“Version 9 is not only a big launch, it is a turning point of Sitecore.”

We spoke to our own Sitecore MVP Nina Anderson about the new release and what it means for ClerksWell clients.

So Nina, I know the ClerksWell development team have been excited to get their hands on Sitecore 9 but can you explain to our non-technical users what the fuss is all about?

Well, to be honest, there are a number of key developments that will make an immediate impact. I’m pretty excited about the Sitecore Experience Cloud with its improved hosting capabilities for people like us who develop on the Sitecore platform. There’s also some super clever changes in Coretex, the tech is getting smarter by using machine learning to provide marketers with the ability to understand exactly how content performs. All the while adapting it to engage their audience in a more useful way. It will also optimise user paths throughout the site.

Are there other features around marketing that our clients might be interested in?

Actually, there’s a huge range of exciting changes that I could highlight. We’ve recently run a workshop to introduce the advancements in marketing automation because there’s just so much to take on board. xConnect updates include a focus on the usual Sitecore strengths of personalisation, email & commerce. The upgrade also contains an easy to use toolset built for marketers with a lovely drag and drop interface. xConnect will also allow our clients to collect, connect and store data from campaigns as well as external data – continuously and in real-time – delivering an across-the-board view of customer action and behaviour.

Also I know everyone is talking about GDPR but it’s so much more that the issue du jour!  Although some of the jargon sounds like something out of Blade Runner, concepts like identity erasure and pseudonymization are going to become central to a compliant solution. With that in mind, Sitecore gives us what we need in xConnect – that’ll help keep our clients out of any danger areas and also help set new standards.

Anything we’ve missed?

Probably! There are some rather snazzy next-generation forms that let you painlessly create and manage form-based communications. This feature also includes an array of mobile-friendly drag-and-drop elements. Forms can be varied across the site and allow for full personalization with the data collected automatically feeding into the xDB in real-time.

Oh, and the upgraded migration and conversion tools mean that upgrading from your existing Sitecore version has never been easier. So there’s lots of upgrade planning going on here!

So what’s next?

The Sitecore experience is simply getter smarter. We know that future updates will include intelligent segmentation and automated personalization – that will really take marketing automation to the next level. Our team are also getting rather keen on the powerful so-called ‘headless’ capabilities – they let us develop for digital experiences on IoT, wearables, and other mobile devices.

Thanks Nina. What if people would like to know more about Sitecore or Clerkswell?

Well they should give me a call on (020) 7689 8800 or email hello@clerkswell.com.