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Should I Upgrade Ektron or Migrate to Episerver?

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As we approach the end of the 2017 calendar year, there are many organizations asking themselves whether or not they should be budgeting for a major Ektron upgrade or possibly an Episerver migration for 2018. The answer to this question is more complicated than it seems, but let me break down some areas which might help add some clarity to your company's decision-making process.

What version of Ektron are you currently using?

Believe it or not, there are a ton of organizations still running their websites on the 8.0x version of the Ektron CMS product. If you are one of those organizations, it is certainly more cost effective to migrate to Episerver. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. The underlying APIs have changed from Ektron version 8.0x to 9.x. This means that if you want to get the most out of your Ektron site, you really need to swap out all of the underlying APIs to use the more current versions.
  2. The search technology has changed. This means that you will need more hosting configuration, etc. This also means that your website search coding will most likely need to be rewritten.
  3. There are many features that have been deprecated. One such feature that many clients using the older version of Ektron are using is the Calendar system. This system has been deprecated in the new version and has been replaced with a new one. This means that if your website is using the older calendar system, not only will it need to be rebuilt but all of the event data will need to be reentered into the new Calendar system.

What is your goal of upgrading and/or migrating?

There are many companies that plan to migrate to Episerver based on its robust commerce platform or enterprise personalization capabilities. There are other organizations that place a higher priority on platform security and look to Episerver's continuous release cycle and DXC Service to solve these architectural problems. However, when it comes to Ektron, we often hear that companies want to upgrade their version of Ektron to get all of the new features available within the upgraded platform. The problem with this business driver is that even if you upgrade Ektron to the newest version, you may very well have to make significant website coding changes to take advantage of any new features. So, beyond the time and capital investment of simply completing the Ektron upgrade, you will also need to budget for the website code base upgrades required to implement the features you are hoping to take advantage of.

So, what should I do?

The answer is, it depends. For most organizations, a migration to Episerver (especially if you are an older version of Ektron) will cost less money than performing a major Ektron platform upgrade. However, if you are using version 9.0 of Ektron and you only want to upgrade to version 9.x of Ektron to take advantage of the latest security updates, etc., then it may be more cost-effective to simply do that. If you have other business drivers such as a website redesign, hosting migration, etc., it most certainly makes sense to fold a migration to Episerver into that equation.

We’ve written extensively on this topic and have many blogs that will provide a ton of information that can help you decide whether you should plan for an Ektron to Episerver migration or just upgrade Ektron. You can learn about what mistakes to avoid when migrating from Ektron to Episerver. Ektron customers, here are the 10 things that you should know about Episerver. Be sure to ask yourself these 4 questions before deciding to migrate. Lastly, be sure to check out our webinar series: A Step by Step Guide to Planning your Website Migration.

 

About the Author

Chris Osterhout
Chris Osterhout
Chris rose through the ranks of website development, ASP.NET architecture, project management and team leadership, to overall digital solution strategy management. As VP of Business Strategy, Chris helps clients understand the entire digital spectrum and guides them toward successful online solutions. Chris is a recognized expert on the Ektron / EPiServer CMS platforms and publishes, speaks and provides general thought leadership to clients and the greater web development community alike.
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