Microsoft and Episerver Azure: A Good Fit by Design

With Azure, Episerver is enabling our customers to take business intelligence to the next level and provide even more engaging experiences for their customers.

Episerver has been in the business of creating a digital experience software platform for over 20 years, and we’ve consistently heard the same feedback from our customers. They’re always looking for ways to make it even easier to build their web presence, digital and mobile experiences.

With this goal in mind, Episerver successfully launched hosting and managed service operations in 1996, with the objective of enabling our customers to utilize their capital and personnel resources for what really mattered – creating better experiences for their customers.

With the launch of our latest version, the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud™, we’re taking things a step further with a full cloud solution built on Microsoft Azure. Intrigued by other cloud offers currently in the market, Episerver saw a great possibility to unleash an entirely new business value to our customers in terms of elastic scale, uptime in different geographies, and, if done correctly, a boost in overall experience delivery.

The case for Azure

We’ve built our entire technology stack on Microsoft and .NET, so for us, it was really interesting to see Microsoft put together a platform-as-a-service solution and really change the way we can think about .NET as being a service within the cloud.

From the capabilities you get as a developer publishing to the cloud directly from Visual Studio to the full resilience and elasticity you can achieve in the cloud, Microsoft has been completely supportive of incorporating .NET into their Azure cloud. We are continuing to find that more and more Microsoft applications are fitting very well into that cloud strategy.

Our decision to put the Digital Experience Cloud™ service up on Azure as a PaaS was a case of usability and economics. Having experience with our software platform operating in a cloud, we found that Azure had distinct advantages in how it was priced, how it supported our customers’ needs, and how we could extend the platform to be able to innovate on behalf of our developer community.

This is exactly what we needed to assist customers looking to create standout experiences for their customers. The result has been a win-win-win for Episerver, our customers, and our partners.

Our customers can focus on delivering great customer experience

The ROI for Episerver has been a direct result of how elastic Azure can be. Using Azure has proven to be a cost-effective way to meet emerging market requirements without a substantial increase in effort. We have been very committed to .NET over the years, so continuing to follow that baseline has helped us to deliver even more to the customer than we would have been able to build out on our own.

While our customers don’t see the same tech benefits that we do, they do see the Episerver platform as a service brought to life in a very quick and simple way. They aren’t thinking about the infrastructure that’s below our API level or worrying about connecting all of the parts to make it work, because we’re handling those details for them. With the Digital Experience Cloud™ service, they’re free to focus on creating the application and delivering great experiences to their customers.

A short learning curve to get going with Episerver

Unlike some of our .NET competitors, Episerver has always adhered to the basic premise of .NET. We don’t build our own tech solutions that replicate something that is already available in .NET or that Microsoft would have built-in, and our partners appreciate that. There is a much shorter learning curve for working with the Episerver platform, which means it takes our partners less time to create and deliver winning digital experiences.

When you layer that capability on top of Azure, Episerver partners are not only able to get customers online more quickly, they also have a full complement of elastic scale capability that meets the economic requirements of the customer, and the ability to run in any region of the world with very little effort.

All of these things working together help our partners to deliver a shorter time to market value that today’s customers are looking for, with a solution that is also future-proofed for what the customer expectation will be further down the road.

We have only seen the tip of the iceberg

The fact that Azure is built around .NET has made it easy for Episerver to take advantage of Azure. We’ve layered that benefit with support for SQL service, BLOB storage, and a variety of services, and we’ve also built-in our own set of technologies as a way to package and deploy solutions. This enables us to manage software updates into a production environment, while taking advantage of the resiliency of Azure from a business continuity perspective.

In spite of all the techie coolness, we’re still in the early stages of understanding what the full power of Azure is. There is a lot of opportunity for the market in general to improve the way digital experiences are delivered, adapting to what the visitor should see as the next best experience.

We’re excited about the technology Microsoft is putting together around Big Data and data analytics, and believe, moving forward, it will aid Episerver in enabling our customers to take business intelligence to the next level and provide even more engaging experiences for their customers – helping them compete more effectively or introducing completely new business models.