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Akhil Mittal
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Sitecore 9.1 - What's in it for us as Marketers?

I hope you must have heard about Sitecore 9.1 upgrade that came into general availability on Nov 28th 2018. The same was announced during the Sitecore symposium. This version is a major breakthrough for marketers. I am saying it not because it promises something that will change your life overnight, but because this lays the foundation of the next era of your digital experience management.

Here’s how I will summarize the big leap Sitecore is trying to take with this version:

  1. Cognitive computing
  2. Decoupled rendering
  3. Integrated technology

Cognitive computing:

Certainly not a new term for marketers. Advance analytics has been playing a key role in solving marketing challenges such as clustering, attribution modelling, propensity analytics, churn analytics etc. Market leaders such as Amazon and Netflix had used machine learning quite effectively for recommendation engines and to create next best action predictions. The big catch there is the complexity involved in getting to that stage, and the effort & skills that such players had to invest seems quite daunting for any new entrants. Building up a team of data scientists to create such models & engines might take months or even years. I wonder if most of us as marketers will have that liberty in hand. Sitecore Cortex handles this dilemma by helping us meet that want of cognitive computing without the need of heavy investment and long lead times.

Decoupled rendering:

Being a marketer the only thing that matters to me is achieving my KPIs. I should not be worried whether the technology used is .Net or JavaScript. Sitecore CMS was fundamentally built on this principal. The concept of Headless CMS was introduced right in version 6 but it took long time to mature and make it effective. Sitecore Omni brings the decoupled vision into true action with the ease & effectiveness of separating rendering from content management. This will lay the foundation of implementation of C.O.P.E (Create Once Publish Everywhere) philosophy. C.O.P.E. had been spoken a lot within marketing community as the answer to our woes of maintaining multiple content repositories. With Sitecore Omni, it will become much easier to use Sitecore as the master content management repository while the rendering can easily happen on any device/platform including mobile app, IoT device, wearable etc.

Ebook
Upgrade to Sitecore 9.1 Using this Handy Guide

Integrated Technology:

All of us had been talking about reducing silos of customer data built across our MarTech ecosystem. At Altudo (formerly edynamic) we particularly focus on integrating customer data across three key systems – CMS, CRM, and MAP (Marketing Automation). Sitecore provided APIs to realize it, but had very few out of the box integrations built. Sitecore Connect addresses this efficiently for the integration between Sitecore and Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The current one introduced is a uni-directional integration but the bi-directional one is scheduled to be out within next 3-4 months. Also, Sitecore Universal Tracker helps achieve the vision of Single View of the Customer (SVC) by tracking interactions from multiple devices & channels including mobile app, IoT, AR/VR, Bots etc. in real time.

In all practical sense, I don’t see all of it getting into use by marketers on an immediate basis. The big fact is that this foundation will set the stage for the new era of customer experience. For those familiar with Sitecore, surprisingly, this time the documentation is quite elaborate. You can refer the same at doc.sitecore.com. Also, for existing Sitecore users, version 9.1 can be downloaded from dev.sitecore.com.

At Altudo (formerly eDynamic), we help our clients deliver exceptional customer experiences through 1:1 personalization & enhanced engagement, to grow revenue streams.

As Sitecore Platinum implementation partners, our deep understanding of the Sitecore ecosystem goes beyond the basics of CMS, to unleash the true potential of a seamless, personalized website experiences & curating engagement analytics throughout the customer journey.

Akhil Mittal VP, Digital Solutions - Altudo


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