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The Vision Behind Sitecore's Recent Acquisitions

According to data from a report by McKinsey Digital, the COVID-19 pandemic’s initial impact triggered a five-year leap forward in the adoption of digital experience solutions by consumers and businesses in a matter of just eight weeks. In its rise to meet the extraordinary pace of digital experience demand, Sitecore secured financial backing for a large-scale growth plan with a $1.2 billion investment in January 2021. This massive capital investment — reportedly the largest ever in the martech space — came less than five months after Steve Tzikakis was appointed the new CEO of Sitecore.

“As companies and consumers search for more seamless ways to communicate, coordinate and collaborate during this momentous period, Sitecore’s investment will supercharge product innovation in order to better enable deeper and more engaging experiences across the entire customer journey,” said Tzikakis. Tzikakis also stated that Sitecore is positioned for growth, achieving record revenues over its last three quarters. Fueled by the $1.2 billion cash injection, Sitecore is determined to further disrupt the digital experience market — from content to commerce — and secure the undisputed title as Leader in the DXP realm. 

This past March, Sitecore announced the acquisitions of Boxever and Four51, and in May, revealed its most recent acquisition of Moosend, a complementary platform to Boxever’s CDP and Four51’s B2B headless commerce solution. Upon completion of the procurements, Sitecore plans to invest in and grow Boxever’s Dublin and Four31’s Minneapolis headquarters, with their respective CEOs assuming leadership roles. At the same time, Moosend’s senior leadership and employees will also move over to Sitecore.
 

What Role Does Each Acquistion Play Within the Sitecore Business Ecosystem?
 

Boxever

Boxever is a SaaS-based Customer Data Platform (CDP) company providing decisioning and experimentation. Its 360-degree view of customers, advanced segmentation, and real-time decisioning will play a crucial role in marketing stacks and enhance Sitecore’s customer intelligence and AI-driven personalization tools. The augmentation will make it easier to capture and activate data and deliver personalized experiences at scale. “Joining forces with Sitecore creates a disruptive proposition that will redefine what’s possible for the industry, enabling organizations of all sizes to create seamless, data-driven experiences in any channel. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in Boxever through the contribution of our employees and partners, and we’re looking forward to this next chapter,” states David O’Flanagan, CEO at Boxever. Read More
 
Four51

Four51 delivers modern B2B and B2C experiences for enterprise brands. Its headless eCommerce solution enables enterprise organizations to quickly and seamlessly deliver engaging and appealing shopping experiences. Four51’s technologies will complement Sitecore’s existing B2C commerce capabilities with a solution that adds composable, headless commerce for tailoring to the unique needs of business buyers. “We share a vision with Sitecore to help our customers succeed in a digital-first world. Our employees and partners have worked tirelessly to provide organizations with a seamless, future-proof way to deliver innovative e-commerce experiences that help brands seize the digital opportunity — and this next stage is a testament to our focus on excellence,” states Mark Johnson, CEO at Four51. Read More
 

Moosend

Moosend is an innovative marketing automation and campaign management platform whose technologies complement Sitecore’s core offering to create personalization for modern enterprises. The combination will streamline Sitecore’s ability to engage and convert customer relationships to deliver personalized experiences across every channel and make it easier for marketers to deploy and measure campaigns and automate workflows across the entire customer journey. “I’m really excited to announce that Sitecore has acquired Moosend. A massive thank you to my team at Moosend — it has been a wonderful, fun ride so far, and it’s been a real privilege to have had the chance to lead such an awesome bunch of people. Really looking forward to our next chapter with Sitecore.” states Yannis Psarras, CEO at Moosend. Read More
 

CMS-Connected's Interview with Sitecore

I reached out to Shannon Lyman, Senior Director of Communications at Sitecore, to comment on the three acquisitions and gain insight into what’s coming down the pike for the remainder of 2021. Sitecore Shannon Lyman

What’s the overall vision behind the recent Sitecore funding and acquisitions? 

"This funding allows us to acquire brands with innovative technology that seamlessly integrate into Sitecore’s digital experience platform to deliver exceptional experiences across every touchpoint. These moves are designed to extend the scope of the Sitecore portfolio and be additive to customers and partners, who we are working closely with to build plans unique to each organization’s needs. Sitecore’s recent acquisitions are suited to help us build the industry’s first fully integrated, end-to-end SaaS-based digital experience platform.  Altogether, we are creating an exciting future for experience-minded brands to thrive in the coming decades."

How are the acquisitions expected to impact the ongoing development of the three acquired platforms as well as Sitecore’s current product lines?

"Sitecore will continue to support our customers’ investments in each of the acquired platforms as we integrate them within the Sitecore portfolio. These acquisitions, coupled with the $1.2 billion investment we received earlier this year, have allowed us to expand our R&D and innovation teams. These teams are looking across our entire solution set and are accelerating the development of new capabilities, as well as the scale of Sitecore’s marketing, sales, services, and support resources."

In the recent Forrester Wave for Agile CMS 2021-Q1 Report, Sitecore was positioned as a Strong Performer. Forester stated that Sitecore offers solid user tools and a strong community but waits on full headless. Why the wait, and will this be part of the product enhancements later in 2021?

"Actually, there is no wait. Every Forrester Wave is a point-in-time assessment, and this report considered generally available products in Sitecore’s portfolio as of Fall 2020. We released Sitecore Experience Edge in February, offering our customers a fully headless, SaaS-based content delivery network built on top of the superior content repository of Sitecore Content Hub. Best of all, Sitecore Experience Edge is designed to be used with our existing Sitecore Headless Services options that support hybrid-headless architectures using React, Vue, Angular, .NET Core, and Next.js frameworks. Altogether, it’s an unmatched, no-compromises approach to experience delivery that caters to the needs of both developers and content practitioners."

Final Thoughts

The CMS marketplace is an ever-evolving domain where platform vendors must continually reinvent themselves or risk a slow but sure death. By implementing an acquisition strategy, businesses like Sitecore considerably benefit from gaining needed assets to fill critical service gaps and continue providing new digital experiences to their customers and partner agencies. Great thought and care are also required with this approach due to the inherent risk of creating a clash of different cultures for the employees, a distraction for management, and loss of confidence by the customers if the acquired technologies do not work seamlessly with a core ecosystem.

For me, these Sitecore acquisitions certainly check off all the right boxes for the opportunity to grow its market footprint, improve revenues, and increase consumer and shareholder confidence. It may take a few years to fully realize the positive or negative impacts that Boxever, Four51, and Moosend bring to Sitecore’s portfolio. Although Sitecore couldn’t confirm or share details of potential acquisition targets on the horizon, I sense there may yet be more to come.

Gary Eisenstein

Gary Eisenstein

Gary has been working in the IT industry for over 26-years and is a Principal Analyst at CMS-Connected Media Corp. and is the Founder and CEO of Falcon-Software Company. If you would like to receive additional advice or consultation on how to evolve your digital transformation journey, Gary can be reached at gary.eisenstein@cmscmedia.com.