This past Wednesday Sitecore held a global “what’s new” webinar for their key Sitecore partner network, and I was lucky enough to attend. However, rather than the traditional “state of the CMS union” to keep their partnerships energized for the summer months, this webinar very quickly got my attention. What was so interesting? (Drumroll, please.)
Sitecore formally announced their new 7.5 platform, beginning with a Lighthouse pilot program this summer and rolling out to the wider public later this year. For example, their new database platform, xDB, will be available in July.
Also new is the business solution’s name. Henceforth, the platform will be the “Sitecore Experience” – a branding change which obviously takes into account recent trends to improve end-to-end customer visibility and analytics.
Indeed, according to their spokesman, the new Sitecore 7.5 Experience will offer a more holistic suite of analysis to users, with boosted tracking capabilities and a 360 degree customer vision that tabulates both offline and online data – all on one platform.
(Though, I am betting that tracking your offline data will either necessitate some kind of data entry, and not that Sitecore has also somehow harnessed the power of osmosis.)
So what is different in Sitecore 7.5?
As a Sitecore power user, I was excited about the possibility of new technology upgrades to play with. I also immediately took out my notebook and began scribbling ideas on what this means for our clients. Here is a quick and dirty summary of the key changes you should know about:
The Sitecore umbrella will now cover the following products:
|New Name||Old Name|
|Sitecore Experience platform||Customer Engagement Platform|
|Experience CMS||Sitecore CMS|
|Experience Marketing||Digital Marketing System (DMS)|
|Email Experience Manager||Email Campaign Manager|
|Experience Analytics||Engagement Analytics|
|Print Experience Manager||Adaptive Print Studio|
|Experience Automation||Engagement Automation|
|Sitecore Experience Database (xDB), built with a MongoDB integration||Analytics Database|
New Experience Database
The new Sitecore experience database (xDB) will still have many of the existing platform capabilities, but we discovered a few key differences:
New Experience Profile
The new Sitecore Experience Platform will create a new user profile on the Sitecore Experience Platform, which takes disparate channel tracking and instead offers a single location for visibility on all your customer insights, such as visit, campaign, goal, profiling automation, etc.
According to Sitecore, this change should improve your visibility and understanding of your contacts to improve their strategic outreach. It will also allow marketers to compare profiles and set up rules to send out triggered messages or campaigns a group of similar profiles.
Here is an example profile from the company website:
New Lighthouse Pilot Program
As I mentioned above, the first stage of the Sitecore 7.5 rollout is a pilot program available to just Sitecore MVP users, that is, companies who have successfully implemented a Sitecore solution and are recognized by the company for creating best-in-class customer experiences.
To be eligible for the Lighthouse program – and get a first look at the new Sitecore product before your competitors – you need to meet the following criteria:
Summary: The Key Benefits of Sitecore 7.5
In summary, I see three major benefits for the new Sitecore 7.5:
What do you think? Are you excited to see the new Sitecore experience platform?
Editor’s note: If you interested in a development evaluation to become a Sitecore MVP – and get a first look at the new Sitecore product, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can check for you.