Sitecore Symposium 2022 Recap
“Great to see you again!”
This was a phrase we heard a lot at Sitecore Symposium 2022 in Chicago, the first in person version of their largest annual conference since 2019. After two years of virtual events, it was great to reconnect face-to-face and experience everything that makes the Sitecore community so unique.
As always, there were major announcements within the various keynotes, and the breakout sessions provided insight into key features and product strategies. Here are some things that stood out to the Nishtech team:
XM Cloud is the new XP
Although launched with limited availability earlier this year, Sitecore XM Cloud got a reintroduction to the Sitecore community as a cloud-native, modern CMS with enhancements and new features. XM Cloud is being positioned as the path forward from XP, but it’s not a straightforward path to get from one to the other.
XM Cloud is a big deal for Sitecore as it is a true SaaS CMS. What this means for customers is that they no longer need to worry about time-consuming, expensive upgrade projects as Sitecore will manage those. Additionally, XM Cloud will contain advanced personalization and testing features, an improved content and page management interface, and integrated real-time analytics.
The NOW is composable
"We believe in a future where brands can assemble as stack as unique as their business."
Sitecore Chief Product Officer Dave O’Flanagan introduced the reorganization of the product portfolio by setting their vision for the evolving composable DXP. Sitecore products are now grouped into product “clouds”: Content Cloud, Engagement Cloud, and Commerce Cloud.
Each cloud is focused on a group of relevant products. Content Cloud contains products that help create and manage content. Engagement Cloud is focused on content sharing and personalization. Finally, Commerce Cloud groups OrderCloud with Sitecore Discover and is focused on B2B, B2C, and Marketplace ecommerce.
In doing this, Sitecore is putting all their chips on the composable play. Rather than positioning the product line as part of one monolithic system, each product becomes a piece of the digital puzzle unique to each customer, and companies can pick whichever product or products that fit their needs.
The Sitecore Cloud Portal provides a centralized hub for administrators to manage team members and their access to the various Sitecore apps.
New product offerings
Sitecore introduced three new SaaS, cloud-native products:
- Content Hub One – this is Sitecore’s new headless CMS that’s targeted towards customers that need a more streamlined content management experience. This lightweight platform provides basic content editing capabilities and due to its headless nature provides the ability to deliver content across multiple digital channels.
- Sitecore Search – this AI-powered product is based on the recent acquisition Reflektion and incorporates the Sitecore Discover infrastructure. With this addition, Sitecore now provides personalized search experiences with predictive search intent, and promises “blazing fast” results because it doesn’t index the CMS itself. This also allows it to be a composable plug-and-play component that will integrate with any website.
- Sitecore Connect – this product embodies the concept of composability by allowing the integration of Sitecore products with other solutions through a drag-and-drop interface. It will come with more than 1,000 pre-built connectors and will also provide the ability for community members to provide their own. It aims to reduce the friction involved in integration work to allow companies the flexibility to build out their martech stack.
10.3 is up next
Sitecore announced the release of DXP version 10.3, followed by 10.4 in the next year or so. The path beyond that is unclear.
Some of the improvements in 10.3 seem to be nudging customers toward XM Cloud as they’ve pulled some innovations down into the newest DXP version, such as the addition of support for modern REST and GraphQL APIs to enable modern developer workflows and integrations. Web hooks have replaced code-based configurations and customizations to minimize upgrade issues. Headless Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) and Next.js components have been added to accelerate headless adoption and improve site performance. Finally, new services have been added to the Managed Cloud offering that should make it easier to host your site in the Sitecore cloud.
What’s right for you?
The easy answer is it depends. The longer answer is that there are many factors that need to be considered, and this is where I put in the plug to engage with us so we can help you make the right decision that best meets your needs. To help you wade through it all we’ve created an infographic that attempts to break down decisions into digestible bits.
FLEX Product Information Management
At this year’s Symposium we were proud to introduce FLEX, a cloud-based product information management system built on Sitecore OrderCloud. This flexible PIM is feature-loaded out of the box and allows marketing teams to start managing and distributing product data from day one without requiring developer resources.
Because it’s built on OrderCloud it’s a natural fit for companies undergoing digital transformations with ecommerce. We presented a breakout session in Chicago titled Outside the Box: Harnessing the Headless Flexibility of OrderCloud to Drive an Online Business which spotlighted a case study with an online pet food retailer. OrderCloud’s flexible customization capabilities provided the framework for a fully functional enterprise PIM and served as the foundational architecture for a truly composable end-to-end solution.
Launched in partnership with GO2 Partners, FLEX is ideal for manufacturers who are selling B2B through distribution, or for companies that are utilizing online marketplaces to manage inventory for franchisees or distributors.
Visit flexpim.com to learn more about FLEX or to sign up for a free, no-obligation demo.
Another successful Sitecore Symposium
Sitecore has always put on a great show and this year was no different. We learned a lot about the direction they are taking, and we’re excited about the focus on composable solutions due to the flexibility it provides to our clients.
If you have questions about the new products or have a project that requires Sitecore expertise, drop us a line – we’d love to hear from you.