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TECHNOLOGY What’s in your Sitecore stack?

One of the topics I’m most excited to discuss at this week's Sitecore Symposium is the role of Sitecore's Experience Platform in the broader MarTech ecosystem. 

As Sitecore’s product has evolved into a capable “Experience Platform,” the marketing technology landscape that surrounds it continues to expand. The now famous Supergraphic from Scott Brinker highlights more than 5,000 solutions to sift though. Our agency alone uses more than 20 solutions (pictured below) to support our business. 

Connective DX Stackie 2016

What is Sitecore’s role alongside thousands of MarTech solutions?
From the start, Sitecore’s strength was its ability to integrate with external platforms and applications. This technical capability has been key a differentiator over the years.  

Fast forward to 2017 and Sitecore’s Experience Platform now plays a business-critical role as a hub in this ecosystem as marketers rely on CMS to support the end-to-end customer journey. As its capabilities have grown to overlap functionality found in some point solutions, it’s important to take advantage of Sitecore's connected features as well as its integration capabilities. 

We frequently hear from organizations seeking to gain clarity on the relationship between Sitecore, Marketing Automation, E-mail, CRM, Analytics, Testing and Commerce (not to mention many others). 

In many cases, Sitecore can support the majority of this core functionality, but for others it needs to integrate. The good news is that it can (and in most cases should) do both. Most organizations have made significant investments in these point solutions and want a holistic approach MarTech that integrates them appropriately. 

I’m excited to see the evolution of Sitecore’s product roadmap continue to focus on both offering more connected capabilities, as well as better ways to integrate. 

What’s on Tap at Sitecore Symposium?
Looking at the packed Symposium agenda, there are numerous sessions focused on the role of Sitecore in the MarTech ecosystem. Here are some of the sessions I’m most excited about:

Guest Keynote Speaker: Kirsten Newbold-Knipp
Wednesday at 8 am Gartner’s Research Director Kristen Newbold-Knipp kicks off Wednesday morning with a presentation on how to improve customer experience with modern MarTech capabilities. Her talk promises to help attendees take action to move them beyond improved websites to enhanced customer journeys that can yield business results and brand advocacy. 
 
Technical Deep Dive: Extending xConnect
Wednesday at 10 am 
I’m excited to learn more about how to extend xConnect in integrating external data with xDB. This talk from the chief architect will share tips on how to get the most out of this new Sitecore service. I will attend this session realizing that anything with “Technical Deep Dive” in the title will likely require a translation from one of our MVPs. 
 
Achieving a Unified Digital Experience Using Federated Experience Manager
Wednesday at 11:15
I’ve always considered Federated Experience Manager one of the most overlooked features of Sitecore. It’s ability to help gain a more complete view of the customer across different properties offers many opportunities to integrate with additional sites and marketing technology solutions. I’ll be attending this session with the goal of learning more about how FXM can better support more complex personalization scenarios. 

 
Maximizing Your Sitecore Investment beyond CMS
Wednesday @ 11:15 am
Panels can be hit or miss at conferences, but I’m excited to hear multiple perspectives on how different organizations have configured Sitecore to meet unique business goals. We’re promised to see some customizations that we don’t normally see.
 
Technical Deep Dive: Building Connectors with Sitecore Data Exchange Framework

Wednesday @ 1:45 pm
Our MVPs have been talking about the Data Exchange Framework for awhile now and I’m looking forward to getting a first-hand view into how it helps incorporate third-party data into Sitecore. 
 
Sitecore & IoT (Internet of Things)
Wednesday @ 3:15 pm
Looking to more advanced integration scenarios across connected devices, I’m happy to see this session on the agenda. This panel will discuss how to integrate Sitecore with an IoT ecosystem,including putting the data to work with machine learning and AI. 


See you at Symposium
I’m looking forward to these sessions and connecting with the Sitecore community. I’d love to connect personally with anyone interested how Sitecore can support customer experience in partnership with additional solutions. Please feel free to connect on Twitter at @jeffcram

 

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