The recently acquired EPiServer (news, site) appears to be going strong after joining forces with IK Investment Partners in late 2010. Need proof? EPiServer is celebrating the 500th addition to its partner network.

What's a 'Partner,' Anyway?

Partnerships between companies are announced every day, but rarely is an explanation ever given as to what actually constitutes a partnership.

A common pattern in the creation of an organization's online presence is the collaboration of three parties:

  1. The organization with the need to create or update its online presence -- also known as the customer.
  2. A digital agency or IT consulting firm with an existing relationship with the customer -- also known as the implementor.
  3. A software company that provides the software platform, such as a web content management system, enabling said launch of the customer's web presence -- also known as the vendor.

If the implementor has the original relationship with the customer, then the implementor will often help the customer choose a software vendor to support the initiative. If the vendor has the pre-existing relationship, then the vendor will help the customer choose an implementation partner.

The end result is a "partnership" between a software vendor and an implementation firm with the shared goal of satisfying a mutual customer.

'Continued Growth'

As a part of marking this milestone, I sat down with the vice president of global marketing at EPiServer, Bob Egner, to discuss what 500 partners means to EPiServer.

According to Egner, reaching 500 active partners in its network is indicative of both a growing customer base -- approaching 3,500 customers worldwide -- and growing revenue.

It only makes sense. If EPiServer has 500 active partners, that means EPiServer is actively engaged with at least 500 customers on web projects. Every partner that joins the EPiServer network represents at least one more customer and more licensing revenue.

To those of you who worried about EPiServer's viability following the acquisition in November 2010, ourselves included, it would appear to have been much ado about nothing.

When asked about the acquisition, Egner described it as a "non-event" for customers and partners with no significant management changes occurring. If anything, he confided that the new owners have pushed EPiServer beyond where the senior leadership of the company thought they would be by now.

Where Does EPiServer Go from Here?

The immediate plans are to capitalize on the milestone described here along with success in the mobile space and as a hosting provider.

But stay tuned, Egner would not share the details, but there is big news coming in April. Be sure to check back here for coverage.