Sitecore Symposium 2018


The Sitecore Symposium 2018 took place in Orlando, FL – at the Dolphin Resort in Walt Disney World. Over the four day conference, Sitecore announced new acquisitions and upcoming changes to the Sitecore platform. In typical Sitecore fashion, at the start of the first full day, Sitecore CEO Mark Frost took the stage to deliver the conferences opening keynote and swiftly announced that Sitecore had acquired Style Labs. The details of the acquisition are not yet clear, but it is expected that Sitecore will work with Style Labs to expand the offerings of the platform. The combined capabilities of Style Labs and Sitecore solve a genuine problem that many marketers have, and that is that only 18% of marketers feel like their organization has the right tools in place to manage their content effort, so by acquiring StyleLabs – Sitecore is working to solve this problem by utilizing Style Lab’s core offerings, which include digital asset management, marketing resource management and product information management, and incorporating this with Sitecore’s existing offerings to create a fuller experience for marketers.

The keynote continued by stating that customers are no longer buying products, but instead are buying experiences. To back this new mission statement up, a statistic was provided; 88% of customers will pay more for a better brand experience, but only 1% feel like brands are consistently delivering a good experience. This ties in with the three main pillars of the new release of the Sitecore Experience Cloud; to empower developers, advance personalization and to expand the relationship with SalesForce. What this means, simply, is that the act of delivering Sitecore powered experiences is now much more accessible, essentially removing many barriers from the Sitecore technology. Going forward, developers will now be able to use JavaScript to deliver a Sitecore experience with all of the same features that are available to .NET developers. However, it is not just developers that benefit from the expansions to Sitecore. Marketers, with the help of Sitecore Cortex, can better understand what their customers want from Cortex’ ability to identify predictable outcomes and more – this combined with an expansion to how Sitecore and SalesForce work together better allows marketers to use data across both systems.

The standout breakout session of the 2nd full day came from the session that focused on Sitecore and SalesForce. This session provided many insightful and relevant statistics, such as the average number of systems brands use is 39, all to manage engagement. Many of the features talked about in this session will be released within the next 12 months, but to expect to see much more integration and collaboration between Sitecore and SalesForce in the coming months and years ahead.

The final day at the Symposium was a half day, most of the morning was taken up with breakout sessions but the closing keynote – which was based around what’s next for Sitecore – included many important points. The CTO of Sitecore, Ryan Donovan, lead this keynote and discussed the three main areas that Sitecore will be focusing on for the coming year. Content lifecycle, user experience and commerce.

For the first of the three points, the content lifecycle, Style Labs took the stage to present a demo of their product. Much of this was about how teams can work collaboratively with their product. Style Labs is a SaaS offering, so it differs from Sitecore in that respect.

Next up, Sitecore’s Director of User Experience took the stage to discuss what plans Sitecore has for the next year in this space. In essence, it all centers around an updated launchpad – that will allow marketers to have the relevant information available to them quickly and easily on their launchpad. Within this launchpad, marketers will also be able to set up target audiences at the click of a button based on specific criteria’s such as device they’re browsing on, geographical location and others. This is a big step for Sitecore, and one that will make the platform much more accessible in the future.

Finally – Ryan Donovan talked about commerce. Sitecore is now a leader in the commerce space, and they plan to keep it that way – some of the ways they plan to do this include B2B and product information management.

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