This blogpost is partly inspired by "The Biggest EPiServer Partners Worldwide 2012" by Alexander Haneng, and partly due to me being a stats junkie (abuser, really). The research and findings here are unofficial and are based on publicly available info from the partners list and EPiServer World, and the homepages of the partner companies.

In the summer of 2010, EPiServer World passed 10.000 members.  

In February 2012, the 15.000 mark was passed. There is no doubt the EPiServer developer community is more active and fast-growing than ever. 

The EPiServer partners grow bigger and are stocking up on certified developers (ECDs).

The EPiServer partners grow bigger and are stocking up on certified developers

In 2010, the total number of ECDs worldwide (at any partner level) was just above 500.

In 2012 - if my calculations are anywhere near correct - there are roughly 1065 ECDs divided between the 82 Premium Partners worldwide (the ECDs at lower level partners are not even included in this number, so the actual total is probably way higher.)

Alexander's list of biggest partners of 2012 is based on the number of ECDs, but I feel that the number of ECDs alone does not tell the whole story about how important an EPiServer Partner is to the developer community. 

Let's explore some other factors.

 

Could "biggest partner" be more than just the number of ECDs?

From an EPiServer point of view, "biggest partner" would include the number of licenses sold, but since we do not have access to those numbers, we will disregard them in this context. (However, the nominees/winners of the annual "EPiServer Partner of the Year" award are likely a good indicator.)

The distribution of the coveted EMVP honorary title is quite interesting. The EMVP title is awarded to developers who make extraordinary efforts to the community by writing blogs, donating code and helping out in forums. 

Statistically, the companies with the highest number of ECDs should have the highest number of EMVPs, but this is not quite the case.

The EMVP listMaking Waves made an impressive effort last year getting their developers certified, and even though they now have the most ECDs worldwide (43), they still "only" have 1 EMVP (Alexander Haneng).

KnowIT, 2nd in ECDs worldwide (36), have no EMVPs.

Meanwhile, UK based partner Fortune Cookie Ltd have more EMVPs in their ranks than any other company (3 - David Knipe, Mark Everard, and Lee Crowe) - and yet they are not amongst the top 10 biggest partners worldwide in ECDs (13)!

The only other partner besides Fortune Cookie to have multiple EMVPs is Sogeti (2 - Daniel Berg and Magnus Rahl). Sogeti is 3rd in ECDs worldwide.

Interestingly, only 4 of the 10 biggest partners worldwide in terms of ECDs have EMVPs associated with them (Making Waves, Sogeti, Avantime and Epinova*).
In other words, 10 of the 14 EMVPs represent companies outside the top 10 biggest partners worldwide.

 

What about activity on EPiServer World?

At most of the big partners, only a couple of developers are active on blogs and forums on a regular basis. You've probably noticed how the same 20-25 names keep showing up on EPiServer World.

Since EPW does not have a list of most active members, I did some research and came up with the following list (please notify me if I missed anyone). Keep in mind these are the top 25 out of 15.000 members.


EPiServer World Top 25 (EPiServer employees excluded)

Name Company EPW status
1. Magnus Rahl (EMVP) Sogeti Oracle (3305 pts)
2. Frederik Vig (EMVP) Geta Esteemed Citizen (2271 pts)
3. Anders Hattestad (EMVP)  Itera Esteemed Citizen (1957 pts) 
4. Paul Smith Independent Contributing Citizen (1586 pts)
5. David Knipe (EMVP) Fortune Cookie Contributing Citizen (1405 pts)
6. Erik Nordin Wahlberg (EMVP) Disco Works Contributing Citizen (1281 pts)
7. Joel Abrahamsson (EMVP) Independent Contributing Citizen (1193 pts)
8. Fredrik Haglund (EMVP) Avantime Contributing Citizen (1142 pts)
9. Lars Øyvind Bodahl Epinova Contributing Citizen (1132 pts)
10. Stefan Forsberg (EMVP) Valtech Contributing Citizen (1018 pts)
11. Johan Pettersson NetRelations Participating Citizen (993 pts)
12. Per Nergård Logica Contributing Citizen (965 pts)
13. Ted Nyberg (EMVP) Ted & Gustaf Contributing Citizen (942 pts)
14. Per Hemmingson Independent Contributing Citizen (902 pts)
15. Tore Gjerdrum Epinova Contributing Citizen (859 pts)
16. Arild Henrichsen Epinova Participating Citizen (844 pts)
17. Johan Kronberg NetRelations Participating Citizen (833 pts)
18. Mark Everard (EMVP) Fortune Cookie  Contributing Citizen (774 pts)
18. Lee Crowe (EMVP) Fortune Cookie Participating Citizen (774 pts)
20. Daniel Berg (EMVP) Sogeti Participating Citizen (725 pts)
21. Alexander Haneng (EMVP) Making Waves Participating Citizen (720 pts)
22. Karoline Klever Epinova Participating Citizen (635 pts)
23. Mathias Kunto (EMVP) Valtech Participating Citizen (624 pts)
24. Valdis Iljuconoks Geta Participating Citizen (620 pts)
25. Kjetil Simensen Epinova Participating Citizen (617 pts)

(UPDATE: as of June 21st 2012. The EPW score is calculated from each member's combined amount of certifications, forum posts, blog posts, articles and code contributions.)

This list is actually dominated by representatives from companies further down the "biggest partners" list. 

Magnus Rahl - cyborg from the future?

Sogeti is the only company having a top 3 position both in terms of ECDs and activity on EPW.

Although I suspect Magnus "Orahlcle" Rahl is a cybernetic organism sent from the future and not a real life person.

He just can't be.

But I digress.

Making Waves have 1 representative on the EPW top 25 list.
KnowIT, First Line, Nansen, Mogul and Creuna (who are all in the top 10 biggest worldwide by ECD count) have no representatives on the EPW top 25 list. 

Geta and Itera, who are not even in the top 5 biggest partners in Norway, are represented at 2nd and 3rd respectively in the EPW top 25, with both Frederik Vig and Anders Hattestad reaching the impressive Esteemed Citizen level.

7 of the top 10 EPW contributors are EMVPs, which is hardly surprising.

Shameless plug: Epinova, who are 9th worldwide and 2nd in Norway in ECDs, have the most representatives in the EPW top 25 with 5.

I also dug up some stats on how many active bloggers** the companies in the partners list had between 2010-2012, which is shown in the updated partners list below.

 

Updated partner list with community contribution

 Here is an updated list of the 20 biggest/most influential partners worldwide, including community contribution:

Company ECDs EMVPs Devs in
EPW top25 
EPi-bloggers 
2010-2012
 Country
1. Making Waves 42 1 1 6 Norway (42)
2. KnowIT 42 0 0 4 Sweden (36)
Norway (6) 
3. Sogeti 34 2 2 2 Sweden
4. Nansen 28 0 0 10 Sweden (23)
USA (5) 
5. Logica 27 0 1 3 Sweden (17)
Norway (6)
Finland (4) 
6. Creuna 24 0 0 2 Sweden (13)
Norway (11) 
7. Epinova 21 0 5 11 Norway
7. First Line Software 21 0 0 2 Russia
7. Mogul 21 0 0 1 Sweden (15)
Serbia (6) 
10. Fortune Cookie 18 3 3 4 UK (11)
Poland (7) 
11. Avantime 17 1 1 2 Sweden
12. Valtech 15 2 2 4 Sweden (12)
Denmark (3) 
13. EVRY 14 0 0 1 Sweden (9)
Norway (5) 
14. NetRelations 12 0 2 2 Sweden
14. Ottoboni 12 0 0 1 Sweden
16. Circuit 10 0 0 0 Sweden
16. Meridium 10 0 0 4 Sweden
18. BEKK 9 0 0 0 Norway
18. Softronic 9 0 0 0 Sweden
18. TwentySix 9 0 0 1 UK (5)
USA (4)
Included because of EMVP status:
Geta 7 1 1 4 Norway
Itera 6 1 1 2 Norway
Ted & Gustaf 3 1 1 2 Sweden
Blend Interactive 2 1 0 2 USA
Disco Works 1 1 1 1 Sweden
Joel Abrahamsson* 1 1 1 1 Sweden

(as of July 31st, 2012, using stats from episerver.com)

*Joel Abrahamsson is currently an independent consultant.

 

Comments

Comments on findingsThere seems to be a trend that some of the smaller companies (in terms of ECDs) are the most active in the developer community.

Also, at most companies, only 1-2 developers are contributing on a notable scale (and this tends to be the developer with the EMVP title), while the rest remain fairly anonymous.

With over 15.000 EPW members and over 1000 ECDs amongst the Premium Partner companies, I was somewhat surprised by this finding.

Making Waves and Sogeti defend their position as some of the biggest partners, both in terms of ECDs, EMVP status and EPW contributions.
Although with almost 80 ECDs combined and Premium Partner status, I would expect to see more of their developers being active in the community. 

Of course, not all developers are in a position where they have the time to do community work, and that's quite understandable.

Honourable mentions go to:

  • Nansen for having a remarkably high number of bloggers
  • Fortune Cookie for having 3 EMVPs and all 3 are in the EPW top 25
  • Geta for having their EMVP 2nd in EPW top 25 and all 4 ECDs actively blogging
  • Epinova (another shameless plug), for having the highest number of devs in the EPW top 25 and highest numbers of active bloggers

EPiServer can rightly be proud of their strong and dedicated developer community.
I hope this blog post serves as a motivator for developers and companies in the community, whether they are already high up on these lists or want to get there :-)