Sitecore vs Episerver: Why Episerver is the Better Choice for Your B2B Business

Are you on Sitecore today or considering Sitecore for your B2B company?  72% of the survey respondents in Episerver’s 2019 B2B Digital Experiences Report said they believed the majority of B2B revenue will be derived from the digital commerce websites they own and operate by 2025. However, Sitecore customers are already likely experiencing constraints on their ability to support this growing volume and variety of use cases from their customers, meet the demands of their business counterparts, all while adhering to the enterprise architecture standards of security and compliance.  Here are the top four reasons Episerver is a stronger fit for most B2B companies than Sitecore.

Agility

According to NewRelic, Amazon is deploying code every 11.7 seconds. Netflix deploys code thousands of times per day. Leading companies know that the more frequently they can iterate the higher quality their online experience will be.

Sitecore has a complex server and logical role architecture that makes deployments 2-3x harder than Episerver. Sitecore Experience Commerce now leverages microservices, which is a good step, but the overall Sitecore platform remains cumbersome.

Episerver requires significantly less infrastructure to manage which saves time and enables your organization to be more agile – spending less time and energy and resulting in a better digital experience.

B2B Capabilities

Episerver has been serving B2B commerce organizations for 6+ years and has a well-rounded product in this space with support for features such as organization pricing, approval workflow, request for quotes, multiple catalogs, inventory management by warehouse, split payments, and unique pricing by market.

Sitecore Experience Commerce is primarily targeted at B2C use cases and has only been in the market since January 2018.  I am unaware of any Sitecore B2B Commerce reference customers.

I can list out several B2B Commerce reference customers on Episerver, many that are our clients - Partsmaster, Graphic Controls, Reico Kitchen and Bath, and Kimball Midwest

Innovation

It is no longer enough to simply offer a shopping cart on your site.  You are competing against much larger digital competitors, that have extensive teams dedicated to providing a strong customer experience.  I believe that most companies have uniqueness’s they can amplify to gain market share, but to do so they need to have a vision for innovating using their digital experience.

One of the biggest killers of innovation is technical debt.  Sitecore carries technical debt that makes it expensive to maintain.  Upgrades require a few months (or more) to complete.  The fact that it is so time-consuming causes many to stay on older versions and means that there can be a long time between when new features and functionality are released and when it can be used by your team.

Based on Episerver’s framework, sites can move to the latest version in less than a business day.  Depending on the site and how long it has been since the last update, we may have more hours related to testing, but it is a fraction of the time required to upgrade Sitecore, which means you can spend less time and money on keeping your site current, leverage new capabilities faster, and spend more time on implementing the next feature that will delight your customers.

Experience-Driven Commerce

Many B2B organizations have a main site that represented their brand and overall communications, and a second site (often running on a different software) that was driving their commerce.  Indeed the brand site sometimes contains a static product catalog which can actively work against your own commerce SEO strategy.  This creates a disjointed experience for your customer and it limits your ability to create an end-to-end experience that is personalized to their needs.  We have also noticed that as B2B users become more digitally aware, they expect the same quality of experience in their B2B interactions that they have using the B2C experiences they have in their personal lives.

While Sitecore has been investing more in their commerce offering of late, they still lag Episerver dramatically in their commerce capabilities. 

Episerver offers a strong content management system and a strong commerce platform, built on the same framework, and integrated with a strong personalization platform.  

Easier for Developers

In this labor market, developers can be hard to find, especially senior developers.  While with both Episerver and Sitecore, you will want to work with a partner who is experienced in those implementations, Episerver is an easier platform for developers on your team to learn to work with.  And don’t just take my word for it.  As Daniel Ovaska says “Pick your developers carefully in a Sitecore project.

Our developers do love Episerver, and we think yours will, too.

What the Platforms Have in Common

For an organization moving from Sitecore to Episerver, the platforms have some shared traits that will make this migration less disruptive.  Both Episerver and Sitecore are on the .Net technology stack.  They both are strong in content management and offer personalization tools to their clients.  Strong content management tools and personalization tools are a must for growing B2B organizations, as customers are expecting digital experiences that provide a self-service experience that continues to make their lives easier in new ways.  If Sitecore is your current platform, while there certainly is a learning curve, there will be many things that will be familiar to your team.

Look at Episerver

At Brilliance, we specialize in working with mid-market manufacturers and distributors to help them leverage the power of digital commerce.  We care a lot about helping our customers pick platforms that will be the right choice for them today and scale with them over the long haul.  We reviewed Sitecore and Episerver several years back and made the choice to partner with Episerver because we believed Episerver’s ability to support efficient upgrades along with a strong B2B commerce and content framework and innovative search and personalization tools was the best fit for our customers.  We keep a close on the market and we are more convinced than ever that this choice is the right one.  If you would like to learn more about leveraging Episerver in your business, we would love to talk.

Lori McDonald

President & CEO

About

Lori McDonald

Lori graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer-Electrical Engineering and leads Brilliance Business Solutions with over 20 years of computer engineering and software development experience.  She is an Episerver EMVP, a Microsoft Certified Professional and a regular contributor on Practical eCommerce. Her status as a recognized industry expert has resulted in regular speaking engagements at business conferences.

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