Posts Tagged ‘EpiServer’
Recently, I was at a Web Content Management vendor conference in Vegas, chatting over drinks with colleagues about different business strategies. When out of the blue one of my competitors chimed in with a remark about Falcon-Software being a CMS vendor whore. Now, aside from finding that word offensive, I believe there was a little jealous undertone with his backhanded comment.
Regardless, this got me thinking about which strategy is truly the best; for an integration partner to be loyal to one or two CMS vendor partners or like Falcon-Software, have a healthy line up of several CMS platform solution for customers to choose from?
Now, I do understand the value in supporting only one particular vendor and becoming highly proficient in deploying that CMS platform. In fact, in 2002 Falcon-Software started off with only one CMS vendor – Ektron, which fostered a healthy funnel of sales leads between us over the years. In 2006, Ektron selected Falcon-Software as their Partner of the Year amongst their list of 200 partners worldwide. So it would seem the benefits can be very rewarding. Well… let’s peel back that onion shall we!
In 2007, Ektron decided to change their partner model and starting offering integration services, and having all our eggs in one basket all the sudden seemed potentially hazardous to our health. So Falcon-Software quickly countered by adding three new CMS vendor solutions Kentico, Sitecore and Sitefinity to our portfolio and the pros quickly became apparent over any cons. Instead of having leads and RFP opportunities with just one vendor, we now had four vendors feeding the machine. More importantly, we could offer our customers a solution that truly was a best fit for their business needs, budget, infrastructure, etc. So it makes sense to me that being limited in offering only a couple of CMS vendor solution to customers, that objectivity becomes seriously compromised.
Over the years, I’ve managed to acquire an in-depth understanding of the differences and limitations between all the top CMS vendors, limitations that are not generally discussed in their glossy marketing brochures and flashy PowerPoint presentations and in my opinion, the only way to acquire this knowledge and expertise is by having a deep portfolio of successful deployments from many different CMS solutions.
On a side note, in 2012 Ektron went back to their original partner model abandoning their integration services all together.
Currently, Falcon-Software partners with 8-different .NET Web CMS vendors: Ektron, EPiServer, Elcom, Kentico, SharePoint, Sitecore, Sitefinity and our latest addition – DotNetNuke. Our philosophy is that there is no one size fits all CMS platform on the market today that can provide the best solution for everyone’s budget and technical requirements. For example, some customers may require an out-of-box solution that offers a robust e-commerce or social media application, which narrows down the field. Others may require a system that excels in site globalization or one that can seamlessly integrate with a particular ERP or CRM solutions, which certainly narrows the field of players down even further. Let’s also not forget about those customers that have a $200,000 project scope with only a $100,000 budget. Try that budget with Sitecore or SharePoint and you better be prepared for a stripped down gas can of a solution… not a good fit.
Can an integration firm be successful offering just on Web CMS solution? Sure… we did it for 5-years. But having tried both strategies, for us there is a clear and definite advantage to offering our customers a multitude of vendor solutions. The key is being proficient in delivering all the solutions you support so partner certification and ongoing training is vital.
Please Note: The image being used in the blog post is in the spirit of the debate and to help drive home a point and in no way meant to be offensive towards any female readers. I promise to post a follow up with a male character casting a seductive pose to help even things up
Easy-to-Use Software Puts Power In the Hands of Interactive Marketers and Editors to Create and Sell on Mobile Platforms with Content-Rich Mobile Web Applications.
EPiServer today announced the launch of MobilePack for EPiServer, a set of templates and software for creating mobile web apps that extend a brands’ reach to a critical and growing segment of web users. With the introduction of MobilePack, EPiServer empowers marketers to quickly and efficiently extend their primary online presence, whether that’s a website, ecommerce site or branded social community, to smartphones and tablets.
Marketers today understand the benefits of making their brands more mobile, but many fear the complexity and expense of entering the mobile channel. MobilePack unlocks marketers’ from reliance on their IT staff while enabling content reuse across multiple channels. Based on HTML 5, MobilePack allows marketers to use familiar analytics tools to understand visitor preferences before investing in more expensive native apps. Key features of MobilePack include the ability to add new content specific to the mobile context, device-specific preview and can be customized by developers to create richer mobile experiences. Read More: http://goo.gl/tAJRo
Please see the links below for helpful information:
- Review of MobilePack by CMSWire: http://goo.gl/99Rgb
- Technical whitepaper about MobilePack’s features and download info: http://goo.gl/C4qUL
- Video Demo of MobilePack in Action: http://goo.gl/moSAI
Falcon-Software offers website planning, creative design, development, Ektron, Elcom, EPiServer, Kentico, SharePoint, Sitecore, and Sitefinity implementations, CMS training and server hosting services. We invite you to get started today. Call us for a free consultation at 800-957-1126.
More often than not, we receive requests for proposals for multiple .NET web content management vendor solutions. Gone are the days of requests for two .NET CMS vendor solutions to compare. Know it’s a request for five to six solution comparisons along with a 70-page matrix Q&A document, followed by 6-hours of vendor demos and countless hours of sandbox trials.
Don’t get me wrong, this is what the customer should be doing to avoid one of the most costly blunders in today’s corporate spending - failed software integration projects. Since there is no one size fits all .NET CMS product on the market today that can provide the best solution for every one’s budget and business requirements, conducting proper due-diligence is a must.
The first step is to identify the top .NET CMS vendors on the market and which ones are best suited for your organizations short and long-term web strategy. Visit their websites with a check list of features and modules you require. Read the reviews on sites like CMSWire and CMS Critic and finally, hire a CMS consultant to aid in mapping out some top level needs and requirements as well as assisting in preparing a proper RFP document. Until then, there’s no point in conducting extensive comparisons and evaluations. One thing is for certain… unless you have six to eight months to burn, you can evaluate 2 to 3 vendors a lot more comprehensively than 5 to 6 vendor solutions.
To get you started, Falcon-Software has compiled a list below of what we consider the top rated .NET Web CMS solutions on the market today. The factors we considered for this rating list are product stability, robust features, extensibility, lengthy track record of customers and integration partners, and good overall customer service record.
- Bridgeline iAPPS (http://www.bridgelinedigital.com/)
- DotNetNuke Professional (http://www.dotnetnuke.com/)
- Ektron CMS400 (http://www.ektron.com/)
- EPiServer (http://www.episerver.com/)
- Elcom (http://www.elcomcms.com/)
- Ingeniux (http://www.ingeniux.com/)
- Kentico (http://www.kentico.com/)
- SharePoint WCM (http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/)
- Sitecore (http://www.sitecore.com/)
- Telerik’s Sitefinity (http://www.sitefinity.com/)
- Umbraco (http://www.umbraco.org/)
Falcon-Software offers website planning, creative design, development, CMS deployment, training and server hosting services. We invite you to get started today, at no cost. Call us for a free consultation at 800-707-1311 or visit our website at http://www.falcon-software.com/
EPiServer Survey of More Than 100 Companies Reveal that Personalization is Highly Effective and Outperforming Traditional Mass Marketing Techniques, but Remains Underutilized Because of Inadequate Data and Software Applications.
- Read the entire EPiServer article: http://is.gd/hlkrA2
EPiServer, the leading supplier of solutions that enable true Web engagement and drive business results for end customers. 3,500 customers worldwide use EPiServer’s technology platform that combines content, community, commerce, and communications with a configurable metrics dashboard. EPiServer CMS is the foundation for more than 10,000 websites and is used by more than 130,000 web editors daily. The EPiServer platform is delivered through an extensive network of over 500 partner companies in 30 countries. EPiServer combines the stability and support of a commercial product with EPiServer World, a thriving developer community of more than 12,000 developers. EPiServer is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with an AAA-ranking by Dun & Bradstreet since 2000. The company was founded in 1994 and has offices in the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, The Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Its really hard not to notice the flood of press releases from leading WCM vendors that have launched their new ‘cloud’ offering, most recently Sitefinity adding cloud to their list of software features and benefits. Why is the Cloud so great? Does the hype live up to expectations?
To keep in-step with the ever-increasing number of organizations looking to leverage cloud platforms, vendors such as Alterian, Clickability, CrownPeak, EPiServer, Kentico, Open Text, Sitecore, Sitefinity and SpringCM have all launched cloud compatibile versions of their WCM software.
So, why is everyone’s head is in the clouds?
The workplace has exploded beyond the traditional boundaries of the office walls. Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever before, and companies are reevaluating the office cubicle and 9-to-5 workday model in favor of a more cost effective virtual workforce. Consequently, workers need to be able to access and engage with their crucial business content across devices and applications. With web-based content management, files are accessible on multiple devices, and open APIs make it easy to integrate cloud content management solutions with other web-based business applications – such as salesforce.com or Google Apps.
Cloud solutions are more cost effective on a per-user basis, go live faster, update seamlessly and frequently, and carry far less risk with implementation and execution. We’ve all heard stories about six-or-seven-figure technology purchases that never got off the ground or were only implemented narrowly. The on-demand nature of cloud and SaaS systems make such events nearly risk-free in terms of time and money. And cloud platforms will only get more affordable as vendors benefit from immense economies of scale as their business grows, and pass along these cost savings to the customer.
Across all generations, today’s knowledge workers are significantly more web savvy than ever before, but this evolution has largely been driven by consumer technologies. Consumer applications like YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook are fast, intuitive, and don’t require anything extra to get started. Today’s workers, especially those who grew up using these consumer tools, require software that helps them get their job done with the simplicity and usability of the internet. There’s a fundamental difference between giving your employees software that they want to use rather than software that they have to use.
The notion of moving any large data repository to a cloud computing infrastructure still makes many CIOs and IT managers nervous, but it’s already proving to be the wave of the future for WCM systems. Forrester Research recently released its report, which projects the size of the world market for cloud service will expand from $40.7 billion in 2011 to greater than $241 billion in 2020. As different cloud service providers emerge, if they emerge, users will have a variety of service options and solution configurations, along with varying fees for service as the providers compete for efficiency.
So, does the hype live up to expectations? The cloud certainly offers clear advantages, but there are trade-offs and you need to understand them before you make any infrastructure decisions.
Sweden’s top Web CMS platform EPiServer will go head-to-head against Australia’s own Web CMS powerhouse Elcom with CMS Connected Host – Veronica Cooper, in a lively and interactive 60-minute debate. With both products being relatively new to the North American market, CMS Connected plans to dig past the glossy brochures and industry buzz words and find out who and what’s really driving these two WCM vendors.
- Find out more: www.cms-connected.com
Falcon-Software first became involved with web content management (WCM) back in 1995. Our IT manager at the time suggested that we build our own custom WCM solution as a value added for our growing list of clientele. Knowing that the writing was on the wall and the days of deploying static websites were numbered, we decided to move forward with our first generation proprietary ASP CMS solution.
We closely monitored the impact it had on our business and found that it opened up a whole new revenue stream for Falcon-Software. Fifteen years later, it has become the core of our services – developing and deploying .NET WCM solutions, while assembling one of the most complete and comprehensive list of vendors in the industry. This strategy allows us the ability to provide the ideal technology solution for our clientele’s unique technical requirements and business needs.
We are often asked — How can Falcon-Software be highly proficient in understanding and implementing so many different .NET WCM solutions?
First and foremost, we have a solid foundation in .NET technology and almost two decades of experience deploying WCM solutions in a wide variety of different sectors. Having a strong .NET knowledge-base to pull from allows us to exceed client expectations no matter what WCM platform we use. In my opinion, when you are limited to only one or two WCM vendor solutions, objectivity becomes seriously compromised.
Secondly, we understand the differences between the top .NET CMS solutions. They all promote user-friendly interfaces, customizable workflows, online forms, reporting analytics, e-commerce and social media modules – the similarities go on and on. The real trick in recommending one WCM product over another is understanding their differences. Some vendors have a robust Intranet modules as their differentiator, others may have a more mature social media package that allows you to deploy fully featured web portal communities rather than just a simple blog. So it all comes down to understanding the client’s needs and technical challenges and matching them to a WCM system that best fits their budget.
Integrators that offer only one particular WCM system will undoubtedly make them an authority on the product over time. But, is that in the client’s best interest? Certainly not. Launching a WCM system that works flawlessly from an integrators point-of-view does not always translate to being a successful project. One of the main reasons so many WCM implementations fail is poor adoption by the system administrators and site contributors that work with the product day in and day out. This could be due to several reasons - it could be too complicated for the user or it may not provide the ideal solution they were expecting the product to solve or users aren’t provided proper training. Regardless, there is no one size fits all WCM product on the market today that can provide the best solution for everyone’s requirements or budget.
We are also frequently asked — Since we have experience deploying so many different WCM systems – Which is the better product – for example Ektron or Sitecore? If you’ve spent any length of time in the WCM industry, you have almost certainly noticed the fierce rivalry between competing vendors. At times it can get pretty nasty and lines are constantly being crossed making the politics of the business just as immature and counterproductive as government politics. So, how does an integrator that supports several different products separate itself from the mud-slinging and smear tactics so heavily deployed amongst the WCM brotherhood? Our answer is simple and factual. Both Ektron and Sitecore are very good .NET WCM platforms and are well represented with thousands of customers across the globe and both have very mature development communities.
The problem is the question. The proper question should be – which WCM platform is the right one for my organization? Unfortunately, the answer is far more complicated and you should make sure you understand your own politics, technical challenges and organizational needs as a starting point. Then explore the WCM vendors that best match your criteria. Make sure you have a demo of the short-listed vendors and include all the key stakeholders and site administrators. Then setup a ‘sandbox’ trial version and start playing with the products in real-case scenarios. What you’ll find is the ability to answer your own question – Which is the best WCM product for me?
List of Web CMS Vendors
The list of vendors below is by no means complete, but certainly in our opinion stable solutions. We also linked the systems Falcon-Software supports.
- Autonomy WCM (was Interwoven)
- CoreMedia CMS
- Day Software
- Elcom CommunityManager.NET
- Fatwire Content Server
- GOSS iCM
- Ingeniux CMS
- Microsoft SharePoint WCM
- Open Text WEM (was Vignette & Nstein)
- Open Text WCM (was RedDot)
- Percussion CM System
- SDL Web Solutions
Small to Mid-Level WCM Systems:
- Bridgeline iApps
- eZ Publish
- Hot Banana
- Telerik Sitefinity
Falcon-Software offers website planning, creative design, development, Ektron, Elcom, EPiServer, Kentico, SharePoint, Sitecore, and Sitefinity WCM implimentations, WCM training and server hosting services.
We invite you to get started today. Call us for a free consultation at 800-957-1126.
The recent holiday shopping season saw US consumers spending an estimated $32.6 billion online, an increase of 12 percent over the previous year and an all-time record for the season1. Despite a still soft economy, these figures clearly show the momentum and acceptance that online commerce has gained. At the same time, online social interaction is poised to replace traditional search. With over 6 billion minutes per day spent on Facebook alone, your business can’t ignore the social trend. Now the convergence of these two trend lines creates an opportunity for explosive growth in your online sales.
Discover the easy way to turn website traffic into revenue with EPiServer
In today’s global marketplace, your website is the most vital tool in your sales arsenal. A powerful online presence can help you blast through your sales goals and take your business to the next level. That’s why you need an online solution that will maximize every step in the sales process – from the very first search all the way through final payment.
Increase your customer base and the value of every online transaction
EPiServer offers a full suite of online sales and marketing tools that allow you to:
- Bring more qualified visitors to your website. Over 57%* of all online purchases begin with a search. Use EPiServer’s built-in SEO tools to drive maximum traffic to your landing pages.
- Engage your website visitors by providing them with targeted content based on their location, industry or needs.
- Increase the value of your sales with EPiServer’s upselling and cross-selling features.
- Leverage the power of social media by creating your own community where customers can post product reviews and engage in conversations.
- Get instant answers on how your campaigns are performing and which landing pages are delivering the best results.
EPiServer Commerce makes it easy for you to take control of your online sales. You get support for the whole commerce cycle, from the point where users research options and review other visitors’ opinions through to the purchase, delivery and ongoing customer care. The user-friendly interface means you won’t need to contact a web developer every time you want to add new content or track your results.
Falcon-Software offers website planning, creative design, development, Web CMS implimentations, CMS training and server hosting services. We invite you to get started today. Call us for a free consultation at 800-957-1126