Everything You Need to Know About Upgrading to Sitecore 9
Sitecore 9 delivers on the promise of a complete, 360-degree view of each customer.
In October 2017, Sitecore realized its vision of a cloud-first approach to customer experience management with the Sitecore Experience Cloud™ — an overarching brand that encompasses Sitecore XP 9, a digital experience platform, Sitecore Experience Manager (XM), a web content management system, and Sitecore Experience Commerce (XC), a natively-integrated commerce platform.
Sitecore XP 9 puts the power in the hands of the people who are most responsible for creating and delivering experiences that delight your customers — your marketing team.
This latest version of Sitecore allows for the creation of hyper-personalized digital experiences, across every brand touch point. It introduces Sitecore xConnect and Sitecore Cortex and together, they empower your Marketing team with connected data sources and deeper contextual insights.
There’s lots to get excited about on the IT side as well — the native integration with Microsoft Azure will allow for significant advantages in terms of real-time scalability and performance of your digital properties.
Sitecore 9: The Business Cases for Upgrading
Worldclass Marketing with xConnect & Cortex
- Ability to use Sitecore as a central hub to manage all digital properties (Sitecore and non-Sitecore), seamlessly sharing content, customer data, and analytics.
- Integrated analytics, including A/B and multivariate content tests, and campaign management, to identify what's working and what needs improvement.
- Seamless omnichannel experiences through enhanced device detection, headless content management, multichannel data collection at scale, and improved email marketing capabilities.
Flexible & Scalable Authoring Experiences
- Performance enhancements to the Experience Editor, native integration of the Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SxA), and a cleaner, more consistent user interface.
- Ability for Marketing to operate independently and optimize content and experiences with less dependence on IT or Business Intelligence.
- A cloud-first but not cloud-only approach, providing customers with the widest array of deployment options (on-premise or hybrid cloud in addition to Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud).
There's a lot more to this story! For more details on the features described above, information on other capabilities that have been revamped, as well as challenges you might run into if you don't upgrade, check out our detailed whitepaper that breaks down this latest release.
Velir's Sitecore Upgrade Process
We recognize that every Sitecore solution and corresponding upgrade is unique, given an organization's specific business goals and digital strategies. With the varying customizations and setups that we might run into as a result, our Sitecore Upgrade approach incorporates both strategic aspects as well as technical ones.
- The approach we take for your upgrade depends on several factors including your current Sitecore version, the amount of content you have and how much of it can be migrated, your technology stack and preferences, and any custom features and integrations.
- Once we're familiar with your solution and have identified goals for the upgrade, we then determine the right Sitecore version to upgrade the solution to and the optimal path for the upgrade.
- Next, we execute the upgrade itself. This includes everything from 1) testing the upgrade out on a lower environment (development or UAT) first, 2) running the involved upgrade packages and the express migration tool if possible, 3) deploying the upgrade to production environments per a pre-approved deployment process, 4) ensuring any custom modules, configurations, and code have been migrated or replaced, and 5) completing thorough regression tests to ensure that everything is functioning as expected.
- Occasionally, the solution to a given business problem might be broader than an upgrade. In these cases, we conduct various audits to assess the current state of the Sitecore solution and its supporting elements, as well as the desired future state. The types of audits we execute depend on our level of familiarity with a solution (existing vs new clients) and may include digital strategy, content, technical, and hardware and infrastructure audits. Learn more about our detailed Sitecore Audit process here.
Why Work With Velir on Your Next Sitecore Upgrade?
We are one of the most experienced and capable Platinum Sitecore Partners in North America. We have worked with Sitecore since they entered the US market and have since completed hundreds of Sitecore projects. Below are a few of our credentials and accolades:
- Sitecore Solutions Partner since 2006
- Industry-leading 6 Sitecore MVPs on staff
- 5-time Sitecore Site of the Year winner
- Hundreds of Sitecore implementations, including dozens on version 9.0 and 8.x
- Platinum Sitecore Partner (since program inception)
- 40+ Sitecore-certified developers and architects on staff
- All 6 Sitecore Specializations