Progress Sitefinity Customers on Cloud & B2B Online Experience
While attending my first ever ProgressNEXT 2018 event was nothing short of exciting, I was able to gain greater insight on Progress Sitefinity by getting a better understanding of how customers are using their platform. Laura and I gathered four informative interviews below which I’m excited to share with our CMS-Connected audience.
To kick things off, Laura sat down with Ramiro Millan, Head of Accedia’s North American Operations, to discuss their relationship with Progress Sitefinity, how to prepare your customers for the cloud and some of the biggest challenges businesses are facing.
Accedia Prepares Customers for the Cloud
Accedia is a technology company specializing in IT consulting, software development outsourcing and complex end-to-end solutions. A trusted software provider for customers in more than 15 countries on 4 continents, the company works with leading banks & insurance providers, international financial institutions, large manufacturing enterprises, Fortune 100 IT companies and innovative technology startups.
Accedia has been a Progress Sitefinity customer for many years when they actually did some consulting for Progress “It came organically and we took the website we had at Accedia and created it on Sitefinity as a test to see how well the CMS functioned and it worked really well. Our developers liked developing on it so we just expanded the relationship from there.” Said Ramiro.
One of Accedia’s technology offerings is their cloud solutions and IoT therefore, we asked Ramiro how he prepares customers to get ready for the cloud when deciding what is right for them and the goal they are trying to achieve in the end. Creating a hybrid approach, as Ramiro mentions, is the way customers can keep their server locations “and then slowly migrate them to the cloud until they are completely ready to move over” he says. Ramiro brought up a good point that this process should be a slow progression and not something that’s done quickly because many people still believe that “speed does not equal secure, but the cloud is fast and now secure as well” At the end of the day, you want customers to feel at ease and comfortable when making this decision.
Now that many businesses are making the move over to the cloud, we asked Ramiro his thoughts on the biggest challenges that companies face when doing so, especially for the “mom and pop” shops. Ramiro mentions that “In the cloud, its setting up their load balancing correctly for something like Sitefinity and understanding how much traffic is coming through their website. Figuring how to take their years of data that they have on their servers and moving it to the cloud and how to save cycles so their bills don’t skyrocket”. That is one of the biggest challenges Ramiro brings up as well as the cultural challenges of trying to train your staff and telling them “the server is no longer there, it’s somewhere up there and they have to manage it in a different way”.
ROC Commerce Gains Momentum in the B2B Space
I was excited to speak with Doug Dillon, VP of Business Development at ROC Commerce. ROC Commerce is an enterprise-grade e-commerce software platform that delivers powerful and highly intuitive solutions to meet all omni-channel and omni-device needs. Not only does ROC Commerce Services Partners work with over 300 companies from around the world, the platform also “seamlessly integrates with Progress Sitefinity CMS.” ROC Commerce also works with a lot of customers that use ERP systems that run on the Progress Open Edge platform.
As I quickly became immersed into my conversation with Doug, I was curious if ROC Commerce had any exciting projects or case studies that they have previously worked on. Doug mentioned that just a week before the event, ROC Commerce launched a website for State Electric Supply Co., a B2B electrical supply distributor in West Virginia. Their large supply catalogue has over 100,000 products which was a perfect fit to run on the Progress ERP database.
ROC Commerce is built for both B2B and B2C customers but has noticed a lot of momentum primarily in the B2B space. “I think it’s done well in B2B specifically within distribution because a lot of our customers are ultimately doing more than just selling products, they’ve got services that they offer to their customers and we can handle through the Sitefinity CMS, we can handle all the content around that” The State Electric project was a great example for what the platform can handle such as large product catalogues and a great search capability.
Wärtsilä on B2B and Personalization
Wärtsilä, a global technology and lifecycle solutions leader for the marine and energy markets with over 200 locations worldwide, bet its marketing future on the notion that the B2B world needs more personalized digital experiences to drive business. On day two of the breakout sessions, Maud Bernard, Digital Marketing Manager at Wärtsilä talked about how they were able to rethink and refine the customer journey with highly tailored experiences to more quickly and effectively convert large industrial prospects into customers.
“Personalization is all about the right content for the right people at the right time” said Maud. Accedia uses personalization to “prioritize their business interests and provide the most relevant content that will drive interest and engagement at the end” so for this reason Maud believes that this is the main driving factor that will help reach their goals and their conversion rate.
Smarter Commerce Focuses on B2B Customer Base
Smarter Commerce is a leader in unified eCommerce and content which includes credit card processing, eCommerce, POS and cell center solutions that serves Oracle and JD Edwards ERP customers. I had the chance to sit down with B2B and B2C expert, Fermin Rodriguez, Founder and Managing Director at Smarter Commerce to hear a little bit about the company and the upcoming trends that he sees on the horizon. Fermin gave me a little background on how the relationship began and said Smarter Commerce reached out to Progress Sitefinity about 5 years ago because they wanted to bring eCommerce and content together.
“We built our entire B2B and B2C multichannel commerce platform with Progress and our integration through the Oracle ERP solutions.” said Fermin. Their focus is on B2B and B2C but their core customer base tends to be more on the B2B side. “B2B tends to have other complexities. You tend to have more challenges around the relationship with the customer, and they can be contractional relationships with very complex rules for pricing, availability of product and how you fulfil the product. So it’s a different challenge in the B2B world” said Fermin.
B2C tends to focus a lot more on commerce other than B2B in terms of direct engagement, so I was curious to hear Fermin’s thoughts on what trends or changes that we will see in the space. “Ultimately, I think the trend is concepts from B2C are now finding their way into B2B and companies are expected to deliver much more engaging experiences in the B2B world.”