My three Sitecore symposium 2018 takeaways

This was my 4th Sitecore Symposium but this year felt different. There was a general shift from focusing solely on development and case studies. This year brought an exciting energy to it with an emphasis on giving back and diversity.   There were of course some exiting product announcements and innovations, but it was stimulating to see the conference extend beyond the product.

Let’s talk about my three big takeaways:

Innovation:

There are three big tech features that I am personally excited about.  My colleagues and I will be blogging more about these in the coming weeks but to summarize, here are the big takeaways:

Stylelabs Acquisition:

https://www.sitecore.com/company/press-and-media/press-releases/2018/10/sitecore-to-acquire-innovative-content-marketing-software-vendor-stylelabs

At first many of us were pleased when we thought that the acquisition just meant the addition of a Digital Asset Management solution to the platform. As we all learned more, we realized that Sylelab’s platform also offers tools including a marketing resource management (MRM) platform that will help streamline our client’s content creation process.   This is a gamechanger.  We have all heard about how clients are looking to personalize and optimize the customer experience, but we find that people and content are the largest roadblocks in the enablement of personalization.   I look forward to helping our clients install the processes and tools that will help develop and deliver personalized experience that meet their customer’s needs.

Horizon:

This is Sitecore’s new User Interface that was announced at last year’s Symposium and is being released for technical preview for in 9.1.

Key features include:

  • A new Launchpad that focuses on data and optimization.
  • An entirely new content editing experience that appears to combine the Content Editor and the Experience Editor to enable content creation and editing and incorporating inline analytics.
  • A reimagined Marketing toolbox that focuses on what is needed to improve the experience and increase conversion.
  • Through the interface they will also be incorporating Cortex (Sitecore’s Machine Learning) suggestions. One key feature will be displaying a variety of potential audience segments who are likely to be highly engaged and higher converters

This is another game changer, as it’s literally going to change how our clients control and optimize their websites. We were all blown away with the demo and can’t wait to see this in action.

horizon.png

Headless Content Management:

For those not familiar with Headless Content Management, check out Sitecore’s post about why it’s such a hot topic.   https://www.sitecore.com/landing/xc/2018/headless-marketing Yet, another great way to streamline your content creation and distribution.

Giving Back:

This year during the opening keynote, Sitecore CMO Paige O’Neill brought up the team from SickKids Foundation that supports The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada. The audience was inspired by their new advertising campaign that showcases the warrior kids that they help.  Sitecore showed their support by matching donations and helping to raise $50,000 for the foundation.

Hi’s team was excited to help and it was great to see attendees and Sitecore giving back to help others.

biking

Diversity:

There was a special focus on gender diversity in technology.  Sitecore has recently joined the #movethedial movement and HI was proud to sponsor the Women in Digital Marketing and Technology luncheon. We were all inspired by #movethedial Founder & CEO Jodi Kovitz’s speech detailing the importance of empowering women in technology.

I was also honored and humbled to participate in the “Empowering Women in Tech” panel featuring 18 Women Sitecore MVPs.   This was really special, and I can’t express how wonderful it was to meet and get to know these women.    We tackled many topics and shared our thoughts on how enabling more women in tech and leadership roles help solve business problems as well as promote innovation and creativity.  We also talked about the barriers women in tech feel and shared ideas on how to balance one’s personal and professional life.

This was just the start of the conversation and I am excited to see what big things the Women of Sitecore do in the coming year.  Please check out their new website https://www.womenofsitecore.com/ and I look forward to seeing our community grow.