CMS Wars: Ektron and Episerver Merge, Akumina and Percussion Emerge
By Jim Lundy
CMS Wars are back. The need to have a great Website and a great Digital Experience is fueling a new round of Mergers and Acquisitions in Web Content Management, also referred to as CMS. In fact, a lot of the activity in CMS land is happening in the Boston Metro Area, since Akumina, Ektron and Percussion are all based there. This round-up blog talks about all the changes going on at Ektron/Episerver, Akumina and Percussion.
Episerver – the new Name for the Ektron and Episerver Merged Entity
Accel/KKR placed a bet in Web Content Management and by doing so may have fueled this new round of CMS Wars. Accel/KKR recognized the opportunity to sell a business application to Marketers and, as such, is doing a roll-up. It bought both Ektron (founder Bill Rogers is leaving) and Episerver. Accel places smart bets and they have put an experienced team in charge of the combined entity.
James Norwood, fresh from Accel, is serving as Episerver CMO and head of Strategy. He joins along with CEO and President Mark Duffnell, who ran Kana Software very successfully. James and Mark will be focused on leveraging the strengths of both firms with a particular focus on Digital Experience in the Cloud. Episever will be the main brand going forward.
CMS Wars – From Ektron to Akumina
Akumina is one of the other parts of the Ektron story you may not have heard about. Ed Rogers was the Chief Operating Officer at Ektron and he is the brother of Ektron founder Bill Rogers. Ed left a few years ago and along with Steve Sherkanowski founded Akumina, a new provider of a WCM Services and responsive Web Design that leverages Microsoft Office 365. We named them as an Aragon Research Hot Vendor for 2014.
We expect Akumina’s new offering, Interchange, to be a hit with users – in part due to its ease of use and because it leverages Microsoft Office 365. Separately, Ektron customers may want to look at Akumina for Professional Services, since they have a team that knows that product very well and because Episerver hasn’t indicated which code base it will use in the combined entity.
CMS Wars – The Return of Percussion
Percussion has been around longer than any other Brand in WCM/CMS. They started to rebuild and refocus several years ago. Featuring one of the most scalable WCM platforms in the market, Percussion is making it much easier to switch from your old tired CMS (aka WordPress) to a new modern Digital experience.
The management team at Percussion isn’t standing still. President Mark Somol and Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Gore are driving the business forward with a new focus and zeal. Percussion is increasingly focusing on the marketer; Ease of use and content marketing are some of the key things we see Percussion talking about. The thing we really like is their Import tool – LiveFirst. It not only imports pages, but it can import a theme. Enterprises ready to break free from WordPress should look at Percussion as a migration option.
CMS Wars – Why Now
So the CMS Wars are back and with a growing focus on going beyond just the Website, Digital Experience will be the go forward battle cry. It will be interesting to watch and analyze this market, something we will be actively doing. The question you should ask yourself as a Marketer – what is my team doing to make the customer experience better. The CMS Wars are here. Developing….