With over 25 years of experience and more than 12,000 web projects, Americaneagle.com designs websites with strong revenues and sales leads. During a breakout session at Sitecore DX 2023 Boston, Jonathan Price, Global Sitecore Practice Director at Americaneagle.com, and Richard Seal, Lead Partner Technical Advisor at Sitecore, detailed how the digital agency used XM Cloud to build better user experiences for a large healthcare company's websites.
Teaming with a Partner Technical Advisor
Seal kicked off the session by explaining the Sitecore Partner Technical Advisor role. Created to help partners get all the Sitecore training and knowledge much faster, the PTA team is a group of experienced developers and subject matter experts focusing on composable products.
Their work includes:
- Supporting discovery and differentiation around the composable DXP
- Providing case-based advisory services to certified individuals at partners during implementations
- Creating components and scaffolding to enhance partners’ speed of deployment and usability
The heathcare provider is the largest ambulatory surgery platform in the country, with more than 465 surgical facilities across the United States.
A Sitecore XM customer since 2013, every time they acquire one of their new facilities, they migrate it to Sitecore to set up a public-facing website for booking appointments, contact forms, trying to find a physician, etc. To support their aggressive expansion, Americaneagle.com created a Site Generator, which can be used to create a site within a few minutes, just with a few clicks.
Moving to composable
According to Gartner Research, businesses can no longer meet their market needs or business objectives with monolithic digital experience platforms, predicting that by 2024, 70% of large and medium-sized enterprises will have composability as a key criterion for new application planning.
And creating an engaging user experience consists of many elements, but ultimately a certain amount of adaptation and flexibility needs to be in place for the best chance of success.
A year ago, the healthcare company was facing a business crossroads. They were long overdue for an upgrade, and they had over 250 sites in need of migrating onto the existing platform or updating. There were licensing and hosting considerations, such as purchasing another domain or configuring additional CD servers. And the sites’ look and feel were quite outdated.
The question was “How do we pair these projects together to do something innovative for the future?”
On top of all that, a new tool was being requested to help users find physicians faster. And because their websites are quick touchpoints, performance is extremely important, and they also heavily rely on SEO. The team managing these outdated sites was looking to reduce maintenance long-term and put less or even zero effort into upgrades.
There were two options:
- Enhancing the front-end technology by upgrading the existing stack
- Transitioning to composable for lightning-fast performance
To help them usher in a new era of digital healthcare experience, Americaneagle.com brought in XM Cloud.
As the healthcare provider's system became larger and more complex, it was harder to maintain. Thanks to XM Cloud, the healthcare company was able to build more efficient, scalable, and adaptable digital solutions.
As Price suggested during the breakout session, the decision to move to composable was backed up by numbers, presenting a 3-year TCO business case. Over the long term, XM Cloud would provide lower TCO, while also coming with all the other features and advantages.
Price then went on to present an impressive demo, underlining the ease and speed of creating a new headless XM Cloud website from scratch in just a few minutes.
Thoughts and considerations on composable architecture
Different online forms present unique challenges as they scale, but a composable solution can help tackle them. And thankfully, with XM Cloud each component used in the development process is pluggable.
As it was important for the heathcare company to integrate their forms without the need to update the form fields from site to site, Americaneagle.com created a custom react form embedded into their website and the result was many different options for all their different routes.
One thing to remember is that, while migrating to the cloud helps you remove technical debt, there's a critical task that can be quite challenging – deciding what to do with all your existing content. The key element of a successful migration strategy is developing a robust content strategy first. The end goal is to ensure that you have the right plan in place to decide what to migrate and how.
Americaneagle.com suggested planning ahead of time, cleaning up your site map, and consolidating websites. This way you will both increase the efficiency of content creation and deployment and improve your customers’ digital experience.
And while cloud migration can take many different paths, moving doesn’t mean rebuilding. Thankfully there’s a lot of data templating and migration that can be automated, no matter the version you are on.
For companies with numerous projects on the horizon, the important thing to consider is that doing nothing will eventually cost more than migrating. Upgrades might seem like an easy solution, but in reality they are never that easy, and they prove costly in the long run.
For companies looking to take the road to composable, Americaneagle.com is living proof that Sitecore’s PTA helps not only plan the migration but also execute it, paving the way for success.
Find out more about ΧΜ Cloud and how it can transform your business.
Sophie Krokida is a Content Writer at Sitecore. Connect with her on LinkedIn.