-of-the-Universe.jpgThink of the last time you had dinner at a four-star restaurant. Was the food well-presented, the wine pairings appropriate and the dessert tray enticing? Did you receive professional and attentive service? Was the ambience elegant, pleasant and soothing? And -- most importantly -- would you go back?

Your customers ask themselves the same sorts of questions after using your website or app, and your CMS -- how you manage and deliver content to your customer -- lays at the heart of their experience. It should be the core of your customer experience management (CXM) strategy. By placing the CMS in the keystone position, you can assemble information from multiple back office and third party sources to deliver compelling customer experiences across devices and platforms. And that's the whole game, right there. 

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