Welcome to part 1 of our "Selecting the best Episerver partner" series.  Over the next few weeks were are going to take you through key things to look out for when choosing an Episerver partner.  So if you're considering implementing Episerver or you've already decided to do so then this blog is for you. 

Choosing the right partner is integral to your project success. Whether that is a team who can help you create and formulate your strategic vision or one that can use Epi to achieve the vision you've spent many weeks or even months researching and designing - partner selection is one of the key decisions which will help make or break your project.

Thankfully, we have been able to help a number of fantastic organisations achieve some pretty cool things with Epi and have managed to keep our relationships solid along the way - so we feel we are in a good position to offer some advice on choosing the right Episerver partner for your project. 

1. How much experience have they got on the Episerver Platform? 

It may seem obvious but making sure your agency team (and we mean the whole team - not just the slick sales team) has extensive experience on the platform.

  • How many Episerver projects have they completed?
  • How successful were they? Where are they going next?
  • If you are considering Episerver Commerce make sure they've got extensive and specific experience on that too. It can be a very different beast!
  • Are they listed on the Episerver Partners Page? There are 3 categories of partner - Premium (like us); Solution (should have decent experience but may be reasonably new) and Associate (new to the platform and potentially risky)
  • Are they committed to the Episerver platform. This is most likely a 3 to 5 year investment for you - so make sure your partner is thinking on those terms. Speak to Episerver directly and see how solid the relationship is.

At Engage we have worked on no fewer than 10 Episerver projects in the past year for brands like Power NI; Irish Ferries; Permanent tsb & Law Society of Ireland. 

Check out our Episerver Partner page.

We are listed as a Premium Partner and are the fastest UK agency ever to get to that status! We have 5 senior certified Episerver developers and our core internal training revolves around the platform - including investment in digital marketing training to ensure our Digital Success Team can help you achieve your goals - more on this later.

At the time of writing this blog Episerver is on version 9.5. Our core team has been working with and recommending the platform since version 4!

2. Develop using Episerver, not around it!

Is your goal to build a web content management system or to build an effective sales and marketing channel which offers you and your team the marketing agility Episerver promises? There is an important distinction.

At Engage, we understand the difference. If you want to simply point and shoot content into a CMS and onto a web page - we can offer you numerous quicker and more cost effective solutions for this. However, if you are investing in Epi to achieve greater digital marketing success - you will want an end product that realises the potential of the product, that surfaces the great features you've seen in the product demos.

Believe it or not, we've seen solutions which remove all of the core capabilities and leave the client with nothing more flexible, agile or effective than the average CMS implementation. This may be to save time and money or simply because the design and development team didn't appreciate why Episerver was selected, but it leads to some disappointed faces when customer realises the end product is not in line with the product marketing. Make sure your agency is going to build ON the product - and not AROUND the product! 

We've taken the time to develop an extensive, fully responsive suite of Episerver content types (blocks, controls, page types etc.) which we can reuse in projects to accelerate the "infrastructure bit" of the project - i.e. delivering hugely effective and flexible content management capabilities using a range of layouts, design options and functionality to allow our clients deliver campaigns and content which is truly unique and engaging. In short - we use Episerver to deliver marketing agility! Sound good? It is. 

Arrange a demo to see how we have leveraged the platform’s marketing capabilities to;

  • Accelerate design and development of an Episerver project using our own responsive framework
  • Delivery of immersive content and campaign capabilities for marketing teams
  • Optimise key marketing features including Visitor Groups (segmentation & personalisation); analytics; A/B testing and self-optimising blocks; social push and integration to automated marketing or CRM platforms 
  • Blend of content and commerce to drive conversion, supported by core automation routines - abandonment, onboarding and nurture.

3. Where’s the strategy?

So, we've got all the capabilities to build your new site efficiently and with your marketing roadmap in mind. But the project is more than that. Hopefully we've already established that you want a new digital marketing platform which sits at the centre of your overall (and highly likely) multi-channel marketing strategy. Has your agency got the team, the smarts and innovation to help you turn a web project into a much more rewarding experience for you and your team? 

As a full-service digital agency, we have invested heavily on our Digital Success Team. Their understanding of Episerver and its whole ecosystem are as important to us as our developers certification. And they are involved in our projects - from the start. That means we approach the project collectively to bring together Digital Strategy, Design & Technology for maximum impact. We attribute this approach for many of our key successes in the last 12-18 months. When we begin to design your "experience" we consider a whole host of interrelated areas - search and social; email; in-store experiences; native apps - what it means to existing customers and how we can reach new ones.

This process is called "discovery" and it underpins our key projects - ensuring we are focused on generating the maximum positive impact for your team and your customers in this project and future phases. A collective understanding of vision and roadmap is a great way to bind our teams together and this allows us to forge long-lasting partnerships with clients, that don’t stop with handing over access to a new website. Our clients make full use of technology, marketing support and sell more to their customers, for longer. This includes making use of the personalisation opportunities, automation and the full suite of data and analytics available in Episerver.

We offer our clients a comprehensive digital engagement strategy, acting as an extension of their marketing department. This includes ongoing support around marketing strategy, design and development.

Part 2: Coming soon

In part 2 of this series we will be discussing why it's important to have a good partner relationship with Episerver and ensure that your Episerver partner has the capacity to deliver projects of all scales.

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