Last week, plans were announced for Accel-KKR to acquire not only Ektron, a Web content management software provider based in Nashua, N.H., but also EPiServer, another WCM software product which is based in Stockholm, Sweden. Accel-KKR is a private equity firm in Menlo Park, Calif.
Ektron and EpiServer are both Web content management products, overlapping in their functionality. Both products help companies publish digital content on their websites. Ektron customers include Microsoft, Nasdaq and Walmart. EpiServer customers include Pizza Hut, GlaxoSmithKline and British Telecom.
According to some industry watchers, the product overlap might involve a merging of the two platforms. Ron Miller of TechCrunch noted that EPiServer is often characterized as a superior product technically, but that Ektron has a leg up in terms of sales and marketing -- as well as a greater toehold in U.S. markets.
Other industry experts have said that any merger between the two seems unlikely, other than to fill gaps in each company's regional market foothold. It's entirely likely, wrote Scott Liewehr of the Digital Clarity Group in a blog, that Accel-KKR would continue to support both.
Industry watchers were initially confused by news about the Ektron sale, with president Tim McKinnon saying Friday, Dec. 5, that there was no sale, only investment from Accel-KKR, nor a merger with EPiServer. Later, however, he was forced to adjust his statements after a document was released online indicating Ektron has been sold.
The WCM software market is highly overlapping and fragmented, with several vendors competing on customer turf for a highly commoditized set of services. Ektron has several competitors in the market, including Oracle, Sitecore, Adobe and OpenText, among others.
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