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Marketing has changed dramatically over the last decade. With customer insights and experience management across all touch points becoming increasingly important, the need for a truly integrated marketing technology is becoming more and more vital for the business.
My name is… and I would like to give you a conceptual and technical introduction to the Sitecore Experience Platform.
There is little doubt that investments in marketing technology is increasing and getting branding, customer experiences and communications right is very important for businesses today.
Statistics show that most marketers and designer would suggest a visual redesign every 2-3 years while people think a website refresh is needed every 1—2 years.
With the emergence of web content management systems and the consolidation of content, the need for major investments in technology has been prolonged, and today we see most businesses changing their web content management platform on a 3-5 year basis.
In the latter years marketing systems are moving more into the core of the business. The systems are no longer merely acting as a management portal for the presentation channels, but are actually providing vital insights and analytics which is used to steer the business.
Choosing a platform not only flexible enough to drive the customer experience all channels now and in the future, but also give those valuable customer insights is becoming increasingly important.
There has been much talk about the roles of the CMS and CIO since Gartner announced that the CMO would outspend the CIO by 2017. The fact is that that marketing is becoming an increasingly technology focused area, and with the huge focus on customer data, insights and analytics, the need for traditional IT processes is becoming increasingly important. This in turn means that collaboration between the traditional CIO role and the traditional CMO role becomes more and more essential.
The marketing technology landscape is incredibly fragmented. This diagram spans over 1800 vendors but more notably spanning 43 categories. This often makes the marketing platform a patchwork, stitched together in a bespoke and complex manner. And IT often uses resources on keeping the platform running and upgraded – not extending and enriching it. Furthermore the marketing organisation is stuck with tools which are hard to use together and often gives a fragmented view of the customer.
There is little doubt that marketing efforts today has to be centred around the customer. To succeed in the modern marketplace, you have to provide personalised, compelling customer experiences – for to do this, you have to be truly obsessed with knowing your customers.
And in this context, integration is key. For us to have a truly complete view of the customer, we need to collect and integrate relevant customer data from all touch points and systems across the organisation, be it website or mobile behaviour, online or offline commerce interactions, CRM, Call Centers, ERP or anything else.
But collecting or even analysing this data is not the end goal. We need this data to be actionable. We need the marketing system to provide not only intelligent insights but actually drive business decisions and automate processes – all in a intuitive and manageable way.
And finally we need those insights to drive the customer experience across all touch points and channels. Effectively delivering the right content to the right customer at the right time – and on the right channel.
And this is precisely what the Sitecore Experience Platform aims at.
The Sitecore Experience Platform is a platform evolved over many years as a single connected platform. Sitecore as a company and platform is not grown by acquisition, hence users wont have to switch between different part of the product and in terms of technology there is no patchwork of integration or multiple frameworks underneath. Sitecore is truly one connected marketing platform.
From the onset, the architecture of the system is built for extension and integration, This means everything from authentication and authorization over to content integration and customer data is built to be integrated with existing systems – whether 3rd party standard systems through our supported modules or bespoke in-house systems.
Sitecore has been around since 2001 and since 2008 here in ANZ. Not only do we have offices in 5 location in Australia and New Zealand and over 30 offices around the world, we also have over 1500 partners worldwide and 100 partner companies locally available to support you. With over 35000 websites in all business verticals running Sitecore, we have a truly proven track record.
Sitecore and the Sitecore platform has its origin back in 2001 has grown organically over the last decade. Back in the original version, the foundation was laid for the platform running today and some of the disruptive patented architecture is still very much present in the platform today, this includes the strong focus on flexibility and integration as well as the presentation layer technology which allows the platform to share content across all channels including web, mobile, apps and even offline print.
2. With the introduction of the Online Marketing suite back in 2009, Sitecore disrupted the marketspace again by giving the traditional web CMS a customer centric focus and moving into personalisation.
3. With version 7, we enhanced the platform further, introducing an advanced search and faceting framework into the platform. This allowed us to not only surface search and faceting on the website, but also allowed the platform to integrate or store massive content repositories with no or little apparent structure in the platform.
4. Content and campaign management can require a lot of work and many marketing technologies do not lend a hand in making these processes easier. In Sitecore our vision is allow marketers to overcome the workload and complexities of management and focus their time on creating value for the business. In version 7.1 and 7.2 we added SPEAK, a user interface framework which forms the basis for moving from the traditional management and data centred tools over to business process based tools.
5. With the introduction of the Sitecore Experience Database we enhanced the Online Marketing System introduced in 2009 even further. The platform can now integrate with all customers touchpoints, effectively storing behaviour and integrations across all channels and data from all systems, thereby truly giving a single view of the customer.
6. With the release of Sitecore 8, the strides we made in the previous version has really come together, and with the additions of for example experience analytics and advanced segmentation tools, Sitecore now delivers the industry’s only truely integrated customer experience platform.
Sitecore is now a platform truly delivering on the marketing promise to deliver to the right message to the right customer at the right time and on the right channel.
Sitecore empowers the organisation, giving access to all business and marketing content, complete data insight into your customers, control over the experiences across all channels and delivering tools which fits the processes and workflows in your organisation.
The Content Management component of Sitecore, or rather the Sitecore Experience Management tools is based on a content centric approach. This means that the organisation is free to organise and manage the content in a way which fits the business while reusing content across channels and presenting it in a customer centric fashion. The platform offers supported and best practise integrations for many types of systems including Digital Asset Management systems and document and collaboration tools. This means that vast repositories can be integrated seamlessly into Sitecore and the content be used across all of the Sitecore tools and channels. The Content Management platform includes state of the art support for versioning, workflows and languages across all content and assets and content can be secured both internally and on the public facing channels. Sitecore CMS also offers and integrates with commerce platforms to bring a single customer experience platform across all online and commerce channels.
The Sitecore Experience Database is where all relevant customer data and interactions are integrated and stored. It gives us not only access to the individual customers and powers personalisation and marketing automations, but also gives us aggregated analytics and insights on customer behaviour and campaigns. Integrated with not only the in-house systems such as CRM or call centres, but also with third party data such as geo-location, demographics or social media, the Sitecore Experience Database will be your marketing powercenter. The Sitecore Experience Database also offers bi-directional integration, for example providing valuable behavioural profiling of the customers back to the sales or support organisation or pushing data back to the enterprise business intelligence systems in the organisation.
The Sitecore Process Enablement and Acceleration Kit, SPEAK, is a framework which forms the foundation for the process based tools in Sitecore. SPEAK also allows partners and developers to build business specific tools fitting a single organisation and targeting specific roles such as analyst, marketers or subject-matter or channel responsible editors.
Sitecore brings all the tools and data together to form the personal and relevant experience for your customers across web and mobile, native mobile apps, email, social media, offline print, commerce and even third on party online channels though our Federated Experience Manager.
The Sitecore Experience Platform is a single marketing platform, integrated to fulfil the digital marketing needs for the organisation across all channels and giving a truly complete view of the customers.
Lets take a dive into some of the specific channels and highlight how Sitecore lets marketing to control a personalised multi-channel presence.
Through the power of the Sitecore presentation and personalisation engine, Sitecore allows you to create a compelling experience across devices. The reusable nature of the content database allows the same content and assets to be applied across devices both in a responsive and adaptive format. The power to shape the customer experience is in the hands of the marketing organisation and the creative teams – without restrictions.
Sitecore offers marketing automation and email support as a native integrated channel. This means that segmentation and targeting of campaigns can happen though the Sitecore experience platform and will be powered by the same customer data which drives personalisation and insights. Furthermore this allows the business to get insights into the true value of a campaign, not just click or open rates, and measure the value of the email channel all the way to purchase or acquision.
Acknowleging the business specific demands in the commerce space, Sitecore not only offers our own commerce offering, Sitecore Commerce Server, but also delivers an integration framework and vendor agnostic approach which we have called Commerce Connect. Brings the commerce concepts into Sitecore. Orders, Products, Customers, Basket, Loyalty, Wish lists, Merchandise, etc. and allows you to manage and enrich the experience on your commerce channels. Commerce Connect integrates commerce actions such as browsing products, putting products into the basket and the checkout flow into the Experience Database and customer experience platform and thereby lets you optimise and personalise the shopping experience.
The Sitecore Print Experience Manager is the conduit by which digital content can become print content. Through PXM, Sitecore serves as the central content hub with connectors for Adobe InDesign and InCopy, but PXM also contains a web-based interface for marketers and a connector to InDesign Server for automation of asset creation. The Sitecore Print Experience Manager can save an organization great amounts time and money by managing content for both offline and online in a central repository, and by controlling print content through the Sitecore workflow and versioning features.
Finally through Sitecore Social the organization can understand social ad spend, understand what you customers are doing on social channels and reuse content across social platforms.
Lets have a closer look at the technology behind the platform.
Sitecore is built primarily on the Microsoft Technology Stack and is dedicated to its patterns and practises.
The primary technologies powering the platform are Microsoft.NET, Microsoft Windows, SQL server and ASP.NET, but also industry leading technologies such as the search and indexing framework Lucene and the highly scalable NoSQL database MongoDB is part of the platform. Secondarily, Sitecore has native connectors and integrations to many Microsoft technologies such as Azure, Sharepoint, CRM, AX and ActiveDirectory.
These technologies speaks primarily to our dedication and collaboration with Microsoft as a close technology partner, but also highlights the extensibility and breadth of the platform.
Overall, the Sitecore consists of three system components:
1: The Sitecore Experience Platform is the content management and content delivery platform servicing content editors and visitors across different channels. This component is built as a standard Microsoft .NET web application and is running on a windows environment, setup and scaled using the best practises and standards defined by Microsoft. 2: The Content databases are running on Microsoft SQL server or Oracle, and can be provisioned using standard practices and recommended. 3: The final component, The Sitecore Experience Database, is a composite component hosting the potentially vast customer and interaction database and powering the personalisation, automation, analytics and insights of Sitecore.
Lets look into the Sitecore Experience Database to see how it works and what powers it…
The concept of the single Customer View is being thrown around by all customer related system vendor these days. The truth is that each system often is relying the information from their own channels and will therefore only see just a slice of the customer and never achieve complete customer insight.
To truly achieve a single view of the customer in every single systems, they would all have to be integrated to each other which is simply not practically possible and would often not even lend even value to individual systems.
The Sitecore Experience Database or xDB is built to serve as a single integration point for marketing related customer data, bi-directionally consuming and feeding data to all customer related systems. This allows each of the systems to get the insight to the customers they need to create compelling and valuable customer experiences.
Through the Experience Profile in the Sitecore Experience Database, view we can find and investigate each individual customer and through the timeline drill down into every individual interaction across customer touchpoints. So the Sitecore Experience Database gives us a very granular view of the customer.
We can also investigate the customer experience through aggregate views to understand how the business is performing, how you can improve and optimise the experience.
Sitecore 8 provides a brand new, flexible Experience Analytics platform with an extensive suite of reports to give you those insights.
As mentioned, to power a true single customer view, we need integration, so we need all the customer related systems to contribute relevant information to the Sitecore Experience Database. 1: The data is collected through a standard integrations or through standard API endpoint into the collection database of the Sitecore xDB. The collection database hosts all the collected data and powers the live personalisation and marketing automation. It also allows data to be extracted for processing in other business intelligence tools. The collection database is extensible to host interactions from any customer touch-point and any customer data. 2: Secondly the Sitecore Experience Database consists of a aggregation layer which processes the potentially vast amounts of collected data and breaks it into tangible business insights. The aggregation service can be extended to break down business specific dimensions and facts. 3: The broken down data is stored in a reporting data… 4: Which is exposed by the reporting service of the Experience Database. This service is what drives the Sitecore Experience Analytics.
Running the Sitecore Experience Database on premise involves running the following technology stack. The collection database is powered by the MongoDB database, which both vertically and horizontally offers a highly scalable NoSQL database technology. The aggregation and reporting services are native Sitecore technologies which allows developers to adapt these services to the business in a easily extensible manner. Finally the reporting database runs on a Microsoft SQL database.
1: The alternative to the on-premise model is to take advantage of the Sitecore Experience Cloud offering.
The Sitecore Experience Cloud is an easily managed and fully serviced software-as-a-service offering including all the components of the Experience Database. The service is running on Microsoft Azure and offers support through the whole development lifecycle with both production and non-production endpoints.
Let us take a deeper plunge into how the platform works and how to scale and host the platform in a way which suits your organisation.
Lets start by taking a rough look at how the moving parts of the platform fits together. Please note that although this is a realistic example of a systems architecture in Sitecore, it is by no means the only architecture supported.
The management server is where the editors and marketers work…. When content is edited and have gone though the business workflow and is approved, it can be published. The publish process in Sitecore effectively copies the approved content from the master database onto the web database – which is located in an accessible location to the websites and public facing servers. The web database powers the webservers serving one or more websites to the visitors. The delivery servers can be load balanced and scaled in a standardised manner to accommodate the visitor traffic. Furthermore Sitecore supports the use content delivery networks for assets, media and any non-personalised content. As visitors visit the websites, behaviour and actions is written to the Sitecore Experience Database (in this instance running in the Sitecore Experience Cloud), which also powers the live personalisation and marketing automation.These moving parts effectively makes up the Sitecore Experience Platform. For development, Sitecore – with all the moving parts – can run on a single development machine. This makes it highly effective to set up development teams and work with the system.Teams can then consolidate changes and additions in version control which either through Continuous Integration or manual processes integrates the solution on a server, where integration testing and initial quality assurance is performed. Hereafter, the newly built version can be deployed onto a production-like environment for user-acceptance, load and performance testing. The changes is deployed through standard .NET development processes and tools and through Sitecore specific change packages. When the changes are accepted, the version can be submitted to production.
In a distributed environment, the Sitecore platform can be scaled even further to accommodate different geographical locations. In this scenario, the management environment is scaled for high availability and placed in a single location in Australia. To avoid publishing bottleneck, the publishing process has been separated onto a separate server. This solution then scales the website onto three datacentres around the world, catering for low latency for local users. Each of the datacenters are scaled for high availability. For the Sitecore Experience Database, this solution leverages the Sitecore Experience Cloud as a central customer data repository. Finally Sitecore supports active and passive disaster recovery scenarios, by placing standalone solutions in alternate datacenters. Every part of the Sitecore platform can be scaled to accommodate 100% uptime and to avoid bottlenecks.
Sitecore offer not only the ultimate flexibility in scaling, but also in hosting, ranging from a secure and easily integrated on-premise model to the low maintenance, high availability and elasticity of the cloud. Everything in the Sitecore stack can be hosted on-premise, including the content management, content databases and the experience database. Just as easily Sitecore offers support for the infrastructure as a service offerings from for example Microsoft, Amazon or Rackspace. This will eliminate the need for supporting hardware and infrastructure on the servers. Through a tight partnership with Microsoft, Sitecore offers complete support for Windows Azure, including running the content management services on the Azure Platform as a service, offering managed services for even operating system and middleware. Finally Sitecore the Sitecore Experienced Database as a fully serviced Software as a Service.
Sitecore is a native fit for the Microsoft Azure Cloud offering. Everything required to run the Sitecore application is available through Azure, including very low maintenance virtual machines through platform as a service, SQL server and the Sitecore Experience Database. Furthermore Azure offers a large number of complimentary services such as Media Encoding & Streaming, API management and multi-factor authentication. By leveraging the Sitecore Azure Module, many of the tasks associated with deploying and scaling to Microsoft Azure can be eliminated.
Application Lifecycle Management is the process of developing, configuring, maintaining and supporting a software application and getting the process right is critical for the ROI on any platform.
Sitecore as a platform is committed to taking advantage of and supporting the best practises, patterns and tools provided by the technologies we are built on. This means that Sitecore as a development platform is a natural fit for a Microsoft organisation and a .NET development team. We have a very dedicated development community building describing practises and patterns for Sitecore development as well as contributing modules and extensions to the platform through our marketplace.
In an ideal scenario any software development would go through the development, test and deploy phases of the application lifecycle in an automated manner taking out as much manual intervention as possible. This makes it possible to do quicker and more agile development and get faster time to market.
Sitecore supports the agile development methodology and tools and will fit with any development tools, continuous integration or automated deployment tools supported by .NET.
Sitecore is a global leader in Customer Experience Management software and we are rated as a top leader by both Gartner and Forrester analysts.
Our vision is to help you build meaningful relationships with your customers and win customers for life.
Ranging from system integrators to creative agencies to enterprise full service partners, e.g. Oakton, Deloitte, Avanade, Bullseye, Accenture / Reactive, Speedwell, Razorfish, DT.
Tiers based on criteria such as number of certified developers, implementation quality, and customer references / satisfaction
Blended Team Approach and Subject Matter Expertise across the project
Sitecore has a Customer Success team in Australia and New Zealand with the goal of to ensure that every customer gets the most out of the Sitecore platform and is able to deliver online experiences that exceed their expectations. All our valued Sitecore customers are assigned a Customer Account Manager from the Customer Success team who can help customers establish and sustain a strategic relationship with Sitecore. Acting as a trusted advisor, the customer account manager collaborates with our clients to share the latest about Sitecore’s evolving product offering specific to future business opportunities and strategic goals. The customer account manager also works to collaborates with customers to promote customer reference-ability and customer community.
I hope this presentation gave you a good overview of the Sitecore Experience Platform and its capabilities. Please contact Sitecore for more information.
Lifetime of MarketingTechnology
1 2 3 4 5 6
“The CMO will outspend CIOs on IT by 2017.”
“The Customer has risen from #8
concern in 2004 to #1 today.”IBM 2014
Richard Vancil, IDC Research
“You just cannot be a good marketer today
unless you are a good technologist”
2001, Sitecore Established
First Commercial Release
2009, Feature Rich Enterprise CMS Platform
Online Marketing System
User Interface Foundation
Process Based Framework
One Single Integrated Platform
CXM Functional Foundation
• Complete freedom in
content and information
• Store or integrate digital
assets and media
• Seamlessly integrate
products and commerce
• Work with versioning,
workflows and translation
across all content types
• In-built search, faceting
• Single View of the Customer
• Collect and connect customer
data with no limits
• Integrate contact interactions
across all touchpoints
• Real-time personalisation
• Personas and real-time profiling
• Rules-based or predictive
• Track goals, value and
Sitecore Process Enablement & Acceleration Kit
• SPEAK framework
• Process based tools
• Match organisational maturity
• Granular access control
• Workflows and compliance
• Reporting and insights
Sitecore Process Enablement & Acceleration Kit
Sitecore Experience Channels
• Patented dynamic presentation
• Personalise all content on all
• Format agnostic output
• Standards and accessibility
Sitecore Process Enablement & Acceleration Kit
Sitecore Experience Channels
| Apache SOLR
iOS | Android
Sitecore System Components
• One or more Sitecore xPlatform licensed servers.
• Standard Windows Environment
• Standard .NET Framework Web Application
• Can be scaled vertically and horizontally for high
availability using standard infrastructure
• Available for on-premise or cloud based hosting
8+ GB RAM
250+ GB HDD
Windows Server 2012
R2 .NET Framework
CONTENT DATABASES • Standard Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle environment
• Multiple databases for security and separation of
• Can be scaled and secured using best practises for
8+ GB RAM
250+ GB HDD
Microsoft SQL 2012/20014
250GB per Content DB
• Database for collecting customer data and interactions
• Services for aggregation and reporting
• Available as on-premise or SaaS based offering
Windows Server 2012
R2 MongoDB and
Microsoft SQL 2012/20014
Sitecore® Experience Database™
- Business Intelligence
- Interaction Behaviour
- Conversions & Automation
COLLECTION - Personalisation
- Marketing Automation
- Business Intelligence
Sitecore® Experience Database™
Sitecore® Experience Cloud
Sitecore Supported SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)
Experience Database and Reporting services
1 production endpoint
5 non-production endpoints
Request customer account id from Sitecore App
Edit and enable included cloud configuration file
Hosted on Microsoft Azure
Sitecore Server Architecture
PACKAGES NETWORK PUBLISHING
Distributed Sitecore ServerArchitecture
ACTIVE / PASSIVE
SitecoreApplication Lifecycle Management
Complete Application Lifecycle support
Supported tools and practises
Full CI and DevOps support
Automate and optimize all processes
Broad community support
Sitecore Development and Release Process
DEVELOP RELEASE DEPLOY
You Choose theTools and Frameworks
Sitecore is a global leader in customer
experience management software
that delivers highly relevant content and
personalised experiences across
multiple channels that delight
audiences, build loyalty and drive
Who is Sitecore?
“To empower organisations to build effective,
meaningful relationships that win customers