Sitecore DX Minneapolis 2023 Unveils Composable, Cloud Solutions
- Event spotlight. Sitecore DX Minneapolis focuses on composability.
- Minneapolis significance. Birthplace of Four51 and a Sitecore talent hub.
- New products. Sitecore unveils XM Cloud Plus and Sitecore Accelerate.
MINNEAPOLIS — Sitecore DX Minneapolis 2023 was held on Oct. 4 in the beautiful, and uncharacteristically warm for this time of year, Twin Cities. Composability was the subject du jour in the hallways and ballrooms of the Radisson Blu on the perimeter of the monolithic Mall of America.
Minneapolis marked another stop on the one-day premium event series that the digital experience platform provider has held throughout the year. Previous dates took place in London, Sydney and Boston, with Dubai still to come.
These single-day DX events replaced the wildly popular global symposium that Sitecore typically hosts, though Sitecore did also announce at the Minnesota event that the Symposium will return next October in Nashville.
Minneapolis is an important location for Sitecore, as it is the birthplace of Four51, the headless commerce provider Sitecore acquired three years ago. It also represents a meaningful talent cluster for the company, with a reported 150 Sitecore employees working out of the city.
Sitecore’s Weeklong DX: MVPs, SUGCON & More
This iteration was also different from the previous 2023 Sitecore DX stops, as it included activities that spanned a full week. On Monday and Tuesday, Sitecore MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) descended on the Radisson Blu for the Sitecore MVP Summit, which features intimate and closed-door conversations, presentations and roundtables with product leadership about the roadmap for the company. Discretion and frank discussion allow for meaningful connection between the company and its top partner practitioners. (Full disclosure: I was a first-time Sitecore MVP this year and had the opportunity to attend.)
Tuesday included a Partner Connect event as well. On Thursday and Friday, Sitecore was scheduled to host the SUGCON (Sitecore User Group Conference) North America, which tends to be more technical, and developer focused. In sum, the week represented touchpoints for all manner of customer, partner, employee and prospect — almost like a composable symposium (composium?).
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Sitecore DX Unveils XM Cloud, Accelerate
The big news coming out of the Sitecore DX Minneapolis event was the announcement of two new offerings: XM Cloud Plus and Sitecore Accelerate. Sitecore CEO Steve Tzikakis said that the theme of his keynote and of the day comes down to three words: disrupt, accelerate and innovate. These themes were peppered throughout like a well-architected composable technology stack.
XM Cloud Plus: Sitecore’s Composable Evolution
XM Cloud Plus is the logical extension of XM Cloud, Sitecore’s fully-native cloud CMS launched in 2022, and the bringing together — or bundling — of its other “hexagons,” or composable products ranging across search, personalization, customer data management and analytics. (Hexagons are the shape that Sitecore uses graphically to represent the composable products).
Composability represents great choice for the enterprise customer, of “best-of-breed” cloud-native, headless solutions connected through APIs. But with that depth of choice, it also opens a world of new possibilities and potentially new vendors to vet, review, connect, roadmap, procure and architect. While all-in-one, on-premise solutions may have had drawbacks in their tightly coupled layers and their onerous upgrades, approaching composability with open eyes and from that frame of reference can feel daunting.
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XM Cloud Plus: Sitecore’s Unified Cloud Vision
According to the announcement press release, Tzikakis said that XM Cloud Plus brings “together a proven set of products that gives brands broader capabilities to offer an unrivaled customer experience, while simplifying and accelerating their move to the cloud, and delivering a powerful solution for the thousands of Sitecore XP customers that want additional enterprise capabilities.”
Under one umbrella, Sitecore customers will have the ability to move from Sitecore XP towards a suite — “not a new product,” noted Tzikakis — of Sitecore’s comprehensive product set atop the composable architecture.
As he gave his larger market trend thoughts in his keynote, Tzikakis raised two examples from the technology industry at-large that are instructive of Sitecore’s current thinking. First, he noted that one of his beach reads this summer was former CEO of Intel Andy Grove’s “Only the Paranoid Survive.”
“It reminded me of the strategic inflection point Sitecore found itself three years ago when I joined as CEO and at that time we chose to disrupt our industry and invest so that today our customers can benefit,” he said.
Tzikakis also talked about Apple and how seamless integration and interconnectivity happen in and between Apple devices and competing offerings, all to the benefit of the customer. Questioned the CEO: Why can’t Sitecore — your DXP — offer you the Apple experience?
Sitecore Accelerate: Easing Cloud Transition for Brands
Sitecore Accelerate, the other big announcement, was tabbed as a solution – a “dedicated program” — to help brands move from Sitecore’s on-premises solutions to the cloud, specifically Sitecore XM and XP customers towards XM Cloud or XM Cloud Plus and XC customers to OrderCloud.
“We know the move is not easy,” Tzikakis said of the Sitecore Accelerate program. “We know there’s a lot of considerations: return on investment, total cost of ownership, processes, architecture. This is why we want to be on your side of the table. We want to put knowledge, resources and tools to make that as seamless as possible.”
While composability and cloud transition were a big part of the event, Tzikakis also reiterated Sitecore’s commitment to upgrading and enhancing the core Sitecore XM and Sitecore XP platforms. He said that Sitecore XP 10.4 will be coming out in April 2024 and assured: “That means many, many years of ongoing support — another six or seven — and, you have our commitment, that we will continue promoting, upgrading enhancing our core platform for as long as there is demand for it.”
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