Following the announcement of the merger between EPiServer and Ektron, many Ektron customers have been wondering about their options going forward, including whether they will need to migrate to EPiServer. As a partner of both companies, we’ve been closely following the updates about the future of both platforms, and after attending the Chicago EPiServer Roadshow, we’re incredibly excited about the possibilities that our clients will be able to take advantage of.
Many Ektron customers are curious about whether they should continue using the Ektron platform or move to EPiServer. While an eventual migration from Ektron to EPiServer may be inevitable, we’ve learned that with EPiServer’s Spring 2015 release, Ektron customers will have the opportunity to make use of some of the functionality that EPiServer offers that sets it apart from the Ektron platform.
Tentatively slated for release in May 2015, EPiServer will be releasing two new extensions to the Ektron product: EPiServer Commerce and EPiServer Find. Let’s take a look at what these features bring to the Ektron platform:
While Ektron does offer a smaller-scale commerce solution, it definitely lacks the sophistication of a more elegant, enterprise-level e-commerce platform. With the merger of the two companies, bringing EPiServer Commerce into the Ektron platform makes a lot of sense for the following reasons:
- It is an excellent way to extend the Ektron customer’s investment in the platform with a major upgrade to their commerce functionality.
- From a convergence perspective, it is a great first step to moving toward the Digital Experience Cloud, which will be coming out in Q4 of 2015.
- It is technically feasible; EPiServer Commerce runs as a separate web app that can run side by side with Ektron with minimal friction.
EPiServer Commerce provides a great deal of expanded capability for Ektron customers, but they will need to be aware of the following considerations:
- A solution for automatic import of commerce data into EPiServer Commerce does not currently exist, so any current data will most likely need to be manually imported configured for EPiServer Commerce.
- Significant programmatic modifications will most likely need to be made to any existing commerce functionality.
- While one of the main benefits of EPiServer Commerce is the integration of content and commerce, it is currently unknown what level of convergence will be available between existing Ektron content and EPiServer Commerce functionality.
While Ektron has the ability to utilize multiple search services, EPiServer Find offers a number of advantages for a CMS website. We strongly believe that the addition of EPiServer Find to Ektron as a search provider model will add a level of scalability and sophistication to the search capabilities within the Ektron platform.
Ektron users who are planning to implement EPiServer Find will need to take the following considerations into account:
- EPiServer Find is a cloud-based search provider, meaning that it is not hosted within your website’s hosting infrastructure.
- EPiServer Find comes in multiple configurations, depending on the size of the website. The larger number of search indexes the site has, the greater the cost, which is incremented with the number of items in the site’s catalogue, meaning that you will need to be aware of your needs when selecting the correct configuration. For more information, see EPiServer’s website.
- EPiServer Find is a truly scalable solution, which will not only grow with your business, but is also capable of indexing any data required to meet your business needs, including data that is not contained within Ektron or EPiServer.
As we learn more about the future of EPiServer and Ektron, we’re continually excited about the opportunities for existing customers of both platforms as we move toward the converged platform and the new possibilities that the Digital Experience Cloud will bring to the marketplace. As always, we’re available to answer any questions you might have about how to implement these new features, what you need to know if you’re planning to migrate from Ektron to EPiServer, or anything else you want to know about how to make the most of the current and future opportunities for your CMS-driven website. Please contact us, or feel free to leave a comment below.