Impressions and takeaways from SUGCON 2022

Impressions and takeaways from SUGCON 2022

Where was it this year?

With the event being remote the last two years it was nice to finally reconvene as a community. This year, they chose one of my favorite European cities – Budapest!

Who attended?

I was lucky enough to attend in person again, joined by Velir colleagues current and former MVPs Dan Solovay, Daniel Delay, and Chris Sulham. There were approximately 500+ attendees largely made up of MVPs, developers, savvy clients, a Sitecore reps.

Why did we attend?

Over the past few years, Sitecore has moved away from its home-grown, self-contained platform and began acquiring products that would help speed their transition to a cloud-native platform that is more composable in terms of features and functions.

For many of us, this was a massive paradigm shift and one that left many of us feeling a bit unsure what we do and don’t know about the solution and its direction. We went to SUGCON seeking some answers.

What did we learn?

Sitecore’s CEO, Steve Tzikakis, kicked off the show.

Key takeaways:

  • Doubled R&D spend over next 4 years (22%)
  • Focus is firmly on strategy and building out the composable DXP
  • Doubled the number of employees across the organization – 60% of staff have only been at Sitecore a year or less!
  • Widening presence with offices like Boston and Dubai
  • The affirmation that “We will always be a CMS solution”
  • Commerce is being totally redefined 

Sitecore’s CPO, Dave O’ Flanagan followed up.

  • Not trying to sell customers the whole Sitecore stack but just the parts they really need
  • XM Cloud coming soon!
  • Content is still the center of gravity for the platform
  • Cloud native, headless by default, Jamstack ready, analytics/testing/personalization really baked in
  • New successor to XP is XM Cloud so the upgrade path would be here since personalization and analytics are included but for more advanced needs may need to add CDP
  • Sitecore search rearchitected from Reflektion to be generic
  • Sitecore portal coming for DXP management 
  • All visual user interfaces will be rethought for cloud based Sitecore
  • Dusting off Horizon and adapting elements of it
  • Sitecore announced a lightweight/decoupled version of Content Hub branded “Headless CMS”. It could be an alternative CMS like Contentful or Storyblok.

Conclusions and Takeaways

  • Sitecore is keeping XP for now, but the big sales push from Sitecore is XP > XMP (Sitecore XM + Personalize).
  • Upgrade path could be complicated for clients currently on xDB and have complex personalization rules. May require starting over data-wise.
  • Personalization configuration will at first be less turnkey for BSAs and Digital Marketers. Requires JS code and developer involvement.
  • You can’t just swap component data sources in Sitecore like you can in XP right now. You need to somehow get that content over to Personalize. More like an ad server or Adobe Target.
  • Overlapping capabilities from the acquired products still being resolved.
  • Composable systems don’t have visual editor for the web or any channel so this is one of the trade-offs

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