Exclusive Video Interviews with Progress Executives
The team, here at CMSC Media enjoyed our time spent at ProgressNEXT 2019 in sunny Orlando, FL, and the incredible conversations that we were able to engage in. The four-day gathering consisted of inspiring keynotes and thoughtful sessions, while the attendees, ranging from customers, partners, and executives, networked and absorbed all that the event had to offer. CMSC Media's Gabriella Pirrone and I were able to connect with many of the people in attendance to pick their brains about CMS and trends in digital business. We are pleased to share some of the exclusive interviews that we recorded during the event.
In this first installment, we introduce some key members from the Progress Software (Progress) executive team to discuss industry trends and some of the processes happening at Progress. Watch the interviews recorded live at the ProgressNEXT 2019 event below!
Dion Picco – VP of Product Management
CMSC Media was pleased to once again speak with Dion Picco, and we were interested in hearing an update about his main focuses from when we sat down with him at ProgressNEXT 2018. We asked Dion about his 2019 session topic: Digital Experience Platform (DXP). Dion said he aims to “get people aligned with what people are trying to do with digital experience projects, not just the platform itself.” He told us that, often, the goal of digital experience projects is “driving towards automation, reducing manual labor, improving and scaling our business processes.” Basically, to get people thinking about what problems they want to solve with a DXP solution rather than just looking at it as a continuation of WCM. In Dion’s session, he focused on “the data integration and the data analytics portion of DXP. Not just content delivery, but omnichannel content delivery, and then really focusing on the other part of it, which is how I deploy logic and process.” Dion’s stance on where DXP is going stayed very much on trend with what seemed to be the theme of the week, accelerating digital innovation. He even finished up his thought by telling us that DXP “isn’t just an evolution of WCM, but it really is about driving digital innovation and digital experience in general.”
At the 2019 event, Progress enthusiastically announced Sitefinity CMS 12. The new Sitefinity release promises increased productivity and a cloud-based platform. We asked Dion about the announcement and what it meant for Progress. “I think getting the platform to the cloud was an important key step,” Dion told us. “We’ve been really known for the productivity of Sitefinity, and the fact that you don’t have to manage any infrastructure at this point, you don’t need to manage or upgrade the software at this point, it just really takes that productivity to the next level.” It is clear that with the release of Sitefinity 12, Progress is looking to make their products more streamlined and efficient, while keeping the high quality and retaining the customization features to which their customers have become accustomed. “We’re excited to increase the productivity that [the] platform delivers, and I think with Sitefinity, it’s really the best release we’ve ever done in terms of quality, features, and everything else behind it.”
In winding up our discussion, we were keen to bring up the fact that Progress has won the Gartner Peer Insights award. Being that it is the second year in a row that they have received this honor, we wanted to find out what the most meaningful takeaways were from Dion himself. “Getting the Peer Insights, is like hearing from customers, their success stories, and the fact that we rank higher than our competitors really says we’re doing something right.” Progress customers love their products, and that is a great accomplishment for the software company. Obviously, being recognized by Gartner is a notable achievement when in this space, and it is made that much sweeter when the honor comes from your peer group. “People get great organizational scale out of using Sitefinity, both in terms of its productivity, or adoption machine learning, and just the overall use of it, as a platform for marketers in general. Having that acknowledgment from Gartner, from the peers, and the readers of Gartner, to me, in some ways, is more valuable because it’s the people that derive real business value out of it. They’ve spent their money on it, and they’re happy with that purchase, then, we wouldn’t choose anything else. For us, we love that.”
Tanya O’Connor – Sr. Manager of Product Marketing
CMSC Media connected with Tanya O'Connor, Sr. Manager of Product Marketing, to hear a different perspective on key Progress happenings. Tanya described Progress to us from a marketing standpoint as, “enterprise solutions that run the gamut in terms of what they've done to the market from app dev., to the WCM, to business rules, and data connectivity. But ultimately, together, what they do is they help to drive digital experience in digital transformation organizations.” Tanya’s marketing role in this is, “driving information [into their] customer base and general market to understand how products can bring value.”
Marketing is an essential part of any organization, and software is no different. “We're sort of the eyes and ears of what's happening within the marketplace, and we bring that back into Progress.” The communication between customers and the organization creates a better understanding of how to serve their customers better. The communication and marketing side of Progress is undoubtedly a contributing factor to receiving the Gartner Peer Insights award.
Gabriella wrapped up the interview by asking Tanya what challenges she saw marketers facing right now. Tanya explained the requirement for a “seamless, integrated experience for customers.” It’s about customers’ needs being specifically tailored to each individual, creating the best possible customer experience. The challenge ends up being the ability to build a digital experience that can be aligned with specific customers in an agile and relevant way. “We now have to develop content and information, and make it relevant to what's happening now, that can be really difficult to be able to do so, and to be able to do so quickly, and be able to make sure that it's connected."
Thank you to Dion and Tanya for your conversations with us here, at CMSC Media. From these interviews, we can definitely see that Progress is focused on digital innovation and creating comprehensive, feature-rich software for their customers. Progress’s ingenuity, coupled with a marketing team committed to building individual customer experiences, creates a digital ecosystem where individuality and functionality come first. Stay tuned for more exclusive video interviews from Progress partners and customers at ProgressNEXT 2019.