Monday, February 6, 2017

CMS Customer Choice Grows as Episerver Continues to Curry Analyst Favor in New Forrester Wave

Brandon Rozelle, SVP, Growth Strategy
Platforms / Technology

Back in the Fall, when Gartner released its latest Web CMS Magic Quadrant, we published a brief article discussing why the latest move by Episerver, and the broader choices amongst enterprise CMS platforms that move represents, is good for digital marketing buyers. But a relevant summary is that Episerver's emergence in the center of the leader quadrant (challenging incumbents like Sitecore and Adobe) is providing digital marketers with more diverse choices, and challenges legacy pricing models.

A few weeks ago, Forrester released their 2017 "Forrester Wave" for Web CMS, and we thought it was time to revisit this topic, especially given the fact that Episerver again landed as a leader--unprecedented movement for a platform that only really emerged in North America in 2015.

"Episerver is solid across core web CMS extensibility and architecture, keeps pace with modern developer expectations, and is pushing ahead in practitioner features like testing and personalization."


What does it mean for a relatively new platform (at least in terms of North American market penetration) to suddenly be acknowledged as a leader, keeping company with established solutions who have been in the market for 10+ years? In one word--choice. What we're seeing is a product roadmap that is staying pretty focused on the evolution of the Digital Marketer. Forrester similarly acknowledges:

"Episerver’s progressive reinvention with investment in cloud and recent acquisitions will continue to move the target toward marketing-centric, digital experience scenarios in the next year." 

The acquisitions of Peerius and Optivo in 2016 shows a desire to take a product roadmap already strong in core CMS and eCommerce into an even more analytics-rich and personalization-first offering. We at Rightpoint are actively assisting with some aspects of the product roadmap by helping build a PowerBI connector that will enabled Epi to serve as the data hub in an organization's data ecosystem and providing rich visualizations across multiple data sources to create an accurate view of customer engagement and attribution.

Forbes is finding that in 2017, CMOs are now spending more budget on technology acquisition than CIOs. With turnkey, cloud-hosted solutions like Episerver--marketing can achieve incredible speed-to-market and start taking on customer channel-shift with a single platform. More and more often in building these solutions, we are working across the aisle of Marketing, IT and Sales to drive a unified strategy that understands how key audiences are behaving and what capabilities are required to drive value and relevance--leading to increased AOV and frequency for ecommerce and greater exposure and conversion for everyone else.

I was talking with my friend Jim Noellsch, a Rightpoint Senior Technical Architect and leader in our CMS development practice, about Episerver's momentum in the US market. His comment to me was: “Episerver is extremely transparent with their product roadmap, enabling our development teams to produce smarter implementations and have informed conversations with our clients.” When we compared this with other technology partners we encounter, it is a night and day difference. Epi works very hard to keep their intensions with the platform clear, and engages early and often with partners like Rightpoint to make sure those capabilities match the use cases that matter most to our clients. That understanding of the value proposition seems a core reason for their velocity in North America.

As an agency who often helps guide platform choices for our clients, Rightpoint is excited to see how Episerver's roadmap continues to evolve and make good on their recent investments while driving innovation for their customers.  Of my clients who have moved to Episerver in the past year, ALL of them would share that the move has enabled their marketing capabilities, while the PAAS offering continues to bring new features to life on a consistent basis.  As a trusted partner, I love having richer, evolving tools to help those clients realize the full potential of their digital transformation.


If you're interested in the full 2017 Forrester Wave, you can download your own copy here.