How the right WCM system can propel your business to web success
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
Episerver is a global provider of single platform content, digital commerce and marketing. Its Digital Experience Cloud is a web content management platform that provides users with a straightforward process for companies looking to create engaging digital experiences for their customers. The platform also helps address the integration problem many companies face when utilizing both content management and e-commerce software.
How does Digital Experience Cloud support WCM tasks?
Episerver's experience editor allows users to easily edit and update web content in real time. They can create content directly on-page and view what any visitor would experience while on the page. They can also interact with all types of content and media from within the editor. Users can drag and drop content blocks, media, videos, forms or pages onto a desired area and they will automatically snap into place. They can also personalize blocks and pages to show the most relevant information for each of their customer segments. The system will self-optimize these blocks to show the version most likely to entice action from individual customers.
To better engage with mobile visitors, Digital Experience Cloud incorporates responsive design and segmentation and behavioral targeting. Users can add the channels their organization uses most and instantly see how content will look across social media, e-mail, print and more. They can also immediately edit their content. Organizations can use historic information about the interests of visitors and their current context to connect them with tailored messages, offers or context-dependent messages via web, email or text messages. This connector functionality would be especially useful for retailers.
Digital Experience Cloud users can also update all of their social media channels, like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, within the same interface. The platform also features real-time campaign analytics to track channel-specific measurements and engagements such as retweets, comments and likes. It supports Google Analytics to track a website's overall conversions and return on investment of social media communications.
The Episerver Digital Experience Hub provides pre-built and pre-tested integrations to a number of best-of-breed applications found commonly in customer environments. At its core, Episerver software is designed and built for extensibility, based on a pure .NET system and numerous open standards. This makes the product extremely transparent and familiar to .NET developers. Episerver's open application programming interface (API) allows enterprises to create integrations through REST, web services or a traditional .NET API. SSL or VPN can be used to provide secure connectivity. The Episerver API enables developers to create templates, modules, plug-ins and add-ons that enhance the user experience for site visitors and backend users. For example, developers can create tools for content contributors and administrators that plug-into the Digital Experience Cloud editorial and administrative interface.
Episerver Connect for customer relationship management (CRM) is an add-on that integrates Digital Experience Cloud with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It ensures a website's visitor data is synchronized with an organization's CRM software and that the sales team receives all leads, while also keeping data secure. To maintain a more accurate database, Episerver Connect for CRM automatically checks for duplicate contacts and verifies email addresses.
Episerver Connect for Silverpop, marketing software from IBM, also helps marketers manage their online presence and deliver timely, relevant content to their target audiences across every channel and device. Visitors accessing the site from mobile devices have a complete mobile experience with the same core functionality as desktop visitors.
Who benefits from using Digital Experience Cloud?
Episerver's WCM platform is primarily focused on mid- and upper-mid-market enterprises. While Episerver does not focus on any specific industry verticals, it is especially popular with companies in the financial services, retail and healthcare industries. All of these industry sectors require WCM functionality that is able to address the needs of customers through a variety of electronic and brick-and-mortar channels (i.e. omni-channel marketing).
Users can easily integrate other systems by simply implementing the required interface provided by Episerver. For example, for cloud repositories (e.g., cloud storage) users can implement a standard content provider.
How is the platform licensed and priced?
Episerver Digital Experience Cloud is priced based on two different versions: Digital Marketing and Digital Commerce. Each has four different packaging levels. The parameters that determine the packaging level are: number of content items, number of page views, and the application-level service level agreement (SLA). Service prices are monthly, with additional capacity beyond the monthly allotment billed incrementally and as used.
Page views and content items in excess of the agreed amount are billed at the contracted rate. Customers that do not fit into the standard packages have additional options with associated pricing.
Episerver Digital Experience Cloud can be implemented as a software-as-a service (SaaS) option, a perpetual license option or as a license with hosting and managed services. The SaaS option has a cloud subscription option, consumption-based pricing and scales for monthly visits under management and SLA. The perpetual license option has an infrastructure-based pricing and scales based on the number of sites and servers. The license with hosting and managed services option also has infrastructure-based pricing, but scales based on the number of sites and servers and network bandwidth.
Episerver is known for a "pay as you grow" approach with a variety of configuration and deployment options that are especially useful for mid-market companies that plan on expanding. The average entry-level Episerver project begins at $60,000, with an average moderate project costing $125,000 and an average high-end project tallying around $250,000. These prices do not include the cost of maintenance, which are blended into the overall subscription fee.
Episerver relies on its business partner ecosystem for implementation and support. Its sales, solution architects and expert services groups work very closely with business partners to ensure that customers get up and running successfully. Business partners work alongside the client's internal IT team to integrate Digital Experience Cloud into existing systems and to help clients develop and maintain their websites.