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CMS-Connected Recaps Sitecore Symposium 2019

Last week, the CMS-Connected team was thrilled to take sunny Orlando, Fl. for Sitecore Symposium 2019. If you couldn’t already tell from our social media accounts, we had an outstanding time! The four-day event was filled with fascinating keynotes, insightful sessions, and attendees networking any chance they could. The theme of the week, ‘Human Connection in a Digital World’, was on everyone’s lips, and we loved hearing stories from Sitecore’s partners and customers about the ways in which they were seeing this human connection take form. On top of that, there were countless stories and examples of Sitecore’s technology being implemented in ways that were yielding incredible results.

CMS-Connected’s Stephen Medve and I were privileged to be invited to the Symposium to learn, connect, and, most importantly, host interviews of Sitecore’s executives, service partners, and customers to offer our audience a taste of what was happening at the extravaganza!

The Symposium kicked off Monday Sitecore Symposium 2019 in Orlandonight with an amazing welcome reception at the beautiful Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. The energy and buzz continued to ramp up Tuesday morning as Sitecore’s CEO, Mark Frost, took the main stage for his opening keynote in front of a packed and enthusiastic audience. Mark’s keynote carried with it the announcement that Sitecore will be moving to become a SaaS solution. Sitecore unveiled its timeline and product enhancements to begin the transformation to a SaaS offering, where it should make it faster and easier to develop digital experiences.

Together with his exciting SaaS announcement, Mark had one resounding message that he wanted to convey to the captive audience: “CX is the best way to gain competitive advantage.” We are keenly aware that everyone in the Digital Experience Platform (DXP) world is talking about customer experience (CX). How can it be made better? How can personalization reach the most effective level? Every organization, no matter the size, seeks that competitive advantage to achieve a superior DX. Thus, Mark’s commentary struck a chord and felt timely for the industry.

The theme of the human connection resonates with talking about CX. As Mark eloquently phrased it, “Human Connections are the heart of CX.” Mark then read out the number, 2,710, which represented the number of times CX was mentioned in earning calls this last quarter. It’s clearly evident that CX is first and foremost on Sitecore’s priority scale.
How does Sitecore deliver this customer experience? Queue another hot topic from the conference: personalization. Mark described personalization as two levels — personal and personalized. In other words, ‘Who am I, and what do I care about.’ The idea being, if you can answer these two fundamental questions about your customer, then you may have the secret sauce.

CX and personalization discussions are compelling; putting the two concepts into action is a different story altogether. If supreme CX and personalization were straightforward, then surely everyone would be basking in glorified customer experiences. Mark clearly stated the two main challenges are “implementing personalization and delivering experiences at scale.Not Impossible Company at Sitecore Symposium 2019

Mark also spoke of Sitecore’s answer to the so-called, ‘content crisis’, and the need for content at every digital channel with their Coveo partnership, and the strides Sitecore is making in AI with auto-personalization targets.

With the keynote speech wrapped up, the conference was launched, and enlivened attendees rushed the halls to attend the sessions that were highest on their list. The CMS-Connected team set off on our mission to record conversations with attendees from throughout the Sitecore stratosphere, including executives, partners, and customers.

We took a deep dive into the topic of Sitecore Business Optimization Strategies (SBOS) and heard first-hand accounts of how this service is helping customers to reach their fullest potential. Stay tuned to our CMS-Connected for all of the exciting interviews detailing what an impressive program SBOS truly is!

Another interesting segment CMS-Connected will be presenting is a video piece of snapshots around the partner pavilion, highlighting the Sitecore partners and sponsors of this incredible event.

All this content and more from Sitecore Symposium 2019 will be coming your way in the next couple of weeks, so be sure to watch for them on our website and social media channels.

Ending Thoughts

On a personal, I have to say; for my first experience attending a Sitecore Symposium, I was extremely impressed by the organization and the thought that was put into the details of this event. Not a moment was missed between the learning and the socialization aspects. I was also pleased to notice the number of women in attendance, and it was wonderful to see! Sitecore is very forward-thinking with their movement, Women of Sitecore. Sitecore’s CMO, Paige O’Neil and I, discuss this topic at length during our engaging interview.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the event that was put on by Sitecore and Valtech at Universal Studios on the Wednesday night. All attendees were treated to a night at the theme park — sans lineups — along with food and drinks at every turn. It was an incredible night to have some fun with co-workers, as well as both our familiar and new connections.

Thank you to everyone we interacted with at the conference. We love to meet and engage with all of our industry colleagues, and we always learn so much from everyone we encounter. We greatly appreciate everyone who participated in an interview with us, and we also thank those with who we shared incredible off-camera conversations. These interviews and conversations are the underpinnings of our presence at these events, and we cannot express how deeply we value your insights.

Finally, we would like to extend an enormous thank-you to the entire Sitecore team for inviting CMS-Connected to be part of Symposium 2019. Not only did Sitecore organize and host such an incredible event, but they were highly coordinated, friendly, and extremely helpful throughout the duration of the conference.

Erika Jones

Erika Jones

Erika Jones is a Tech Reporter and Content Marketer with CMSC Media. Erika enjoys combining her creativity with her technical skills through graphic design. She has a background in communications and marketing and has a flair for social media and content creation. Erika is an avid traveller and enjoys seeing firsthand how technology connects us all in business and pleasure.

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