Orlando, FL was host to this year’s Sitecore Symposium, between October 8 and 11, where marketers, CEOs, CTOs, developers, and enthusiasts gathered to network, share knowledge, and learn through new experiences.
This year’s symposium was centered on the motto “Elevate the experience”, which perfectly describes the focus on maximizing user experience to its highest level.
In his Opening Keynote Mark Frost, Sitecore Chief Executive Officer, announced the acquisition of StyleLabs. StyleLabs is a Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Media Resource Management (MRM) platform which will be integrated with Sitecore Experience Cloud and will implement a robust workflow so that any given team can work with greater efficiency. During the Keynote Frost also touched on the following topics:
- Sitecore JSS, which allows FE developers to work independently from a back-end, and accelerates the development of sites and their personalization
- Cortex, machine learning which will allow for the most efficient delivery of content
- SalesForce and Sitecore cloud platform integration
In addition to the Opening Keynote speech, there were two presentations that particularly caught my attention and impacted me.
Paige O’Neill, Sitecore CMO, invited on stage SickKids Foundation’s CMO, Heather Clark, and together the two presented a campaign that had been carried out in Canada to collect funds for the construction of a children’s hospital. As part of the efforts, Sitecore donated a total of $50.000 by challenging symposium attendees to pedal for three minutes on a stationary bike.
For more information on the project visit: sick kids foundation
Not Impossible Labs
CEO & Founder of Not Impossible Labs, Mick Ebeling, gave an inspiring speech about his experiences of making impossible-seeming stories into something real which changes lives. It was a presentation full of emotion whose main objective was to motivate the entire audience to believe in themselves, and above all, move them to innovate and change lives.
I really recommend you visit Mick’s page and watch the many YouTube videos about his experiences.
Apart from those two presentations, below is a compilation of the most talked-about topics at this Symposium and of the new features and functionalities that Sitecore will bring to the market with their future launches.
The launch of Sitecore 9.1 will also bring the Beta version of Horizon, and a stable version of it is expected with Sitecore 9.2. In case you didn’t know it, Horizon is the next experience for content management.
It provides a powerful and innovative interface which integrates the managing of content (CMS user experience) and tools in real time. This allows us to analyze data, product penetration, and customer engagement.
This feature is responsible for handling the authentication of users. It provides Single Sign On using standard federated authentication protocol and is compatible with old membership.
Sitecore Identity is already used as the authentication mechanism for Commerce and from 9.1 on, it functions as the default login mechanism across the platform.
Sitecore Host is responsible for aspects outside of functionality, this allows for uniform deployment and lean common run-time for Sitecore .Net Core instances.
It can host web/console apps with windows services, powering apps and services in 9.1 Horizon, Universal Tracker, and Sitecore Identity.
This innovation is an AI based personalization of Sitecore and it will begin with the 9.1 version. Cortex will make use of Machine Learning and will test User Interface that will highlight marketing opportunities.
If integrated with Open Calais, Cortex will have even more Machine Learning capabilities and with Sitecore’s own tagging functionality it will allow CMC users to create structured content and tags automatically.
For more information visit here.
This is a tracking service based on Web/REST API technology and it will track interactions as they are occurring.
It processes interactions before they go into the Experience Database and helps Plugin architecture.
Women in Digital
This session, lead by Jodi Kovitz CEO and Founder of #movethedial, was a discussion about the challenges that women face in tech and also in the business area and offered some good bits of advice how to deal with them.
Another related topic was “Empowering Women in Technology”, where Sitecore’s Chief Marketing Officer Paige O’Neill moderated the panel discussion and all talented Sitecore MVP women took the stage and shared some experiences they went through in their careers. It was really amazing to hear each experience and how they have managed to cope with their personal and professional life in a successful way.
Please visit women of Sitecore website.
Another interesting session was “Sitecore and GDPR: Your personal data belongs to you”, where Martina Welander talked about the ins-and-outs of the regulation that came into effect on May 25, 2018. As developers, we must know how to implement this into our sites.
To find out how to use GDPR on your site visit the technical guidance.
Una Verhoeven also took the stage with her presentation titled: “Where machine learning meets social #ThinkYouKnowMe”. She showed how we can feed machine learning from our personal social media accounts in order to efficiently receive specific and personalized recommendations based on our profiles.
All in all, the Sitecore Symposium is a great event which allows anyone attending to immerse themselves in the new tendencies on the market, the new tools for development, future implementations, users’ experiences with successful companies, and above all, meet people who share your same interests and passions: technology and Sitecore.
For more information visit symposium.sitecore
Looking forward to seeing what’s new at the next Sitecore Symposium!