Alex Atzberger, a former SAP executive who led its Hybris ecommerce and Ariba procurement units, is the new CEO of ecommerce and digital content management technology company Episerver, Episerver announced today.
Episerver executive chairman Adam Berger—who is also managing director of Episerver’s owner, private equity firm Insight Venture Partners—said the company chose Atzberger for his experience in enterprise software for large companies and his ability to lead Episerver’s “customer-centricity” strategy of providing a better digital commerce experience for Episerver’s clients and its clients’ customers.
Atzberger, who will report to Berger, was most recently president of SAP Customer Experience, before he left SAP in October following the departure of former CEO Bill McDermott. Prior to SAP Customer Experience, which included the Hybris ecommerce platform SAP acquired in 2013, Atzberger was president of SAP Ariba, a procurement network and services provider.
Targeting growth in personalized commerce
Industry analysts say Atzberger appears to be a good fit for Episerver as it seeks to further develop its reputation and market reach for providing technology and services designed to help companies deliver highly personalized online commerce experiences for their end-customers.
Episerver says it has more than 8,000 customers, including such B2B companies as Kimball Midwest, D’Addario & Company and Cleaner’s Supply, and such merchants as Mud Pie, Bealls and Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply.
“Episerver’s strength in combining leading web content management with commerce has applicability to both business-to-business and business-to-consumer organizations, as those organizations strive to deliver differentiating, personalized customer experiences,” says Christina Klock, senior director and analyst, commerce technology and experience, at technology research and advisory firm Gartner Inc. “I expect Atzberger to bring a much-needed maturity of leadership to Episerver, leveraging his experience in the enterprise application space.”
She adds: “I am particularly intrigued to see how he will develop Episerver’s brand and capabilities into the B2B commerce market, which I consider to be area of opportunity for Episerver.”
Joe Cicman, senior analyst for e-business and channel strategy at Forrester Research Inc., says Atzberger’s experience at SAP, during a period when it made several acquisitions, could be of critical importance to Episerver. He notes that Insight Venture Partners, which acquired Episerver last year in a deal that valued Episerver at $1.16 billion, is also invested in ecommerce technology provider commercetools GmbH and content management technology firm Contentstack LLC.
More options in developing commerce and content
Cicman notes that commercetools and Contentstack are “headless” technology platforms designed for integration with external platforms, providing Episerver with options to use them to build out its own ecommerce and content management systems. “There are certainly potential R&D benefits here,” he says.
Episerver didn’t immediately respond to a question regarding how it might work with other firms connected with Insight Venture Partners, which is also known as Insight Partners and Insight Venture Management LLC.
Last month, Episerver agreed to acquire Idio, a content personalization and analytics platform designed to help businesses match their best inventory to what their customers want to purchase.
Justin Anovick, chief product officer at Episerver, says a manufacturer, for example, could take product category and pricing content from its ERP or product information management system, along with such related content as product images and blogs from its Episerver platform, and use Idio to build personalized content tailored for different distributors and their respective end-customers. “Idio will make that content personalization easier, overlaying on top of the pricing, category and traditional product information,” he says.
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