Close Window

Episerver Goes Shopping

Episerver has announced acquisitions of two different software firms over the past few weeks. Both acquisitions will be added to the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud, thus adding digital marketing capabilities to the vendor’s existing content and commerce solutions.

The two acquisitions, both in Europe, are Optivo, an email marketing software vendor based in Germany, and Peerius, an omnichannel personalization vendor based in the U.K. Episerver claims that with these acquisitions, the Digital Experience Cloud is the only platform in the market to combine digital content, commerce, marketing and personalization in the cloud. Optivo.

Good News for the Mid-Market

Whether Episerver now is truly the only platform in the market to combine content, commerce, marketing and personalization in the cloud is debatable, since it depends on which customer segment is in question. Oracle, for example, could make the same claim, but in reality the two vendors address vastly different customer segments (though the latest WCM Magic Quadrant from Gartner suggests otherwise, placing both vendors in the upper right). Oracle serves the world’s largest enterprises across a diverse array of industries and continents and has a market capitalization of $160 billion: content, commerce and marketing software account for just a fraction of the vendor’s $38 billion in annual revenues.

Episerver, in contrast,  is many orders of magnitude smaller than Oracle (its exact financials are undisclosed since it is owned by a private equity firm). The company has built a solid business in providing WCM and, more recently, commerce solutions to a customer base dominated by mid-market companies, many of which are in retail and manufacturing in Europe and North America. The North America presence is relatively recent, dating to when Episerver’s private equity owners Accel-KKR combined it with Ektron in late 2014. All this means that if you are a manufacturing firm in Scandinavia making a few hundred million a year and want a new CMS, it is Episerver, not Oracle, who will actually return your calls (despite what the MQ may imply).

That said, these recent acquisitions will further strengthen Episerver’s competitiveness in the mid-market, competing with the likes of Sitecore, Hippo, SDL and CoreMedia. This is a great market in which to operate as it includes both mid sized companies and business divisions and subsidiaries of larger enterprise firms. Mid-market companies, particularly in B2B, often have marketing and IT departments that have general skills but are new to digital and customer experience-related software. Unlike a large enterprise that may have a whole department dedicated to demand generation, for example, a mid-market company may have one person responsible for all marketing activities for the entire organization, plus owning corporate communications to boot. Such a company may want to start selling online, but might have a product catalog of thousands of SKUs that are all on a spreadsheet maintained by one person. This type of company knows that marketing and selling more online is important, but needs education and assistance in how to do it effectively, since the expertise and resources are unlikely to be in-house.

By integrating Optivo and Peerius, EPiserver now can offer its existing customers a more comprehensive solution at a reasonable price that, if implemented properly, will add additional value to their content and commerce investments. While this sounds great in theory, it will require EPiserver to heavily invest in sales and partner channel enablement, providing use cases and crucial guidance and training materials to those who will be out in the field meeting with customers and prospects. These people will need to be able to explain to the IT directors and general operations managers at their mid-market prospects that Optivo and Peerius can lead to concrete gains without sacrificing security and causing integration headaches with legacy systems.

Upsells and cross-sells within existing Episerver customers in Europe, where digital marketers are the lead buyers, should be a piece of cake for Episerver. But growing within the North American mid-market will be a greater challenge, and these acquisitions, while positive, are just one of several actions Episerver will need to take to stay abreast of the competition. Staying focused on the types of companies it has done best in serving, such as manufacturing, and enabling the right partners, will be just as important.

Considering Episerver for your next technology implementation? Read our recent post on successful technology selections, or contact us directly for expert, independent advice.





, , , ,

Meet us at: