More than 400 attendees registered for Sitecore’s first live DX event in Sydney, keen to learn how to leapfrog the competition as they accelerate their journey to cloud-native SaaS solutions.

The 1-day conference in Sydney’s Allianz Stadium brought together diverse customers and solution partners from Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. And there was a clear appetite to leverage the full potential of the cloud, composable platforms, and AI to do more for customers — with fewer resources and less effort.

Guest keynote speaker and author of "Atomic Habits" James Clear joined a lineup of martech leaders on stage including Alison Davies, Digital Manager at Bridgestone Australia, Esme Eterovic, Head of Marketing & Digital at TelstraSuper, and Mathew Archibald, Domain Architect at Toyota Australia.

“This is the moment to innovate,” said Sitecore CEO Steve Tzikakis during his opening keynote. “Many businesses are at an inflection point in their journey, and we now have the technology, the skills in our ecosystem and the conviction. The time to be bold is now.”

With research showing customer experience is more important than product and pricing, digital experience is seen as one of the best ways to differentiate your brand and remain competitive. It’s no surprise the number one priority for CEOs globally is leveraging technology for revenue.

Tzikakis revealed some exciting transformations in Sitecore’s product portfolio. “Our truly composable architecture allows you to do things you couldn’t before,” he said. “And we’re not done yet.”

Examples include version-less upgrades, providing what Tzikakis described as an “Apple-like experience, where everything is connected, and it all happens for you overnight.” And while Sitecore already has artificial intelligence embedded into some of our solutions, it will expand machine learning capabilities across its product suite to power personalized experiences at scale, and enable truly intelligent customer search.

James Clear shares an agile approach to habit changes

If boldly transforming feels overwhelming, fear not. New York Times best-selling author James Clear reminded us that change doesn’t have to be one big thing during his guest keynote. It can be the aggregation of many small things.

“Excellence is not about radical changes, but accruing small improvements over time, like compound interest,” he said.

To get 1% better every day, it’s important to bridge the gap between your goals and the collection of daily habits that you follow, or your “system”.

“You do not rise to the level of your goals — you fall to the level of your systems,” he said. “The consequences of your past decisions will come knocking on your door one day.”

This approach can help you design digital experiences that reinforce positive customer behavior. For example, if there are actions you’d like customers to take more often, personalize messaging to make the rewards more obvious. After his keynote, Clear was joined by Joey Lim, President APJ at Sitecore, for a 20-minute Q&A session with the audience.DX Sydney James and Joey.jpg

 

A DXP for the digital dream team

Sitecore is one of the only DXP leaders that is also now a Leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Personalization Engines.

Graeme Chard, Senior VP of Product Marketing at Sitecore, discussed how Sitecore’s composable DXP is enabling transformational solutions for customers — and empowering marketing, creatives, IT leaders, developers, and business leaders to unlock value together.

“A cloud-native, composable platform allows you to plug and play the right digital experience for your business,” he said. “We see ourselves as a ‘friendly neighbor’ in the tech stack, with low or no code integrations and authoring, giving marketers the flexibility and freedom to build great experiences, fast.”

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XM Cloud has become Sitecore’s fastest growing new product in the history of our company, providing a true cloud native CMS that is infinitely scalable and version-less. Hannah Grap, Sitecore’s Acting Chief Marketing Officer, shared how Sitecore is harnessing the benefits of its own platform to, “bridge previously unpassable silos.”

One year after implementing Sitecore Search, for example, with real-time scalable personalized search capabilities, she has seen a 25% increase in click-through rates and increased engagement time on articles.

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The power of positive messages

Every major Sitecore event chooses a charity partner to support. In Sydney, attendees were encouraged to send postcards of thanks or support to a friend, colleague, or loved one in support of Beyond Blue — one of Australia’s most trusted sources of mental health support. For every postcard written on the day, Sitecore donated $20 to Beyond Blue — which quickly added up to $5,000 by the closing address.

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Obsessed with customer success

Headless development and composable architecture represent a new world for many businesses. During breakout sessions and panel discussions, Sitecore customers, along with solution and technology partners, took to the stage to reflect on their own journeys and what they’ve learned along the way.

For Toyota, it was important to run its new headless sites side by side as it transitioned the Lexus website and Toyota’s popular used car marketplace platform. Focusing first on smaller business units allowed the team to build in iterative stages and take the time to completely rethink the information architecture. The results have been impressive so far, with the new headless ecommerce platform outperforming all expectations on speed.

Making things personal shouldn’t take all your personnel. Esme Eterovic shared TelstraSuper’s journey to an award-winning digital experience. She highlighted how easy it is for her lean digital marketing team to build out personalization in Sitecore every day. “What the platform has to deliver for us has to scale now, to meet the needs of more diverse audience groups.”

The value of working with a trusted partner was clear across these success stories. “There are thousands of decisions to make about how you establish the headless environment. We depended on Dataweavers and Sitecore to make those for us,” said Mathew Archibald of Toyota Australia.

Panel discussions revealed many shared challenges and roadblocks, as well as common triggers for change. For Bridgestone, it was a perfect storm of needing to improve an MVP ecommerce platform, reduce the cost of running the current tech stack and integrate new business acquisitions on legacy platforms.

With a focus on user experience, Digital Manager Alison Davies has seen composable become, “a real liberator to drive tech forward in the business.”

The day was wrapped featuring a panel discussion led by Sitecore Chief Customer Success Officer Lee Miles. He was joined by Luke Williams, Head of Digital at ACU, Jo Falconer, Global Director of IT and Digital Transformation at Scenic – Luxury Cruises & Tours, and Troy Outtram, Partner at Deloitte Digital. They had a wide-ranging discussion centered around how they are adopting and moving into a composable future.

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Sitecore DX 2023 Sydney has invigorated an appetite for change, and customers will ultimately benefit — with faster response times, reinvented customer service, and intuitive digital experiences.

As Tzikakis reminded us, “the leaders of tomorrow are digitally disrupting today.”

Our next DX event will be occurring on October 4 – Sitecore DX 2023 Minneapolis. Check out the agenda, featuring a guest keynote from Noelle Russell, Chief AI officer at the AI Leadership Institute, and then register to reserve your seat what’s sure to be another compelling and insights-packed day.

Jason Masini is Senior Director of Content Marketing at Sitecore. Follow him on LinkedIn.