In the most recent EPiServer Partner Update, company executives briefed the partner community on the latest news and events surrounding the merger of EPiServer and Ektron and the progress of the combined product roadmap. Below are some highlights from the update:
As we’ve known for a while now, the merged company has been officially branded as EPiServer. Where it gets a little confusing, however, is the branding of the specific product lines. In order to bring the Ektron and EPiServer main products under a single company brand, they will both adopt the name Digital Experience Cloud. More specifically, there will be the Ektron Digital Experience Cloud and the EPiServer Digital Experience Cloud. This distinction will only exist as long as there are still two separate platforms in operation. The combined platform to be released later in the year will simply be called the Digital Experience Cloud.
Also, from a marketing perspective, the product names will lose the semantic versioning format. Where we’ve been accustomed to Ektron 9.1 or EPiServer 7.5, there will now only be Digital Experience Cloud. New versions and updates will be released regularly and the Cloud experience of automatic updates diminishes the need to publicize the version number. This will still be made available to developers, however, as they may need the information for programming purposes.
What Exactly Is the Digital Experience Cloud?
The Digital Experience Cloud is the collection of components that make up the overall platform experience.
- Digital Experience Platform - The system for creating, managing, and optimizing digital experiences, including content management and commerce functionality. This is basically the products that we know and love already.
- Digital Experience Hub - Coming from the Ektron platform, the Digital Experience Hub (or DxH) allows the Platform to connect and interact with third party systems that complement and extend the overall digital experience. For example, the DxH has connectors to products such as Silverpop, Marketo, Sharepoint, and Salesforce, which allows marketers to develop a 360 degree view of the customer and use that insight to tailor every digital experience.
- Cloud Delivery - Putting the “Cloud” in “Digital Experience Cloud”, this is the Cloud-based hosting and management of the application.
When Will the Digital Experience Cloud Be Available?
The short term plan for the Digital Experience Cloud, as described earlier, will essentially be cloud-based versions of the current Ektron and EPiServer platforms. The target for official release is May 2015. While the product functionality sets will be mostly the same as they are today, a new pricing and licensing model will be released (described in more detail below). Also, in keeping with the “Extend” portion of the “Protect, Extend, Converge” mantra, the EPiServer platform will adopt two key components from the Ektron platform: The Digital Experience Hub and eSync. The Ektron platform will in turn adopt Find (search functionality) and the Commerce platform from EPiServer. This allows current users of both platforms to take advantage of the best of each platform.
The long term plan for the Digital Experience Cloud is an all new combined platform currently scheduled for release in Fall 2015. The exact specifications and feature set are still under wraps, but according to EPiServer, this product will set the standard for all digital experience platforms and truly become a digital leader of scale.
Pricing and Licensing
While exact pricing is not released yet, we do have some insight into the licensing model for the Digital Experience Cloud. While the traditional perpetual license model was defined by numbers of sites or servers, the primary Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud model will be comprised of three levels, each defined and priced by overall usage, number of content items, and an application uptime SLA.
- Group - 1,000,000 page views, 100,000 content items, 99.7% application SLA
- Corporate - 5,000,000 page views, 500,000 content items, 99.9% application SLA
- Enterprise - 10,000,000 page views, 1,000,000 content items, 99.9% application SLA
The pricing model will be elastic to account for usage that goes beyond these limits. There will be a cost schedule for additional page views, content items and higher SLA requirements. Perpetual (on-premise) and commercial cloud licensing will also continue to be available, with pricing still forthcoming.
Fans of previous Ektron Synergy conferences will be happy to know the event is back on. The new and improved EPiServer Synergy will take place November 8-12 at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. More details to come soon. We hope to see you there!
As more information and updates are released by EPiServer, we’ll be sure to keep you informed. As always, if you’d like to talk to any of our solution engineers or ask questions about your current and future options with Ektron and EPiServer, please contact us. We’re here to help