Why We're Excited About Sitecore Symposium 2021
At Velir, we look forward to Sitecore Symposium as an exciting opportunity to see where Sitecore's ship is sailing. We get to see the key strategies, themes, and technologies propelling the platform forward, so we know how to advise our clients. This year is no different. We're excited about Sitecore Symposium, which runs from October 5-7.
Last year’s Sitecore Symposium marked the first with Steve Tzikakis at the company’s helm. In his keynote he spoke about accelerating the pace of innovation and expanding Sitecore's global footprint. And he talked about Sitecore’s expectation for partners to deliver expertise "with a new vertical flavor." The succeeding year has shown what Tzikakis had in mind, with a $1.2 billion capital investment into Sitecore ("the largest single capital investment in the MarTech space"). It also brought a series of acquisitions: the personalization engine Boxever (now Sitecore Customer Data Platform), the email platform Moosend (now SitecoreSend), and Four51 (now Sitecore OrderCloud). Together with Content Hub, the name Sitecore now represents a portfolio of products, rather than just the web content management system.
This raises an interesting question. Last year, Tzikakis asserted, "We didn't brand our M&A disjointed assets, instead we organically grew […] so that you have an end-to-end parallel experience from content to commerce." Can Sitecore make the same claim now? Likely yes, but we’re curious to hear how the new members of the family will be integrated to create a consistent experience. We'll tune in to Tzikakis's second keynote for an update, and to hear from Sitecore's new Chief Product Officer (and former Boxever CEO), Dave O'Flanagan, who will speak about Sitecore's path to a more "composable" future, and what that means for developers, customers, and solutions.
Sitecore success stories are just as important as the broad strategic announcements at Symposium. CMO Paige O'Neill spoke of the challenges that 2020's massive move to digital created for organizations, but also of the opportunities for companies that demonstrate understanding and empathy for their customers, in industries ranging from healthcare to car rentals. "Only focusing on the end result…can create a flawed picture of success. Imagine if my colleague had rented that car, but then had to drive across the country." As she explained, understanding your customers' needs goes beyond watching sales numbers.
This year's success stories feature a range of industries and technologies—healthcare, hospitality, retail, and insurance—all of which faced an unprecedented transition to increased digital communication with their public. One of these success stories is our own. At Symposium, Velir's Matt Richardson, will be speaking with CUNA Mutual's Bob Moritz on how we increased all key sales metrics for them by redesigning their TruStage® website. Their talk will reveal how we used Sitecore’s personalization engine to define complex business logic that's flexible and empowers their marketing team. It will also share how the site allows marketers to adapt to rapidly changing business and user demands without involving developers.
What would Symposium be without its technical deep dives on the expanding Sitecore ecosystem? We’re looking forward to sessions like "Get started with Sitecore CDP today" and " A developer's look into Sitecore Experience Edge," which introduce two recent additions to Sitecore's product line. We’re also excited about "Privacy hot takes: (No more) cookies, building trust, and maximizing your first-party data advantage" which looks at building and maintaining trust with users who are more privacy conscious, "Our vision for content management," and "Our vision for experience and personalization" which lay out Sitecore's vision for how offerings like Content Hub and CDP expand its core competencies in content and experience management. But this just scratches the surface. Fortunately, most of these talks are "On Demand," so there’s time to catch up with a lot of very insightful content.
There will be many efforts to make up for the purely digital nature of the affair, with entertainment and digital booths. Last year featured lessons on making margaritas and small talk by comic Jake Johannsen. The pre-conference warms up for this year haven't been announced but should be equally entertaining. There are also great guest speakers like Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John who will be giving the talk "A Conversation with Badass Boz: Leadership, Creativity, and Success for the Future of Business,” and Grammy award-winner John Legend, who will be performing and speaking with Paige O'Neill.
Even though the event is digital, we’d still love to see you our booth. We're excited to sponsor Braindates—a new way for us to connect during this year's Symposium. With the Braindate platform we can interact in 1-on-1 or group settings about any topic. Bring your toughest technical challenges to our seasoned team of Principal Developers and watch us brainstorm a solution for you on the spot. Stumped by a Sitecore question, or just want to bounce creative ideas off a few Sitecore experts? Schedule a Braindate with one of our MVPs/Principal Developers!