This article was originally published and featured on episerver.com.
When Ektron merged with Episerver (now Optimizely) in 2015, many Ektron CMS customers, like Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), had just purchased the platform and were asking themselves, “Now what?”.
Episerver diligently picked the best of Ektron to fold into its own portfolio but, to this day, continues to maintain and update Ektron for customers to continue to enjoy. Now that Episerver has evolved into so much more, what should current Ektron customers be thinking about next?
Future-proofing your digital strategy
How well does Ektron align with and support your company’s goals and digital strategy? Can it “grow” and scale with your business?
If you’re currently on Ektron, understand how it fits into your online strategy and how it supports your business goals and long-term plan. Consider how well it enables you to be flexible and respond to both business and customer needs. Having a platform that gives you the tools that enable you to scale and support the creation and context of those efforts will benefit your team in the coming years and will yield dividends for your business.
As WHEDA’s communications and marketing team became a driver for web initiatives, it saw the opportunity in Episerver to streamline costs from other digital tools and take on more ownership of its online presence. Condensing existing and desired features into one platform, like cloud capabilities, personalization, and intuitive omnichannel control, enables WHEDA to incrementally implement new functionality and value to its website as its ready and as the organization grows.
The ROI of your platform
What kind of return on investment have you seen from Ektron? What kind of ROI could you expect from Episerver?
Consider what architecture, human resources, and costs you’ve invested in maintaining Ektron CMS along with any tools and customizations you’ve bolted onto it to get what you need from it. This helps paint a picture of how well it aids operational and process efficiencies, employee workload, driving and retaining customers, and more. It will also provide greater context of any gaps you must fill, areas to make leaner, along with costs associated with its upkeep.
As part of its 2020 Tech initiative, WHEDA they knew they were ready to modernize their systems and move to a more cost-predictable, cloud-first platform. Adopting Episerver would encourage standardized and repeatable processes and meant less reliance on IT teams, allowing them to focus on more research and development (R&D) initiatives. Plus, a more robust platform with cutting-edge marketing functionality meant marketers could effectively use one platform to deliver contextually relevant experiences from start to finish.
Episerver recently commissioned a report from Forrester Consulting, “The Total Economic Impact™ Of Migrating From Ektron To Episerver Customer-Centric Digital Experience Platform” in which ROI scenarios are given based on real-world customer interviews and financials. This independent analysis found that customers moving from Ektron to the digital experience platform yielded a 202 percent ROI. Download it here.
What a migration looks like
What can you anticipate in an Ektron to Episerver migration project?
The word ‘migration’ is often misleading like it is a flip of a switch, when in reality, it’s a rebuild. While that may sound intimidating, with the right partners and proper plan in place, migrating from Ektron to Episerver is an enthusiastic opportunity and valuable change for any organization.
Here’s how a migration project breaks down...
Plan and prepare
Early stage planning and requirement gathering sets the foundation for successful migration. Here are the major considerations or initial “punch list” to defining and qualifying what you’ll need to build your site:
- Document existing site functionality and integrations and any new or additional requirements
- Review Episerver’s portfolio, licensing, and Episerver App Marketplace to mitigate costly over-engineering
- Consider if you could benefit from a redesign or, if you regularly optimize your UX, you may be better fit for a lift and shift
- Complete a content audit, understand the modelling and value of your content and decide how you will migrate content
- Create a “blueprint” of the project including your budget, timeframe, and internal resources needed to complete it
The more you know, the more you can inform and set realistic expectations. Your internal marketing and IT departments, stakeholders, implementation partner, and Episerver can help you gather the requirements to inform project scope and costs.
Execute and implement
You have your resources and plan in place, now it’s time to get started. The actual migration involves a series of steps:
- Set up the proper system architecture and configurations before actual development takes place
- Develop templates and blocks on the new platform and configure back-end integrations with defined third-party systems
- Test website and integration responsiveness and functionality with a small set of data and content
- Migrate content, metadata, and assets to the new website using an automated, manual, or hybrid approach
- Conduct additional testing to ensure content is accurately represented and responsive on the new site
Here’s where having a strong implementation partner and internal project owners is critical to ensuring clear expectations on both ends. The more you can streamline and create standard processes and procedures for migrating content; the better.
Adopt, launch and optimize
Maintaining enthusiasm and providing clear expectations helps promote strong adoption and see the project through to its conclusion. There are several steps to preparing your organization for its new platform:
- Keep Ektron running until the new website is live and proves to not have any issues
- Define and document a change management plan, and provide focused training and documentation for various roles
- Prior to launch, ensure all redirects are verified, test content has been removed, and critical issues and tickets are closed
- Leverage Epi’s suite of personalization tools to drive relevant and individualized experiences for site visitors
- Use analytics and functionality collectively to inform a plan for how you will optimize and enhance the website
Seeing strong return from your migration is a continuous process, not a flip of a switch. By continuing to expand and challenge how you can use Episerver, you can drive bigger and better business gains resulting in initial and more obvious ROI of the project.
Compare the ROI of Ektron to Episerver
While Ektron works perfectly for a lot customers’ needs now, it’s important to think about what’s next and how to get there. When you’re ready, a migration presents many opportunities to enhance your organization’s business success through digital. By comparing the sustainability and overall ROI of Ektron to Episerver, while it may seem like a steep investment, can provide greater value to businesses, their digital teams and their customers.
If you are an Ektron client and you haven’t actually seen the Episerver platform, don’t hesitate to do so. When clients, like WHEDA, see what their organization is capable of with Episerver, they jump at the opportunity to take advantage of it.
For an assessment or to help map out what a migration looks like for you, consult with Episerver or your digital partner today. Additionally, we encourage you to download the Forrester Total Economic Report to evaluate the potential ROI of moving from Ektron to Episerver.