Every new version of Sitecore includes new and improved features that make it easier for product owners to develop, deploy and monitor websites and track the way users interact with them. Sitecore 8.2 was no exception here – in fact, it includes some of the most powerful features for personalisation and contextualisation ever featured. However, it can be difficult to keep track of every addition in each new version. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the most significant new features in Sitecore 8.2, including the Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SxA) and advanced personalisation and contextualisation.
Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SxA) helps you get sites to market faster
Sitecore streamlines the web design process by decoupling content from design, which increases the number of tasks that can be carried out in parallel. In the 8.2 update, the Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SxA) was introduced, which makes it possible to create an entire skeleton of your site, including data templates and information architecture, at the same time as the visual elements are being designed. SxA features a “What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get” (WYSIWYG) editor and drag-and-drop User Experience (UX) elements, and testing, optimisation and personalisation are all available from within the editor. Whether you’re using SxA to push out changes to a live website or to rapidly prototype new ideas, it has the potential to drastically reduce time to market and make it easier for your company to be agile and innovative.
Multiple licensing options help you manage Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
With the explosion of cloud-based hosting platforms and the popularity of agile and DevOps-style practices in a growing number of industries, the perpetual licenses traditionally offered by software providers are becoming increasingly ineffective in supporting the needs of modern enterprises. Consumption-based payment isn’t a new option in Sitecore 8.2 per se, but if you haven’t already considered making the switch, there’s never been a better time to do so.
The consumption model presents a more affordable and flexible option for businesses with volatile demand levels or smaller budgets, but where users ‘own’ the license in a perpetual model, consumption licenses are provided on a rental basis only. Additionally, support and maintenance costs are worked into your usage fee in Sitecore’s consumption model, whereas perpetual licenses only offer annual maintenance for ongoing support and access to upgrades.
Measuring interactions on a personal level results in better customer insights
Being treated as an individual, rather than a depersonalised collection of demographics and focus group data, is of vital importance to the modern consumer. If you’re still using the broadcast-style approach of undifferentiated messaging and outbound marketing tactics, you’re unlikely to see much return on your efforts. Sitecore 8.2 allows Deep integration with CRM systems and an individual customer view means more customer touch points for your businesses to streamline internal processes, the ability to release Information to any channel – including websites, mobile apps, digital kiosks and SMS messages – and across-the-board integration of back-end systems, SaaS and web-based CRM platforms.
The Federated Experience Manager (FXM) also generates in-depth analytics on where your users have come from and how they engage with your site. FXM also generates analytics on non-Sitecore sites, to which personalised marketing content can subsequently be deployed. The marketing taxonomies included in Sitecore’s Customer Experience (CX) platform ensure your users’ activities are recorded in a structured way so that you can nurture new and existing relationships by selecting the content, channel and media most appropriate for each point of contact.
RXP provides comprehensive Sitecore development services. If you’re looking to unlock the potential of your Sitecore implementation, or if you’d like advice on upgrading to the latest version of Sitecore, download our free eBook Guide to Digital Platform Development Trends 2017.