Dear Ektron Customers,
Episerver here. We met back in 2015 when Episerver acquired Ektron and its loyal customer base. Since then, we continue to support your platform and strive for your satisfaction with us. But at the same time, we want to remind you why it could be a good idea to consider a jump to Episerver.
Listen – we know the objections. We have been helping customers through them for years. With digital experience expectations only increasing, now is a good time to acknowledge a few of them we have heard over the years and give you some facts to think through them. Don’t get us wrong – there is no rush! Ektron will continue to be a viable platform for you in the future but want to share the value we could bring to the digital table such as a 202% ROI and payback period of seven months (more on that later).
We commissioned our friends from Forrester Consulting to conduct an independent Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study (download here) that breaks out the value to your organization after migration. It’s based on interviews, financials, data models and more from customers who did just that – an Ektron to Episerver migration.
So let’s get down to it: why migrate from Episerver to Ektron? We’ll answer this question from objections we hear time and again.
1. We don’t have the time to consider a move to the cloud!
We totally understand this objection. In fact, our biggest “competition” for customers considering a move to the cloud is “do nothing”. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra is especially true in times where budgets are tight and rocking the boat with big changes is not ideal.
We humbly suggest that you are actually spending more time than you should managing your site right now. What about the time we can save you?
Forrester found in their independent TEI study of Ektron to Episerver migrations that “scalability and uptime were central to providing a consistent experience to all customers.” An interviewee with a global presence stated that even while having servers placed around the globe, there would still be webpage loads of 24 seconds at times. Beyond that, they could not host behind China’s firewall, requiring workarounds that cost incrementally more. In a world where customers are becoming more global and more disparate from their location of access, a cloud service available across the greater globe was necessary.
And what about the time you are spending building your site? The Forrester TEI study states “the lack of personalization meant increased reliance on IT or external resources to deliver contextually appropriate messages.” Customer experience is the core of what organizations are trying to achieve today. Without personalization, organizations had few avenues to increase customer attention and attune to what was important to the individual consumer. Our recent survey of 600 global B2B decision-makers indicates that the vast majority of leaders think they are getting a better experience when a website is personalized to them and the majority go on to say they think the company cares about them if the website is personalized to them. While some personalization is achievable manually, it is simply not feasible with any type of scale.
And what about the resources to make changes to a site at all? Shrinking budgets and resource constrained IT groups make it more difficult for marketers to deliver content updates. Content updates and publishing required effort beyond content creators – it usually involved developers from the IT group. These types of activities typically took multiple days, if not weeks and pulled from resources that were already short-handed. Furthering the issue was the need to upgrade the infrastructure and software versions to provide the latest capabilities, draining both capital and operating IT budgets. If you can’t make changes to your own site without IT help, you’re behind. The current COVID-19 crisis brought this to light with marketing teams needing to stand up microsites, customer portals and new landing pages in hours or days, not weeks or months.
With an Ektron to Episerver migration, it will take time to save time. Too often marketers think about their website based on their current day-to-day and overlook what could be. Maybe it’s worth the time to slow down long enough to speed up? With in-person events cancelled around the world, it’s time to consider how to improve your digital experience.
2. I’ll never be able to convince our financial Team!
More often than not, it’s been awhile since you first invested in your Ektron platform. Your company pays your yearly maintenance and service contract, and past that your site is built into your infrastructure. In other words, there’s no need to go begging for budget.
We find our customers typically underestimate the financial footprint their current site impacts. Yes, – your Ektron CMS costs comprise of licensing agreements, but what about your infrastructure? The Forrester TEI study found “an immediate shift away from IT usage on infrastructure support web assets, moving Opex costs to be not only lower, but also more predictable.” Between infrastructure upkeep, service and support, and software upkeep, operating expenses (opex) were often inline if not more costly than the licensing costs of Episerver Customer-Centric Digital Experience Platform™. Additionally, the delta between on-premises usage and the digital experience platform (DXP) grew as organizations incorporated the cost of hardware refreshes and service and associated software upgrades.
When looking at the overall cost of the DXP, you must consider all the areas of your organization that the tool will streamline and consolidate to consider the true financial impact. Our cloud offering is not simply a web application in the cloud but rather a brand- new way to look at delivery and expense for your web presence. And it should be presented to your financial team accordingly!
Even when we look at hard numbers, the value of the DXP realizes itself over the life of your investment. According to the interviews conducted independently on our behalf, Forrester found that these organizations cumulatively experienced benefits of:
- $2.25 million over three years versus costs of $746K
- A net present value (NPV) of $1.5 million
- An ROI of 202%
- Payback in 7 months
We’ll let that sink in. Your Ektron to Episerver migration is paid back in seven months. These numbers should be music to any CFO’s ears. Especially as Episerver can represent a shift from CapEx (licensing cost represented as hard costs to your business) to OpEx (DXP billed as an annual consumption model), we find our customers view the investment more in line with the growth of their business.
3. Our marketing team is perfectly happy with our platform, and don’t see the need to update.
Many of the marketing teams we speak to, while acknowledging there might be “newer and better” platforms on the market, are content with the current Ektron platform. They have too much on their plate to consider going against the status quo (remember objection #1?).
We can’t argue if your team is happy, but consider the time and effort currently spent by the marketing team to maintain the site. The independently commissioned TEI study shows “a significant decrease of burden to IT and specifically developers to update and publish web content.” Following the movement to Episerver DXP, organizations started to see a significant shift in the publishing of content as they move away from reliance on developers to provide modifications and testing to a short workflow involving predominantly content creators. For many of the interviewed organizations, custom development was eliminated and replaced with a more efficient drag- and- drop solution that nearly all marketers and content creators could complete. Content was updated faster, cheaper, and most importantly, met the expectations of the modern information consumer.
It’s scary to try new things – and having to learn a new CMS represents a learning curve and a possible rebuild of your current site. If you look at the speed and efficiency created by moving over to the Episerver DXP, however, you can start to imagine the “new normal” for marketers.
4. Our customers are perfectly happy with our website as it stands.
With Ektron, you can produce stable solid websites that create happy customers. I urge marketers to consider that tools in Episerver could possibly make that web presence even better, and the value of these tools is not currently considered by Ektron customers because they have never had them at their fingertips. According to the Forrester TEI study, Episerver customers find “greater customer retention as a direct result of more personalized, relevant, and focused content.”
Personalization had various effects for the interviewed organizations, all of which resulted in positive results. For organizations that had deployed personalization, the Episerver DXP solution directed customers more accurately to relevant content, and as a result showed a lower bounce rate. In that previously mentioned B2B study, over 90 percent of leaders said personalization increased their revenue. On the B2C side, 61 percent of global online shoppers want companies to prioritize personalization according to our 2020 survey.
Personalization also improves customer service. End users of a website using personalization also see a more guided approach to their desired content, resulting in a lower contact rate for customer service and front line representatives.
Sure, your customers are happy – but could they be even happier? Could you increase retention rates by focusing your time in the future on marketing improvements like executing personalization through persona building and tailoring specialized content to specific users? We find customers are most open for an Ektron to Episerver migration when they are ready for a “shift in mentality in the marketing team to forward innovative thinking”. We have found success showing them that the tools built into Episerver can make those dreams a reality.