Sitecore
Why You Should Upgrade to Sitecore 9
xConnect, Marketing Automation, and Cortex
November 16, 2017 Marko Mihin

 If you’re already a Sitecore user then you probably heard about Sitecore 9, and if you’re not, maybe it’s time you considered becoming one. Sitecore 9 brings many new features and improvements to the previous versions, and we already covered some of them in our blog.

 

Let’s start with a quick intro for those who are not familiar with Sitecore. Sitecore helps you deliver personalized content in the context of how your customers interact with your brand across all channels and devices. It has grown from a platform that provides simple web experiences to one that enables marketing teams to better engage their customers by adding new features through every version, which lead to the current version, Sitecore 9.

In this latest version, Sitecore brings extensive new data capabilities (with Sitecore xConnect) and machine learning (with Sitecore Cortex). It provides marketers with everything they need in order to deliver a personalized omnichannel experience.

So, what’s new? Let’s go through the overview of the new features.

 

Xconnect and Headless

New xConnect module brings the ability to incorporate data from non-traditional data sources like:

  • Fit devices
  • Smart watches
  • IOT devices
  • Physical store visits
  • Call center interactions
  • And many other data sources

Regardless of the origin and format of the incoming data, xConnect can be the single unified API for getting such data into or out of xDB.

Forms are a replacement for the previously used Web Forms: UI has been completely redesigned and UX has been improved with features like drag and drop, which makes building the forms much easier.

Some of the additional new features are: multi page forms and the option to create reusable templates.

Alongside those UX improvements other important improvements are enhanced tracking and reporting capabilities. Every form you create now has a "performance"

 

Marketing Automation

This is a replacement for Engagement Automation with improved drag and drop UI and other UX improvements. Now it is much easier to create an engagement plan, review it and follow the visitor flow

As part of the automation plan, you can also set up "listeners" which allow you to determine when or if your customer moves on to the next step. As same as the rules that determine when they enter the campaign, these can be based on a wide variety of rules or actions and can be time bound.  In other words, it will specify that the user took a certain action within a certain number of days from the last step.

 

Sitecore Cortex

This is a technology utilizing machine learning, which works in conjunction with Experience Database (xDB) and XConnect, a new cloud-enabled service layer that can consume data via a RESTful API framework from any third-party data source (commerce, CRM, wearables, IoT..), providing a more complete and holistic view of the user interactions with the brand across every touch point.

 

If you have any additional questions, whether you are new to Sitecore or already a user, feel free to contact us.

Marko Mihin
Marketer