How to Choose an Optimizely Partner
As more brands look to deliver consistent and impressive digital experiences, deciding on a particular platform, development partner, or strategy for your implementation can be daunting. If you make a wrong choice in any of these, it can negatively impact your site conversions and bottom line.
Optimizely, previously known as Episerver, is one of the most popular digital experience platforms (DXPs) available today. It was named a leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for DXPs. This platform enables brands to build a personalized, AI-driven, immersive online presence that’s consistent across all platforms.
Moreover, it is packed with numerous robust features, including ecommerce, personalization, content management, A/B testing, digital asset management, and marketing automation. With so many capabilities, it's easy to get overwhelmed and not get the most out of your investment. Working with an experienced implementation expert will help you avoid that fate.
This article will provide guidance on choosing an Optimizely development partner.
The State of the Optimizely Partner Marketplace
Optimizely — while still known as Episerver — grew from a content management system to a leading digital experience platform equipped with a variety of offerings through the acquisition and integration of other SaaS-based solutions. While these Optimizely solutions are SaaS-based and API-first, you may need implementation partners to get the best out of them.
Many enterprise DXPs provide a marketplace of partners for brands to choose from — and Optimizely is no different. Optimizely has hundreds of approved agencies or partners to help you with your DXP implementation. Some of these partners have little or no experience implementing Episerver, so it’s vital to do thorough research before making a decision.
It’s easy to pick a partner based on their location or industry experience, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to them being well suited to implementing and maintaining your Optimizely platform. The Optimizely partner you end up choosing should be able to tailor the platform to meet your business needs.
Why You Need an Optimizely Partner
Optimizely’s capabilities come as the result of several product acquisitions over the years. Considering the array of Optimizely products available, it can be hard for most brands to know how to implement them effectively to suit your needs.
Because of this, an Optimizely partner needs to have knowledge of the different products such as personalization, commerce, search, and DAM. The partner agency should know how to efficiently bring these solutions together to deliver the best digital experience.
To that end, you need an Optimizely partner if you:
- Can’t get the most value out of Optimizely: Building a digital experience platform — especially one with the complexity of Optimizely — on your own without an experienced partner can have jarring effects on your online presence. Imagine having to cope with massive bouts of downtime, security breaches, performance lags, and inconsistencies. Surely, this will affect your ROI and lead to a decrease in customer trust and loyalty. An Optimizely partner can help you get the best out of your investment.
- Don’t have a DXP that matches your needs: When investing in a platform like Optimizely, you want to ensure it satisfies your initial requirements and preferences. Having a partner that understands your business goals is vital to delivering personalized and unique digital experiences.
- Don’t know how to start your Optimizely journey: Getting started with Optimizely can seem overwhelming at first due to the variety of features and products available. By having an Optimizely partner on your side, you will receive more than a tailored implementation that meets your business needs, but also the training, guidance, and onboarding experience you need to get started with using Optimizely.
- Wish to integrate new functionalities:Say you have your Optimizely platform set up but you need to add another functionality such as personalization into your DXP. How do you go about it? With an Optimizely implementation partner, you can integrate the personalization function to ensure engaging digital experiences for your customers.
- Want to get to market faster:For any business, there is always a substantial advantage in ensuring faster go-to-market time, particularly when competing with so many different brands in a niche market. It can be very lengthy and resource-consuming to get everything set up on your own from the get-go, but you can turn to an implementation partner to ensure a faster time to market.
- Want to stay current with ever-changing market conditions: Just because you launched doesn’t mean you can slow down. Business and consumer behavior is constantly evolving, so you need to enhance and optimize your website at a pace that keeps up. A qualified partner can make sure you are able to continuously improve the ROI you are getting out of your Optimizely platform by having a plan, monitoring progress, and keeping attention on what needs to be done.
What to Consider When Choosing an Optimizely Partner
Once you understand why you need an Optimizely partner, the next step is to choose one wisely. You can’t just choose any agency; you need to find the right Optimizely partner that puts your business first and can satisfy all your needs. Here are the things you need to consider when choosing an Optimizely partner:
An essential requirement for any Optimizely partner is their depth of experience in working with various aspects of the platform. While these partners may specialize in different aspects of Optimizely, such as commerce, content, and technology integrations, having a partner with the know-how of the entire platform and how it works is important.
To better streamline the list of partner candidates available, ask for their years of experience and the number of Optimizely projects they’ve worked on.
Mutually Agreeable Roadmap and Procedures
Most implementation partners will provide you with a roadmap or timeline for implementing your Optimizely platform, depending on the complexity of your preferences. This roadmap will be vital in understanding the procedures and processes pre-and post-implementation.
Questions to ask here include: how long will it take to complete the project? What is the agency’s commitment to you after implementation? Will onboarding or training be provided after completion?
Answers to these questions should help guide your choice in picking an Optimizely partner that aligns with your needs.
Number of Platform-Qualified or Certified Developers
Optimizely partners should have certified developers with experience working with core platform technologies, such as ASP.NET, .NET, PHP, and Microsoft Azure. Beyond this, they should have the required skill set, certifications, and personnel to build your ideal Optimizely platform.
An essential reason why most brands outsource their platform development is because of a lack of quality platform-specific developers on-hand to implement, manage, and work exclusively with the platform. This becomes even more of an issue when you have to juggle the development and maintenance of your core product as well as the Optimizely platform.
So when choosing an Optimizely partner, be sure to select an agency that has a high number of platform-certified developers to jump on the project. The number of developers can also affect the speed at which your project gets completed and the attention to detail it receives when it comes to quality and reliability.
Community Engagement and Platform Resource
An Optimizely partner should be well-versed in the platform’s latest offerings and development best practices. They should also be heavily involved in platform-specific community engagement across their blogs, webinars, social media pages, and platform forums. One sure way to ensure this is to check their site for the latest updates on Optimizely and the DXP space in general.
Knowledge of the DXP Space
Since you’re building a DXP and may need to integrate some other best-of-breed services, it’s essential for implementation partners to have experience integrating with potential third-party platforms such as Salesforce or HubSpot.
Build Your Dream Optimizely Experience With Oshyn
Leading the way as a platform for delivering exceptional digital experiences, Optimizely can bring much success to your brand when implemented correctly. This success will very much depend on your choice of implementation partner. Ultimately, when selecting a partner, consider their platform experience and certifications, DXP knowledge, development roadmap, community contributions, and training materials.
Oshyn is a certified Optimizely partner to consider for your Optimizely-related projects. Having Oshyn as your partner enables you to access our vast industry knowledge, a certified development team (over 25 developers, architects, and analysts), and resources to deliver your dream Optimizely experience.
TCDRS is a good example of a brand that leveraged Oshyn’s extensive experience to successfully implement Optimizely. They needed to migrate to a modern CMS platform that would enable them to build a responsive, user-friendly website. The outcome was a massive 42.7% decrease in the bounce rate within 7 days of its launch.
Interested in knowing how Oshyn made this possible? Check out the TCDRS case study.