London Bridge, site of eZconf2017 bbq
eZ Systems held its annual conference this year in London, announcing a new PaaS platform, a new London office and more PHOTO: Kaya Ismail

LONDON — The eZ Conference, the annual event hosted by Porsgrunn, Norway-based eZ Systems for over a decade now ends today in London, but the company fit a number of announcements into the three-day conference.

CMSWire was in attendance, live tweeting all the highlights from the ground and speaking to eZ executives about some of the latest developments coming out of the company.

'Content Fuels The Digital Economy'

Aleksander Farstad, eZ Systems CEO and co-founder, kicked off the conference in a keynote address Tuesday morning.

Farstad spoke of the importance of adaptability, citing the example of Nokia phones being swept aside not by better hardware, but by better software à la Apple: “Those that do not adapt, die.” 

He argued we should expect to see more battles won by software in other industries over the coming years: 

“Software will also soon be the key value driver of the car industry. The winning car manufacturer will be the one making the best software. Software is the engine, of the digital revolution, and content fuels this digital economy."

Farstad ended his keynote by announcing plans to open a London office before the year expires. His parting remark, “Brexit or not, we don’t care,” earned a laugh from the crowd.

Other notable presentations were given by Felix Laate, the opportunity manager at Norway-based Greater Stavanger, who spoke about open source software in the public sector. Meanwhile, eZ co-founder Bård Farstad showcased Klimb, the eZ-powered mobile app for mountain climbers and explorers. 

Introducing eZ Platform Cloud 

Roland Benedetti, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at eZ Systems, unveiled the eZ Platform Cloud, a purpose-built Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution. 

The announcement wasn’t a total surprise, as the notion of eZ Systems embracing the PaaS approach has been evident since eZ Conference 2016, when the company announced its partnership with Paris-based Platform.sh for the first time. 

Back then, the two companies were collaborating in order to help eZ users leverage Platform.sh as a third-party continuous deployment cloud hosting solution. Now, though, eZ Systems and Platform.sh have teamed up to build eZ Platform Cloud from the ground up, together.

“We’re happy to introduce a new product, eZ Platform Cloud, PaaS infrastructure, powered by Platform.sh,” Benedetti told the audience.

When CMSWire asked about why eZ had decided to adopt a PaaS approach, Benedetti replied, “[the biggest benefit] is definitely the acceleration of development. It also helps to reduce costs.”

In a separate statement, Aleksander Farstad expanded on the benefits:

"The PaaS approach is a revolution for content management technology. In today's digital revolution, success belongs to the one who can adapt fast. Accelerating and streamlining the development workflow is just about that.”

CMSWire also enquired about eZ Systems’ partnership with Platform.sh

“We could have opted to build the solution ourselves, but it would have taken us more time and it would have defocused us,” Benedetti said.

“But more importantly, Platform.sh is used to our technology stack. [It works closely with] Symphony and their team has experience working with other PHP-based platforms like Magento. So it’s good to work with people who already know the ins and outs of our stack,” Benedetti continued.

eZ Platform Cloud is available starting today as a private preview and will be officially launched in the coming weeks. To be one of the first to try it, fill out the online form.