Ektron helps businesses adapt to a mobile worldBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Sunday News Correspondent
July 20. 2013 12:04AM
NASHUA - About 25 percent of Web traffic is initiated using smartphones and other portable electronic gadgets, prompting a local software company to rethink the way it delivers services.
"The marketplace has changed so much over the past few years, and the concept of people going online has caused tremendous growth in our industry, and it keeps on changing," said William Rogers, CEO and founder of Ektron, a privately held software company headquartered in Nashua.
Ektron recently closed a new financing round that represented the third in the company's 15-year history, bringing its total outside investment to $4.5 million. The angel round had nine participants, including CEI Ventures, a for-profit venture capital subsidiary of Coastal Enterprises Inc. in Maine.
Ektron, a Web content and digital solution provider, is working to personalize Web content for users based on their personal device, whether it is an iPad, Toshiba laptop or Blackberry phone.
"People and businesses have to rethink their website strategies to deal with tablets and smartphones," Rogers said. "Young people expect to have more connected experiences on their Web devices."
As a result, Ektron is accelerating its global reach by expanding sales and marketing programs, and further developing its mobile and cloud offerings.
Ektron recently launched Ektron 9, which allows businesses to view their webpage layouts on mutichannel devices. Business owners want to know how their page will look on an iPhone, an Android tablet and thousands of other different devices, Rogers said.
Ektron's software is now capable of offering Web content that adjusts to certain widths and heights in accordance with the device that is being used to view the site.
"We hide all of those complexities from the marketer, and allow them to get the job done," Rogers said. "Marketers can create a site in the cloud, but don't have to worry about managing and configuring it. It truly is an offering that eliminates the worry."
Rogers founded Ektron in 1998 from his home basement, starting with zero clients. Today, the company has 3,800 customers and more than 12,000 public-facing and intranet websites throughout the world.
With his first client being a dental office, Rogers has expanded to provide Web services to customers like Microsoft, NASDAQ and the Sydney Opera House.
It also recently opened a new office in Singapore in an effort to continue the company's growth in the Asia Pacific region.
"We have been very successful there," said Rogers, explaining more than 35 websites have been developed with partners in that area of the world.
Rogers, who lives in Brookline, says Nashua is an ideal location for his company, which employs about 200 workers. The majority of those employees - about 150 - work from Ektron's headquarters at 542 Amherst St.
Rogers describes New Hampshire as a business- friendly state. Several of Ektron's employees, including Rogers, are pilots, often taking advantage of having the Nashua Municipal Airport in close proximity to the office.
In April of 2012, Ektron reduced some of its workforce as part of an organizational restructuring.
According to Rogers, the layoffs were not a result of the economy, but rather an effort to focus more on the software aspect of the company as opposed to the services portion of the business.
"One of those things we are excited about is the future," said Fred Bals, manager of Ektron's media and customer relationship programs. "In a few years, we see more and more companies looking for help in managing their cloud. Mobile is a growing market for us, and every business now has to figure out a mobile strategy."
Bals stressed that Ektron is always hiring new workers, and encouraged interested individuals to check out the company's website at www.ektron.com/careers.