Swift & Secure: Combing Vercel & Sitecore for Web Excellence

For Sitecore’s composable architecture, key technology partnerships, such as the one with Vercel, are vitally important. In this episode of the Sitecore Water Cooler podcast, our host, Jon Price, sits down with Glenn Saler and Alex Hawley from Vercel’s Partner and Alliances team to shed light on the SaaS platform’s role in headless and hybrid deployments. They discuss Vercel’s offerings within the Sitecore ecosystem, highlighting the critical nature of the partnership in the evolving landscape of web deployment. 


Glennn Saler’s Role at Vercel

Glenn Saler is a seasoned professional with 27 years of experience. With a robust background in partner management, particularly in the CMS and DXP space, Glenn highlights his one-and-a-half-year tenure at Vercel. In his role within strategic alliances, Glenn manages key CI and agency partners while focusing on nurturing and advancing the Sitecore relationships. His wealth of experience positions him as a crucial asset to Vercel, contributing significantly to the success of the platform and showcasing expertise in web development.

Alex Hawley’s Role at Vercel

Alex Hawley, serving as a Partner Solutions Engineer at Vercel, brings a technical perspective to the team. In his role, he collaborates with product and solution partners, providing expertise and training on technologies like Next.js. Alex's responsibilities extend to guiding teams in implementing composable websites that excel in performance on the web. His role emphasizes the crucial intersection of technical knowledge and partnership engagement, contributing to the enhancement of Vercel's capabilities and ensuring optimal utilization of their platform in the ever-evolving landscape of web development.

What is Vercel?

Vercel, dubbed a "front end cloud," simplifies hosting high-performance websites with a focus on SEO and conversion rates. For non-technical users, it streamlines the complexities of website development, ensuring optimal functionality without extensive time investments. Divided into two key product areas, Vercel prioritizes both developer and end-user experiences. The platform excels in managed services at the edge and offers a developer-centric product for a seamless coding experience. Notably associated with Next.js, a frontend framework built on React, Vercel emphasizes efficient website hosting and code setup, allowing developers to prioritize customer-centric development over technical intricacies.

Announcements from the 2023 Next.js Conference (Next.js Conf)

Fresh off the recent Next.js conference, Vercel is gearing up for exciting announcements in 2024. Alex, from Vercel, expresses particular excitement about Next.js' rapid enhancements and the launch of Next.js LEARN. This platform provides developers with a hub to master the latest features efficiently. The focus on learning enablement addresses the evolving technological landscape, ensuring developers stay abreast of advancements in React and OR for optimal website performance. These announcements signify Vercel's commitment to staying ahead in technology and facilitating developers in adapting swiftly to the dynamic changes, reflecting their dedication to continual improvement in web development practices.

History of the Partnership with Sitecore & Vercel

Vercel and Sitecore have cultivated a partnership for over two years, marked by a shared vision of composable solutions. The collaboration emerged as Sitecore embraced the composable messaging approach, seeking a robust front end for their solution. Positioned at the edge with a focus on serverless compute, Vercel complemented Sitecore's strategy seamlessly. The partnership extends beyond sales and marketing, reaching a deep product integration level. Notably, collaborations include the deployment button built with Vercel and integrations with Sitecore's Order Cloud team. The close collaboration extends to the Next.js team within Sitecore, ensuring alignment with the latest advancements and achieving a global customer base of around 75.

Future Developments with Vercel & Sitecore

The collaboration between Vercel and Sitecore is set to introduce exciting developments in the near future. The close partnership extends to the Sitecore team, ensuring they remain current with the latest Next.js advancements. Specifically, in the upcoming sprint, the focus is on integrating the app router functionality from Next.js into site development. This collaboration anticipates bringing enhanced capabilities to site development, showcasing a commitment to continuous improvement and feature integration within the evolving landscape of web development. The shared effort aims to provide users with cutting-edge functionality, demonstrating the dynamic synergy between Vercel and Sitecore.

Promotional graphic for 'The Sitecore Water Cooler' featuring a quote by Glenn Saler from Vercel on tech collaboration.


Vercel’s Competitive Advantages

Vercel stands out in the competitive landscape, particularly in comparison to perceived rivals in the ecosystem. Key among its advantages is the collaboration with Sitecore, emphasizing support for all Sitecore functionality through the Next.js SDK. Vercel's expertise extends beyond Next.js, encompassing React and JavaScript, backed by core contributors to the React team. The platform strategically invests in top-tier talent from industry giants like Meta and Google, ensuring a robust strategy and top-notch developer experience. Jointly, Vercel and Sitecore have matured their collaboration, addressing customer needs effectively and showcasing a mutually beneficial partnership that enhances web development experiences.

Vercel’s Deployment Options

Vercel's deployment options set it apart from the competition by prioritizing dynamic performance without compromising speed. With a focus on "dynamic at the speed of static," Vercel integrates edge runtime, middleware, and app router, enabling component-level caching for dynamic yet performant experiences. This approach, ingrained in Vercel's DNA, distinguishes it in the web development ecosystem. Notably, Vercel introduces enterprise features such as secure compute, offering a seamless way to secure backend APIs without additional configurations. This commitment to performance, coupled with scalable and flexible deployment solutions, positions Vercel as a standout choice for enterprises, including Sitecore customers.

Vercel & Sitecore Success Stories

Vercel and Sitecore's collaboration yielded an impressive healthcare case study involving 300+ websites, demonstrating not only performance but exceptional speed. The healthcare client successfully migrated to Vercel and Sitecore, initiating with smaller sections and expanding to 300+ sites due to the outstanding performance and analytics insights. Another noteworthy example is the Sonos migration, emphasizing incremental user adoption, reducing risks, and ensuring scalability. Notable improvements include a 200% revenue increase and a 75% performance boost. These case studies underscore Vercel and Sitecore's impactful contributions to enhanced web experiences, exemplifying success in performance, revenue, and user migration strategies.

Image featuring 'The Sitecore Water Cooler' with a customer collaboration quote by Alex Hawley of Vercel.


Advice for Implementing Sitecore with Vercel

For a successful implementation of Sitecore with Vercel, Alex emphasizes a gradual and iterative approach. Drawing from his backend experience, he advises developers to take small, incremental steps in learning the frontend technologies, such as React and Next.js. With a focus on iterative development and deployment strategies, he encourages the Sitecore community to leverage resources like Vercel's documentation, new courses, and user group discussions. By understanding the fundamentals and embracing a step-by-step learning process, developers can navigate the shift to a composable solution seamlessly, ensuring a smooth transition without rushing the implementation.

Vercel & Sitecore: Partnering on a Composable Future

In conclusion, this episode highlights the powerful partnership between Vercel and Sitecore, offering swift and secure web development solutions. Glenn and Alex share insights into their roles, Vercel's unique features, and upcoming announcements. The collaboration with Sitecore, spanning over two years, has resulted in successful case studies, emphasizing the impressive performance and benefits for clients. The competitive advantages of Vercel, including its focus on dynamic at the speed of static and enterprise features, set it apart in the web development ecosystem. 

Listen to the Sitecore Water Cooler Podcast Today!

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About: For years, ‘water cooler talk’ has been a natural way for people in the workplace to come together and connect on common interest topics in what would otherwise be a formal environment; it boosts morale, improves culture and gets the creative juices flowing! Some of the best workplace ideas and conversations happen through face-to-face conversations around the ‘water cooler,’ so just as the name implies, The Sitecore Water cooler Podcast is a casual conversation between colleagues and peers centered around all things Sitecore. This podcast is an outlet for various Sitecore experts within the Sitecore community to have a meaningful discussion around the latest with Sitecore products, every day topics, challenges and successes associated with this top-of-line digital experience platform.  Each podcast episode will range in topic, but will be geared towards quick-hitting initiatives that affect how business is done today. Whether you’re a new Sitecore user, a Sitecore MVP, or just someone who wants to learn more about Sitecore technology and capabilities, then meet us at the watercooler!

About Author

Podcast producer at Americaneagle.com
Bryan Winger is a Podcast Producer with Americaneagle.com. He began his career in broadcasting back in Minnesota, producing for several radio stations and syndicated shows throughout the Twin Cities. He has over 5 years of experience in the broadcasting industry, before joining the team at Americaneagle.com. He enjoys playing golf and hockey, watching football on Sundays, and producing music for fun.

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