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Sitecore 9 Takes the Digital Journey to an Entirely New Level

Intelligent Content.

At Consensus, we continue to evangelize digital transformation with a focus around the customer journey, which is why we are encouraging our clients to upgrade to Sitecore 9.

We help companies expand their thinking in ways that will increase the value of their brand, promote customer acquisition opportunities, and decrease support needs.

As part of our methodology, we place heavy emphasis on three important feasibilities – operational, financial and technical. Does the organization have the staff to support the ideas (operational)? Budget to implement the ideas (financial)? Or, technology to make it happen (technical)?

As a Sitecore implementer since 2008, we’re happy to see Sitecore’s latest release, version 9, comes with significant advancements in marketing automation, data connectivity, personalization and machine learning (Sitecore Cortex). These sets of advancements create a limitless set of technical possibilities for our clients.

Let’s explore how these advancements can shape the experience for your users:

Sitecore 9 Headless Capabilities

Sitecore 9 Javascript Services (JSS) allow for a headless solution design, decoupling presentation layer from the underlying platform. This allows developers to build the presentation layer using well-known Javascript UI
frameworks such as Angular or React, while preserving the valuable features of Sitecore such as Experience Editor, testing, personalization and analytics. Dynamic placeholders (long overdue) allows the development team to add much richer conditional logic into markup, allowing for complex nested page layouts.

In addition, end-to-end security by default enables encryption for all data at rest and in transport throughout the application.

Cloud Strategy

Sitecore Cloud on Azure offers great efficiency in your ability to deploy and scale your site, while eliminating “on-prem” expenses. Using native Azure services and a pay-as-you-go usage-based model can increase time-to-market initiatives. With xDB support for SQL 2016 and Azure Search in version, Sitecore deployment entirely in Azure is easier than ever.

On-premise and IaaS models are always an option, but a PaaS deployment may provide significant advantages for many organizations.

Data Connectivity

For organizations looking to re-align along a more centralized data strategy, Sitecore 9 has enhanced its tools and connectivity needed to play a strategic role and contribute highly valuable data.

Sitecore 7 and 8 introduced xDB, a flexible and powerful database for collecting behavior across the customer journey. Sitecore 9 now supports xConnect, a web API-based service layer making it easier to pull in and push out xDB data to all channels and external business systems. This makes it much easier to personalize CRM data or connect to IoT devices.

More Robust Support for GDPR Legislation

Sitecore 9 offers mechanisms that make it easier for teams to comply, such as personally identifiable information (PII) flags on Contact fields considered PII-sensitive, and built-in functions such as “Right to be Forgotten” which anonymizes a Contact.

Machine Learning (Cortex)

Sitecore 9 introduces the ability to embed machine learning (ML) logic directly into the application with Cortex, which has been described as “your personal data scientist” inside Sitecore 9 (an automated “Barnalytics,” as we like to think of it.) Machine learning offers tremendous value to the overall journey by:

Replacing human judgement with prediction or pattern recognition (example: automated personalization)
Discovering new patterns and segments that were previously unidentified (e.g., segment discovery)

Refactored Marketing Automation Capabilities

While marketing automation tends to be over-hyped in “CMS” solutions, the refactoring of the Forms and Automation Module are impressive releases (and both shipping as part of the core product). Redesigned with more intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces and enhanced functionality (conditional form logic is easier than ever), marketers can use these tools hand-in-hand to drive automated lead generation and nurturing as well as the capture of valuable customer data and integrations with CRM.

To learn more about how Sitecore 9 can transform your customer’s experience, contact us today.

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