After months of planning and preparation, the first Sitecore DX 2023 Europe – Accelerate your journey, took place in London. It was a day full of exciting announcements, informative and visionary keynotes, mainstage spotlight sessions on market trends, and how-to breakout sessions on how to speed up the move to a composable architecture.

Jose Valles, Sitecore President of EMEA, delivered the opening remarks and welcomed everyone to the event, then introduced our CEO Steve Tzikakis to deliver his keynote.

Steve emphasized to all the brands in attendance, that despite recent economic headwinds including rising inflation, higher interest rates, and shrinking budgets, today offers an incredible chance to reshape how they are delivering digital experiences to their customers.

“I’m personally convinced that the time is now,” he said. “Innovations emerge in a time of crisis, and it should be looked at as an opportunity to differentiate your position.” Adding, “As a company that serves some of the most recognizable brands in the world, we’ve made it our mission to help our customers create brilliant experiences.”

He also mentioned that the brands that have embraced Sitecore’s composable products are seeing amazing time to value.

“At a time when margins matter, our customers are reporting that they are seeing a break-even point after only 9-10 months,” he said.

Steve then capped his keynote with the announcement that Sitecore will soon be offering deep integration with ChatGPT across several of our products, which is sure to have immediate and long-term benefits for marketers to better scale and optimize their content.

“Innovation will continue to be part of our DNA,” Steve said.

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Guest speaker Shivvy Jervis digs into the human mind

Innovation Forecaster Shivvy Jervis took the stage and gave a fascinating keynote. She’s one of Europe’s most sought-after female speakers, and she has been named one of Britain’s Top 10 Women of the Year.

She discussed how the human brain processes information – running faster than an F1 car with neurons firing at 268 miles per hour. And who do you think the average person has the most conversations with during a day? Well, it might surprise you to hear that it’s yourself. We speak to ourselves 6x more than anyone else in a typical day.

She shared multiple examples of how human brains are wired to quickly disengage when it appears that choice has been removed from their options. As such, it’s more important than ever to use emotion when speaking not only to customers but also employees.

“Leaders with an emotive mindset, where they make people ‘feel’ something, are 5x-6x more effective in motivating someone,” Shivvy shared.

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Sitecore’s product roadmap and strategy

At every Sitecore event, everyone is always excited to hear about what’s going on with the products. And as always, Chief Product Officer Dave O’Flanagan delivered. He walked through how Sitecore sees brands moving from their monolithic digital experience platforms (DXP) to a SaaS-powered, composable tech stack, providing an ecosystem that is flexible and future-proof.

“Customer expectations have never been higher,” Dave said. “Everybody expects digital interactions to be easy and to be able to engage on the channels they prefer. They want their experience to be fast, frictionless, and relevant.”

The days of having to accept a single platform, with features and capabilities that might not be right for your business, are over. Brands get to pick and choose the right solutions that work for them, weave them together seamlessly, and best of all, you never have to worry about the cost, resources, and time that it takes for an upgrade because updates are automatic.

“Brands must strive to seize the opportunity and build a tech stack that delivers on their promises to their customers,” Dave said. “Going composable means you’re future-proofed for whatever comes next.”

He then walked through all the latest innovations and features the Sitecore teams have been working on across our entire product portfolio.

“Sitecore will continue to be defined by how fast we can innovate, and we welcome that challenge,” he said.

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Expert advice during DX showcases and breakouts

One of the main goals going into the event was ensuring attendees left with a strong plan and actionable insights to get on a composable path. The mainstage showcases from Accenture with BDR Thermea followed by EPAM with Cytiva reinforced the idea that brands are embracing the move to composable, cloud-native solutions and the benefits it will provide for their business – lower costs, better agility, and content at scale to fuel their digital experiences.

Microsoft used its showcase to talk about the latest advances in Generative AI and how we all might be able to take advantage of the technology today and tomorrow.

In the breakout sessions during the afternoon, Sitecore product experts joined sponsoring Solution & Technology Partners Accenture, Microsoft, EPAM, Horizontal Digital, Sagittarius, Valtech, Publicis Sapient, and Vercel to gave attendees a strong foundation on a variety of topics, including the best ways to migrate to XM Cloud, managing content for assets, optimizing personalization, and modernizing your martech stack.

Charity of choice: British Red Cross

At each major Sitecore event, we proudly designate a charity that’s doing good work for their communities and beyond. At DX 2023 Europe, Jose Valles took the stage again to share about some of the important work that the British Red Cross, a Sitecore customer, has been doing to help those who were affected by the earthquakes in Turkey. To help support the organization’s continued efforts, Sitecore pledged a donation.

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Panel discusses the path to composable

Lee Miles, Sitecore’s Chief Customer Success Officer, led the final session of the day – an expert panel featuring Pavlos Vassiliou, CEO of Synlab, Asha Juttla, Enterprise Architect at Bupa, Zach Dugas, Global Product Owner at Thule, and Jan van den Bremen, Managing Director at Accenture.

The panel focused on where each of the customers were in their journey with Sitecore, and where they are on their composable path. Some are further along than others, but the common thread was that each are excited for what the future holds with a cloud-native platform that will offer speed and flexibility to meet the needs of their customers.

And we’re off to Boston

And just like that, the first-ever Sitecore DX event came to a close, and now it’s on to Sitecore DX 2023 Boston on May 9. There’s still time to register and see guest keynote speaker Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, along with executive keynotes, showcases and a full slate of how-to breakout sessions.

Jason Masini is the Senior Director of Content Marketing at Sitecore. Connect with him on LinkedIn.