What we learned at Sitecore Symposium 2017

7th November 2017

Here’s the latest takeaways from Sitecore, as announced at the Sitecore Symposium 2017 Las Vegas

With the stakes high, bets were set against which new Sitecore features would be announced, as partners, customers, MVPs and enthusiasts gathered eagerly and took their seats.

As expected, the Sitecore Symposium 2017 in Las Vegas was full of exciting announcements around Sitecore 9. We also found out a lot about Sitecore’s wider news features and their plans for the future.

Here’s what we learned:

The Sitecore Experience Cloud is an all-encompassing marketing suite

The biggest announcement at Sitecore Symposium was the unveiling of the Sitecore Experience Cloud.

Allowing businesses to execute and scale their digital strategies, the Sitecore Experience Cloud consists of:

  • Sitecore Experience Manager (Content Management System)
  • Sitecore Experience Platform (Sitecore 9)
  • Sitecore Experience Commerce (end-to-end e-commerce across all channels)

Through a combined offering of in-depth customer data, machine learning-insights and digital marketing tools, Sitecore Experience Cloud is the complete digital marketing experience.

This is great news for businesses on Sitecore. It makes it even easier to manage fully personalised brand experiences directly from Sitecore.

There’s a whole host of brand new, easily usable tools for marketers in Sitecore 9

The Sitecore Experience Manager content management system and Sitecore Experience Platform introduce some key features to Sitecore 9 that enhance the overall marketing experience. We discussed these innovative changes in our recent Sitecore 9 article, but there were more changes announced around Sitecore Experience Commerce.

Sitecore commerce is an outstanding tool for retailers!

The newly-unveiled Sitecore Experience Commerce has the potential for brands to deliver an ultra-personalised end-to-end shopping experience by combing content and commerce.

This was a huge announcement, and will benefit ecommerce retailers. Carrying on Sitecore’s theme of centralising and unifying processes, Sitecore Experience Commerce will be music to the ears of online merchants. Testing, optimisation and industry price checks can be run alongside catalogue and content management. This creates an all-in-one environment and will cut down on time – a fantastic announcement.

Simply put, if you’re a retailer, a demo of Sitecore Experience Commerce is a must. Get your free demo today.

Machine learning will change how marketers use insights

Sitecore Cortex, the new machine learning feature from Sitecore, is about to change the way we utilise insights. Thanks to data gathered by Sitecore Cortex, marketers are able to teach Sitecore to produce bespoke, custom experiences for a wide range of customers.

We expect machine learning to be a huge topic in the coming months, not just regarding Sitecore, but in the development and marketing world in general. Sitecore have taken the first steps in getting ahead of the game by introducing their Cortex tool to Sitecore 9.

Integration gets even more importance with xConnect

Following on from the theme of personalisation, connectivity was another buzzword being muttered throughout the week in Las Vegas. Sitecore has always been able to connect and integrate with most third party systems, and with Sitecore xConnect, it’s about to get easier.

Using xConnect, users can now integrate data from third party systems to the Sitecore Experience Database. This will give users the confidence that Sitecore is a platform that offers longevity, compatibility and versatility.

Sitecore is future-proof, and the keynotes really hit home the fact that Sitecore is alive and thriving in 2017,

Sitecore exists in a lively and buoyant ecosystem

We were very impressed by the passion and commitment of Sitecore’s key technology partners. It’s clear the ecosystem around Sitecore is as alive and buoyant as ever. Telligent community software and Coveo were very active at Symposium. They’re busy creating solutions that blend beautifully with Sitecore. And this helps create an environment of development and innovation beneficial to all Sitecore users.

Sitecore has a clear vision of leadership

Throughout Symposium Sitecore’s vision was clear. They’re determined to keep developing and innovating the best customer experience solution on the market. This was backed up with strong presentations from their executives.

In Sitecore EVP of Product Ryan Donovan’s closing keynote at the Symposium, he left with a strong statement on behalf of Sitecore: “we are absolutely determined and committed to winning in the commerce space.”

This comment, whilst bold, is entirely achievable. You only have to read through the features of Sitecore 9 to see how it’s fast becoming an integrated, intelligent platform that is extremely easy to use.

Looking ahead to Sitecore 9.1 with Project Zenith and Project Horizon.

As expected, we got a glimpse of the future at Symposium 2017, as Sitecore are already developing new features for their 9.1 release. Niels Handberg, Director of User Experience, talked briefly through two new tools scheduled for release in 2018.

As far as content goes, Sitecore announced Horizon, which is going to change the way marketers can design pages. Using drag and drop functioning, device-specific previews and analytics, Sitecore Horizon gives you real-time tips and updates as you create and publish content. A truly intelligent tool, Horizon is something we cannot wait to hear more about in the coming months.

Zenith will act as the central headless tool in Sitecore 9.1, providing a platform for dynamic changes under one interface.

All in all, the Symposium in Vegas was full of ground-breaking technology and releases, leaving us excited for the future of Sitecore. The 2017 MVP summit followed shortly after, and two of our Most Valuable Professionals, Martin Davies and Jeremy Davis, attended. Stay tuned for more updates from them in the coming months.

As a Sitecore Platinum partner, we offer a free Sitecore demo for businesses looking to find out more about the platform. And a Sitecore audit for existing users who want to get the most out of their investment in Sitecore.