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Episerver expands B2B e-commerce footprint with Insite acquisition

Episerver's latest purchase expands its DX platform. It follows a trend of web CMS companies moving into territory dominated by Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe, Microsoft and SAP.

Episerver, a cloud content management company expanding into digital experience, announced this morning that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire rival B2B e-commerce vendor Insite Software.

Insite will augment Episerver's existing B2C and B2B e-commerce, marketing automation and personalization platform by adding features such as a mobile app, integration with leading ERP systems, and product information management capabilities.

"What [Insite] really does well is that integration with the back office and the complex systems that B2B companies have," Insite CEO Steve Shaffer said in a call discussing the merger with reporters. He added that expanding the company's content management capabilities will be a priority. "We think we've got good, all-around CMS, but we really look forward to expanding and continuing to enhance that as we partner with Episerver."

Beyond the technical capabilities that Insite offers, it also brings customers in the manufacturing and distribution sector to Episerver's traditional strongholds of telecommunications, healthcare and financial services, said Justin Anovick, chief product officer at Episerver.

Episerver did not disclose terms of the deal, and said it's developing new product roadmaps for the combined companies in the coming months.

Web CMS companies annex DX, CX territory

Alex Atzberger, Episerver CEOAlex Atzberger

Episerver, acquired by private equity firm Insight Venture Partners last September for $1.16 billion, accelerated its move from web content management into digital experience by acquiring Idio, a personalization platform, in November. The company also hired as CEO SAP's recently departed customer experience platform lead, Alex Atzberger, to lead the charge into B2B e-commerce.

The arc of Episerver's growth is similar to that of web content management company Acquia. Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners purchased a majority stake of Acquia around the same time for nearly $1 billion, and it since has purchased a marketing automation platform to add to its personalization and commerce capabilities.

We think we've got good, all-around CMS, but we really look forward to expanding and continuing to enhance that.
Steve ShafferCEO, Insite

But they're not alone. Now that Episerver and Acquia are moving into digital experience, users can also choose from a wider field of cloud technology vendors such as Adobe, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and Salesforce. While that might seem like David-and-Goliath type odds of competing, Gartner analyst Jason Daigler said that so many companies are launching B2B e-commerce operations right now from scratch that there's room for all to grow.

"A lot of industries recognize that a superior customer experience is the way to compete," Daigler said. "It's not just products, it's not just product prices -- they've got to develop something to create better online customer experiences, and it's an area of investment for a lot of companies. Companies like Episerver recognize that, and digital commerce is part of it."

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