Sitecore kicked off its first DX 2023 conference in North America with hundreds of attendees coming together to learn the key to accelerating their unique journeys to a composable digital experience platform.
The 1-day conference in Boston featured an agenda designed in close collaboration with Sitecore’s Solution and Technology Partners. The purpose: to help brands determine a strategy that will help them future-proof their tech stack how they’d like based on their existing digital journey, while delivering digital experiences that turns their customers into fans.
Taking the stage were Sitecore customers Avid Technology, Bright Horizons, BDR Thermea, New England Biolabs, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, along with the guest keynote speaker, Wall Street Journal best-selling author Ann Handley. Sitecore executives also shared impactful insights for attendees to apply to their real-world brand strategies.
“In 2023, customers are looking for growth, expansion in the market, and to increase margins,” shared Sitecore CEO Steve Tzikakis “It’s only a new modern platform that can cater to all three requirements.”
Ann Handley talks AI and human collaboration
Would you have guessed that the invention of the Xerox copy machine caused a frenzy similar to today’s polar attitudes around how AI will impact content creation?
Ann Handley, author of the newly revised book Everybody Writes and Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, shared how our adoption of the formerly controversial technology gives us a view into how new AI-driven technology, such as ChatGPT, can become a valuable tool — if done right.
“People very much need to be part of these tools as we implement them in sales and marketing,” Ann shared.
After she debunked three myths surrounding generative AI and content, Ann gave brands in the audience three action items for preparing for what’s ahead:
- Invest in AI literacy: Follow the fear
- Be a change agent in your organization: Don’t wait for the world to get smarter around you
- Embrace new responsibility
Ann concluded her keynote by launching a new guide, co-created with Sitecore, to help brands be smart movers as they prioritize tech, experience, data, and content strategies.
4 smart-mover strategies for dominating digital moments Download now.
Perspectives with Sitecore CEO & Avid Technology
Tzikakis led the audience through his visionary keynote with impactful details on the company and product innovations.
He shared that Sitecore’s composable architecture is designed to be a friendly neighbor in a brand’s tech stack by working with outside solutions and allowing optimization across the business. The cloud-based SaaS solution offerings also do not require a brand to undergo traditional upgrades.
“Our vision is to help you create unforgettable digital experiences and turn your customers into fans of your brand,” Steve said to the audience.
Jeff Rosica, President and CEO of Avid Technology, joined Steve on stage to share his brand’s experience having the flexibility that comes with a composable architecture.
“We want efficiency, innovation, and forward thinking, but return on investment is the key,” Jeff shared. “In a cloud-based environment, you can’t get quicker return.”
Customers share their road to composable
Sitecore Chief Customer Success Officer Lee Miles sat down with leaders from Bright Horizons, New England Biolabs, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and Accenture Song to share early stages of the journey to a composable architecture.
The panel covered topics such as motivations for adoption, experience with using Sitecore, and advice for brands embarking on the journey.
”You want to have a plan, vision, and strategy, but you don’t want to take it on all at once,” said Kelly Sheridan, Associate Director of Marketing Technologies at New England Biolabs. “Give yourself a chance to learn about the technology as you’re working with your customers.”
Vish Chawla, GVP of Product Engineering at Bright Horizons explained “We are on a journey to a composable architecture … headless, for us, is very important, and Sitecore XM Cloud is getting us there.”
“We are taking the time to use Sitecore as the full platform that it is,” said Marilyn Tabet, Senior Manager of Digital Experience at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.
Sitecore supports Plan International charity
The designated charity of Sitecore DX 2023 Boston is Plan International, a global organization active in more than 80 countries, supporting children, especially girls, wherever they are oppressed, exploited, left behind, or not equally valued.
Ivan Barsby, Plan International’s Director of Product Management, briefly joined DX host Mike Fenn, Sitecore President of Americas, on stage to share how its driving impact with the help of Sitecore.
“When people visit our site, we want to be able to understand issues that are important to them — whether it is water, health, hygiene,” Ivan said. “So, we want to guide them to the information. … And composable is important to us, to be able to tie what we do with the solutions that we want to use.”
Throughout the conference, attendees participated in a Plan International activity designed to emulate walking the footsteps to clean water that many people across the globe will face when they don’t have easy access to it. A journey that has a compounding impact on people's ability to also get access to hygiene, have time to attend school, and more, shared Ivan.
For each attendee who walked the steps carrying two buckets of water, Sitecore gave a $10 donation to the organization. Mike announced at the end of the conference that Sitecore was proud to be making a $5,000 donation to Plan International on behalf of the attendees.
Implementation partners share expert advice
Sitecore’s sponsoring Solution and Technology Partners were the bread-and-butter of DX Boston, helping design an impactful agenda that would allow attendees to gain a clearer vision of their composable adoption strategy.
Matt Allmark, Marketing Manager of Digital Strategy for Sitecore customer BDR Thermea UK & Ireland, joined Accenture to explain learnings from his brand’s journey to XM Cloud for 10 websites that were initially backed by their own CMS’s.
“We have a maturity model where seven countries are a lot further than the others, and they don’t have to hold back, we can invest, we can build proof of concepts, and they’re ready when they want it,” Matt said.
Also on the agenda, Sitecore Solution Partners Velir, Verndale, Americaneagle.com, Altudo, Valtech, and Deloitte Digital led informative breakouts on topics including XM Cloud, headless, scaling websites, HIPAA, and more. Check back at Sitecore’s Insights Blog for featured content on select sessions coming soon.
The future of experience modernization with Sitecore
Sitecore Chief Product Office Dave O’Flanagan and Hannah Grap, VP of Corporate Marketing and Interim CMO, took the main stage to share the latest on Sitecore’s product roadmap and what composable architecture means for brands in the future. Sitecore is on a mission to redefine the category of composable DXP, Dave explained.
“We believe that the future is composable,” Dave said. “We believe in a future where the brands can ensemble a stack as unique as their business, as unique as their customer, and meet the needs of today’s customers and exceed the needs of tomorrow.”