2020 has offered us some big surprises that I don’t think any of us could have predicted. The most obvious one I won’t waste breath mentioning, but the other surprise that came up near the end of 2019 as we looked to kick off a new decade was Episerver’s acquisition of Insite. With this acquisition, there have been many elements I’ve looked forward to seeing unfold, one of which is the introduction of Spire CMS to Epi’s newly created B2B Commerce Cloud platform. Here’s why.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been a prominent practitioner of Insite for the past six years. With that, I’ve gotten to know the platform well and seen it grow quite a bit. So when Insite was acquired by Epi, I knew that this would be a move that would strengthen both companies, and well, it would be “really cool.”
One of the reasons this acquisition is so “cool” is because these organizations complement each other well. Epi’s robust personalization experiences are something I’ve longed for in the B2B space, and Insite’s unique stronghold on the B2B manufacturing and distribution market will no doubt be an asset for Episerver.
Which brings me back to Spire CMS. What is Spire? Well, in short, non-technical terminology, it’s a new front-end technology leveraging React. What does that mean for your business? Well, a lot. But in short, much more flexibility.
One of the largest challenges B2B organizations have is leveraging actionable tools that allow them to react (pun very much intended) quickly to the ever-changing landscape of B2B. During the recent Episerver Ascend conference, we were able to see a preview of what exactly Spire looks like for business users, and well, it’s really, really cool. Here are some reasons why:
Improves Upgradability on the Front-End
Staying current with site release versions is always essential but has been a challenge in the past. With Epi moving to Spire CMS for the B2B Commerce Cloud, this allows the front-end of sites to be upgraded with less effort and risk, keeping the organization current and in line with releases.
More Control in the Hands of Business Users
One area that the classic CMS lacked was the ability for business users to change elements of the site without a developer. Features like font type, button color or shape, the ability to rearrange pages, or create new banners with clickable elements all needed to have someone with coding experience involved prior. With Spire, the business user now has the control and flexibility to make these changes themselves, which is really, really cool.
Flexibility to React to Business Needs Quickly
COVID-19 has taught us a lot, and one specific lesson is the need to react quickly to business events. With Spire, what I’d previously had to send to a developer, I can now complete myself as a business user. Need to create a new homepage banner and move it on the page to be more visible for customers? Done. Want to change the font type to stand out better and let users know that products might be delayed in shipping? Done. Looking to A/B test call to action (CTA) button shape and color quickly? Done. Being able to do this as a business user without the need to leverage developers not only saves time, it allows businesses to act promptly and give customers the experiences they need.
There is a lot I’m looking forward to Episerver and Insite coming together, the implementation of the front-end Spire CMS being near the top. Many say B2B is not B2C, and I do agree with this to a point. B2B is not B2C, but B2B organizations still need the tools and technology to serve up customer experiences that B2B users require. Spire CMS allows for this, and I’m excited to see what else the chefs in the Episerver kitchen are cooking up for us as we approach Q4 and 2021.