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EpiServer – “Rising” High after a Week at Episerver Ascend 2017

by: Jeff McPherson Chief Digital Officer

For many, 2017 has become the year to enhance partner relationships, evaluate technology stacks, and follow up on what the third party analysis agencies are saying. For SilverTech, this is no different. Our history and foundation are VERY content management driven. With a leadership team that is made up of several industry experts formerly of Ektron, we continuously research and review the newest and most engaging CMS platforms.

SilverTech has always had strong partnerships with our primary and secondary CMS recommendations but has decided in 2017 to take a solid look at another partner. We wanted to better understand who was emerging, who was changing the market, and who was thinking different. That led us to the folks at Episerver and the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud™. In its most recent evaluation of web content management system providers, Forrester identified Episerver as a leader for its cloud reinvention, growing developer program, and investment in machine learning.

To fully grasp the value of Episerver, I recently took my team to Las Vegas for Episerver Ascend 2017. Here’s what we saw and heard:

First, let’s talk about the actual conference and some of the highlights.

  • Entertainment: I have been to a variety of events and, of course, they all have keynotes and special guests. I have to say that Ascend not only had great talent on both sides but really stuck to a core theme this year. It was all about rising above and doing things you didn’t think could be done before. I heard this over and over from The Passing Zone to an amazing speech from Mel Robbins.
  • Roadmap: I was VERY excited to see the amount of coverage on the Episerver roadmap. Not only did I walk away with a good feeling about where Episerver is headed but the amount of passion that people like Episerver CMO, James Norwood, had in talking about the platform was inspiring.
  • Code Bash: Episerver set up and managed a code bash which was sponsored by Microsoft. The code bash allowed a small team the ability to compete and race to solve a task in the most clever, interesting, and visually-appealing way using the Episerver platform. This gave SilverTech the inspiration and motivation to build and launch our own Episerver microsite over a recent code-bashing weekend.
  • Structure: I was impressed with how well this conference was organized and structured. It maintained a great balance between more intimate sessions and larger keynotes while also allowing time for people to network and conduct meetings with each other. In addition, it was fantastic to meet and interact with Episerver executives.
  • All Women In Tech: That’s right! It was truly great to see that Episerver devoted time, floor space, and part of the agenda to focus on women in technology. This included the all-women panel of Anjali Yakkundi, senior analyst for e-business and channel strategy at Forrester™ Research, and Bernardine Wu, founder, and CEO of FitForCommerce™, a consulting business that helps online retailers develop digital strategies and grow their e-commerce operations

No question that this conference provided me with a lift. I arrived wondering what I would take away and where Episerver would fall in our spectrum of technology partners. I left feeling hyped up and motivated to work Episerver into our technology stack and have our team fully embrace the platform that I now see as truly “rising.”