Ektron - Reliable WCM (.NET) Platform for Multiple Industry Verticals
Jonathan Graham | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated November 26, 2014

Ektron - Reliable WCM (.NET) Platform for Multiple Industry Verticals

Score 7 out of 10
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Verified User
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Overall Satisfaction with Ektron Web Content Management System

Experis is a global implementation partner for Ektron; and, as such, we develop specific solutions for a variety of customers to meet their business challenges. We have created and worked with Ektron solutions for those in the government, health care, education, non-profit, financial, software, hotel and manufacturing verticals. Primary CMS authors tend to be those in a marketing related role; and, then supported by the IT department. Typically, the implementations address the need to (1) manage content creation/workflow for the public websites (2) provide easy to use WYSIWYG editors to allow for quick content/page creations (3) manage translation needs (4) support the need for document repositories.
  • Translation Services - Ektron was one of the early adopters that understood the importance of the global community and the need to provide localized translations for a multinational audience. As such, Ektron has had a way to export content in standard XLIFF format that would allow different translations providers to review your word count and provide competitive pricing for your translation needs. Over time, Ektron has worked with software providers to make widgets available that will allow the exports to integrate with translation management systems to help provide near real-time view of the work being done.
  • eSync - Early on in their software development road-map, Ektron identified the need for an easy file transfer system between servers so that the IT department would not need to be involved; and, ultimately give more control back to the CMS author/administrator. Ektron’s eSync allows users to synchronize content, assets, HTML pages and other website components (whether they are managed by Ektron or not) from server-to-server in real-time or on a predetermined schedule.
  • Page Builder - When Ektron introduced PageBuilder, it was viewed as a game changer in that it provided more usability to the authors; and, reduced the need for IT staff to be involved with the website from a management perspective. Once a template has been created, any CMS author than can assign it for use and manipulate what/where on the page the content will reside using drop zones with drag-and-drop widgets.
  • Aloha WYSIWYG Editor - All new versions of Ektron come with the Aloha editor (http://www.aloha-editor.org/) that allows users to create HTML5 complaint text/markup. The Aloha Editor is a semantic Rich Text Editor framework written in Javascript with best support of xHTML5.
  • Pricing - My concern around pricing is not limited to Ektron; but, is a symptomatic problem with the majority of the products in this space. Overtime, the pricing model has changed; and, has created a barrier to entry for smaller/mid market customers.
  • Modules - Similar to pricing (and definitely not limited to Ektron), the optional add-on modules are attractive; but, have created a barrier to entry. During the sales process, varies modules/functionality are shown to entice the buyers decision making process; however, it becomes sticker shock when they learn that the modules are not part of the base model.
  • eCommerce - I've been working with the Ektron product for close to 8 years; and, during this time, I have heard that there are only a handful (10 or less) eCommerce implementations running in a production environment today.
  • Increased Efficiency - Authors can easily create content, submit it via workflow for approval and schedule move to production without having to rely on IT staff/schedule.
  • Time to Market - With the use of PageBuilder, Ektron has allowed customers to create custom landing pages/micro-sites with ease to (1) quickly respond to marketing/communication initiatives (2) use internal resources to save money versus having to request additional services from an outside partner.
Typically when talking about the Ektron product from a selection perspective, we also compare them against Sitecore and EPiServer as they are the other 2 primary .NET platforms with similar ratings. We closely follow the Gartner Magic Quadrant and Forrester Wave reports that come out annually; and, these 3 products are traditional packed closely in the Leaders and Visionaries categories.
As a partner and system integrator, we will continue to recommend that our customers renew their use of the Ektron CMS product. I would recommend that any customer/organization that has invested in software/services to create a CMS website remain on that platform for a minimum of 3 years so that the can effectively monitor/evaluate their ROI, the CMS product road-map; and, as they mature with their use of the CMS overtime, then begin looking to see what additional features that they need (and why). Switching to a new CMS product is not one to be taken lightly; but, typically, if it's going to be done, it tends to be at times when (1) a redesign is needed (2) your hosting contract is up for renewal.
Key Questions:
1. How many CMS Authors will need to have access?
2. What is your planned server infrastructure (IE: DEV-->STG-->PROD)?
3. Will you be deploying to the Cloud (if so, Amazon or Azure)?
4. What are the business challenges you are trying to overcome?
5. What development technologies are you in-house development staff familiar with (IE: .NET, MVC, PHP, Drupal, etc)?
6. Do you need to integrate with other systems like SalesForce, HubSpot, SharePoint, etc?
7. What is your overall budget for (1) software and (2) services?