Michael Seifert, CEO of Sitecore, started the Wednesday opening keynote discussing how online consumer expectations and experiences change and that the next evolution is to move from campaigns to conversations. Michael discussed and explained Sitecore's three key pillars: Contextual Intelligence, Content Management, and Omnichannel Automation, and how to use contextual intelligence to address the segment of one. He also discussed how personalization is much more than just knowing a name & demo, it's segmenting down to the individual level to be relevant.
Darren Guarnaccia, EVP of Sitecore, demo’d on the new features of Path Analyzer and how Dollywood used xDB to improve customer experience while optimizing campaign spend through Path Analyzer, and how that increased Dollywood’s bookings.
Developer Keynote (Developers, Developers, Developers)
Lars Nielson, Co-Founder and CDO of Sitecore, discussed the vision Sitecore is adopting for their technology path and the ways Sitecore is committed to the developer's community with the adoption of popular tools and frameworks, setting the standardization, making better tools and API for integration, and making it easier to upgrade to latest releases. Lars also talked about moving to oData for API communication (Coming to 8.3 release).
Lars also showed how Sitecore wants to use ASP.NET Core in building their micro-services.
Lars also talked about Sitecore Helix, the official guidelines and recommended practices for Sitecore development, which should help standardize the way Sitecore website are being built.
Sitecore Symposium had some really interesting sessions on Thursday and Friday, and a lot of topics were discussed, mainly focused on Sitecore’s new and upcoming products and improvements, Here is a list of some of the exciting items Sitecore has been working on:
- Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA)
Released with 8.2 release, SXA is built to help you significantly accelerate your site delivery and help you get to the market faster. Content production and development can work in parallel as it comes with “Drag & Drop” built components (Up to 100 so far), You can create wireframes directly from within Sitecore, allowing design and content entry to start once UX is complete, and the pre-built layouts are responsive and work on wide range of devices.
- Email Experience Manager (EXM):
EXM is an entirely new product that is natively integrated in the platform. It allows you to use your customer data to personalize and send email dynamically across customer segments, allows you to test every single component of a campaign, and to establish and optimize customer engagement. The EXM dashboard gives an overview of performance data and shows you exactly how your customers interacted with your emails.
- Sitecore Commerce
Sitecore will have native commerce in the platform (In the upcoming 8.3 release). Using content and context, Sitecore promises to deliver fully personalized Commerce experience in the platform, providing customers with shopping experiences that are thoughtful and reflect what is known about them
- Sitecore Express Migration Tool
This is a long anticipated tool! Sitecore now provides an easier way to upgrade to the latest version. In the past,this was a headache for developers and required a higher costs and more time. There is now a tool (Wizard) that allows you to upgrade your Sitecore 7.2 (all releases) to 8.2 in a much easier and smoother way, while migrating all the content you have, including your DMS data.
We were very impressed on how much Sitecore is committed to delivering the best products and tools to help brands provide more value to their customers, by giving them the best experience!