Marketing Agility, EcoSystem, Revolution-not Evolution, drop the "e"... just a few of my takeaway buzzwords from the 2013 EPiServer North American Partner Conference yesterday. Andy Hoar, Senior Analyst with Forrester set the tone with the keynote address exploring market trends, driving digital marketing, and eCommerce ideas (or I should say Commerce as Andy advocated "dropping the e"). He pushed us as Partners to help our clients view their digital marketing in a whole new way... not just an evolution of what they were doing before. As he put it "...We tend to refer to the "new thing" as an evolution of the "old thing", when what we have is something qualitatively different than the "old thing". Of course, the main focus of the conference was to help Partners dig a little deeper into the EPiServer software. It was evident in Peter Sunn's and Peter Young's presentation of the Add On Store, that EPiServer continues to focus on a solution that stresses marketing agility. Equating the software to an Ecosystem, the platform evolves, grows, and changes based on many factors. The software doesn't try to be anything it's not and the company remains committed to the core functionality of the CMS while partnering with key industry players to add functionality. By offering downloads through the Add On Store, the company can react to the needs of it's customers without making them wait for the next software release. All in all, the conference itself provided a great networking and learning environment with an added bonus, it kicked the WSOL team's idea generating thought process into high gear.
The EPiServer North American Partner summit offered some great insights to the future of the CMS and Commerce product. It is apparent that a vast amount of time has been spent on enhancing the commerce engine to provide a tighter integration with the core EPiServer CMS. This continues to offer an untold amount of advantages from the standpoints of search, integration, persona management, and more. It was also exciting to see that the commerce engine has been reworked to utilize the Twitter Bootstrap responsive design framework, which will even further enable commerce conversation in the mobile channel. Even with all the commerce advancements, the core CMS was not forgotten gaining new features such as inline editing, rendering enhancements including the ability to have predefined layout management and the introduction on cloud based elastic asset management. EPiServer is obviously continuing its trend of providing more frequent feature enhancements while keeping a keen eye on the overall editing experience. With all of these great advancements, I am truly looking forward to the release of EPiServer 7.5 in Q4 of this year.
had a great time attending the annual EPiServer Partner Summit in
downtown Chicago. After some fun on Lake Michigan, the following day was
packed with informative sessions to learn about the current and future
direction of the CMS industry and the EPiServer product line. As a
fairly new partner with EPiServer, it is very exciting to see the huge
potential that lays ahead both with the platform and our own ability to
provide enterprise solutions to our clients. What struck me most was the
EPiServer position statement that guides the vision of the company:
"We offer the essential software to create, manage and deliver great experiences online. No more, no less."
is no confusion or mixed messages about what EPiServer is trying to do
and how they want to position themselves. They simply want to create the
best CMS and Commerce platforms available. They are accomplishing this
with a focus on a great user experience, avoidance of overly complex and
costly implementation hurdles and strategically partnering with best of
breed solutions to complement EPiServer's robust foundation. We're very
excited to expand our partnership with EPiServer and to bring this set
of solutions to our clients.
EPiServer North American Partner summit provided a fantastic
opportunity to meet other EPiServer partners, get insights on the state
of the CMS market, glean information from EPiServer clients and get a
better understanding of EPiServer's technology partners. Some highlights
include Giant Eagle's experience with EPiServer discussed by Donna
Pahel, Director of CRM at Giant Eagle, Andy Hoar's state of CMS market
from his vantage point at Forrester Research, and Kurt Kristmann's
explanation of inRiver's deep integration with the EPiServer platform.