While most of the headlines at the Sitecore Symposium focused on features in version 8, that wasn't the only news. Here are some other noteworthy items:

Gaps in Customer Strategies

A survey of 312 senior executives across North America found big gaps between managers who say they want to keep customers for life and those who are actually pursuing strategies to do it.

About 94 percent of the respondents said they focus on keeping customers for life, but only 38 percent are primarily focused on repeat customers for sales growth. Nearly half (49 percent) are focused on new customers. The study by Forbes Insights, the thought leadership division of Forbes Media, was sponsored by Sitecore, which sells customer experience management software.

In another area, more than three-quarters of the respondents said average and potential customer lifetime value (CLV) metrics are highly valuable to their planning, but just 58 percent regularly calculate CLV and 48 percent don't know the potential CLV.

Part of the problem stems from a mishmash of data systems. On average, organizations use 36 data-gathering systems and vendors for their marketing efforts, according to the study. But only 24 percent of the respondents said they felt customer communication systems and the data gathering efforts were fully integrated.

Gigya for Sitecore

XCentium announced a Gigya-Sitecore Connector that allows companies to embed Gigya's tools into Sitecore sites to build engagement and loyalty.

The connector allows integration of Gigya's Registration-as-a-Service tool, social login, sharing and community features, according to Amrit Raj, managing partner for XCentium, a digital consultancy.

Gigya plugins can be managed from the Sitecore admin panel, simplifying implementation. The tool promises to shrink the barrier to entry by allowing users to sign into a site using existing social logins or any OpenID provider.

Raj noted Sitecore already includes some social features, but more are needed. "Things are evolving so fast, especially in social," he told CMSWire. "I think that's where Gigya or any of these stand-alone social platforms make a lot of sense."

Go Faster, Please

Aware Web Services introduced Accelcor Suite, a collection of integrated solutions that accelerate Sitecore's Experience Platform.

Aware officials said they recognized the need for a cohesive suite for the Sitecore community that matches the speed of experiences to that of the customers.

The suite includes three families: Devour Bit Data, Boost Productivity and Convert Attractions.

Aware, an implementor and consultancy, said the suite can help Sitecore customers "turn a wealth of big data from their digital marketing system into impactful marketing campaigns, implement new technologies to ensure internal productivity or attract and retain the right customers."